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Biopsyc Glossary Worksheets #1

A challenging task for me as an undergraduate, was learning biopsychology vocab. Unfamiliar terms, poly-versions of terms, multi-syllabic terms! However, as an emerging professional, I saw the value of effective and efficient word play. Clearer communication and greater accuracy with what I wanted to say, could improve my interaction with clients. At uni, using the language of one field more efficiently, rippled to how I used the language in another unit. My confidence with learning the subject grew, and barriers to reading my assessments (for markers) lessened.

Free printable glossary activities here

Nowadays as a tutor I definitely see the worth of a field glossary for a unit. Working with students, I encourage them to develop the practice of using new vocab. Especially in assessments; lecturers get a boost when they see you've engaged with the material ~:-) Also, Naming the Names can help you to navigate complex readings and give richer personal considerations of those texts.


As a branch of science, Biopsyc is replete with words and phrases suited to its specialisation of practice.

You may think that as a graduate it's unlikely you will use most of them. Yet, a professional learns lingo that helps to 'break the ice' and inform across contexts. Provocare.

My suggestion is that you use Weeks 1 and 2 of semester to soak in foundational vocab. Create learning tools, such as visual flashcards. Or download a resource (hint hint, scroll up). Use as much of your body as possible to engage with the material. Some people sketch, others make ytube videos, or write a song. Rote learning is fine... though to prep for an exam, it is time consuming and knowledge may not move into long-term memory. Be sure to have a goal. Orient to that which has snared your attention. For a psychology student that is usually stressing over an assessment. For such a case you might consider correct word choice and phrasing to demonstrate application of the topic.

Alternatively, you can draw on Woo. Immersion in your imagination with a way of recording your perceptions and perspectives (e.g., pen and paper), is deep learning. It works

Also, aim for spaced learning. You do not have to create flashcards of an entire lecture glossary in one session. Space it out. Have time to relax and recharge. Do some chores. Return to the task. Cycle.

Become more familiar with terms or parts of words you feel you already know. A scientist-practitioner stays curious. When we slow down and focus on what is in front of us new viewpoints about the challenge can arise. Other modes of engagement to learn biopsychology vocabulary, come to mind.

For example, terms and their prefixes, suffixes or eponyms that you use day to day, will appear more as you read. Relatable vocab. Rich in history of Ancient Egyptian and Greek, Semetic, Phonecian, and Arabic, Latin, Italian and French. With a dash of Anglo-Saxon grammar to bind it together meaningfully. Who knew learning a biospsyc glossary could be this interesting. This exploration is helpful too, for creating your own mnemonics (which is how I make flashcards). Recall and relationship of terms can be optimised thru learning your personal symbolic language. Dive into the field's hx. Craft your work to high quality, drawing on salient data in the world and from your personal reflections.

Though the biospyc lexicon can be daunting. It is manageable. You can make 'concrete' (established) abstract concepts through learning the glossary in an embodied way (see all above). Participate in class discussions, comment with gravity at times on social media, or hone a beautiful assignment.

I forgot to mention the cross-curriculum benefit of vocab with regards to Ethics. To practice with competence (and confidence) pertains to the Principle of Justice in the APA's Code of Conduct (2017, Section 2). The ability to pay attention to others, to sit with them, to collaborate as a team, to have capacity to tolerate ambivalence, is influenced to some degree by your verbal fluency

How you hear. How you deliver what it is you want to say. What does and does not get done is contributed to by your practice competency.

As well, there is the 'least room for misinterpretation' requirement for the Principle of Integrity, in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2023, standards 1.3 and 3.1.2). Miscommunication, best practices overlooked, and risks of ethical breech dismissed, are often grounded in key vocab dexterity.

Ultimately, for those with an aim to practice in psychology, regardless the field, a grip on biopsyc vocabulary is an asset. Light & Life~ Charmayne References

American Psychological Association [APA]. (2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct.

National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council & Universities Australia (2023). National statement on ethical conduct in human research. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council.

Pepper, P. O.H. (2024). Medical etymology: The history and derivation of medical terms for students of Medicine, Dentistry, and Nursing. United Kingdom (Originally published in 1949; Edited by


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