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Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or reverence among believers. The property is often ascribed to objects (a “sacred artifact” that is venerated and blessed), or places (“sacred ground”).
French sociologist Émile Durkheim considered the dichotomy between the sacred and the profane to be the central characteristic of religion: “religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden.”:47 In Durkheim’s theory, the sacred represents the interests of the group, especially unity, which are embodied in sacred group symbols, or totems. The profane, on the other hand, involve mundane individual concerns.
A sauna (/ˈsɔːnə, saʊ-/; Finnish pronunciation: [ˈsɑunɑ]), or sudatory, is a small room or building designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, or an establishment with one or more of these facilities. The steam and high heat make the bathers perspire. Infrared therapy is often referred to as a type of sauna, but according to the Finnish sauna organisations, infrared is not a sauna. Tampere, the third-largest city of Finland, has been officially declared the “Sauna Capital of the World”.
Sadness is an emotional pain associated with, or characterized by, feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment and sorrow. An individual experiencing sadness may become quiet or lethargic, and withdraw themselves from others. An example of severe sadness is depression, a mood which can be brought on by major depressive disorder or persistent depressive disorder. Crying can be an indication of sadness.
Sadness is one of the “six basic emotions” described by Paul Ekman, along with happiness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust.
In psychology and cognitive science, a schema (plural schemata or schemas) describes a pattern of thought or behavior that organizes categories of information and the relationships among them. It can also be described as a mental structure of preconceived ideas, a framework representing some aspect of the world, or a system of organizing and perceiving new information. Schemata influence attention and the absorption of new knowledge: people are more likely to notice things that fit into their schema, while re-interpreting contradictions to the schema as exceptions or distorting them to fit. Schemata have a tendency to remain unchanged, even in the face of contradictory information. Schemata can help in understanding the world and the rapidly changing environment. People can organize new perceptions into schemata quickly as most situations do not require complex thought when using schema, since automatic thought is all that is required.
People use schemata to organize current knowledge and provide a framework for future understanding. Examples of schemata include academic rubrics, social schemas, stereotypes, social roles, scripts, worldviews, and archetypes. In Piaget’s theory of development, children construct a series of schemata, based on the interactions they experience, to help them understand the world.
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A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or “pupils”) under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is sometimes compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools. The names for these schools vary by country (discussed in the Regional section below) but generally include primary school for young children and secondary school for teenagers who have completed primary education. An institution where higher education is taught, is commonly called a university college or university.
Science (from the Latin word scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education scale. Level 2 or lower secondary education (less common junior secondary education) is considered the second and final phase of basic education, and level 3 (upper) secondary education is the stage before tertiary education. Every country aims to provide basic education, but the systems and terminology remain unique to them. Secondary education typically takes place after six years of primary education and is followed by higher education, vocational education or employment. In most countries secondary education is compulsory, at least until the age of 16. Children typically enter the lower secondary phase around age 11. Compulsory education sometimes extends to age 19.
Security is freedom from, or resilience against, potential harm (or other unwanted coercive change) caused by others. Beneficiaries (technically referents) of security may be of persons and social groups, objects and institutions, ecosystems or any other entity or phenomenon vulnerable to unwanted change.
Security mostly refers to protection from hostile forces, but it has a wide range of other senses: for example, as the absence of harm (e.g. freedom from want); as the presence of an essential good (e.g. food security); as resilience against potential damage or harm (e.g. secure foundations); as secrecy (e.g. a secure telephone line); as containment (e.g. a secure room or cell); and as a state of mind (e.g. emotional security).
The term is also used to refer to acts and systems whose purpose may be to provide security (e.g.: security companies, security forces, security guard, cyber security systems, security cameras, remote guarding).
Security is not only physical but it can also be Virtual.
Seduction has multiple meanings. Platonically, it can mean “to persuade to disobedience or disloyalty”, or “to lead astray, usually by persuasion or false promises”. In terms of sexual attraction, it can mean to “attract” someone, or to entice someone to sexual intercourse.
Strategies of seduction include conversation and sexual scripts, paralingual features, non-verbal communication, and short-term behavioural strategies. The word seduction stems from Latin and means literally “leading astray.” As a result, the term may have a positive or negative connotation. Famous seducers from history or legend include Lilith, Giacomo Casanova, and the fictional character Don Juan. The emergence of the Internet and technology has supported the availability and the existence of a seduction community, which is based on discourse about seduction. This is predominately by “pickup artists” (PUA). Seduction is also used within marketing to increase compliance and willingness.
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In philosophy of self, self-awareness is the experience of one’s own personality or individuality. It is not to be confused with consciousness in the sense of qualia. While consciousness is being aware of one’s environment and body and lifestyle, self-awareness is the recognition of that awareness. Self-awareness is how an individual consciously knows and understands their own character, feelings, motives, and desires. There are two broad categories of self-awareness: internal self-awareness and external self-awareness.
The physical process during which sensory systems respond to stimuli and provide data for perception is called sensation. During sensation, sense organs engage in stimulus collection and transduction. Sensation is often differentiated from the related and dependent concept of perception, which processes and integrates sensory information in order to give meaning to and understand detected stimuli, giving rise to subjective perceptual experience, or qualia. Sensation and perception are central to and precede almost all aspects of cognition, behavior and thought.
Sense of balance
The sense of balance or equilibrioception is the perception of balance and spatial orientation. It helps prevent humans and nonhuman animals from falling over when standing or moving. Equilibrioception is the result of a number of sensory systems working together: the eyes (visual system), the inner ears (vestibular system), and the body’s sense of where it is in space (proprioception) ideally need to be intact.
Sensory nervous system
The sensory nervous system is a part of the nervous system responsible for processing sensory information. A sensory system consists of sensory neurons (including the sensory receptor cells), neural pathways, and parts of the brain involved in sensory perception. Commonly recognized sensory systems are those for vision, hearing, touch, taste, smell, and balance. In short, senses are transducers from the physical world to the realm of the mind where we interpret the information, creating our perception of the world around us.
A service is a transaction in which no physical goods are transferred from the seller to the buyer. The benefits of such a service are held to be demonstrated by the buyer’s willingness to make the exchange. Public services are those that society (nation state, fiscal union or region) as a whole pays for. Using resources, skill, ingenuity, and experience, service providers benefit service consumers. Service is intangible in nature.
Sex – Human sexual activity
Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts, ranging from activities done alone (e.g., masturbation) to acts with another person (e.g., sexual intercourse, non-penetrative sex, oral sex, etc.) in varying patterns of frequency, for a wide variety of reasons. Sexual activity usually results in sexual arousal and physiological changes in the aroused person, some of which are pronounced while others are more subtle.
Sexual arousal (also sexual excitement) is typically the arousal of sexual desire during or in anticipation of sexual activity. A number of physiological responses occur in the body and mind as preparation for sexual intercourse and continue during it. Male arousal will lead to an erection, and in female arousal the body’s response is engorged sexual tissues such as nipples, vulva, clitoris, vaginal walls, and vaginal lubrication. Mental stimuli and physical stimuli such as touch, and the internal fluctuation of hormones, can influence sexual arousal.
Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire or the quality of arousing such interest. Sexual attractiveness or sex appeal is an individual’s ability to attract the sexual or erotic interests of other people, and is a factor in sexual selection or mate choice. The attraction can be to the physical or other qualities or traits of a person, or to such qualities in the context where they appear. The attraction may be to a person’s aesthetics or movements or to their voice or smell, besides other factors. The attraction may be enhanced by a person’s adornments, clothing, perfume or style. It can be influenced by individual genetic, psychological, or cultural factors, or to other, more amorphous qualities. Sexual attraction is also a response to another person that depends on a combination of the person possessing the traits and on the criteria of the person who is attracted.
Sexual desire is a motivational state and an interest in sexual objects or activities, or as a wish, or drive to seek out sexual objects or to engage in sexual activities. Synonyms for sexual desire are libido, sexual attraction and lust. Sexual desire is an aspect of a person’s sexuality, which varies significantly from one person to another, and also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. Not every person experiences sexual desire; those who do not experience it may be labelled asexual.
A sexual fantasy or erotic fantasy is a mental image or pattern of thought that stirs a person’s sexuality and can create or enhance sexual arousal. A sexual fantasy can be created by the person’s imagination or memory, and may be triggered autonomously or by external stimulation such as erotic literature or pornography, a physical object, or sexual attraction to another person. Anything that may give rise to a sexual arousal may also produce a sexual fantasy, and sexual arousal may in turn give rise to fantasies.
Shopping is an activity in which a customer browses the available goods or services presented by one or more retailers with the potential intent to purchase a suitable selection of them. A typology of shopper types has been developed by scholars which identifies one group of shoppers as recreational shoppers, that is, those who enjoy shopping and view it as a leisure activity.
Shyness (also called diffidence) is the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness especially when a person is around other people. This commonly occurs in new situations or with unfamiliar people. Shyness can be a characteristic of people who have low self-esteem. Stronger forms of shyness are usually referred to as social anxiety or social phobia. The primary defining characteristic of shyness is a largely ego-driven fear of what other people will think of a person’s behavior. This results in a person becoming scared of doing or saying what they want to out of fear of negative reactions, being laughed at, humiliated or patronized, criticized or rejected. A shy person may simply opt to avoid social situations instead.
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Skin is the layer of usually soft, flexible outer tissue covering the body of a vertebrate animal, with three main functions: protection, regulation, and sensation.
Other animal coverings, such as the arthropod exoskeleton, have different developmental origin, structure and chemical composition. The adjective cutaneous means “of the skin” (from Latin cutis ‘skin’). In mammals, the skin is an organ of the integumentary system made up of multiple layers of ectodermal tissue, and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Skin of a different nature exists in amphibians, reptiles, and birds. All mammals have some hair on their skin, even marine mammals like whales, dolphins, and porpoises which appear to be hairless. The skin interfaces with the environment and is the first line of defense from external factors. For example, the skin plays a key role in protecting the body against pathogens and excessive water loss. Its other functions are insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, and the production of vitamin D folates. Severely damaged skin may heal by forming scar tissue. This is sometimes discoloured and depigmented. The thickness of skin also varies from location to location on an organism. In humans for example, the skin located under the eyes and around the eyelids is the thinnest skin in the body at 0.5 mm thick, and is one of the first areas to show signs of aging such as “crows feet” and wrinkles. The skin on the palms and the soles of the feet is 4 mm thick and is the thickest skin on the body. The speed and quality of wound healing in skin is promoted by the reception of estrogen.
Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced muscle activity and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and reduced interactions with surroundings. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, but more reactive than a coma or disorders of consciousness, with sleep displaying very different and active brain patterns.
A smile is formed primarily by flexing the muscles at the sides of the mouth. Some smiles include a contraction of the muscles at the corner of the eyes, an action known as a Duchenne smile. Among humans, smiling is an expression denoting pleasure, sociability, happiness, joy or amusement. It is distinct from a similar but usually involuntary expression of anxiety known as a grimace. Although cross-cultural studies have shown that smiling is a means of communication throughout the world, there are large differences among different cultures, religions and societies, with some using smiles to convey confusion or embarrassment.
Social cognition is a sub-topic of various branches of psychology that focuses on how people process, store, and apply information about other people and social situations. It focuses on the role that cognitive processes play in social interactions.
More technically, social cognition refers to how people deal with conspecifics (members of the same species) or even across species (such as pet) information, include four stages: encoding, storage, retrieval, and processing. In the area of social psychology, social cognition refers to a specific approach in which these processes are studied according to the methods of cognitive psychology and information processing theory. According to this view, social cognition is a level of analysis that aims to understand social psychological phenomena by investigating the cognitive processes that underlie them. The major concerns of the approach are the processes involved in the perception, judgment, and memory of social stimuli; the effects of social and affective factors on information processing; and the behavioral and interpersonal consequences of cognitive processes. This level of analysis may be applied to any content area within social psychology, including research on intrapersonal, interpersonal, intragroup, and intergroup processes.
The term social cognition has been used in multiple areas in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, most often to refer to various social abilities disrupted in autism, schizophrenia and psychopathy. In cognitive neuroscience the biological basis of social cognition is investigated. Developmental psychologists study the development of social cognition abilities.
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Social control is a concept within the disciplines of the social sciences. Social control is described as a certain set of rules and standards in society that keep individuals bound to conventional standards as well as to the use of formalized mechanisms. The Disciplinary model was the forerunner to the control model.
Social engineering (political science)
Social engineering is a discipline in social science that refers to efforts to influence particular attitudes and social behaviors on a large scale, whether by governments, media, academia or private groups in order to produce desired characteristics in a target population. Social engineering can also be understood philosophically as a deterministic phenomenon where the intentions and goals of the architects of the new social construct are realized.
Social engineers use the scientific method to analyze and understand social systems in order to design the appropriate methods to achieve the desired results in the human subjects.
In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and collectively have a sense of unity. Other theorists disagree however, and are wary of definitions which stress the importance of interdependence or objective similarity. Instead, researchers within the social identity tradition generally define it as “a group is defined in terms of those who identify themselves as members of the group.” Regardless, social groups come in a myriad of sizes and varieties. For example, a society can be viewed as a large social group.
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Social influence comprises the ways in which individuals change their behavior to meet the demands of a social environment. It takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing. Typically social influence results from a specific action, command, or request, but people also alter their attitudes and behaviors in response to what they perceive others might do or think. In 1958, Harvard psychologist Herbert Kelman identified three broad varieties of social influence.
Compliance is when people appear to agree with others but actually keep their dissenting opinions private.
Identification is when people are influenced by someone who is liked and respected, such as a famous celebrity.
Internalization is when people accept a belief or behavior and agree both publicly and privately.
A social network is a social structure made up of a set of social actors (such as individuals or organizations), sets of dyadic ties, and other social interactions between actors. The social network perspective provides a set of methods for analyzing the structure of whole social entities as well as a variety of theories explaining the patterns observed in these structures. The study of these structures uses social network analysis to identify local and global patterns, locate influential entities, and examine network dynamics.
Social networks and the analysis of them is an inherently interdisciplinary academic field which emerged from social psychology, sociology, statistics, and graph theory. Georg Simmel authored early structural theories in sociology emphasizing the dynamics of triads and “web of group affiliations”. Jacob Moreno is credited with developing the first sociograms in the 1930s to study interpersonal relationships. These approaches were mathematically formalized in the 1950s and theories and methods of social networks became pervasive in the social and behavioral sciences by the 1980s. Social network analysis is now one of the major paradigms in contemporary sociology, and is also employed in a number of other social and formal sciences. Together with other complex networks, it forms part of the nascent field of network science.
Social norms are regarded as collective representations of acceptable group conduct as well as individual perceptions of particular group conduct. They can be viewed as cultural products (including values, customs, and traditions) which represent individuals’ basic knowledge of what others do and think that they should do. From a sociological perspective, social norms are informal understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society. Social psychology recognizes smaller group units (such as a team or an office) may also endorse norms separately or in addition to cultural or societal expectations.
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Social psychology is the scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, and implied presence of others. In this definition, ‘scientific’ refers to empirical investigation using the scientific method, while ‘imagined’ and ‘implied presences’ refer to the internalized social norms that humans are influenced by even when alone.
Social psychologists typically explain human behavior as being a result of the relationship between mental state and social situation, studying the conditions under which thoughts, feelings, and behaviors occur and how these variables influence social interactions.
Social psychology has bridged the gap between psychology and sociology to an extent, but a divide still exists between the two fields. Nevertheless, sociological approaches to psychology remain an important counterpart to conventional psychological research. In addition to the split between psychology and sociology, there is difference in emphasis between American and European social psychologists, as the former traditionally have focused more on the individual, whereas the latter have generally paid more attention to group-level phenomena.
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In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship between two or more individuals. Social relations derived from individual agency form the basis of social structure and the basic object for analysis by social scientists. Fundamental inquiries into the nature of social relations feature in the work of sociologists such as Max Weber in his theory of social action. Social relationships are composed of both positive (affiliative) and negative (agonistic) interactions, representing opposing effects
Social relationships are a special case of social relations that can exist without any communication taking place between the actors involved. Categorizing social interactions enables observational and other social research, such as Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft (lit. ‘community and society’), collective consciousness, etc. However, different schools and theories of sociology and other social sciences dispute the methods used for such investigations.
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Social science is the branch of science devoted to the study of societies and the relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the original “science of society”, established in the century. In addition to sociology, it now encompasses a wide array of academic disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, economics, human geography, linguistics,mathematics , management science, media studies, political science, psychology, and history. (For a more detailed list of sub-disciplines within the social sciences see: Outline of social science.)
A social skill is any competence facilitating interaction and communication with others where social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. The process of learning these skills is called socialization. Lack of such skills can cause social awkwardness.
Interpersonal skills are the acts a person uses to interact with, and relate to, others; they are related to the categories of dominance vs. submission, love vs. hate, affiliation vs. aggression, and control vs. autonomy (Leary, 1957). Positive interpersonal skills include persuasion, active listening, delegation, and stewardship, among others. Social psychology is the academic discipline that does research related to social skills and studies how skills are learned by an individual through changes in attitude, thinking, and behavior.
Social status is the level of social value a person is considered to hold. More specifically, it refers to the relative level of respect, honor, assumed competence, and deference accorded to people, groups, and organizations in a society. Status is based in widely shared beliefs about who members of a society think holds comparatively more or less social value, in other words, who they believe is better in terms of competence or moral traits. Status is determined by the possession of various characteristics culturally believed to indicate superiority or inferiority (e.g., confident manner of speech or race). As such, people use status hierarchies to allocate resources, leadership positions, and other forms of power. In doing so, these shared cultural beliefs make unequal distributions of resources and power appear natural and fair, supporting systems of social stratification. Status hierarchies appear to be universal across human societies, affording valued benefits to those who occupy the higher rungs, such as better health, social approval, resources, influence, and freedom.
In the social sciences, social structure is the patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of individuals. Likewise, society is believed to be grouped into structurally-related groups or sets of roles, with different functions, meanings, or purposes. Examples of social structure include family, religion, law, economy, and class. It contrasts with “social system”, which refers to the parent structure in which these various structures are embedded. Thus, social structures significantly influence larger systems, such as economic systems, legal systems, political systems, cultural systems, etc. Social structure can also be said to be the framework upon which a society is established. It determines the Norms and patterns of relations between the various institutions of the society.
In sociology, socialization is the process of internalizing the norms and ideologies of society. Socialization encompasses both learning and teaching and is thus “the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained”.
Socialization is strongly connected to developmental psychology. Humans need social experiences to learn their culture and to survive.
Socialization essentially represents the whole process of learning throughout the life course and is a central influence on the behavior, beliefs, and actions of adults as well as of children.
Socialization may lead to desirable outcomes—sometimes labeled “moral”—as regards the society where it occurs. Individual views are influenced by the society’s consensus and usually tend toward what that society finds acceptable or “normal”. Socialization provides only a partial explanation for human beliefs and behaviors, maintaining that agents are not blank slates predetermined by their environment; scientific research provides evidence that people are shaped by both social influences and genes.
Genetic studies have shown that a person’s environment interacts with their genotype to influence behavioral outcomes.
A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations) between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often exhibits stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.
Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social and relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis:3–5 to develop a body of knowledge about social order and social change.:32–40 Sociology can also be defined as the general science of society. While some sociologists conduct research that may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter can range from micro-level analyses of society (i.e., of individual interaction and agency) to macro-level analyses (i.e., of systems and the social structure).
Traditional focuses of sociology include social stratification, social class, social mobility, religion, secularization, law, sexuality, gender, and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are affected by the interplay between social structure and individual agency, sociology has gradually expanded its focus to other subjects and institutions, such as health and the institution of medicine; economy; military; punishment and systems of control; the Internet; education; social capital; and the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge.
The range of social scientific methods has also expanded, as social researchers draw upon a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques. The linguistic and cultural turns of the mid-20th century, especially, have led to increasingly interpretative, hermeneutic, and philosophic approaches towards the analysis of society. Conversely, the turn of the 21st century has seen the rise of new analytically, mathematically, and computationally rigorous techniques, such as agent-based modelling and social network analysis.
Social research has influence throughout various industries and sectors of life, such as among politicians, policy makers, and legislators; educators; planners; administrators; developers; business magnates and managers; social workers; non-governmental organizations; and non-profit organizations, as well as individuals interested in resolving social issues in general. As such, there is often a great deal of crossover between social research, market research, and other statistical fields.
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A soldier is one who fights as part of a military. A soldier can be a conscripted or volunteer enlisted person, a non-commissioned officer, or an officer. In other words, soldiers are military personnel that participate in ground, sea, or air forces, commonly known as armies, navies, and air forces, respectively.
Solidarity is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes. It refers to the ties in a society that bind people together as one. The term is generally employed in sociology and the other social sciences as well as in philosophy and bioethics. It is also a significant concept in Catholic social teaching; therefore it is a core concept in Christian democratic political ideology.
The somatosensory system is a part of the sensory nervous system. The somatosensory system is a complex system of sensory neurons and neural pathways that responds to changes at the surface or inside the body. The axons (as afferent nerve fibers) of sensory neurons connect with, or respond to, various receptor cells. These sensory receptor cells are activated by different stimuli such as heat and nociception, giving a functional name to the responding sensory neuron, such as a thermoreceptor which carries information about temperature changes. Other types include mechanoreceptors, chemoreceptors, and nociceptors which send signals along a sensory nerve to the spinal cord where they may be processed by other sensory neurons and then relayed to the brain for further processing. Sensory receptors are found all over the body including the skin, epithelial tissues, muscles, bones and joints, internal organs, and the cardiovascular system.
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In many religious, philosophical, and mythological traditions, the soul is the incorporeal essence of a living being. Soul or psyche (Ancient Greek: ψυχή psykhḗ, of ψύχειν psýkhein, “to breathe”, cf.Latin ‘anima’) comprises the mental abilities of a living being: reason, character, feeling, consciousness, qualia, memory, perception, thinking, etc. Depending on the philosophical system, a soul can either be mortal or immortal.
Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, understood that the soul (ψυχή psūchê) must have a logical faculty, the exercise of which was the most divine of human actions. At his defense trial, Socrates even summarized his teachings as nothing other than an exhortation for his fellow Athenians to excel in matters of the psyche since all bodily goods are dependent on such excellence (Apology 30a–b).
Space is the boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum known as spacetime. The concept of space is considered to be of fundamental importance to an understanding of the physical universe. However, disagreement continues between philosophers over whether it is itself an entity, a relationship between entities, or part of a conceptual framework.
Special forces and special operations forces (SOF) are military units trained to conduct special operations. NATO has defined special operations as “military activities conducted by specially designated, organized, trained, and equipped forces, manned with selected personnel, using unconventional tactics, techniques, and modes of employment”.
Special forces emerged in the early 20th century, with a significant growth in the field during the Second World War, when “every major army involved in the fighting” created formations devoted to special operations behind enemy lines. Depending on the country, special forces may perform functions including airborne operations, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, covert ops, direct action, hostage rescue, high-value targets/manhunt, intelligence operations, mobility operations, and unconventional warfare.
In Russian-speaking countries, special forces of any country are typically called spetsnaz, an acronym for “special purpose”. In the United States, the term special forces often refers specifically to the U.S. Army’s Special Forces, while the term special operations forces (SOF) is used more broadly for these types of units.
The meaning of spirituality has developed and expanded over time, and various connotations can be found alongside each other. Traditionally, spirituality referred to a religious process of re-formation which “aims to recover the original shape of man”, oriented at “the image of God” as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world. The term was used within early Christianity to refer to a life oriented toward the Holy Spirit and broadened during the Late Middle Ages to include mental aspects of life. In modern times, the term both spread to other religious traditions and broadened to refer to a wider range of experience, including a range of esoteric traditions and religious traditions. Modern usages tend to refer to a subjective experience of a sacred dimension and the “deepest values and meanings by which people live”, often in a context separate from organized religious institutions, such as a belief in a supernatural (beyond the known and observable) realm, personal growth, a quest for an ultimate or sacred meaning, religious experience, or an encounter with one’s own “inner dimension”.
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Sport includes all forms of competitivephysical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, at least in part aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals.
In social psychology, a stereotype is an over-generalized belief about a particular category of people. It is an expectation that people might have about every person of a particular group. The type of expectation can vary; it can be, for example, an expectation about the group’s personality, preferences, appearance or ability. Stereotypes are sometimes overgeneralized, inaccurate, and resistant to new information, but can sometimes be accurate.
While such generalizations about groups of people may be useful when making quick decisions, they may be erroneous when applied to particular individuals and are among the reasons for prejudice attitudes.
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In physiology, a stimulus is a detectable change in the physical or chemical structure of an organism’s internal or external environment. The ability of an organism or organ to detect external stimuli, so that an appropriate reaction can be made, is called sensitivity. Sensory receptors can receive information from outside the body, as in touch receptors found in the skin or light receptors in the eye, as well as from inside the body, as in chemoreceptors and mechanoreceptors. When a stimulus is detected by a sensory receptor, it can elicit a reflex via stimulus transduction. An internal stimulus is often the first component of a homeostatic control system. External stimuli are capable of producing systemic responses throughout the body, as in the fight-or-flight response. In order for a stimulus to be detected with high probability, its level of strength must exceed the absolute threshold; if a signal does reach threshold, the information is transmitted to the central nervous system (CNS), where it is integrated and a decision on how to react is made. Although stimuli commonly cause the body to respond, it is the CNS that finally determines whether a signal causes a reaction or not.
In psychology, a stimulus is any object or event that elicits a sensory or behavioral response in an organism.
In perceptual psychology, a stimulus is an energy change (e.g., light or sound) which is registered by the senses (e.g., vision, hearing, taste, etc.) and constitutes the basis for perception.
In behavioral psychology (i.e., classical and operant conditioning), a stimulus constitutes the basis for behavior. In this context, a distinction is made between the distal stimulus (the external, perceived object) and the proximal stimulus (the stimulation of sensory organs).
In experimental psychology, a stimulus is the event or object to which a response is measured. Thus, not everything that is presented to participants qualifies as stimulus. For example, a cross mark at the center of a screen is not said to be a stimulus, because it merely serves to center participants’ gaze on the screen. Also, it is uncommon to refer to longer events (e.g. the Trier social stress test) as a stimulus, even if a response to such an event is measured.
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Storytelling describes the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatrics, or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation or instilling moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters and narrative point of view.
Stress, either physiological, biological, or psychological is an organism’s response to a stressor such as an environmental condition. Stress is the body’s method of reacting to a condition such as a threat, challenge or physical and psychological barrier. Stimuli that alter an organism’s environment are responded to by multiple systems in the body. In humans and most mammals, the autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are the two major systems that respond to stress.
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In aesthetics, the sublime (from the Latin sublīmis) is the quality of greatness, whether physical, moral, intellectual, metaphysical, aesthetic, spiritual, or artistic. The term especially refers to a greatness beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement, or imitation.
Subliminal stimuli (/sʌbˈlɪmɪnəl/) (the prefix sub- literally means “below, or less than”), contrary to supraliminal stimuli or “above threshold”, are any sensory stimuli below an individual’s threshold for conscious perception. A 2012 review of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies showed that subliminal stimuli activate specific regions of the brain despite participants’ unawareness. Visual stimuli may be quickly flashed before an individual can process them, or flashed and then masked to interrupt processing. Audio stimuli may be played below audible volumes or masked by other stimuli.
Suggestion is the psychological process by which one person guides the thoughts, feelings, or behavior of another person.
Surprise is a brief mental and physiological state, a startle response experienced by animals and humans as the result of an unexpected event. Surprise can have any valence; that is, it can be neutral/moderate, pleasant, unpleasant, positive, or negative. Surprise can occur in varying levels of intensity ranging from very-surprised, which may induce the fight-or-flight response, or little-surprise that elicits a less intense response to the stimuli.
Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for the biosphere and human civilization to coexist. It is also defined as the process of people maintaining change in a homeostasis balanced environment, in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations. For many in the field, sustainability is defined through the following interconnected domains or pillars: environment, economic and social, which according to Fritjof Capra is based on the principles of Systems Thinking. Sub-domains of sustainable development have been considered also: cultural, technological and political.
Swimming is the self-propulsion of a person through water, usually for recreation, sport, exercise, or survival. Locomotion is achieved through coordinated movement of the limbs and the body. Humans can hold their breath underwater and undertake rudimentary locomotive swimming within weeks of birth, as a survival response.
Swimming is consistently among the top public recreational activities, and in some countries, swimming lessons are a compulsory part of the educational curriculum. As a formalized sport, swimming features in a range of local, national, and international competitions, including every modern Summer Olympics.
Swimming is an individual or team racing sport that requires the use of one’s entire body to move through water. The sport takes place in pools or open water (e.g., in a sea or lake). Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with varied distance events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, four swimmers can take part in either a freestyle or medley relay. A medley relay consists of four swimmers who will each swim a different stroke, ordered as backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.
Sympathy is the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another life form. According to David Hume, this sympathetic concern is driven by a switch in viewpoint from a personal perspective to the perspective of another group or individual who is in need. David Hume explained that this is the case because “the minds of all men are similar in their feelings and operations” and that “the motion of one communicates itself to the rest” so that as affectations readily pass from one to another, they beget corresponding movements.
Synergy is an interaction or cooperation giving rise to a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. The term synergy comes from the Attic Greek word συνεργία synergia from synergos, συνεργός, meaning “working together”.