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BACKBONE

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

refers to another name for the spinal column. See also back-clipping n. see also clipping.

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BACKCROSSING

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

n. refers to the crossbreeding a hybrid animal or plant with a member of the genetic line from which the hybrid was originally derived. The eventual offspring of the mating is known as a backcross.

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BACKGROUND

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

n. 1. in perception, an aspect of the environment that forms a setting for the primary stimuli. See also figure-ground. 2. also refers to the sum total of a person's upbringing, education, training, and experience.

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BACKTRACK SEARCH

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

refers to a graph search strategy that considers states in a graph recursively. So, If the present state is not the goal state, then its first child (node) is examined. If this child does not represent the goal state, then its first child is taken. If there are no children of a state, then the next sibling of the present state is considered. If there are no further siblings of a state, then the sibling of the state

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BACKUP REINFORCER

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

in behavior modification, this refers to a reward given to a client in return for tokens he or she has earned due to compliant behavior. See also token economy.

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BACKWARD ASSOCIATION

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

refers to the formation of an associative link between an item and the one preceding it in a series or sequence. Compare with forward association.

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BACKWARD CONDITIONING

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

refers to a procedure whereby an unconditioned stimulus is consistently presented before a neutral stimulus. This arrangement does not produce a change in the effect of a neutral stimulus. Occasionally, however, the neutral stimulus may take on inhibitory functions, because it consistently predicts the absence of the unconditioned stimulus. It may also take on excitatory functions as a result of pseudo conditioning, or false conditioning. Also known as backward pairing. Compare with forward conditioning.

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BACKWARD DISPLACEMENT

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

in parapsychology, this refers to experiments using zener cards or similar targets. The results are recorded when a participant's call or guess matches the previous trial in the series, rather than the current one. If this effect occurs consistently, it is taken as evidence of post cognition. Compare with forward displacement.

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BACKWARD ELIMINATION

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

refers to a form of stepwise regression in which the least important variables are systematically removed from the prediction equation. Eventually, a preset criterion is reached.

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BACKWARD SEARCH

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

refers to a problem-solving strategy whereby the solver works backward from the end goal to the beginning state. For example, finding the path through a maze by working from the end of the maze back to the beginning. See also working backward.

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