Is your new co-worker antisocial or asocial? Is your spouse jealous or envious? Not sure? Don’t worry — most of us get confused by these similar words.
A recent article published in the journal Frontiers in Education identifies 50 psychology “term pairs” that people often get wrong. From empathy and sympathy to disease and illness, “These terms are so frequently confused in popular parlance that few people are aware that they differ,” the article’s authors explain.
While people use these psychology related terms frequently, most don’t know that they’re using them wrong — even teachers. “In psychology, many terms are confused not only by new students but also by advanced students, psychology instructors and science journalists,” said Emory University psychology professor and co-author Scott Lilienfeld in a summary of the findings.
To help people speak properly, the co-authors reviewed previous research to construct a list of 50 word pairs that people shouldn’t use interchangeably, but often do.
To save you from having to bite your tongue after using the wrong word, here are 10 word pairs and their definitions.