Circumstantial refers to evidence that establishes a fact or circumstance from which a court may infer another fact at issue.

In the psychology context, "circumstantial" refers to information or behavior that is closely related to a specific situation or context. Here are some examples of how the term "circumstantial" may be used in psychology:

  1. Circumstantial evidence: In legal and forensic psychology, circumstantial evidence refers to evidence that is not directly related to a crime but may provide clues or support a theory about what happened. For example, if a suspect is seen near the scene of a crime at the time it occurred, this may be considered circumstantial evidence that the suspect was involved.

  2. Circumstantial reasoning: In cognitive psychology, circumstantial reasoning refers to the use of specific information or context to make inferences or decisions. For example, if someone is looking for a lost item and remembers that they had it the last time they were in a particular location, they may use this circumstantial information to search that location first.

  3. Circumstantial speech: In clinical psychology, circumstantial speech refers to a type of communication pattern in which a person includes excessive and irrelevant details in their conversation. This may be a symptom of conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

  4. Circumstantial thinking: In developmental psychology, circumstantial thinking refers to the tendency of young children to focus on specific details of a situation rather than considering the bigger picture or broader context. For example, a child may insist on wearing their raincoat on a sunny day because they are focusing on the possibility of rain rather than considering the overall weather conditions.

  5. Circumstantial influence: In social psychology, circumstantial influence refers to the ways in which situational factors can influence behavior and decision-making. For example, people may be more likely to conform to social norms or authority figures in certain situations, even if this goes against their personal beliefs or values.


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