Connotation is defined as a word''s emotional overtones, presuppositions, and other nonexplicit meanings; the aspect of meaning suggested by a word but not strictly part of the word's dictionary definition.
In psychology, connotation refers to the emotional or cultural associations that are attached to a word or phrase, in addition to its literal meaning. Connotations can vary depending on an individual's personal experiences and cultural background, and they can influence the way a word or phrase is perceived or interpreted.
For example, the word "home" might have a positive connotation for some people, evoking feelings of comfort, security, and belonging. For others, however, the word "home" might have a negative connotation, bringing up memories of abuse or neglect. Similarly, the phrase "family values" might have a positive connotation for some people, suggesting traditional and wholesome ideals, while for others it might have a negative connotation, suggesting narrow-mindedness or intolerance.
In psychology, connotations can be relevant in a number of contexts, such as language use, perception, and communication. For example:
- A psychologist might study how connotations of words or phrases influence people's attitudes or behavior, such as whether they are more or less likely to engage in certain activities or behaviors.
- A therapist might work with a client to explore the connotations of certain words or phrases that the client uses, in order to help the client better understand their own emotions or beliefs.
- A researcher might study how connotations of words or phrases vary across different cultures or language groups, and how these variations influence communication and interpersonal relationships.