Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford


  • Delanie K. Roberts
  • Jessie L. Betancourt
  • R. Matt AldersonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3132-1



The process of suppressing an automatic/prepotent response or mental representation.


Inhibition is an executive function that serves to reduce behavioral or cognitive activity, either consciously or unconsciously. Whereas behavioral inhibition refers to the suppression of a prepotent motor response (i.e., any response associated with a history of positive or negative reinforcement), cognitive inhibition refers to the suppression of mental processes. Inhibition may involve the complete cessation of a behavior or mental process, the slowing down of a behavior or mental process, or a decrease in the probability that a behavior or mental process will occur.

Behavioral Inhibition

Behavioral inhibition refers to the process of inhibiting prepotent responses, delaying immediate, ongoing responses, and preventing extraneous information from interfering with response...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Delanie K. Roberts
    • 2
  • Jessie L. Betancourt
    • 1
  • R. Matt Alderson
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Oklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Todd K. Shackelford
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA