Combatants accept defeat during World War II

Acceptance in human psychology is a person's recognition and assent to the finality of a situation without attempting to change or protest it. This plays out at both the individual and societal level as people experience change.

Types of acceptance

The term acceptance is a noun with various meanings.[1]


See also: Self-acceptance

Self-acceptance is described as the state or ongoing process of striving to be satisfied with one's current self. It is an agreement with oneself to appreciate, validate, and support the self as it is, despite deficiencies and negative past behavior.

Some have trouble accepting themselves because of guilt, trauma, or a perceived lack of motivation.[2] Self-acceptance has an effect on a person mentally, emotionally, within relationships and overall life.

Psychological acceptance

Acceptance is a core element of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In this context acceptance is process involves actively contacting psychological internal experiences (emotions, sensations, urges, flashbacks, and other private events) directly, fully, without reacting or becoming defensive. The idea is to accept the things one cannot change, such as psychological experiences, but build the courage to change the things one can.[3]

Social acceptance

See also: peer pressure, social integration, and social rejection

Social acceptance as described in the Psychology Dictionary as the acceptance of a person into a group and/or the absence of social disapproval. Essentially whether or not a person fits in with their immediate peer group, such as class, colleagues, or cohort.

Social acceptance can be defined as tolerating and welcoming the differences and diversity in others because most people attempt to look and act like others do in order to fit in.[4] Data shows that those with high self-acceptance scores tend to accept others and feel accepted by others.[5] This concerned is heightened for children and teenagers who tend to desire being accepted by friends.

When it comes to mental disorders, social acceptance plays a big role in recovery. Many people do not understand mental illness, so they are unsure of how to embrace people who have a disease, leaving these people with feelings of isolation in friend groups.[6] Being accepted by a friend and having support can help with mental health and give a healthy sense of self.[7]

Public acceptance

Public acceptance is stated as a general agreement that something is satisfactory or right, or that someone should be included in a group.[8]

An example of public acceptance would be the LGBTQ+ community. It is a very important aspect to the movement because it involves understanding, and inclusion of many individuals with different gender identities, and sexual orientation within the public and society in general.

Cultural acceptance

Cultural acceptance is the ability to accept the individual for their cultural beliefs and their principles. This includes religion, cultural language, identity, and their overall beliefs and/or boundaries.

Parental acceptance

Parental acceptance is described as the affection, nurturance, support or simply the love a parent has for that child and the experience the children can gain from it.

Conditional acceptance

Standards specify acceptable and hazardous gaps in infant beds

A type of acceptance that requires modification of the initial conditions before the final acceptance is made, is called conditional acceptance, or qualified acceptance.[9] For instance, in a contract involving two parties, adjustments or modifications may be made to ensure it aligns with the satisfaction of both parties. When a person receives an offer and is willing to agree to it, provided that certain changes are made to its terms or certain conditions or events occur, it is referred to as conditional acceptance. In a business contract between a company and an employer, both parties have the option to change and modify the terms until mutual agreement or acceptance of the contract's details is reached.

Expressed acceptance

Expressed acceptance involves making an overt and unambiguous acceptance of the set conditions. For example, a person clearly and explicitly agrees to an offer. They accept the terms without any changes.[10]

Implied acceptance

Implied acceptance refers to a situation where one's intent to consent to the presented conditions is understood or inferred, even if not explicitly stated. Acceptance is implied by an act that indicates a person's assent to the proposed bargain. [11]

Philosophical inquiry

The article Degrees of Acceptance published in The Philosophical Quarterly academic journal argues that there are three conceptual degrees of into which acceptance can be subdivided:[12]

  1. The first degree of acceptance is based on voluntary control; taking control and letting thoughts or actions be guided accordingly.
  2. The second degree of acceptance is setting aside other potential argument places a point in time
  3. The third degree of acceptance is stated as are subject to norms of practical rationality rather than norms of epistemic rationality


  1. ^ "Acceptance". 21 December 2023.
  2. ^ Goff, Ashley (2010-09-22). "The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions Christopher K. Germer New York: The Guilford Press, 2009. pp. 306. £10.95 (pb). ISBN: 978-1-59385-975-6". Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. 39 (1): 126–127. doi:10.1017/s1352465810000615. ISSN 1352-4658. S2CID 147229080.
  3. ^ Moran, DJ. "Acceptance: A Core Process in the ACT Hexagon Model". Psychotherapy Academy. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  4. ^ Wüstenhagen, Rolf; Wolsink, Maarten; Bürer, Mary Jean (May 2007). "Social acceptance of renewable energy innovation: An introduction to the concept" (PDF). Energy Policy. 35 (5): 2683–2691. Bibcode:2007EnPol..35.2683W. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2006.12.001. ISSN 0301-4215.
  5. ^ Fey, William F. (March 1955). "Acceptance by others and its relation to acceptance of self and others: a revaluation". The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. 50 (2): 274–276. doi:10.1037/h0046876. ISSN 0096-851X. PMID 14366895.
  6. ^ Witvliet, Miranda; Brendgen, Mara; van Lier, Pol A. C.; Koot, Hans M.; Vitaro, Frank (1 November 2010). "Early Adolescent Depressive Symptoms: Prediction from Clique Isolation, Loneliness, and Perceived Social Acceptance". Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 38 (8): 1045–1056. doi:10.1007/s10802-010-9426-x. ISSN 1573-2835. PMC 2964501. PMID 20499155.
  7. ^ Cleary, Michelle; Lees, David; Sayers, Jan (2018-03-04). "Friendship and Mental Health". Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 39 (3): 279–281. doi:10.1080/01612840.2018.1431444. ISSN 0161-2840. PMID 29465280. S2CID 3428832.
  8. ^ "acceptance". Cambridge Dictionary.
  9. ^ Richards, Jerald (1995). "Gandhi's Qualified Acceptance of Violence". Acorn. 8 (2): 5–16. doi:10.5840/acorn1995822. ISSN 1092-6534.
  10. ^ Grover, Kristin W.; Miller, Carol T. (March 2012). "Does Expressed Acceptance Reflect Genuine Attitudes? A Bogus Pipeline Study of the Effects of Mortality Salience on Acceptance of a Person With AIDS". The Journal of Social Psychology. 152 (2): 131–135. doi:10.1080/00224545.2011.593589. PMID 22468415. S2CID 39135796.
  11. ^ Bowerman, William R. (April 1973). "Attribution of Responsibility Implied in a Notice of Acceptance or Rejection". Psychological Reports. 32 (2): 467–472. doi:10.2466/pr0.1973.32.2.467. ISSN 0033-2941. S2CID 143613527. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  12. ^ Dinges, Alexander (2022-06-03). "Degrees of Acceptance". The Philosophical Quarterly. 72 (3): 578–594. doi:10.1093/pq/pqab060. ISSN 0031-8094.