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Lecture 16

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PSYC 332
Richard Koestner

Lecture 16: 2013/03/12 Questions of the day: 1) How do our implicit theories (or mindsets) about aspects of our personality influence our adaptation and growth? - Easily influence in personality is beliefs - Beliefs can change goal-setting, emotional responses Carol S. Dweck - Most of her work has focused on what children’s theories are on their own abilities and intelligence. - She finds that if we ask children whether their intelligence is stable, fixed or malleable, changeable, half the kids say changeable and other half say not changeable - Whole set of emotional, cognitive and behavioral responses that are associated with one belief and other belief “Can personality be changed? The role of beliefs in personality and change” The premise - Much of personality (besides the big 5 traits) is a flexible and dynamic thing that changes over the lifespan and is shaped by experience. What is more, we are beginning to understand how to change it - I focus on core beliefs or belief systems that can organize and shape people’s goals and strivings, as well as their construal and reactions to the environment, to create consistent patterns of experience and actions Shyness Examples: - Shyness: An affective-behavioral syndrome characterized by social anxiety and interpersonal inhibition that results from prospect of interpersonal evaluation - Shyness as learned phobia  Learn fear about social situation where you will be evaluated  Fear stimulus generate anxiety - Phobia conceptualization  Extinction: if you never expose yourself to situation, fear never extinguish  Disconfirming evidence: And you will never get disconfirming evidence - Heterogeneity of shyness (3 distinctions to make)  Avoidance (avoid situation)  Try to avoid social situations, find a task to keep occupied so don’t have to socialize, avoid eye contact, smile so that look interested but don’t have to talk much myself, Try to shift attention on to the other person  Safety (more adaptive way being shy. Ex: Go to party and find role that you don’t have to talk too much)  Coping (Very anxious but put themselves in anxiety provoking situation, engaging in situation) - Lynn Alden Examples  Cashier  First date  Barber (Afraid of conversation with barber. Safety strategy was to go to foreign barber who cannot speak English) Key Concept - Mindset (or implicit theory) Fixed vs Growth - Depends on abilities (Science, math, athletics, etc.) people can have different mindset - Fixed mindset  Does not look for change, help  When there is negative feedback, you just think “there is no way to change.” - Mastery versus helpless pattern of response - Learning versus performance goals Findings for Implicit Theories - Approximately 50/50 split in endorsement - Domain specificity - Consistent motivational consequences on goals and coping - Theories can be altered by interventions Benefits of incremental (or malleable) theory - Openness to learn - Willingness to
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