Chapter Nine.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 2110
Agnieszka Woznia

1 Chapter Nine/Unit Eight Textbook – Chapter Nine (Cognitive Theories/Factors)  The cognitive approach emphasizes what a person does  how events perceived, expectations formed every day  George Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory  Constructs: psychologically meaningful cognitive categories  unique and personal   bipolar  more accessible end = emergent pole; other end = implicit pole   2 ends also known as likeness pole and contrast pole   implicit pole may sometimes become submerged: person becomes cognitively preoccupied/obsessed with theme reflecting emergent pole of construct  Constructs also differ in extent accessible to conscious awareness  Preverbal constructs: subconscious cognitive categories likely involved in “tip-of-tongue” phenomenon that occurs when you almost but cannot quite put something into words  also known as construing  Submerged constructs: one or both ends of construct not available for conscious reflection/verbalization  Suspended constructs: previously accessible construct now forgotten b/c of current events  similar to repression  The Person as Scientist  Kelly used metaphor “each person is a scientist who is motivated to make as much sense as possible out of life events”  3 conditions undermine ability to form new constructs:  1) threat: specific construct part of higher order construct incompatible with another higher order construct necessary for living  e.g. death constructs threatening b/c incompatible with constructs representing life  2) too preoccupied with old constructs to form new, representative ones  e.g. someone with intense paranoia continues to reflect on the past as evidence of something negative, when the evidence doesn’t truly exist  3) no laboratory: some people lack access to situations allowing them to test and update their constructs  Failure to update constructs results in hostility  Hostile people frequently at odds with environment  distressed and frustrated by inability to make sense of world  Constructive alternativism: 2 people can have different interpretations of same event  can also refer to changes in how same person interprets reoccurring situation/event over time  Kelly’s Corollaries  Corollary: statement following readily/easily from theory  in this instance, the specific principles emerging from Kelly’s theory 2  Fundamental postulate: a person’s processes psychologically channelized by ways they anticipate events  sees people being very future-oriented  e.g. Arnold Schwarzenegger’ self- efficacy in his autobiography  Construction corollary: person anticipates events by construing their replications  reflects notion that constructs exist b/c help us predict what will happen in future  tied to anticipation of real events  Individuality corollary: differences between people; people differ from each other in their construction of events  includes observation that individuality stems in part from culture  Organization corollary: each person characteristically evolves construction system including ordinal relationships between constructs  created due to desire to easily anticipate/understand future events  Dichotomy corollary: composed of finite number of dichotomous constructs  each theme represented by endpoints of dichotomy; sometimes endpoints polar opposites  dichotomy distinguishes term construct from concept  Choice corollary: person selects option in dichotomized corollary anticipated to provide best possibility for extending/defining construct system  Range corollary: convenient for anticipating finite range of events  suggests each construct has range of convenience: all things that person with construct feels apply to construct  Experience corollary: change in construction system as person successfully construes replication of events  personal constructs from childhood different than adulthood  Modulation corollary: evolution of construction system  variation in construction system limited by permeability of constructs in construction system  Fragmentation corollary: person can simultaneously use 2/more construction subsystems even though they may be logically incompatible  necessary for times when person acting differently than previous behaviour  Commonality corollary: similarities between people  has implications for how culture interpreted  Sociality corollary: being from same culture not enough to ensure social harmony  essential to understand how world is perceived by someone else  Jack Adams-Webber  Cognitive complexity: reflects structure/interrelation of cognitions rather than actual content  Also known as integrative complexity: reflects whether cognitions differentiated (person recognizes 2 or more perspectives applying to issue) or integrated (person recognizes interconnectedness of perspectives)  Familiarity hypothesis: individual’s constructs relative to others they interact with frequently/intimately more complex than people they interact with less frequently  Roles and Fixed Role Therapy  Role: psychological process and ongoing pattern of behaviour reflecting person’s understanding of ways of thinking of people associated with  Tied to person’s construct system  Primary focus in therapy = client’s self-construct and how client sees self as different than other people  main goal of therapy = improve/strengthen self-construct so become better “scientist” for events involving self 3  Fixed-role therapy: main treatment advocated by Kelly  client must act role for specific period of time  believed to facilitate better understanding of how other people view things, examine self from different perspective   Allows identification with constructs of other people, try different way of interpreting reality   worked with boy who believed he was Arnold Schwarzenegger/The Terminator  Actor-observer attribution bias: blame negative things on other people’s personal characteristics, but more likely to make attributions to situational factors when in same position  Roles and the Person-Situation Interaction  Cattell suggested person-situation interaction needs to be expanded to consider life roles  specifically, a model including both roles and affective states as “modulators” of link between personality/behavioural responses  Also observed that no behavioural act occurs without being influenced by a role  The Role Construct Repertory Test and Repertory Grids  Test requires participants to identify 15 people according to 15 specific labels  Then identify how in a group of 3, 1 person is different than the other 2  One end of construct = how liked and successful person deemed similar, other end = way disliked person is different  Called a grid b/c possible to geometrically represent constructs once various groups identified and described  Once constructs identified with Repertory Grids, they’re analyzed to see if can be grouped into theme  e.g. analysis of “culture-shocked marriages”  “culture-shocked marriage”: intercultural marriage resulting from couple meeting/marrying while man temporary resident in foreign country  partner experiences adjustment difficulties if move to husband’s homeland  see Maria and Mr. H pg. 348  Self-characterization: writing description of yourself from perspective of favourable 3 -person observer  Kelly’s Contemporary Influence  Stimulated area of psychology known as constructivist psychology  Controversy over whether Kelly is cognitive or humanistic theorist  Humanist due to: 1) emphasis on personal choice; 2) emphasis placed on creation of personal meaning; 3) general disdain expressed for anti-humanistic diagnostic traditions  Evaluation of Kelly  Provided one of the first purely cognitive theories of personality  promote focus on unique individual as whole person/emphasis on personal constructs  Also invented Role Construct Repertory Test  However  Focused more on structure of personality than content of personality  Didn’t look at personality from a developmental perspective  Issues surrounded applying theory to people who suffer from extreme forms of irrationality  e.g. boy who thought he was The Terminator  Dichotomy emphasized may not apply across all of person’s constructs 4  Kurt Lewin’s Cognitive and Field Theory of Personality  Known for his Gestalt focus  Gestalt: signifies coherent whole  if we want to understand how something is perceived,
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