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Chapter 10 notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Connie Boudens

Chapter 10: Cognitive Foundations of Personality Field-dependent: tend to see the big picture rather than details -learn best by being totally immersed in everyday situations where they are surrounded by a new language Field-independent: rely on their own physical sensations and have selective attention to a particular object without being distracted by the surrounding details -good at learning languages in traditional classroom setting LOCUS OF CONTROL Locus of control: people’s beliefs about the control of reinforcements and outcomes in their lives Locus of control is often measured with the Internal-External Locus of Control Scale - respondents are presented with 29 pairs of statements in a forced-choice format - each pair includes 1 internal locus of control statement and 1 external locus of control statement - participants must decide which statements they agree with more - 6 of the pairs are filler statements and are not scored - scores can range from 0-23 with higher scores indicating a greater external locus of control, and lower scores a more internal locus of control Internals take more action than externals, including taking political action, and achieving greater academic success by studying more, performing better on tests, and getting better grades than externals Internals are better at planning and working at long-term goals and at establishing more realistic goals Internals also have a decreased risk of heart attacks, presumably due to taking preventative measures like exercising more and eating a healthy diet Internals participate in more campus activities and hold more campus leadership positions than externals do Externals are more vulnerable to persuasion, social influence, and conformity pressures Illusion of control: where people believe they have control even in situation where, objectively they do not (individualistic countries such as United States and western European countries) -(in contrast, collectivist countries in East Asia, tend to be more external, they believe that supernatural forces, fate, or even destiny determine outcomes) John Weisz suggested 2 ways of taking control:  Primary control- attempt to make themselves feel better or less distressed by changing circumstances (one must have an internal locus of control), young adulthood-middle age  Secondary control- attempt to fit into, accommodate, or accept, a situation or an event in ways that make themselves feel better, or at least less distressed. (old age) LEARNED HELPLESSNESS Learned helplessness: when one comes to believe that their actions will be useless in future situations as well Yoking: when a treatment that participants in one condition receive depends on how participants in another condition behave Learned helplessness comes from people’s beliefs about control, their expectations about a specific task, and their past experiences with uncontrollable outcomes Learned helplessness, just like in animals, causes problems in motivation, cognition, and emotion Helplessness first causes anxiety; then after continued exposure, it causes depression Helplessness is marked by the same 3 parts:  A noncontingency or disconnect between people’s actions and their outcomes, such that people truly have no control over their outcomes in a given situation  exposure is not enough, people must also come to expect that their actions will also be ineffective in the future  people give up and act passively when they recognize that their actions are useless Hopelessness model of depression: belief that one lacks control (is helpless), in the face of a negative event in the present combines with the belief that the helplessness will continue in the future. This causes a person to lose hope, stop trying, and feel sadness EXPLANATORY STYLE Explanatory style: after many experiences people develop habitual ways of explaining both the bad and the good things that happen to them in life Pessimistic explanatory style: people who view negative events as their own fault (internal), likely to happen again (stable), and undermining other aspects of their lives (global) are at risk for depression Optimistic explanatory style: view negative events as not their fault (external), unlikely to happen again (unstable), and limited to just one aspect of their lives (specific) Explanations for events can vary in 3 ways [table 10.3 page 284]:  internal vs. external  if Olivia did bad on her psychology test, she could think that the test was difficult or unfair (external), or she might think that she didn’t study enough or that she’s not smart enough (internal)  not all explanations are created equal  some explanations might lead her to feel helpless in the future, whereas others will actually help her prevent a bad grade from happening again  if she truly believed she didn’t study hard enough due to lack of effort (temporary condition) she could study harder next time  if she believed she doesn’t have the brain power to do any better than a D (lack of ability) then why should she bother studying harder the next time  stable vs. unstable  Consider Tamika rejected Jamal after their first date, he might think this was because Tamika is extra busy this semester (external) or because she finds him boring (internal)  If Tamika finds Jamal boring, doesn’t mean that other potential dates will find him nd boring as well (this is an unstable cause of Jamal’s failure to get a 2 date)  However, if Jamal is so devastated by the news that he starts to believe everyone thinks he is boring and that he will be a failure in life (stable)  global vs. specific  Jamal thinks only Tamika finds him boring (specific)  When Jamal starts to believe he is a failure in life, it affects not only his chances of dating but other aspects of his life as well (global) Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ): (most used questionnaire) measures explanatory style -contains 12 hypothetical good and bad situations (becoming rich, getting a raise, having a date go badly, giving a bad presentation…)
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