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Lecture 8

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University of Toronto St. George
Maja Djikic

LECTURE 8- Cognitive Approach pg.406-435 Lecture Textbook Notes George Kelly -Born in Kansas in 1905 -father :Presbyterian minister Biography -An only child; his mother doted on him -parents: devout fundamentalists -Parents devoutly religious, and always working to help the needy -mother especially fond of him -Attended one-room elementary school -one room school house+ taught at home -Attended high school in Wichita, Kansas, living away from home -BA in math+physics-MA in educational socio much of the time after he was 13 -received fellowship award from scottland -B.A. in physics and mathematics -Iowa PhD -Developed interest in psychology, and entered into graduate school -started in physiological psych, but there wasn’t much at the University of Iowa in 1930. demand, so he turned to clinical -Worked in physiological psychology, but decided to drop it for more -didn’t have his own clinical approach at the time, so tried humanitarian work out many different ones -Worked hard on the development of psychological services for the -served in WW2 -when he returned there was a demand for clinical state of Kansas -He was a major force in establishing traveling psychological clinics psychologists -WWII had brought considerable demand for training of clinical -at Ohio state he formed his theories of personality psychologists -he didn’t write very much, but he was a professor, so had -In 1946 became professor at Ohio State University – over the next impacts on psychology in that way twenty years built it into one of the best clinical programs in the world -Died in 1967 Structural -Kelly based his approach to psychology on a single philosophical -we attempt to understand the world through our Constructs assumption personal constructs -Constructive alternativism -as we experience life, we hold on to the constructs if they -“We assume that all of our present interpretations of the universe fi tin to our experiences are subject to revision or replacement” -we act according to how we construct our interpretation -World in which we live is one of continually changing interpretations of the world- e.x if we construe world to be hostile place or points of view rather than a world of frozen meanings (ex. chair we act accordingly isn’t just a seat, could be a weapon) -knowing is primary factor of development Person -Human being is not passive and inert -“All behavior is anticipatory in nature.” Ex. anticipate doing well -Behavior is the person’s way of posing questions about life. – do it and see -“… every man is, in his own particular way, a scientist.” -Distinction between how psychologists view their behavior and their subjects’ behavior- develop a theory that even psychologists can admit that they’re the same Structural -The person looks at life, notes a series of recurring events, which -Constructive alternatism= any event is open to a variety Constructing seem repetitive, and then places an interpretation upon this of different interpretations Construing predictable aspect of his or her experience. -kelly studied individuals complex constructs- and the -ex. study and do well-so study again: hypothesizing what will turn implications for behavior and life out; have hypotheses about life, relationships etc. -there isn’t one correct construct for viewing the world -Involves abstracting from events and interpreting subsequent events which is why we are constantly changing through these abstractions -we continually test, revise and modify them to make -It is not essential that a construct be named sense, predict and control the world -Can be a visual gesture ex. cookoo sign- we all understand it -Children begin formulating constructs even before they can speak- change as they get older and experience diff things Why did Kelly -Private, unique, even peculiar call his -We don’t know what an individual’s language means until we have constructs an understanding of their constructs personal? ex. sarcastic friend- you know what they mean when they speak Fundamental -A person’s processes are psychologically channelized [this term was - one assumption and 8 corollaries Postulate coined by Kelly; it simply means directed or determined] by the ways -“a person’s processes are psychologically channelized by in which he anticipates events. the way in which he anticipates events”- predictions of -11 corollaries the future are key 1.Construction A person anticipates events by construing their replications. -construe= place interpretation on an event Corollaries Ex. did well in one psych, will do well again -we create constructs so that we can understand the universe because its not a knowable given 2.Individuality Persons differ from each other in their construction of events. -we view events from our own point of view Corollary -no two people are the same 3. Each person characteristically evolves, for his convenience in -we organize our constructs based on their importance Organizational anticipating events, a construction system embracing ordinal -the fact that we organize our constructs shows that we Corollary relationships between constructs develop a system of constructs, not isolated ones -some constructs can be subsumed by others- can be ordered -Not all constructs are framed at the same level of abstraction, so that some of them have a broad reference in our lives, whereas others refer to very limited and specific life events. -A superordinate construct is said to subsume (include the meaning of) a subordinate construct -“Loyalty” may be superordinate to the less abstract concept of “working unselfishly” and “doing what is asked”. 4. Dichotomy A person’s construction system is composed of a finite number of -the dichotomous form of our constructs is the basis of Corollary dichotomous constructs constructive alternativism -Kelly claimed we need to name both ends of the construct in order to -when we sa something is true, we imply the opposite is define it properly false -Kelly referred to the two ends of the construct as the poles of the -ex. If I say that you are strong, I imply that you are not construct (similarity pole and contrast pole) weak -A construct always says how things are alike (similar) and also -bipolarity is important, but not necessarily a part of different (contrast) from a third thing constructs -“We do not explicitly express a whole construct if we say, “Mary and Alice have gentle dispositions but neither of them is as athletic as Jane.” We would have to say something like this, if we were to express a true construct: “Mary and Alice are gentle; Jane is not.” Or, we might way, “Jane is more athletic than Mary or Alice.”- dichotomous “poles” 5. Choice A person chooses for himself that alternative in a dichotomized - a person is free and able to choose between the various Corollary construct through which he anticipates the greater possibility for alternative constructs extension and definition of his system - you can choice to interpret it differently ex. did badly—but if your smart u interpret it externally- you choose construct that fit into other stories of yourself 6. Range -A construct is convenient for the anticipation of a finite range of events -each contrast has a range within which it is useful Corollary only -some people apply their constructs in a narrow manner, -Implies that any construct is limited to a finite range of events. The some in a broad manner limiting factor is relevance. Outside this range it is not contrasting, it’s irrelevant. -“The weather is tasty.”- taste is not implied in weather 7. Experience A person as construction system varies as he successively construes the -people change their interpretations of events in light of Corollary replication of events later experiences -A person is not an passive onlooker – but revises his system -vary as a function of experience 8.Modulation The variation in a person’s construction system is limited by the -the extene to which constructs can be changed depends corollary permeability of the constructs within whose range of convenience the on the existing framework and organization variants lie. -permeable= open to change and alteration Permeability of constructs ex. chair is only for sitting -different constructs are more or less permeable -Relative capacity for a construct to take on new elements -some constructs may be difficult to change- less -‘This is clearly a chair and all one can do is use it as a chair.” permeable ex. Good v. evil -Black-and-white thinking: this is good- this is bad etc. 9. A person may successively employ a variety of construction subsystems -we employ constructs that can seem incompatible which Fragmentation which are inferentially incompatible with each other is why peoples behavior sometimes surprises us Corollary -When you use subsystems of constructs that are not logically -occurs when constructs are impermeable or when they consistent with one another are changing -For example you may want to treat your child both like an adult (and scold them for something) and a baby (hugging them) 10. To the extent that one person employs a construction of experience -our ability to share and communicate with others is Commonality which is similar to that employed by another, his psychological based on whether we share constructs with them corollary processes are similar to those of the other person -For example, people with similar political views might experience an election outcome in similar ways. -Share similar interpretations 11. Sociality To the extent that one person construes the construction processes of -our ability to interact socially relies upon our ability to Corollary another, he may play a role in a social process involving the other understand a broad range of constructs person -other people are also important for us to be able to test -basis of social interaction is shared interpretations our constructs -Here Kelly emphasizes that the basis of social interaction is interpersonal understanding, not simply shared experience Structural -Kelly always stressed that the human being is not locked into a fixed -Self-construct= based on what we perceive as Constructs construct system consistencies in our own behavior; developed out of our -Reconstruction: think from other person’s point of view? relationship with others ex. If think someone is hostile, we -Meeting of the minds are making those qualities a dimension of our own Conscious, -Self construct (interpretation of who we are) experience unconscious, -Role relationships -Role= behavior people engage in based on their and the self as -Role: Not a social prescription of behavior; Defined by the individual understanding of the role of others- construct doesn’t Core-Role rather than culture- role has to do with how you construct things have to be accurate to enter a role ex. Student may play a construct -A process whereby we as individuals construe the construction role with an “unfair” professor even if not true processes of other people, and basing our actions on what we -development is based on of ones choice of constructs uniquely understand is taking place in relation to us with these other -learning and motivation built into the system people, carry out an interpersonal activity ex. why didn’t wash -emotions part of the framework of personal constructs dishes?—maybe to bother me so I move out anxiety= recognition that the events with which one is -May include gross distortions of inter-personal truth. confronted lie outside range of ones construct guilt= persons dislodgement from core role structure aggression= active elaboration of ones perceptual field- placing in situation that calls for decisions Psychological -“any personal construction, which is used repeatedly in spite of -rep test can help us understand schizophrenia: thought Disorder consistent invalidation.” Ex. don’t get job but keep trying constructs of people with schizophrenia are less A client can depart so much from realistic constructs that even the interconnected and less interrelated therapist cannot predict client’s behavior -psychological disorders occur when people cling to faulty The basic attitude of all psychopathological individuals personal constructs- that experience fails to validate -Feel their troubles stem from the facts of their life rather than from -thought of therapy as “reconstruction” their interpretation (construction) of these factual events. - -(psychopathological individuals) Often they resort to earlier constructions in life (regression)- act like 5yr old -They turn to their parents, marital partners, or physicians for support in validation of their distorted constructs.
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