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Chapter 10 Notes

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PSY 260
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Ch. 10 Conscious Self/Executive or Ego: the conscious/aware part of the self • Katherine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post – her husband owned the paper and mistreated her and suffered from depression/bipolar disorder and eventually committed suicide – she kept the company alive and built it into a Fortune 500 company due to high self-control • Self-control – carried out to fulfill the person’s physical, personal, social needs and to meet their goals o Most important – relationships, pleasurable, social/career, political/religious/aesthetic – Big 5 traits relate to a person’s ranking • Those that lose self-control are often irrational/eratic/criminals Totalitarian Ego: characterization of the ego as an entity that carefully controls information so as to promote its own positive image – self-preserving (Greenwald) Egocentric: the quality of constructing mental models with one’s own interests and perspectives at their center – the ego is naturally egocentric – each person sees the world through their eyes and with them at the center of it, it is inevitable Beneffectance: taking credit for causing good outcomes to happen while avoiding accepting blame for bad outcomes ex. athletes overestimate their contributions to the teams win, ex. drivers deny responsibility in car accidents Confirmation Bias: the tendency of people to search for information that supports their point of view in preference to challenging information, ex. if they are interviewing an introvert they will ask them “do you like to read books?” Feedback: information about how closely an ongoing process is to meeting a standard, ex. the “hot and cold” game Feedback Loop: a mechanism for controlling the action of a system that involves feedback as to whether or not it is meeting its goals – acting, receiving info about succeeding/failing, then acting again Cybernetics: a field of study that focuses on communication and control in systems, particularly in relation to the system’s self-governance – how systems are controlled/flow of info within systems Negative Feedback Loop: a mechanism for controlling the action of a system in which the discrepancy between a goal and its attainment is reduced (negated) through feedback, ex. calling hot and cold to direct a person to 0 distance away Comparator: a portion of a feedback loop that judges the difference between the current state of affairs and the desired goal – compares the feedback “hot or cold” with the aim of “hot” • Higher level – simple negative feedback loops employed in motor control, ex. adjusting your legs constantly on a swaying boat • Middle level – simple goal-directed sequences of behaviors feedback loops, ex. finding one’s glasses • Ex. people reinforce our behavior to continue the loop with smiles of approval or end the loop with grimaces • Vallacher and Wegner – found that overall people preferred to describe their actions at a more general, abstract, higher level ex. when asked to describe dinner at a friends’ people would reply “washing the dishes” instead of “moving a sponge over a plate” - - only employ this style when tasks are new and unfamiliar o Behavioral Identification Form – measures the level at which people think about carrying out a sample of behaviors, ex. attending class – hearing a lecture vs. getting an education – low scores indicate they perceive the world at the primary level of detail/mechanical actions, high scores indicate diversity and a wide range of activities Circumspection-Preemption-Control: George Kelly – a person thinks about a problem (circumspects) decides enough time has been spent on it (preemption) and makes a decision about how to act (control) • Circumspection can be challenging because a person’s model of the world is changeable – Kelly’s “Fundamental Postulate” was that a person’s thoughts were motivated to increase his control over the future – “construct system” – personal guides/beliefs/principles – typically were far from logical, the feedback would have to be adjusted to fit the context of the person’s own understandings • Dilated Constructs: a concept, such as trusting others, which is applied in too many cases – ex. a child might believe that God will take care of her, if this idea becomes dilated, they may take little personal initiative to take charge • Constricted Constructs: involve limiting concepts to very small areas of life • Tight Constructs: rigid and not easily changed – pretzels taste good, chips are greasy • Loose Constructs: like a “first draft” and may be readily revised in the future – “I think I like Indonesian food” Self-Monitoring: a long-term trait that describes a condition in which the individual closely observes his/her own mental processes or behaviors – people who employ self- directed attention use feedback more extensively to better adhere to their personal standards than others do and a closer match between their attitudes and behaviors • Carver/Scheir’s experiment – self consciousness increases when in front of a mirror/camera – when people know others will see them they attend to feedback Defensive Pessimism: an adaptive type of pessimism in which a person imagines bad outcomes in order to motivate themselve
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