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PSYC 471
Richard Koestner

PSYC471 Lecture 1 – September 6, 2012 Why We Fail at Our Goals and Resolutions? -3 General Questions in the Course -How can we reach our personal goals? -One of the most popular components to motivational psychology -How can we become expert at something? -Natural talent vs. motivational factors -How can we motivate others? -Motivation: drive, energy and focus – what people think about when they think about motivation -When we want to achieve more motivation, we set a goal -Three things that happen as soon as you set a goal: Universal Action Principles 1. Begin focusing attention on things related to your goal 2. Exert effort 3. Work at persistence – recognize that you have to try -Goal Setting and New Years Resolutions -A goal, but a serious important goal – trying to change something about ourselves/what we care about -Track our progress on new years resolutions -Many of us are aware of the fact that we failed -Next year, set same resolution, fail again, etc. =Real life example of goal-setting/involves a self-change attempt/likely failure -Three most common: quit smoking/lose weight/start exercising -Most people that succeed at quitting smoking, do it on their own -50% of Americans make resolutions, and they usually make 2-3 -Self-esteem can take a hit -Pathway to well-being is success in resolutions -Vicarious goals: people that you’re close to suggest goals for you -Norcross et al. 1990: Failure Rates for NY Resolutions -How long do people last with their new years resolution – recruited participants between Christmas/new years – had TV advertisement -Asked what resolution was/rating of their own resolution -1/2/3 weeks, 1/3/6 months, 12/24 months =At 12 months, 80% have failed -1 week: 23% -2: 34% -3: 40% =Almost a quarter of people failed after the first week -People probably didn’t really think through their resolutions? Or didn’t commit to them? =If you could make it a habit by the first month, you’re kind of OK – rate at which people fails slow down =Initial failure rate is higher than you might expect -Marlatt, 1972: Reasons for Failure -Forgot: 10% -Lack of Will Power: 24% -Deliberate Decisions: 30% -Factors Beyond My Control: 36% =Self Control Capacity a main focus of motivational research – if we try to understand what happens, need to look at willpower/self- control -1996: Baumeister/Heatherton -Self Control: The capacity to alter or over-ride one’s typical way of responding -Ingredients of successful self-control: -Standards: abstract or implicit sense of what you’re striving for/ideal is -Most often, operationalized in terms of personal goals -Also have to be specific and clear – if we have ambiguous standards, hard to exercise self-control -Might have conflicting goals and standards -Monitoring: monitor behavior in relations to those goals – have to assess to some degree of accuracy, whether your effort is getting you closer to your goal -Ambiguous goals impossible to monitor – no clear standard -Strength: critical to have self-control capacity to pursue goals and monitor behavior -Limited resource – only have so much of it, use this resource in all different domains and we can use it up in one area that we can’t draw on for another -Few of us recognize self-control is a limited resource and we have to be careful as to when we should use it -All of us are creatures of habit, do things repetitively =When you exert self-control on one task, you will be less able to exert self-control on a subsequent task, even if it is completely different -A lot of work on goal setting – organizational psychology and sport psychology -Athletes are good at goal setting, but a common problem is that they set too many goals  good enthusiasm, but need to prioritize -Don’t frame goal in negative terms – want to frame them as something you’re approaching in a positive way =Easier to exercise self-control as you’re moving towards something =Approach goals > avoidance goals -Don’t acknowledge likely failure – need to have a self-efficacy/confidence/readiness about goals you’re setting -Very likely to fail if you can’t even state your goal in an achievable way 1 -SMART Goals: Dr. Phils’ Program -Specific -Measurable – correspond exactly to monitoring and standards -Achievable – something that is under your control -Realistic – capability/confidence/readiness -People who started contemplating their resolutions in December were more likely to succeed at them -Time-Framed – long-term/distal goals: problem is that they are so far away that they’re not effective in focusing attention/staying on track -Suggest that you create a hierarchy and create more proximal goals as well -Approach vs. Avoidance -Misleading simple to list these factors, all important and helpful but there are two things that are missing -Essential issue: self-control capacity is very limited – setting a new, important goal we need to take this into account -Be careful not to evaluate self only in terms of formally set goals -Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans =Can be too focused on our conscious, planned goals PSYC471 Lecture 2 – September 11, 2012 Beyond Setting SMART Goals: Exploring Why and How We Pursue Goals -How can we overcome our self-control limitations to succeed at our personal goals? -Motivation is about how we energize and direct our behavior -When we’re concerned about motivation – set a goal -“Going public” -“Getting social support” -Universal action plan that accompanies setting a goal -Start focusing more attention on stimuli related to goal -Prepare ourselves to work harder/give effort -Prepare ourselves to persevere and overcome obstacles -New Year’s Resolutions -Tend to fail more than anything else -People average 6-7 attempts before they ever succeed at New Year’s Resolution -People who quit smoking try 8-9 times before they succeed =Almost like you have to fail before you can succeed -Model of Self Control Failure/Success – Baumeister/Heatherton -3 Critical ingredients if you’re to succeed in exercising goals: 1. Clear and Specific Goals 2. Have to monitor behavior in relation to goal (carefully observing progress/adjusting along the way) 3. Require self-control strength in order to successfully reach new goal: need capacity/reservoir of energy to pursue goal =Self control as a limited resource that can be depleted/used in everything -New goals take a great deal of self-control strength -Differences between people in terms of self-control strength  probably related to brain functioning/self-control capacity -Almost all of us are in top 10% (done well in school to get into best school in Canada  requires capacity for self-control) -Intra-individual differences: sometimes where they have greater self-control strength than other times -Depends on how much you have to exert throughout the day -Self control strength dissipates throughout the day -Taylor -Specific -Challenging -Social Support -Going Public -SMAART Goals -Specific -Measureable -Achievable – under your control (unrequited love not a good thing) -Realistic (or ready, self-efficacy) – shouldn’t be too difficult/challenging, optimally challenging is better (inspires/motivations you), need to feel ready – having confidence in actually reaching it -Time-framed – not distal, distal goals don’t really help – need to also create more proximal goals arranged in a hierarchy toward the proximal one -Need to approach rather than avoid -Bandura, 1997: Goal Self-Efficacy -Self-efficacy: beliefs about your ability to successfully perform certain actions -Not: to self-esteem – more global assessment of general worth, self-efficacy is specific to domain -Not: actual ability – doesn’t match your real ability/performance, two people who have same ability but one has high self- efficacy, that person probably will become better at that particular skill -Benefits of Self-Efficacy: 1. Focus your attention more effectively 2. Exert more effort 3. Optimism in face of obstacles -Comparing to a similar person who succeeded might increase self-efficacy -Think of a similar activity that you succeeded at as well -Fundamental problem with limited self control capacity – very difficult to actually face the fact that we’ll fail without taking into account our limited self-control capacity -Two Ways to Overcome Self-Control Limitations 2 1. Select or develop autonomous goals – correspond to interest/values/self image  benefit by not having to exercise as much self-control, not as much resistance to change 2. Support goal with implementation plans – can make goal pursuit automatic/more effortless so that it drains less self- control resources -Sheldon, 2001: Autonomy -The extent to which a goal reflects your developing interests and core values (versus something you feel compelled to do by external or internal pressures) -Autonomous reasons vs. controlled reasons – measuring why we pursue a goal -Can calculate the difference between these two reasons -Sheldon/Houser/Marko 2001 -240 incoming college students followed for entire freshman year -List 8 goals lasting through the end of the semester -Autonomy measured in terms of reasons for goals -Followed up 5 times over course of the year -Results: 1. Autonomy for goal (IV) – significantly related to goal progress over first semester: r = .24 -If you make greater progress over goals, adjustment improves: pr. 30 2. Students who improved in adjustments ended up setting up more autonomous goals in second semester  improve adjustment  improves autonomy =Virtuous upward spiral -Autonomy and goal progress: 16 students show significant positive relation of about r = .20 -More autonomous goals significantly associated with making greater progress -Failed New Years Resolutions – mostly controlled rather than autonomous -Zelig, 1964: Six Grader Resolutions -10 Resolutions -Younger you are, more resolutions you write -Examined in relation to what they think they should be writing (parents/teachers rather than students writing them) =It’s possible that we write resolutions that are more controlled than autonomous in general, feel pressured by social constraints  failure -Key Questions to Consider: -Have I reflected on why I am pursuing this goal? -Is this goal in tune with myself? -Can I make it in tune with myself? -Water Bottle Story – Implementation Plans -Gollwiter/Sheeran: 2006 -Holding a goal intention does not guarantee goal achievement because people may fail to deal with self-regulatory problems during goal striving: -Interference from other planned and unplanned goals -Unanticipated obstacles and distractions -Life is chaotic/unorganized – having a goal intention isn’t enough =Implementation Plans: -If-then plans that connect good opportunities to act with cognitive or behavioral responses that are effective in accomplishing one’s goal -If situation y arises, I will initiate goal-directed behavior x -What vs. when, where, and how -Implementation Plans and Goal Success -94 independent studies show a significant positive effect of implementation intentions on goal-completion -Adding an implementation plan: r = .33 -Psychiatric problems: Schizoids, heroin addicts, brain injuries – especially helpful for patients with self-control handicaps or limitations -Not only true for self-reported progress, self report r = .32, objective report r = .34 -Works for academic/health/interpersonal goals -Also seem to be more helpful for difficult rather than easy goals -Art to making them: -Allows you to pursue desirable behavior in an automatic way =Answer of the Day: -Select or Develop autonomous goals and augment with implementation plans 3 PSYC471 Lecture 3 – September 13, 2012 Is trying to lose weight a healthy goal or a maladaptive, false hope? -Goals: -To understand why losing weight is so difficult -To consider what might be a “healthy” approach to the issue of losing or maintain one’s weight -Case Study -35 year old admin assistant and freelance writer -“Weight and exercise are always on my mind” -She’s in the right place in terms of BMI, but wishes she was 10 pounds lighter -Never thought about weight at 18, but Freshman 15 fears  gained 60 pounds in first year, started dieting (fasting, low calorie diet, high protein)  all came back -Went to see doctor, who just told her she was chubby -Has to just consciously watch her weight -How to interpret chronic concern with weight? -Something wrong with the Case Study’s preoccupation -In recent years, view has changed – most psychologists would say that what she is doing is healthy and adaptive -The only way for people to control their weight is to be very aware of food -Recent Survey Stats -Lose weight most popular new year’s resolution -78% of women, 64% of men are currently dieting or watching their weight -Average American woman weighs 152lbs (20 years ago, 142 pounds) -Ideal weight of Average Woman is 124 pounds -Discrepancy between ideal and reality can cause distress or motivation -Martin Seligman: “What you can change and what you can’t” -Panic: curable -Specific Phobias: almost curable -Sexual Dysfunction: marked relief -Depression: moderate relief -Anger problems: mild relief -Overweight: temporary change**** -PTSD: marginal relief =Rank ordered in terms of most curable to least -The Oprah Phenomenon – self control exercised in most domains, but also most famous dieter -1992 – concerned about weight, then drastically increased, went down, went up, fluctuated severely -Can’t keep weight off -Hovell et al. 1988 -Definitive VLCD Study -500 participants, 50% above ideal weight -1/2 drop out before study complete -Stayers lose 84% of excess weight -Over next 18h months, participants gain 80% of excess weight back -3% considered success at 5 year markers -Seligman Conclusions -Natural weight is largely genetically determined -Your body will vigorously defend this weight: -Intensely preoccupied with food -Metabolic changes -Our natural weight may be quite discrepant from ideal weight -Can only vary from set-point by 10% up or down =Weight not under conscious control -When people move below their 10% set point, have severe preoccupation with food – happens because we are evolutionarily prepared for starvation, in addition to metabolic changes -When we start losing 5-8% of our weight in that our metabolism slows down =Natural weight is likely to be very discrepant from ideal weight, because ideal weight determined by socio-cultural factors -Metabolism Changes and Weight Changes -Volunteers, sedentary and metabolism hospital wing – had to have a stable weight for 6 months, not going to do uncontrollable eating -Tried to make them increase to 10%, when people reached this, daily energy expenditure shop up by 25%  automatic compensation to get weight back down -Took people down 10% below set point, when people were here, daily expenditures decreased by 18% =Cognitive, emotional and physiological properties will counteract attempts to lose weight -Polivy/Herman (2002): False Hopes of Self-Change: -The Diet Industry thrives for two reasons: big promises and repeat customers -The False Hope Syndrome 1. Initial expectations: unrealistic, expect to lose fast/more than possible/ramifications throughout entire life (10 pound means in a month): too high/too easy 2. Commitment to change: feels good, mastery/control/self-esteem increase 3. Initial Efforts: people succeed at diets in first few weights – relatively easy to lose first few pounds 4. Resistance to Change: progress will plateau, might start gaining again  discouraging 5. Failure/Abandonment – due too discouragement 6. Attributions: explanations why you succeeded/failed: internal/external attributions and stable/unstable attributions -Types you make will determine whether you’ll try this again -Two kinds of reasons for failure: didn’t say they failed because of lacking of ability (internal/stable factor) -People say: didn’t give it enough effort (internal/unstable) 4 =Difference between ability and effort  attribution to effort increases likelihood you’ll try it again -Wrong diet (external/unstable)  also leads to continuation of this behavior 7. Emotional, behavioral, and physiological consequences -Won’t try and start another diet right away -Failing a diet = depression – reasons why males/females have differing rates in depression -Physiological consequences: research with animals, first times rats lose weight = easy, but next times it gets progressively harder -Koestner’s Response to Polivy/Herman -Stanley Schacter: But many people have lost weight and kept it off -Progress may improve if other motivational factors are considered: -Autonomy -Implementation plans =Some evidence that greater change might be possible -Schacter: Another More Optimistic Perspective -Paradox: Hundreds of studies suggest that at best 2-5% of patients will maintain weight loss, but…. -Why the discordance between experience and research? -Describe the data collection: people who enroll in research studies will be the hardest cases, the ones that have intractable weight problems -Describe interview protocol: if you take into account one attempt, cumulative chance will be higher – trying a number of times might help research rates -Actively dieting = counter-regulatory eating = loss of abilities to recognize normal eating -Cautious and careful as opposed to dieting in a restrictive way -Geoffrey Williams: Optifast Weight Loss Study -Motivation key to understanding which patients will: attend regularly/lose significant amounts of weight/begin to exercise regularly/maintain =128 patients in 6 month very low calorie weight loss program – all morbidly obese -73% female and average age = 43 -First 13 weeks used VLC diet -Normal food gradually introduced after this -Physical status of patients checked weekly -Also weekly group sessions led by psychologist -Autonomous reasons for treatment predicted: -Increased attendance/increased weight loss/increased exercise/greater maintained weight loss after 2 year follow-up -3 studies on snacking behavior, r = .32 -4 studies on exercise, r = .34 =Implementation Intentions -Seligman’s Advice -Self-Acceptance -Healthy Eating -Fitness over dieting -Comments responding to fitness -Benefits: reduces biological aging/depression/risk of other illness/might improve self-control capacity -Can be fun – focus on energy expenditure over energy ingestion -Not dieting, it’s a lifestyle change PSYC471 Lecture 4 – September 18, 2012 Elite Women’s Gymnastics: Goals, Self-Control, Misregulation, & Healthy Adaption -One thing we have to thing about when we make goals is to have enough self-control, self-discipline and willpower -Overcoming obstacles/persevering in succeeding/staying focused -Places a specific emphasis on generating more and more self-control -In some cases it’s possible to over-do it -Perspectives on Elite Gymnastics -Joan Ryan: Little Girls in Pretty Boxes -Elite Gymnastics – recreational gymnastics aren’t being discussed here -Elite Gymnastics are a very different story from recreational gymnastics -Class Goals -Explore Baumeister’s distinction between under-regulation and misregulation -To examine the self-regulation of elite gymnasts 5 -To consider the relation of goals and self-control to healthy adaption -To consider whether self-discipline is overrated -1996 American Gymnastics Team – first time ever, Americans beat Russians/won gold medal -Women’s gymnastics most popular event at summer Olympics -Women’s figure-skating at Winter Olympics -Before Olympics began, one athlete (Shannon Miller, best athlete ever), Dominique Moshianu (surprise star), focuses in this lecture on Kerri Strug (ended up winning the championship for the americans) -Gymnastics – thin/lean/highly flexible = better, puberty can fuck this shit up -Training super intense, many girls look younger than they are – menstruation is delayed because of the exercise -“Shake it off, you can do it” -Baumeister Analysis: “While seriously injured and while knowing an intensely painful and possibly harmful experiences is awaiting one, one must still execute a strenuous and demanding routine with world-class skill” -Probably the ultimate example of self-control strength/effectiveness -Self-control define: -The capacity to alter one’s responses especially so as to bring them into line with standards such as ideals, values, morals, and social expectations, and to support the pursuit of long-term goals -Inhibiting/enhancing responses to achieve overall goal -More deliberate, conscious, and effortful subset of self-regulation -Can self-regulate in a more automatic way (not too conscious) -Transcendence: Seeing beyond the immediate stimulus environment by focusing on more long-range goals that are higher in value = way of exercising self-control -Higher processes involve: longer time-spans, more extensive networks of meaningful associations and more distal and abstract goals -Keri Strug – typical response would be worried about their leg, what damage is done? Also likely that she felt upset at herself that she fucked up. Let down the team/coach/country -But in order to transcend this situation, needs to shut these responses down to try again -Anything that takes you away from immediate situation and reminds you of distal goals will help you transcend -Remind yourself how well prepared you are -Was this an example of successful self-control or something else? -Self-control failure: common type of failure due to under-regulation (80-90%) – we lack one of the main ingredients – any deficit leads to under-regulation and then failure -Ingredients of Successful Self-Regulation 1. Standards 2. Monitoring of feedback 3. Self-regulatory strength -Elite gymnasts don’t suffer at all from under-regulation, constantly monitored, know exactly the standards necessary for success -Best indicator of self-control strength is the ability to delay gratification, individual differences in this  early evidence leads to all kind of positive things later on -Elite gymnasts have exceptional self-regulation -No hanging out/TV watching/dates/spontaneous, uncontrolled eating/no giving in to minor injuries -Over 50% of elite gymnasts have eating disorders =Delay of gratification -Misregulation: exerting self-control in a way that fails to bring about the desired results because the efforts are misguided or wasted -Do everything necessary, but doesn’t work -Misunderstood contingencies: unrequited love  people lack in understanding of what is required/what they’re capable of = unsuccessful goal pursuit -Self-esteem not a great attribute, self-control more important -Low vs. high self-esteem: do task, told failed (possibly insulting)  given another opportunity where they have to bet on success, ego-threat take excessively high goals =Misunderstood contingencies: high self-esteem with threat of ego -Unrequited love: persisting in pursuing someone we like/attracted to without any reciprocation, we do this because we believe if we do something the right way, we convince them to be attracted to us = impossible -Trying to control the uncontrollable: dieting an example  if you try to lose 20 pounds in a month, we’re trying to control something not under self-control -Choking in a sport’s context: when capable and motivated to perform well, but perform much lower because of the pressure -Most athletes have trained so much that everything they do is overlearned/automatic, should just trust automatic responses/be in flow of activity  when pressure situation, athlete exerts conscious control over unconscious actions = trade-off between speed and accuracy (mutually exclusive) -Baumeister taking a cognitive behavioral perspective on motivation/self-control -Humanistic Perspective: instead of focusing on specific actions/goal  need to focus on entire person -Holistic functioning and self-actualization: Does pursuit of this goal support promotion of growth/development? -Does it satisfy basic needs? -Certain fundamental psychological needs we need to satisfy if we’re going to grow up relatively well-developed -Sheldon, 2010: 1. Relatedness: connectedness to other people 2. Competence: need to be able to think to do something well, or at least improving at something 3. Autonomy: have to feel you’re making a choice and have ownership of the things you’re doing in your life -Goal progress results in enhanced well-being only if goal pursuit is associated with basic need satisfaction? -Study: 2010, Sheldon – Humanistic perspective, goal researcher -Adults: recruited about happiness – exercises to see if they can make their lives happier -1/4 conditions -Control: try to make change to make circumstances better -3 other conditions: goal about specific need: more competent, more related, more autonomous – brainstormed, picked goal to pursue over semester, tracked happiness/well-being changed over semester -When people had a goal connected to three important needs, greater progress  greater happiness/well-being 6 -Making progress in control condition, not related to improved well-being/happiness -Not whether you make progress, but type of goal you’re pursuing -Keri Strug: excessive level of self-control? -Qualitative Exploration of Retirement from Women’s Gymnastics -Structured interviews with 5 elite British women gymnasts: -Mean age = 24, competed nationally or internationally, retired at 16, practiced 30 hours per week at peak -Dominant Themes: -Path to excellence: driven by need to make progress/constant external; pressures to strive to perfection/living for gymnastics -Coach relationship: gymnast is seen as a dispensable tool -Search for identity: growing into a gymnast vs. a person who does gymnasts -External Pressure to Strive for Perfection -About always improving, otherwise you’re failing – don’t feel competent, only aware of what still can do -Not only do they not feel competent, but don’t feel interested, and when they retire, start to question coaching relationship -Conclusion of qualitative study: encouraged to dedicate lives, as a result, left feeling lost and helpless after adopting, prematurely an identity based solely on life as gymnast (autonomy, purpose and meaning, control over life) -Evidence of Need Satisfaction: -Relatedness -Competence -Autonomy -Baumeister quote about Shun Fujimoto, broken his leg, had to decide to compete on final event -Decided to do, perfect routine, when landed nobody could tell -Focus on being able to control pain (basic capacity as humans is to recognize pain) -What is good self-control? -Is Self Discipline over-rated? – Alfie Kohn -Jack Block’s analysis of ego-control -Extent to which impulses and feelings are expressed or suppressed -Impulsive and distractible -Compulsive and joyless =Want flexibility -What distinguishes healthy self-control? -What counts is the capacity to choose whether and when to perservere, to control oneself, to follow the rules – rather than the simple tendency to do these things in every situation . . . this is hat children will benefit from developing… PSYC471 Lecture 5 – September 20, 2012 Goals Gone Astray? 1. Unrequited Love 2. Disengaging from Unattainable Goals -Objectives -To understand why unrequited love occurs and what it can teach us about goal-striving -To explore research on goal disengagement -Unrequited Love: Baumester/Wortman -Why does unrequited love occur and how is it experienced by the would-be-lover and the rejecter -Most of us understand very well what it is like to be the pursuer -Not many know what it’s like to be pursued -Definition: romantic, passionate love that is felt by one person toward another person who feels substantially less attraction toward the lover – a romantic relationship that fails to form -Problem is only if we persist and we behave in a way that shows them we’re persisting =Behavioral persistence continues for far too long -College students asked to provide detailed narrative accounts of a powerful experience of unrequited love (95% could do this to provide a detailed account) -Each person was asked to recall a case in which they were the would-be-lover and one in which they were the rejecter (+50% - students had both kinds of the experiences) =Such a large percentage of both kinds of experiences, only used accounts from both kinds of experiences -Group of narratives about pursued are written by same people doing the pursuing =Balanced – takes the possibility that certain personality factors associated with pursuing out of the equation -Why it Happens? – not mutually exclusive -Falling upward: refers to the fact that quite often, we fall for someone, who in someway is more romantically desirable than we are -Romantic desirability: physical attractiveness, vocal attractiveness – physical attractiveness a key component for this -If we fall for someone like this, it is very likely that our love will go unrequited -At outset, we are all drawn to the maximally attractive other -If you look at who we partner with, find we tend to marry people who are at the same level as us (cutting marriage pictures and matching people with their actual marriage partners) -Basic problem in how we judge ourselves/others in attractiveness: we inflate our own attractiveness (can judge others accurately) -Intrusion of romantic feelings into a platonic friendship -Transition from casual dating to serious, possibly exclusive romance -Intrusion of romantic feelings into a platonic friendship -Not uncommon for romantic feelings to arise during friendships – usually only happens with one of the people in friendship and at that, the less attractive individual in the friendship -Sexual involvement is not a good way to discourage romantic love (Ralph example) 7 -Person who is would-be lover, believe that the best thing for this person is to be involved with them, in addition to being the best thing for themselves -Transition from casual dating to serious, possibly exclusive romance -Criteria for going on a date different than getting into a relationship -People don’t progress in same direction at same pace – less attractive person speedily moves towards their relationship decision and face scenario one again -Discrepancies between would-be lovers and rejecter’s accounts and emotions -High stakes gamble vs. no-win situation -I tried and failed, vs. He tried, he failed, he tried again and again -Perspective taking: rejecter works very hard to take perspective of pursuer, try to let the person down gently, very little evidence that would-be lover doesn’t take perspectives -Perceptual differences between pursuer and pursued – talking about having been rejected, talk about high stakes gamble and a quest  still tried even though failed -Social emphasis on being the pursuer  cultural phenomenon -Person who is in the role of the rejecter – uncomfortable, no-win situation, felt helpless = miserable role -Sinclair/Frieze: Replicated study -Real difference of opinion – gave positive signs vs. didn’t make it clear that they’re not interested: marked discrepancy between perceived encouragement -Why does unrequited love persist and become a problem? 1. Vicarious learning – we’ve been taught to persist like this, lots of indirect teaching: again, the cultural phenomenon of unrequited love – success rate for pursuer is remarkably high for the pursuer -Role of pursuer very well scripted, know exactly how to play the role 2. Difficulty delivering rejection: no script** -Don’t really know how to play the role of the rejecter – not a well scripted role, so when it happens in real life, lacking an example -Way to solve problem is by changing how we communicate that we’re not interested -What they’ll typically do, is make some excuse that they let the pursuer down gently – external attribution that is unstable -Pursuer is already biased, don’t get the hint -Need to make an internal, stable attribution to reject the pursuer (thinks Baumeister is crazy for recommend saying that, seems really harsh and don’t know how the person will react) -The gender difference isn’t as strong as you might think -Pursuer must self-regulate better: wiser perspective on how relationships work/more respectful of other person’s views -Larger Issue: How do we disengage from valued goals and find new goals? Heckhausen, Wrosch and Schultz (2010) -The goal action sequence: selection  engagement  disengagement -Selection: set of motivational processes in how we select goals -Pursuing goal: implementation plans/boosting self-efficacy/monitoring feedback/adjusting behavior =We fail at many goals, important to recognize when we’re failing and stopping ourselves to pursuing the goal -Researchers ask if their participants have an important goal they’ve failed in the past year or so -Carsten Wrosch Proposal (2007): -The notion that persistence is essential for success and happiness is deeply embedded in popular scientific writings. However, when people are faced with situations in which they cannot realize a key life goal, the most adaptive response for mental and physical health may be to disengage from that goal -Goal adjustment and quality of life -At times it may not be possible to make further progress toward a desired goal because the goal itself is unattainable -Surveys indicate at least one important unattainable goal each year -leads to diminished psychological well-being/diminished physical wellbeing -Immune functioning/diurnal cortisol release = stress reaction in persistence/failure to unobtainable goals -Adaptive Self-regulation of unattainable goals -A person who confronts an unattainable goal can thrive in such situations by engaging in two adaptive self-regulatory processes -Goal Disengagement: actively work at reducing effort/commitment and reducing whatever strategy you have to stop pursuing goal -Goal Reengagement: have to find other, new things to reengage in goal pursuit  other areas to invest self, strengthening identity/making life more meaningful = the best -Must withdraw effort and commitment to unattainable goal -Must reengage goal directed efforts elsewhere =Scale for adaptive self-regulation = striking individual differences -People who can do this who are the highest in wellbeing and health/meaningful/fuller lives PSYC471 Lecture 6 – September 25, 2012 Why We Watch TV and Why It’s So Difficult to Stop -More educated you are/higher you are in socio-economic status, guiltier you feel about watching tv -College students don’t watch as much TV as they used to -Feel like they should be out there meeting new people -Technological shift – wasting time in other ways (internet) -What is Flow? -Nova Scotia Winter Surfers -Why are these guys doing this? -People are doing difficult, expensive, time intensive activities for which they get no reward = why do they do this? -Regardless for what we do to have this experience, it feels the same for all of us -Definition of Flow and Description of its Components -A sense of effortless action felt in moments that stand out as best in our lives 8 -Components: -Clarity of goals -Immediate feedback -Challenges and skills are matched – high challenge and don’t have skills = anxious, high skills but don’t have challenge = bored -We spend most of our lives bored and anxious but not in state of flow -Absorbed in the task – in modern life, much of our day: splitting attention – unfortunately most of us currently have this problem more than previous generations = not fully absorbed and less likely to experience flow -Worse experiences are when we feel self-conscious = negative affect is highest – why flow is so nice, because we don’t have time to be self-conscious -Flow activity takes all of our processing power (120 mbs) -Sense of personal control: kind of dangerous activities, but have more self-control than normal activities -Altered sense of time: time seems to be shortened – time can be lengthened too (Sprinter) -Carried along by a wave – sense of control/mastery over life -Have some leisure activities that have some sense of flow: 85% of people have an activity that gives them some sense of flow -Overlap with Baumeister’s sense of control with clarity of goals and immediate feedback -Daily Experience Sampling: The Paradox of Work and Leisure -Almost all of us wish we have more leisure and less work -Natural to orient towards leisure – we think we have choice to do fun/interesting things -No one ever actually stopped to examine phenomenologically between work and home -Take a survey at different times throughout the day: what you’re doing, how challenging is what you’re doing right now, and how much skill do you feel -Two items to code whether you’re in flow -Skill and challenge high = operationalize flow = narrower way to do it -Ask emotional well-being type questions -Look at what you’re doing and relate it to your affect/concentration = benefit to Daily Experience Sampling -How to see if mood covaries with activities -Had 100 workers, days can be split into 3 ways -Work, school, maintenance activities -He’s interested in leisure vs. work -Found that people were more likely to report flow at work than at leisure activities -50% of time at work, reporting they had high challenge and high skill = flow state -Looked at positive affect/concentration – also correlated with these flow -Only 20% of time during leisure, did people report flow experiences -Looked separately at managers and blue-collars, so results true for both groups -Managers generally reported more frequent flow at work than their underlings -Highest activities most likely to produce flow = sports and hobbies -How come leisure didn’t score higher? -We don’t spend a lot of our leisure time doing sports/hobbies – usually spend leisure watching tv -Activity that produces lowest frequency of flow is watching TV – only thing comparable to watching tv is staring into space, only 7% of flow time in watching TV =Wasting leisure time in watching TV -Csikszentmihalyi’s View of Watching TV: -Mass leisure and mass culture are the parasites of the mind – they absorb psychic energy without any substantive return -One of our most basic interests is orienting to new stimuli – so probably a basic reflex that TV is orienting on 9 -When watching TV you feel more passive -Reasonably more cheerful, feel more relaxed – unchallenging, passive, low concentration – not having optimal flow experience -Get immersed in reading – interesting comparison between reading and watching tv -Can see people feel more potent in reading: also equal amounts of cheerfulness and relaxation, and also feel more concentration, challenge and skills -Can look at consecutive reports: longer you watch TV, worse it becomes as an experience  don’t even feel as relaxed as you did at first -With reading, exact opposite happens than with watching TV -What are you doing when you’re not watching tv – to what extent do these activities mirror watching TV -Why are we watching TV if it’s leading to these experiences -Natural state of minds = chaos – will naturally make ourselves anxious and depressed -Magic of TV is that it’s accessible, affordable, simplest/quickest way to providing structure to our thoughts -Problem, when we turn off TV feel anxious =Being negatively conditioned to want to watch more TV because that’s when we feel we’re most relaxed = taking the easy way out when we watch TV -Koestner’s Three-Pronged Defense of TV Watching 1. It’s okay if you do it with others – TV a better experience if you watch with someone else; relaxation higher, higher positive affect, higher concentration -Can take any other activity than this and it’ll be higher than watching tv with someone else 2. Life as a professor is stressful. I watch TV when I feel exhausted and it helps me relax and recuperate -University professor is second least stressful position, only thing lower in stress is being a nun in a catholic church -Has data to see whether people are stressed and challenged earlier in the day than the started watching tv -Do it as a routine =Over 3 consecutive reports: level of challenge vs. watching tv and leisure activity/sports – challenge level 2 hours before, using tv to recover from challenging day = challenge level really high during the day (not really the case) -Activation/alertness – TV higher than social leisure, but not higher than people doing sports -Affect: no difference between unhappiness/watching TV -TV does relax, doesn’t relax if you do it over time – how relaxed after you watched TV and compared it to an hour after you did a leisure activity with friends -People felt really relaxed after you did a flow like activity -Watching TV = dissipates this relaxed feeling over time 3. It’s okay if you watch good shows -A myth that we have to relax – we do have to have leisure, but need to be doing flow-activities -Do types of shows make a difference? -Category of show had no effect on people’s reports of tv watching – seemed to be the medium, not the type of show 10 -Cognitive Junk Food vs. Healthy Nourishment? -Law and Order vs. Lost -Fear Factor vs. Survivor or Amazing Race -Single predictable threat or map of a complex network? -Mindless action or does the character try to solve problems and manage resources? =This hasn’t been tested, but would be interesting to do so -Kubey and Cz’s Recommendations 1. Don’t try to give up TV totally -500 dollars for families to give up TV, didn’t get a lot of people – TV was a huge part of family life that was missed when it was lost 2. Watch with other people 3. Be a discriminating viewer: 75% of Americans do not use a TV guide -Should see what’s on, watch what’s interesting to you/what are your goals -Try to become a connoisseur of the types of shows you like -Key to having a wonderful/happy life = structuring around having flow experiences PSYC471 Lecture 7 – September 27, 2012 How did Tiger Woods become the best golfer in the world? -Research on the acquisition of expert performance -Objectives: -To consider the role of ability vs. effort (or motivation) in achieving one’s goals -To understand the unique importance of deliberate practice in promoting expertise -85% of class they had attained expert level -Expert performance -Consistently superior performance on specified set of representative tasks for the domain that an be administered to any subject -E.g. par at golf: par is a standard of excellence worth striving for – very rich in performance feedback -Representative task that can be administered under controlled circumstances -Need to not trust people who are “experts”: wine connoisseurs/investment advisors/psychotherapists -Wine connoisseurs cannot differentiate better than chance -Financial advisors who recommend investing sound like experts but aren’t better than random chance – chimps do as well as financial advisors -Psychotherapists: experience is not systematically related to better outcomes, after first two years of practice between length of experience and outcomes with patients (with actual doctors) -The expertise of Tiger Woods -Youngest junior amateurs/youngest amateur champ/3x amateur champ/14 major championships/wins 30% of tournaments/lowest career scoring average/highest career earnings/37 years old -Young Tiger: remarkable finesse/great power -Is he naturally suited to play game better than anyone else? – in fact, quite the opposite, the product of dad’s imagination – practicing at golf at earlier age than anyone has ever begun -What role do talent and motivation play in the acquisition of expert performance? -Traditional View: of course, practice plays a role, but considering the fact that thousands of people do a lot of things and only a few are outstanding, have to consider giftedness 11 -Most common current view: genetic endowment for different people to excel in different areas -Performance = ability x effort -What determines whether or not you stay on with a skill depends on natural talent -8 ½ intelligences – 8: natural intelligence, ½ = supernatural intelligence -Theory of multiple intelligences, rather than focusing on some general factor intelligence – several distinct types that has a biological substrate that correspond to specific brain functioning -An intelligence: the bio-psychological potential to process information in certain ways in order to solve problems or fashion products that are valued in a certain community -Most IQ tests only measure the first two kinds of intelligence – what schools do, is schools only orient in terms of the first two kinds of intelligence -Suggest that the result of this, all of us are always prepared to be a lawyer or engineer -Other kinds of intelligence: interpersonal/intrapersonal -Associated with being a psychologist and effective as one -Interpersonal: understanding other people and what motivates them/how to work with them -Intrapersonal: ability construct an accurate model of yourself and to use that the understand the world around you – empathic/perspective taking capacities -Pairing off groups of friends/tracking where people like to sit in classroom – distribution for 3 year olds that have interpersonal knowledge -If you measure interpersonal intelligence/linguistic-verbal/mathematical-logical  not correlated, and suggests the same to be true for other groups of intelligence - Howard Gardner’s Point of View: We should spend less time ranking children and more time helping them to identify their natural competencies and gifts and cultivate those -Common view in North America -In Asia less common to think in natural gifts -Evidence for the Talent View: The performance of prodigies – children who acquire expert levels of performance at a very young age -Feldman (1986) examined the role of natural endowment: 1. The sequence of skill acquisition – can start farther along or skip certain stages in the developmental hierarchy: no they cannot, in fact, all of greatest musicians go through exact same sequence, but go through it at a different rate 2. The role of the environment: great musician even though parents didn’t encourage you/it would emerge – didn’t find any cases of great musicians whose parents who didn’t support their children – parent involvement in prodigies astounding 3. Does prodigy status predict future success? – evidence doesn’t support this: many prodigies never heard from, many adult performers weren’t identified as prodigies -Have to take this evidence and can make a strong case for natural giftedness -A Canadian Music Prodigy: Wesley Chu – Canad
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