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Midterm 3

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Western University
Psychology 2550A/B
David Vollick

Chapter 13 – The Internal View 12-12-16 12:23 AM Why Self Matters: Consequences of Self-Discrepancies - people experience different types of discrepancies between different aspects of the self, influencing their emotions and behaviors • actual self: yourself as you are • ideal self: who you would like to be • ought self: who you believe you should be - discrepancies may be experienced from one’s own vantage point or from that of significant others - anorexic behavior is linked to actual/ought discrepancies; bulimic behavior to actual/ideal - if discomfort from self-discrepancies becomes too great, it may be reduced by • reevaluating the negative interpretation of painful events • changing actual behavior to match an important standard • seeking positive feedback about the self from significant others • shifting attention toward other aspects of the self - different emotions lead to different patterns of coping with the perceived self-discrepancies - to remove discrepancies, people may change their actual behavior to match an important standard • regardless of the form the change actually takes, the motivation for the change arises from conflicts each individual feels among their various representations of the self Illustrative Self-Discrepancies Types of Self-Discrepancies Induced Feelings Actual/Own: Ideal/Own Disappointment & dissatisfaction Actual/Own: Ideal/Other Shame & embarrassment Actual/Own: Ought/Own Guilt & self-contempt Actual/Own: Ought/Other Fear or feeling threatened Seeing Through the Other Person’s Eyes - the person’s own viewpoint, • what the person is actually doing, feeling, perceiving rather than on what we (friends, researchers, therapists) expect in terms of our own constructs - most direct way to inquire about another person’s experience is to ask them to depict themselves • client’s own reports generally have been used as a basis or the clinician to generate inferences and predictions about them, rather than as a means of conveying the client’s view of themselves Uses of Self-Assessments - self-assessments/reports may be as valid as, and sometimes better predictors than, more sophisticated, complex and indirect tests - they may predict, for example, • future adjustment for schizophrenic patients • success in the Peace Corps - to establish the utility of a person’s direct report about themselves, you must compare it with the predictions about them that can be made from other data sources - sometimes individuals lack either the information or the motivation to foretell their own behavior, or are motivated to not reveal it even if they know it - many future behaviors may be determined by variables not in the person’s control Self-Assessments – eg., The Q-Sort Technique - many cards, each with a phrase on it (eg., I am submissive) - individuals sort cards into piles, from most to least like themselves, or, their ideal self - can assess how similar a person’s ‘real self’ is to their ‘ideal self’ by comparing piles of the two - Q-sorts goal is to examine the pattern of various characteristics within each person Interviews - Rogers – interviews may be better than self-reports because they can create conditions of acceptance, warmth and empathy that help individuals feel at ease for open self-exploration - provide conditions that are conducive to growth and that facilitate free exploration of feelings and self in a therapeutic context - need an unthreatening atmosphere that reduces anxieties and inhibitions, and fosters self-disclosure - used to observe how the individual interprets himself and his experiences, regardless of the validity of the data he provides Semantic Differential - individual indicates meanings of diverse words, phrases and concepts by rating them on many scales • eg., words like ‘feather’ or ‘my mother’ are rated on a 7-pt scale (bipolar) - key factors are evaluative (good-bad) factor, potency and activity - objective and flexible • permits investigation of how people describe themselves and others, as well as how special experiences affect them Nonverbal Communication - phenomenological, ‘inner’ experiences may be visible in the form of nonverbal behaviors = significant communication • eg., facial expressions, movements & gestures - researchers explore possible meanings and effects of such nonverbal expressions as eye contact Studying Lives from the Inside: Psychobiography - some intensive studies try to provide a comprehensive psychological understanding of one person - methods employed are borrowed from biography, history, (phenomenological) psychology and other social sciences Narrative Identity: Stories That Give Lives Meaning - McAdams (1999) focuses on individuals’ personal narratives: • self-constructions try to answer basic questions about who one is, why one lives and how one fits into the existing social order • narrative identity concerns the internal stories, implicit and explicit, that evolve over time to try to make sense of one’s behavior - as the person develops and matures cognitively and personally, the life story becomes increasingly coherent and organized Enhancing Self-Awareness: Accessing One’s Experiences - changing the subjective views of the self can have significant impact on individual’s well-being • drugs, meditation and encounter groups may influence such changes - Gestalt therapy (Perls, 1969) sought to expand human awareness and to achieve ‘joy’, trust and honest communication • aim is to focus on what is being felt fully and honestly Group Experiences - human-relations training groups (T-groups) and sensitivity training groups focused on doing activities, not just talking - it places less emphasis on the therapist’s role in therapy - it allows people to learn how other people see them and how they interact with others during therapy - self-disclosure Meditation - is practiced through experiences producing an alteration in consciousness – shifting from an external focus of attention to an internal one - transcendental meditation (TM) aims to achieve deeply restful alertness - scientific research shows the characteristic brain – wave pattern of TM can also be created through hypnosis and other means Person’s Experience and Unconscious - Rogers emphasized achieving unity with one’s often unconscious ‘inner’ processes • due to socialization, people’s conscious and unconscious processes often become dissociated - family therapies have been influenced extensively by this perspective • try to sensitize the members of a family to see other’s viewpoints and take them into account in their daily transactions within the family system Accessing Painful Emotions: Hypnotic Probing - hypnosis is sometimes used to help individuals access traumatic memories that may be difficult to recall and to accept them • it is used within a highly supportive, structured setting to induce a trance state Peering Into Consciousness: Brain Images of Subjective Experiences - new functional brain imaging techniques help to specify with increasing precision, for example: • the brain locations that become activated during hypnotic concentration • those that underlie different types of mental states, feelings, thoughts and events Value of Self-Disclosure About Subjective Experiences - Pennebaker & Graybeal (2001): writing about traumatic or stressful experiences may yield • fewer doctor visits • improved immune system • better grades and overall psychological well-being - but rumination, if persistent, can enhance angry and depressed moods • in moderation, rumination is common, and more prevalent among women than men Change & Well-Being: Meaningful Life; Healthy Personality - self-realization involves a continuous quest to know oneself and to actualize one’s potentialities • ‘adjustment’ to society is denounced - the self-actualizing person • perceives reality accurately and efficiently • is accepting of self, of others and of the world • spontaneous and natural Positive Psychology: Finding Human Strengths - positive psychology (Seligman, 2002) is directed at three levels: • subjective experience • the individual • the group - it focuses on methods to build human strengths, finding meaning in life and three main aspects of happiness • pleasure • engagement • meaning - important ingredients in positive psychology include • finding and creating meaning in life • optimism (vs. helplessness/hopelessness) • self-efficacy/agency (beliefs that one can do things effectively) • social support relatedness (eg., groups of friends that share experiences caringly, participating in and contributing to community/society) Chapter 14 – Social Cognitive Conceptions 12-12-16 12:23 AM Part VI: The Social-Cognitive Level Development of the Social Cognitive Level – Historical Roots - three major theoretical camps: • 1 – Freudians • 2 – individual differences • 3 – behaviorists George Kelly - each person is a scientist and an active agent is his/her own life - personal constructs are the basic unit of personality, which also became a foundation for the Social Cognitive Level Linking Cognition and Social Behavior - traditional behavioral approaches asserted that stimuli control behavior - perceiver’s mental representations and cognitive transformations of the stimuli can determine and even reverse their impact - through self-instructions about what to imagine during the delay period, it is possible to completely alter the effects of the physically present temptations in the situation The Cognitive Revolution - the cognitive revolution revolted against behaviorism which made mental processes and states taboo unscientific topics - cognitive psychology made mental process and states a central topic, and found ways to study them scientifically and experimentally - shared goal to build a more comprehensive approach to personality that is both social and cognitive Albert Bandura: Social Learning Theory - Bandura showed that much of social learning occurs cognitively through observation without any direct reinforcement administered to the learner - people learn cognitively by observing others, not merely by experiencing rewards for what they do themselves Learning Through Observation - observational learning, or modeling, occurs without the learners receiving direct external reinforcement, or even without the learner ever performing the learned response - humans learn from what others say and do, and what they see, hear and read, whether it is intended to be taught or not - so, other people act as models, from whom we learn the probable consequences of particular alternative behaviors - completely new response patterns can be learned simply by observing other performing them Observing Other People’s Outcomes - we are more likely to do something if we have observed another person obtain positive consequences for a similar response - observation also influences the emotions we experience • by observing the emotional reactions of others to a stimulus, it is possible vicariously to learn an intense emotional response to that stimulus Importance of Rules and Symbolic Processes - people usually do not need trial by trial ‘shaping’ - they are helped by rules and self-instructions that link discrete bits of information - verbal rules can help children learn the standards that they are supposed to adopt - cognition plays a role even in classical conditioning The Agentic, Proactive Person - Bandura emphasizes the human capacity to be agentic and exercise self- regulation (being proactive) and self-reflection - human functioning reflects the continuous interplay of personal, behavioral and environmental influences - ‘forethought’ allows humans the ability to symbolize events and to anticipate consequences, plan events, and direct one’s goals and activities purposefully through ‘forethought’ Self-Efficacy - self-efficacy is the individual’s belief that he or she can successfully execute the behaviors required by a particular situation • perceived self-efficacy influences the goals people set and the risks that they are willing to take • those who view themselves as lacking self-efficacy are more vulnerable to anxiety and depression • Bandura proposed that behavioral therapies and other interventions work by enhancing the individual’s sense of self-efficacy Measuring Self-Efficacy Expectancies - self-efficacy is assessed by asking the person to indicate the degree of confidence that he or she can do a particular task - it tends to accurately predict the occurrence of relevant behaviors (Measuring Self-Efficacy Expectancies in book) Social Cognitive Reconceptualization of Personality: Walter Mischel - Mischel proposed the social cognitive reconceptualization of personality - he documented that objective evidence contradicted the traditional trait assumption that people behave consistently across different situations Understanding Consistency in Personality - Mischel proposed that people have consistent if…then… situation-behavior patterns - people behave in ways that are consistent with the meanings that situations have for them, leading to individual differences in personality that we see Individual Differences in If…Then… Signatures - Van Mechelen and colleagues classify people into different types of if…then… signatures based on the kind of responses they give to specific types of psychological situations - they wanted to predict the probability of certain types of individuals exhibiting certain types of behaviors in specific types of situations Social Cognitive Person Variables: (1) Encoding (Construals) - how do you see it? - individuals differ stably in how they encode and categorize (see) people, and interpret events - these interpretations influence their subsequent reactions to them Social Cognitive Person Variables : (2) Expectancies and Beliefs - what will happen? - self-efficacy expectations: the person’s belief that he or she can perform a particular behavior • guide the person’s selection of behaviors from among the many that he or she is capable of constructing within any situation - behavior-outcome expectancies: represent the expected if…then… relationship between behavioral alternatives and expected probable outcomes in particular situations Social Cognitive Person Variables: (3) Affects - affects (emotions) profoundly influence behavior, especially self-regulation and goal pursuit - hot cognitions – thought to activate strong emotions and other affective reactions to situation features • often occur immediately and automatically • anything that implies important consequences for the individual an trigger an emotional reaction - affective state experiences are influenced by situational factors and stable individual differences, which may be related to temperament and biological variables Social Cognitive Person Variables: (4) Goals and Values - what do you want? What is it worth? - goals and values organize and motivate the person’s efforts, the situations and outcomes they seek, and their reactions to them • goals influence what is valued, and values also influence performance • individuals with similar expectations may not behave similarly in a similar situation - intrinsic motivation: the gratification the individual receives from the activity or task itself Social Cognitive Person Variables: (5) Competencies and Self-Regulatory Plans - self-regulation allows us to influence our interpersonal and social environment - we can actively select many of the situations to which we expose ourselves - even when the environment cannot be changed physically, it may be possible to transform it psychologically by cognitive re-appraisals Contributors to Person Variables - social cognitive variables: an integration of two different theoretical perspectives • 1 – George Kelly’s personal construct theory: the importance of how individuals construe their experience and themselves • 2 – Julian Rotter’s social learning theory: examined behavior patterns as a result of an individual’s outcome expectancies and the subjective value of those outcomes Personality Assessment - the focus is on specific cognitions, feelings and behaviors in particular types of situations - expressions of the personality system and the person’s goals and motivations are seen in if…then… personality signatures - try to identify implications for treatment and constructive change - aims to identify the underlying psychological person variables which might be modified (using self-reports and behavioral observations) Incorporating the Psychological Situation into Personality Assessment - assessments needs to incorporate the ‘if’ – the situation, and not just the situation, in order to identify a person’s characteristic behavior patterns The Implicit Association Test (IAT) - assessment of implicit self-esteem - requires participants to make a series of judgments about each of the words presented to them briefly, one at a time, in quick succession - words presented come from four distinct categories (self, not self, obviously good, obviously bad) - participants’ task is to indicate the category of the word presented, as quickly as possible Identifying Psychological Situations - nominal situations are distinct from psychological situations - in the Wediko study, conditional hedges offered clues to the psychological situation involved eg., Joe is aggressive when kids tease him about his glasses Personality Change and Theory - social cognitive approach therapy for a wide variety of problems, including • fears and depression • troubles dealing with work challenges • impulse and aggressive tendencies • overcoming addictions • improving self-control in adhering to crucial health and medical regimens - these programs often use exposure to models that display desired behaviors Overview of Approach - therapists try to help clients to identify their disadvantageous ways of thinking about themselves, other people, and their problems - therapist and client explore ways of reconstructing basic assumptions and automatic emotional reactions that are not working well for the client - fundamental aim is to increase the ability of the client’s perceived and real freedom to change in the desired directions – change behaviors - provide a wide range of actual and imagined (symbolic) experiences that will enhance efficacy expectancies - assertiveness training: overcome shyness by observing models displaying assertive behavior in a variety of situations - in covert modeling, individuals visualize scenes in which a model performs assertively when appropriate Behavior Therapies Become Cognitive - cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) - CBT: treat depression, anxiety, phobias, obsessional disorders, aggression and hypochondrias - some of the reasons for growth of CBT • recognizes problems that go beyond specific behaviors (eg., career conflict, depression) • helps people interpret and construe experiences constructively • deals with interactions between thoughts, feelings and actions Beck’s Cognitive Therapy - cognitive restructuring: cognitive therapy is based on a notion that an individual’s affect and behavior are largely determined by the way in which he structures the world • his cognitions are based on attitudes or assumptions (schemas), developed from previous experiences (Beck, Rush, Shaw and Emery, 1979, p.3) Five Steps in Beck’s Version of Cognitive Therapy 1 – clients learn to recognize and monitor their negative, automatic thoughts that are ‘dysfunctional’ and lead to serious dilemmas 2 – they are taught to recognize the connections between these negative thoughts, the emotions they create and their own actions 3 – they learn to examine the evidence for and against their distorted automatic thoughts 4 – they substitute for these distorted negative thoughts more realistic interpretations 5 – they are taught to identify and change the inappropriate assumptions that predispose them to distort their experiences - cognitions involved in responses to environmental stimuli: • expectations • cognitive changing perceptions of stimulus leads to increase in ability to delay gratification in children • children learn faster through verbal instructions than through shaping • one will develop fear response to buzzer when it is paired with a shock for another person Chapter 15 – Social Cognitive Processes 12-12-16 12:23 AM Principles of Social Cognition Applied to Personality - research at the Social Cognitive Level is influenced by both personality and social psychology theories Social Cognition and Personality - in the 1980s, social psychologists started to adopt the constructs and methodologies of cognitive psychology - the social cognition movement studies how people process information about the social world and themselves Schemas - schemas are knowledge structures made up of collections of attributes or features that have a ‘family resemblance’ to each other which: • direct attention and influence memory • affect how we make inferences (correct or incorrect) • can create self-fulfilling prophecies • be positive or negative • help make sense of new events Effect of Schemas - activation of schemas is determined by: • availability – whether schemas exist or not • accessibility – how easy it is to access a schema • applicability – whether the schema applies to the situation • salience – degree to which a social object stands out compared to others in a situation - priming is the process that increases temporary accessibility - a schema that is activated directs our attention, and affects our memory of events - schemas affect how we make inferences and form personality impressions - schemas can create self-fulfilling prophecies The Self - the ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘self’ is a basic reference point around which experiences and the sense of personal identity seem to be organized - viewed as a set of schemas that serves as a vital frame of reference for processing and evaluating experiences Self-Schemas - each person develops a self-theory, about the me - arises from past experiences and guides how we deal with new information related to the self (how we perceive ourselves) and affects future experiences - we process and remember information relevant to our self-schema quickly and effectively (but not necessarily accurately – not a mirror of reality) - people differ stably in their self-schemas - most people: • desire to maintain positive views of themselves • are motivated to pursue self-knowledge • want to enhance and improve themselves The Relational Self - self-knowledge is closely connected to knowledge representations about the significant others in one’s life - when representations of a particular significant other are activated, aspects of your own self-representation also become activated - these close connections in memory make the self intrinsically relational and interpersonal • in a sense, the significant others to whom one is close become part of one’s personal identity The Relational Self and Transference - according to Susan Andersen and colleagues, transference occurs when representations of significant others in memory are activated by a newly encountered person - unlike Freudian transference, this process is seen in terms of social- cognitive information processing Perceived Stability of Self and Potential for Change - the experience of subjective continuity in oneself seems to be a fundamental feature of personality - each person normally manages to reconcile seemingly diverse behaviors into one self-consistent whole • people tend to reduce cognitive inconsistencies and simply to integrate information • people often know a good deal about their own characteristic if…then… situation-behavior patterns Multiple Self-Concepts: Possible Selves - different perceived selves reflect different aspects of an individual’s total personality - each aspect may constitute a different possible self or potential of being - the working self-concept is comprised by concepts of the self that the person can access easily eg., ever-changing combinations of past selves and current selves, and imagined possible selves - possible selves serve as guides for behavior and can have significant impact on one’s emotional and motivational states Essential Features and Functions of the Self - the self is essentially social and interpersonal – it arises out of social experiences with significant other people and is expressed in relation to them - the self is important for understanding the processes of adaptation and coping - the self has evaluative functions and it is basic for the concept of identity - the self is motivated to protect self-esteem Self-Esteem and Self-Evaluation - self-esteem: the individual’s personal judgment of his/her own worth - self-evaluation: persons may evaluate their functioning differently in different areas of life - both are influenced by feedback from environment - people compare themselves to their own standards, as well as to their perceptions of the performance of relevant others - self-evaluation processes are basic for understanding how people see themselves and how they respond to their own experiences - self-evaluation processes reflect compromises between the need for accurate perception of one’s performance and the self-protective desire to maintain a favorable self-image - having high self-esteem may have great benefits, yet its active pursuit can have high costs • causes people to focus too much on themselves while neglecting the feelings and needs of others • encourages competitiveness vs. cooperation • yields especially high costs for people who see high self-esteem as essential for feeling worthy Essential Features and Functions of the Self - the self is seen as having the following qualities • it is essentially social and interpersonal • important for understanding the process of adaptation and coping • has evaluative functions, and is basic for the concept of identity o motivated to protect self-esteem Self-Efficacy Expectancies - expectancies an beliefs that one will be able to exert control and successfully execute necessary actions are essential for effective functioning and goal pursuit Learned Helplessness and Apathy - beliefs that there is nothing one can do to control negative or painful outcomes à expectations that one is helpless, and to stop trying - in this state, one also may become apathetic and despondent, which may generalize and persist à may lead to depression Casual Attributions Influence Emotions and Outcomes - casual attributions are the explanations people make about the causes of events – individual differences occur • internal causes (eg., high ability or hard work) • external causes (eg., the ease of the task or good luck) - success that is perceived to be the result of one’s ability (internal causes) produces more positive views about oneself (eg., ‘pride’) than when it is viewed as reflecting good luck (external causes) - we feel worse (eg., ‘shame’) when we perceive a failure as reflecting low ability than when it is seen as due to bad luck - self-enhancing bias: we are more likely to see ourselves as casually responsible when our actions have positive outcomes (eg., just world hypothesis and illusions of control) - even when an experience is aversive and cannot be controlled, the belief that no one can predict or control the event is important for adaptive behavior Pessimistic Explanatory Styles - pessimism: an explanatory style that has three components – the person sees bad events as • enduring (stability) • widespread (globality) • due to the self (internality) - those with a pessimistic explanatory style have more health problems and do not live as long as those who do not Learned Optimism - learned optimism is when a person deliberately interprets daily hassles and setbacks in self-enhancing ways • negative experiences become momentary, specific and external - optimism associated with a wide range of positive outcomes Helpless vs. Mastery-Oriented Children - two different responses to failure - helpless children believe their failure is due to lack of ability and perform worse after failure • when faced with failure, helpless children have self-defeating thoughts - mastery-oriented children see their future as due to lack of effort and often perform better after failure • they search for a remedy, rather than a cause for their failure
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