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Chapter 12

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PSYC 2600
Elizabeth Nisbet

Chapter 12 Cognitive Topics in PersonalityCognitive Approaches Such difference in how people think is the focus Personalizing cognition Processing information by relating it to a similar event in your own life For example you might see a car accident and might think back to the time that you were in a car accident Objectifying cognition processing information by relating it to objective facts Cognition Refers to awareness and thinking as well as to specific mental acts such as perceiving interpreting remembering believing and anticipatingInformation Processing The transformation of sensory input into mental representations and the manipulation of such representations Perception the process of imposing order in the information our sense organs take in Two people can look at the same situation and think two different things Interpretation Making sense of or explaining various events in the world Conscious goals the standards that people develop for evaluating themselves and othersPersonality Related Through Perception Field DependenceWitkin studied differences in perceptual style to investigate such individual differences he devised an apparatus called the Rod and Frame Test RFTto research cues that people use in judging orientation in space The participant sits in a darkened room and is instructed to watch a glowing rod surrounded by a glowing square frameIf the participant adjusts the rod so that it is leaning in the direction of the titled frame than that person is said to be dependent on the visual field or field dependentSuch participants are said to be independent of the field or field independent they appear to rely on their own sensations not the perception of the field to make the adjustmentAnother way to measure field dependenceindependence is to create a complex figure that contains many simple figures or shapes example childrens puzzlesField DependenceIndependence and Life ChoicesField dependent people tend to rely on social information and frequently ask other people for their opinions They are attentive to social cues and in general are oriented toward other people and have a strong interest in othersField Independent people function with more autonomy and display a more impersonal or detached orientation towards others They are not very interested in others opinions keep their distance from others and show a preference for nonsocial situationsCurrent Research on Field DependenceIndependenceNew research began to appear in literature one new area of research concerns how people react to situations that are rich in sensory stimulation and whether fieldindependent people can focus on a task and screen out distracting information from the fieldAnother area of high stimulation is in hypermedia and multimedia based computer instruction such as educational materials on the World Wide Web which come with sound and streaming video This involves the presentation of multiple media formats including text
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