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PSYC 332
Richard Koestner

PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  CHAPTER 9 Developmental Stages and Tasks Martin Luther was Catholic monk in his 20s but then had identity crisis Had problem with ego identity- couldn’t formulate coherent and convincing answer to two fundamental questions of identity: 1) Who am I? 2) How do I fit in the adult world? He worked out his issues to become religious and political celebrity destined to become one of the most influential men in Western civilization MARTIN LUTHER’S IDENTITY CRISIS Credited with starting Protestant Reformation: many severed ties with Roman Catholic Church Provided first authoritative translation of bible into German Great writer and preacher (also wrote hymns-music) Also monumental political figure- father of German nationalism and hero for some revolutionaries Had a crazy breakdown/ identity crisis One of most provocative applications of personality theory to life course of single adult: Erikson’s (1958) psychobiographical analysis of Luther’s identity formation (Young Man Luther) Would-be lawyer (as per his father’s wishes) turned monk Feared the Devil as a literal force in his life Projected the Devil onto his enemies Explanatory style: external, stable, and global forces- believed God and the Devil were ultimate causes of earthly events According to Erikson: late adolescence & early adult years are critical period in human lifespan in which we confront problem of identity- kids are not worried about who they are and how they fit into the world- older adults not typically concerned with that either Identity is characteristic developmental adaptation: aspect of personality that involves resolution of important life tasks during particular stage of development Two most integrative and influential theories of development in personality psychology: 1) Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development 2) Loevinger’s Theory on the Development of the Ego ERIK ERIKSON’S THEORY OF PSYCHOSOCIAL DEVELOPMENT From early age, Erik cultivated image of self as outsider Started as artist, then got psychoanalysis training at Freud clinic Then moved to US and became child psychologist Changing his name to Erikson was symbolic and marked maturation of his identity DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES IN CHILDHOOD Strongest intellectual influence on Erikson was Freud Libido: Freud’s word for energy that id derived from sexual drives 5 stages of libido development: at each stage (psychosexual stage) libido expresses self through particular part of body called erogenous zone (starts off with sucking at stage 1) 1) Oral stage: infant is completely dependent on caregivers for satisfaction of basic bodily needs When tensions produced by needs are consistently and regularly satisfied, infant perceives environment as predictable and soothing place- allowing for healthy psychosocial development 2)Anal stage: toddler’s sensual energy is expressed mainly in holding in and letting go of feces (retention and elimination)- libido must come under control of socially prescribed schedules- may lead to autonomy and self-mastery that arouse personal success 3) Phallic stage: libido is centered in genital region- children become fascinated with own sex organs and curious about sexual practices among adults- may begin masturbating PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  Mirrored by sexual feelings and aggression towards parents (Oedipus complex-killed father and slept with mother) 4) Latency stage: libido not expressed in overt manner- children channel instinctive tendencies into play and schoolwork 5) Genital stage: puberty marks beginning and end of development. Physical changes and overt sexual longings Erikson’s major innovation: transform Freud’s psychosexual stages into model of psychosocial tasks Devised an 8-stage model: underscored interpersonal, social, cultural, and historical context within which developmental tasks are given various meanings Each stage is polar: there is positive and negative feature of each There is unique challenge/ conflict at each stage ERIKSON’S 8 STAGES OF LIFE Age Psychosexual Psychosocial Issue Central Question Associated Virtue Stage (Freud) 1) Infancy Oral Trust vs. Mistrust How can I be secure? Hope 2) Early childhood Anal Autonomy vs. shame How can I be Will & doubt independent? 3) Childhood (play Phallic Initiative vs. Guilt How can I be Purpose age) powerful? 4) Childhood Latency Industry vs. How can I be good? Competence (school age) Inferiority 5)Adolescence & Genital Identity vs. Role How do I fit into the Fidelity young adulthood confusion adult world? Who am I? 6) Young adulthood - Intimacy vs. Isolation How can I love? Love 7) Mature - Generativity vs. How can I fashion a Care adulthood stagnation (or self- gift? absorption) 8) Old age - Ego integrity vs. How can I receive a Wisdom despair gift? (the gift of life) Erikson agreed with Freud that for first year of life, libido is centered in oral zone (sucking mother’s breast/bottle becomes starting point of sexual life) Here you develop trust and mistrust: healthy development is function of balance between the two Overlapping psychosocial themes of second chapter of life are: independence, self-mastery, self-control, and avoidance of humiliation Box Feature 9.A EARLY OBJECT REATIONS Object relations: in psychoanalytic tradition means interpersonal relationships- from Freud’s idea that other people become targets or objects of our sexual desires Object relations theorists argue that we internalize models of close relationships in first years of life and these internalized relations exert critical influence on long-term personality development Margaret Mahler’s Separation individualism: infant begins life in self-contained oblivious state then begins to merge with others (objects) around 3 months then differentiates self from this symbiotic union around 5-6 months Phase 1: (5-9 months)- differentiation of body image Phase 2: Practicing (10-14 months)- infants locomotor abilities enable it to explore inanimate environment more easily- physical presence of mother facilitates exploration Phase 3: Rapprochement (14-24 months) child develops awareness of mother’s separateness and may experience crisis when there is conflict between urge to reunite with her and separate completely from her Eventually child moves through this difficult period and achieves emotional object constancy Self psychology: another word for Kohut’s object relations Kohut argues that at center of personality is bipolar self: PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  1) Ambitious for power and success 2) Idealized goals and values Person’s basic talents and skills (tension arc) link two poles together Person is driven by ambitions and guided by idealized goals and values in accord with talents and skills Self-objects: people so central to our lives that we feel they are parts of us Mother is most salient first self-object- original mirroring self-object- mother must ‘mirror’ child’s grandiosity (confirm and admire child’s specialness) Later on parents become idealizing self-objects: child admires and identifies with them for strength, care, and calmness Back to Erikson Found boys adopt more inclusive mode of operations: teasing, demanding, grasping Around age 6-7 kids learn to use tools that will help them assume role of adulthood in their cultures THE PROBLEM OF IDENTITY Emerging adulthood: critical period around late adolescence where issues with identity begin to arise Adolescence and Young Adulthood Like Freud, Erikson also viewed puberty as an ending and a transformation Why do we confront the identity issue first in adolescence? Three answers: 1) Body 2) Cognition: Piaget’s formal operations: begin thinking about ourselves in abstract terms- able to reason logically about real and hypothetical situations (can’t do this before this stage) 3) Society: Society’s ideas about what you should be doing thinking and feeling now that you are an adult and no longer a child- conflict between the individual wanting to carve out their own niche and the niche society wants for them Erikson believes the individual and society create identity together Identity Statuses Answer questions: 1) Who am I? 2) Where do I belong in the world? Two related steps in Identity Formation: 1) Break away from childhood views, question assumptions, investigate alternatives 2) Make commitments to roles & outlooks that define how young person sees self fitting into adult world- doubts resolved and ID no longer pressing psychosocial concern Study by Marcia et al. asked Qs about exploration and commitment as apply to two key aspects of identity: 1) Occupation 2) Ideology PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  Based on this, able to classify into 4 identity statuses: Identity Status Characteristics Identity achievement Most developmentally advanced status Have gone through exploration and made commitments to goals Passed 5 stage of E, going into 6 th Strive for internalized goals & rely on own goals to meet challenges Less concerned with winning parents’affection May view parents ambivalently More academically inclined: receive higher grades in college, women chose harder majors, more PSE achievement motivation Don’t conform to peer pressure/social norms Base moral decisions on abstract principles of justice vs. societal norms College status: pathfinders Moratorium Currently exploring identity issues but no commitments yet Should progress to IdentityAchievement status Viewed as mature in college More mature defense mechanisms to cope with stress (same in IA) More engaged and exploratory style in processing info about world Relationships with parents: marked ambivalence Authority figures represent temporary negative identities High levels of general anxiety Young adults described as extremely friendly, likable, sensitive, & insightful College status: searchers Foreclosure Failed to meet identity challenge Failure to explore but commits to unquestioned position from childhood Opted for security of childhood roles and expectations- do what is expected of them Beliefs, values, & ideologies also carried over from childhood Very close to parents-loving & affectionate homes Best behaved of the statuses College students study hard and keep regular hours+appear happy Adopt authoritarian outlook on the world Low on autonomy & anxiety High levels of aspiration College status: guardians Identity Diffusion Most enigmatic- no exploration AND no commitment Deal with much ambiguity Withdrawal Feel out of place and socially isolated See parents as distant and misunderstanding Approach new relationships with extreme caution Fantasy & withdrawal are favorite coping strategies for women Focused on present- no past, no future College status: drifters Study by Josselson (1996) found evidence of continuityAND change in identity from college years to midlife- ‘pathmakers’ Women who were IA in college moved into mid age with conviction in basic meaningfulness of life choices Women who were in moratorium in college acted as ‘searchers’-experienced more self-doubt & self- criticism, more vivid emotions & stronger spirituality Eventually found themselves and became more like pathmakers College foreclosures & drifters remained more rigid and moralistic than other groups By midlife, discovered inner aspects of themselves they had previously buried Complex paths but ended up organizing lives around commitments and goals PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  Drifters: greatest number of regrets about past Theme of their lives: growing into greater consciousness and control Identity and Intimacy th Once have tentative answer to question ‘Who am I?’psychologically ready to begin 6 stage: intimacy vs. isolation Woman’s identity issues are connected to their intimate relationships Orlofsky’s idea of intimacy status: determine how intimate a college students are based on questions about relationships- statuses: Intimacy Status Characteristics Intimate Wants mutual personal relationships Several close friends and discuss personal matters Committed love relationship Mutually satisfactory sex life Able to express angry and affectionate feelings in relationship Generally interested in others Preintimate Person has dated but not committed in love relationship Close friendships Respects integrity of others, openness, responsibility & mutuality Conflicted about commitment Love relationships can be ambivalent Stereotyped Superficial dating (playboy/girl) Several friends but friendships lack depth May date regularly but doesn’t get involved Isolate Lacks enduring personal relationships Rarely initiates social contact or dates Anxiety about getting close to people causes isolation Anxious & immature Lacks assertiveness & social skills May present self as bitter & mistrustful or smug and self satisfied Study by Orlofsky (1973) found that male college students who showed mature identity status of ID achievement and moratorium also exhibited more mature intimacy statuses Study by Tthch & Whitbourne (1982) examined relation between identity and intimacy at age 20 Added a 5 status: merger- one partner dominates the other When identity questions were successfully resolved- high levels of intimacy Low identity resolution (identity diffusion)- low levels of intimacy (preintimate, stereotyped, isolate) Study by Kahn et al. (1985) examined relation between resolved identity problems and quality of marriage 18 yrs later Found that degree of identity resolution in young adulthood predicted establishment (for men) and stability (for women) in marriage Young men with high identity resolution more likely to marry and those with low IR more likely to remain bachelors Young women with high identity less likely to experience divorce and separation compared with low identity women GENERATIVITYANDADULT DEVELOPMENT Middle adulthood: caring for and leaving legacy for next generation Later adulthood: looking back on their life and accepting it as good Stage 7: Generativity vs. Stagnation PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  Prototype for generativity is raising children But there are other ways: creative activity, community involvement- idea is to outlive the self- invest into something that will live on Kotre (1984) identifies four different ways adults can be generative: Type Description Biological Begetting, bearing and nursing offspring (generative object: the infant) Parental Nurturing and disciplining offspring, initiating them into family traditions (generative object: the child) Technical Teaching skills- passing on symbol system in which skills are embedded (generative objects: the apprentice, the skill) Cultural Creating, renovating, and conserving symbol system- mind of culture being passed onto successor (generative objects: the discipline, the culture) AModel of Generativity Generativity comes from biological drive to reproduce self, care for and be needed by others, philosophical urge for transcendence & symbolic immortality, maturity and mental health in adulthood, and social demand for productive niche in society McAdams Model of Generativity Configuration of 7 features centered on goal of providing for next generation Qualities of both environmentsAND people McAdams Model of Generativity Feature Characteristics Cultural Demand Need to provide for next generation As ppl move into adulthood, they are expected to increase role as providers Social clock- expected to take care of next generation Inner Desire Symbolic immortality (legacies that live on)- power and self expansion Need to be needed- soft and loving side of generativity Concern for the Next Generation 1 and 2 come together to make contribution to the next generation Belief in the species Strong belief in the species Generative Commitment Decisions to establish goals and strivings for next generation Need to feel positively about the next generation and world for this though GenerativeAction 1) Creating 2) Maintaining 3) Offering Narration The Generativity script within the personal life story Encompasses all the other factors as well McAdams Loyola Generativity Scale (LGS): 20-item self-report questionnaire assessing generativity action, commitments Studies show generative action and concern are positively correlated Concern and action also positively correlated with generative commitments McAdams et al. (1993) administered generativity questionnaires to young, midlife, and older adults Controlled for education and income differences Age/cohort effect was found for generativity: midlife adults score the highest Midlife is critical period for generativity Examples: youngest woman was concerned with social acceptance and maintenance of daily well-being, midlife woman is more generative, and old woman too Individual Differences in Generativity Individual differences in generativity are significantly implicated in parenting behavior, social involvement, and psychological well-being PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  Study by Peterson & Klohnen (1995) found that highly generative women who were also mothers invested more energy and commitment in parenting and had ‘expanded radius of care’ Generativity in adults is associated with authoritative parenting stye (structure and guidance) Study by Nakagawa (1991) found that parents scoring high on LGS helped kids with their homework more, attended school functions more, and knew more about what their kids were learning in school High levels of generativity associated with valuing trust and communication with kids and view parenting as opportunity to pass on values & wisdom to next generation College students whose parents were high in generativity had higher scores on conscientiousness & agreeableness, more positive emotion in daily life, & greater involvement in politics & religion Study by Hart et al. (2001) found that high levels of generativity were associated with larger friendship networks, social support in community, & greater levels of satisfaction with social relationships More correlates of generativity: More church attendance & involvement in church activitites More voting behavior & political involvement More mature coping strategies during stress & psychosocial adaptation More life satisfaction More happiness More self-esteem Better sense of coherence Less depression Positive emotions Work satisfaction Positive feelings about home life among younger adults Less N in midlife adults More successful aging Successful marriages, Mental health Favorable relationships with peers Study by Cole & Stewart (1996) found generous black & white women in midlife correlated with sense of community & political efficacy Generaitivity found to be strongest predictor or caring and doing for others at work, in family, and community Study by Stewart & Ostrove (1998) quality of midlife roles and generativity were only two variables that predicted later midlife well-being Nearly all measures of generativity significantly predicted composite measure of psychological and social well-being Integrity Last stage of cycle: ego integrity vs. despair Life review: Butler- look back and decide whether their life was good or not Able to accept life or bitter despair? Trascendence of time and making sense of their life JANE LOEVINGER’S THEORY OF EGO DEVELOPMENT After marriage to chemist Samuel Weissman and motherhood- became interested in the problems mothers face & psychology of women- postpartum depression Realized much of psych uses male Ps, time to focus on women Contributions: Developed self-report questionnaires to assess women’s attitudes towards family life Published landmark article on construct validity of self-report tests Devised sentence-completion tests that lead research on ego development Pioneered empirical study of Ego Development LifetimeAchievement Award from APA L’s Ego theory, like Erikson’s Psychosocial Dev. theory, has implications for the entire lifespan PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  Erikson’s theory: focuses on content of human life (what we do)- what life contains Loevinger’s theory: focuses on structure (how something is organized/ designed)- how we organize life in our minds STAGES OFTHE EGO Ego strives to master and make sense of experience with sense of ego or ‘I’ Theory is grounded in cognitive developmental paradigm in personality psychology Hierarchical stages: earlier stages must be mastered before one can move on Each stage provides overall framework of meaning that person employs to make sense of world Different people quit at different stages L’s 8 Stages of Ego Development STAGE TYPICAL MANIFESTATIONS Label Name Impulse Control I-2 Impulsive Impulsive Delta Self-protective Opportunistic I-3 Conformist Respect for rules I-3/4 Conscientious/ Conformist Exceptions allowable I-4 Conscientious Self-evaluated standards, self critical I-4/5 Individualistic Tolerant I-5 Autonomous Coping with conflict 1-6 Integrated - The Infant Flaw of L’s system- very young kids cant take tests (can’t measure development of ego in earlier years) First stage of L’s model is preverbal stage Many say infants are born without sense of self- it develops in first year out of basic bodily experiences Stack Sullivan (1953) Interpersonal theory of psychiatry- argues basic self-system emerges in first few yrs of life to cope with anxiety experienced in presence of caregivers Studies on visual self-recognition: infants observed as they behave in front of mirrors, looking at themselves in pics or vids Studies show: Between 5 and 8 months show wide variety of self-directed behaviors in front of mirrors but don’t recognize distinctive features of own bodies or differentiate self from others- don’t understand what they see in mirror is reflection of self Between 9 and 12 months begin to understand reflecting Use mirrors to reach for actual objects attached to their Bodies Between 12 and 15 months consolidate sense of self as independent casual agent- use mirror to locate other ppl & objects in space- on vid can distinguish between own movements and others’ movements Lipstick on nose test: Infants younger than 15 months will see spot but not realize it’s on their face After 15-18 months will touch the red dot Infants begin recognizing themselves in mirrors & gain basic sense of self in second year of life The Child Major theme: progressive movement from egocentric impulsivity to sociocentric conventionality PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  In 1 stage infant is: Impuslive Egocentric- good & bad are not based on moral judgment but things related to themselves Orientation is towards present vs. past or future If stay in this stage too long- could be seen as uncontrollable or incorrigible If stay in 2 stage (Delta) too long: may become opportunistic & deceptive in relations with others 3 stage- the conformist: integrating own welfare with that of a group- governed by norms of a social group- conformist values cooperation, niceness, & loyalty in group- wants to move away from self and connect/ collaborate with others Seek to find special friend or chum: is as much like self as possible- welfare of chum becomes as important as own welfare- affirm sameness with another person TheAdolescent Movement in the direction of conformity In seeking individuality, the adolescent strives to integrate various aspects of the self To experience unity and purpose, person must construct new image of the self that incorporates self into world of work and love and love while providing opportunities for expressing unique talents, dispositions & inclinations Ego of teens is identity maker Moving away from teen status means moving away from conventional standards & substitute for internalized personal standards TheAdult Many ppl don’t reach final stage and achieve synthesis of power of the adult ego MostAmerican adults make it to the conscientious/conformist transition stage Individualistic (I-4/5) stage: greater awareness of conflict between heightened individuality and increased emotional dependence Autonomy (I-5) stage: capacity to cope w/ conflicts of individualistic level- tolerance for ambiguity & high cognitive complexity- self-fulfillment replaces personal achievement as central preoccupation of consciousness Fully integrated (I-6) individual: most difficult stage to achieve, few make it- transcend polarity of earlier stages and see reality as complex & multifaceted MEASURING EGO DEVELOPMENT Usually measured via standard sentence-completion test- ex. Washington University Sentence Completion Test for Ego Development (WUSCTED) Finish a sentence and then it’s rated based on one of L’s stages Final numerical score determined by formula Scores are moderately correlated with IQ scores BUT not same as intelligence Has adequate test-retest reliability & internal consistency Data from cross sectional studies: adults score higher than teens- older teens score higher than younger teens which supports L’s developmental assumptions In JH and HS boys score higher than boys but boys but boys catch up in college Overall, most common stage score forAmerican young ppl btwn 16 and 26 is I-3/4: conscientious/conformist transition stage Correlates of Ego Development Moral development Openness to Experience Strongest association with women: O Strongest association with men: C Agreeableness Negatively correlated with deviance and delinquency NOT consistently associated with mental health & well being Higher stage individuals- more internalizing problems PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  Lower stage individuals- more externalizing problems Study by Roots et al (1980) evaluated sociometrically evaluated maturity in college women- did WUSCTED then measured for potential mature functioning in 4 adult social roles: career, marriage, parenthood, community involvement Found Ego development was positively related to peer ratings of maturity in carrers & community involvement BUT unrelated to maturity in marriage & parenthood (more interpersonally oriented social roles Study by Rosznafszky (1981) found strong connections between stages & ratings: Impulsive (I-2) veterans had higher levels f confused thinking, poor socialization, & limited self- awareness Conformist (I-3) & Conscientious/ Conformist (I-3/4) highly valued rules, social conventions, material possessions & physical appearance, & appeared highly stable Vets at higher levels (I-4 and I 4-5) had greater insight into own personality traits & motivations behind behavior, also expressed concern about interpersonal communication Mapping L’s stages onto Tripate typology of personality characteristics: Conflicted types: high N, low ego resiliency- anxious, hostile, aloof- LOW ego dev. Traditional types: high conscientiousness & ego control, traditional values, high levels of guilt- MID levels of ego dev. Individuated types: high in ego resilience & O, and strong levels of individual ambition & personal warmth- HIGH ego dev. Conclusions from study by John et al. (1998) Woman scoring at highest levels of ego development classified by psychologists as individuated & thus rated as open-minded, introspective, & resilient under stress Women at middle regions adopt conventional cultural norms & seen as traditional & dutiful Women at lowest levels viewed as conflicted, defensive, ambivalent, & highly dissatisfied with self PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  PART IV: Making a Life The Stories We Live By CHAPTER 10 Life Scripts, Life Stories • In modern society, men and women expect their own lives and the lives of others should be endowed with some central meaning, overall unity and purpose • Modern lives are meaningful to the extent to which they conform to or express culturally meaningful stories • Anthony Giddens: a person’s identity is not to be found in behavior, but in the capacity to keep a particular narrative going • The story of Jerome Johnson told at the beginning of this chapter is an example of ‘the redemptive self’ • Life stories are imaginative and creative productions that each of us constructs and reconstructs as we move through our adult years • We make life stories by making a story, the stories we make become part of who we are • Aperson’s internalized and evolving life story (narrative identity) is part of his or her personality • Life stories tell us how a person sees his or her life in the overall and over time and what the overall meaning and purpose of that life might be The Meaning of Life Stories The Narrating Mind • Human beings are storytellers by nature • Stories are less about facts and more about meanings, in the subjective and embellished telling of the past, the past is constructed and history is made • History is judged with respect to ‘believability’and ‘coherence’ • Narrative truth in life is removed from logic, science, and empirical demonstration • The human brain is designed to construe experience in narrative terms • Consciousness begins when brains acquire the power of telling a story without words, it’s a matter of mentally taking on the position of narrator • Consciousness involves the kind of stream of online narration that flows through the minds of most sentient human beings • Integration and multiplicity is achieved by virtue of the brains power to construct and interpret personal experience through stories • Athe highest level of consciousness, a personal narrative is constructed PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  • Paradigmatic mode of thought: we seek to comprehend our experience in terms of tightly reasoned analysis, logical proof, and empirical observation • Narrative mode of thought: concerns itself with stories, events are explained in terms of human actors striving to do things over time o I may wish to explain a friend’s unusual behavior this weekend in terms of my understanding of what the friend wants in life and why he has never been able to get it, going back to my account of frustrations he experienced with his wife 3 years ago • Masters of the paradigmatic mode try to say no more than they mean, logical explanations construed in such a way that they block the triggering of presuppositions, they do not encourage differences of opinion, seeks to untangle cause and effect to explain working models of storytelling, but is generally unable to make much sense of desire, goal and social conduct Healing and Integration • Integration and healing are two primary psychological functions of stories and storytelling • Children’s fairy tells help children work through internal conflicts by unconsciously identifying with the heroine and vicariously experiencing, for example, Cinderella’s frustration and sadness and her eventual triumph • Adult’s do as well as seen which the book When bad things happen to Good people, which helped a good friend of the author whose baby was born a stillborn • Simply writing or performing a story about oneself can prove to be an experience of healing and growth o St.Augustine wrote a respective self-analysis to regroup and recover form a shattered and disorder state of mind • The desire to find some kind of personal integration in life is commonly expressed by those who choose to write autobiographies • Roth Zuckerman composes an autobiography which contains the facts of how he came to be a writer – this is not well advised o Suggests our lives reduce to simplistic platitudes and worn-out expressions without our imaginations, only left with the cliché’s • Some psychoanalysts maintain that the development of a coherent life story is a major goal of therapy o Illness amounts to at least part of the suffering from an incoherent story or an inadequate narrative account of the self • James Pennebaker and colleagues conducted experiments effect of disclosing narrative accounts of personal traumas o Asked to write down most upsetting or traumatic experience in entire life o Example’s:  Male who was beaten by step father who attempted suicide with his stepfather’s gun, only to be fail, and be laughed at by him  Female who accused father of infidelity in front of mother, was correct and it lead to divorce and overwhelming guilt  10 year old girl who was asked to clean room before grandma came, grandmother slipped on a toy, broke her hip and died in surgery  boy who was told by father that he is leaving his mother because their home had been disrupted ever since he was born • Many cry during disclose and feel depressed after but respondents rate the experience as valuable • Pennebaker and Beall o Undergrads to write about most traumatic and stressful experience of their lives over 4 consecutive days PSYC 332­ Introduction to Personality  o One group wrote about facts surrounding trauma but not feelings (trauma-factual condition) o Another wrote about feelings but not facts (trauma-emotion) o Third wrote about feelings and facts concerning trauma (trauma-combination)  Participants who disclosed info about both facts and feelings in traumatic event had better health during 6 subsequent months than other three groups  Opportunity to tell the full story of stressful experience form the past- providing both facts and feelings about facts, work to enhance one’s health • Personal confession and disclosure of negative events can improve health and minimize unwanted thoughts about traumas • Study with people whose spouses had died in car accidents or suicides found those who talked with other’s about spouses death reported o (a) fewer problems with unwanted ruminations and obsessive thoughts o (b) fewer health problems during the following year • those who wrote about deeply traumatic events rather than mil
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