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6 Apr 2011
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Chapter 8
SELF AND OTHER: SOCIAL- COGNITIVE ASPECTS OF PERSONALITY
-one of a computers biggest impact on psychology is the metaphor is provides us with
-we are like computers in many ways
-social cognitive approaches to personality psychology begin with the assumption that
human beings are complex information- processing systems that operate in social
environments
The Psychology of Personal Constructs
-George A. Kelly
-saw the person as a scientist seeking to predict, control, and explain the social world
George Kellys Theory
-“a person is motivated to predict or anticipate what will happen to him or her
-person acts because they are alive; act by virtue of being alive
-science begins when the observer seeks to make initial sense of the world by imposing some
kind of organization upon it
-each of us classifies our world by developing personal constructs: characteristic ways of
construing how some things are alike and some things are different from one another
-every construct is bipolar: have two opposite poles
-each person develops their constructs in a hierarchy: organization corollary
-superordinal constructs: encompassing many other constructs
-and subordinal constructs: being encompassed by larger constructs
-range of convenience (range corollary): particular constructs differ from one another due to
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this
-in Kellys words... ...fundamental postulate; a persons processes are psychologically
channelized by the ways in which they anticipate events
-some constructs are highly permeable whereas others are not (modulation corollary); open
to modification and the intro of new elements; this person is very open-minded
-in Kellys view, the unconscious is merely those constructs that are nonverbal, submerged,
or suspended
-views anxiety as the recognition that the events with which one is confronted lie outside
the range of convenience of ones construct system; if we are confronted by something and
our construct system feels unprepared, we experience anxiety
-views guilt as a perception of ones apparent dislodgement from his core role structure
-core role structure: the construct a person has of who he or she is in relation to significant
people, such as parents
Exploring Personal Constructs: The Rep Test
-the Role Construct Repertory Test
-personal assessment test to test personal constructs
-construct complexity as revealed by the rep test; showed that people who used many
different constructs are said to manifest higher levels of cognitive complexity
-also show construct similarity between friends
Cognitive Styles and Personality
-cognitive styles: peoples characteristic and typically preferred modes of processing
information
-on the borderline of personality and intelligence
-cognitive styles are captured mostly in O; high O process info in more nuanced,
differentiated, and abstract manner
-low O see fewer distinctions and adhere to concrete and clearly defined categories
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-two dimensions of cognitive style worth mentioning below
Field Independence- Dependence
-field dependent: using the surroundings to determine/ solve a problem; process by
employing external frames of reference available in the field
-field independent: using perception and personal judgement to determine/ solve a problem;
process info in analytical and differentiated style
-most people fall in between these two
-aggregates for both on page 311
-field independent officers are better to ignore distracting sights and sounds and were more
accurate in deciding when to shoot their gun
-field independent students found it easier to provide a disorganized field with organization
-studies suggest that FD person is more sensitive to social context than FI
-women more likely to be FD
-men more likely to be FI
-children generally more FD; develop towards FI
-parental authority levels help control this development
-cross cultural studies show that hunting/ gathering tribes tend to be FI; agricultural
societies FD
Integrative Complexity
-the extent to which a person reasons about issues in a differentiated and integrative
manner
-high in IC make many conceptual distinctions and see many interconnections when
interpreting and making sense of intellectual and social issues
-low IC see fewer distinctions and tend to reason about the world in a holistic manner
-differences in IC can be assessed through content analysis of written material
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Document Summary

Self and other: social- cognitive aspects of personality. One of a computer"s biggest impact on psychology is the metaphor is provides us with. Social cognitive approaches to personality psychology begin with the assumption that human beings are complex information- processing systems that operate in social environments. Saw the person as a scientist seeking to predict, control, and explain the social world. A person is motivated to predict or anticipate what will happen to him or her . Person acts because they are alive; act by virtue of being alive. Science begins when the observer seeks to make initial sense of the world by imposing some kind of organization upon it. Each of us classifies our world by developing personal constructs: characteristic ways of construing how some things are alike and some things are different from one another. Every construct is bipolar: have two opposite poles. Each person develops their constructs in a hierarchy: organization corollary.

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