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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Notes

Course Code
Marc A Fournier

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Chapter 8
-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
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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-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
-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
-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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