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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Textbook notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Marc A Fournier

Chapter 8- Self and Other: Social-Cognitive Aspects of Personality Computer as a metaphor: human bodily functions are like a computer o Humans being process information in order to act Social-cognitive approaches to personality: psychology begin with the assumption that human beings are complex information-processing systems that operate in social environments Among the most important inputs in human life are our perceptions and impressions of others, which shape and are shaped by our perceptions and impressions of ourselves Focus on how people make and use mental representations of themselves, of others, and of their social worlds and how those representations are implicated in social behaviour Cognition influences social behaviour, and social behaviour influences cognition Social-cognitive adaptations in personality take us beyond broad dispositional traits to spell out the contextualized and contingent nature of human lives If traits provide a rough sketch of psychological individuality, then the characteristic mental representations of self and social behaviour that people construct- their characteristic self-conceptions, beliefs, values and so on- help to fill many of the details The Psychology of Personal Constructs George A. Kelly (1905-1966) wrote and published his two-volume The psychology of Personal Constructs in 1955 The unusual terms Kelly proposed became part of the standard lexicon of personality psychology- terms such as personal construct, range of convenience, fixed-role therapy, and Rep Test An early death prevented his developing and refining the theory further www.notesolution.comGeorge Kellys Theory Many personality theories have traditionally assigned a central role to human motivation Kelly asserted that the problem of human motivation is not a problem at all o The search for underlying principles to explain why people do what they do is futile o People are alive. They act by virtue of being alive. Its really quite simple o Implies a fundamental principle of motivation: A person is motivated to predict or anticipate what will happen to him or her o What moves people to act is their desire to know what the world has in store for them o Mankind, whose progress in search of prediction and control of surrounding events stands out so clearly in light of the centuries, comprises the men we see around us every day. The aspirations of the scientist are essentially the aspirations of all men. Kelly Kellys model for human life is a common-sense brand of science o Science begins when the observer seeks to make initial sense of the world by imposing some kind of organization upon it William James called the blooming, buzzing confusion of subjective human experience must be ordered, classified, and divided into categories if the scientist is to know anything at all According to Kelly, each of us classifies his or her world by developing personal constructs, which are characteristic ways of constructing how some things are alike and some things are different from one another Every construct is bipolar (dichotomy corollary), specifying how two things are similar to each other (same pole) and different from a third thing (opposite pole) Kellys Fundamental Postulate and Eleven Corollaries Fundamental Postulate: A persons processes are psychologically channelized by the ways in which he or she anticipates events Construction Corollary: A person anticipates events by constructing their replications Individuality Corollary: Persons differ from one another in their construction of events Organization Corollary: Each person characteristically evolves, for his or her convenience www.notesolution.comin anticipating events, a construction system embracing ordinal relationships between constructs Dichotomy Corollary: A persons construction system is composed of a finite number of dichotomous constructs Choice Corollary: A person chooses for him- or herself that alternative in a dichotomized construct through which he or she anticipates the greater possibility for extension and definition of his or her system Range Corollary: A construct is convenient for the anticipation of a finite range of events only Experience Corollary: A persons construction system varies as he or she successively construes the replications of events Modulation Corollary: the variation in a persons construction system is limited by the permeability of the constructs within whose range of convenience the variance lie Fragmentation Corollary: A person may successively employ a variety of construction subsystems that are inferentially incompatible with each other Communality Corollary: To the extent that one person employs a construction of experience that is similar to that employed by another, his or her psychological processes are similar to those of the other person Sociality Corollary: To the extent that one person construes the construction process or another, he or she plays a role in a social process involving the other person People are best understood in terms of their own construct systems Each person develops his or her own construct system that contains a number of constructs organized in a hierarchy (organization corollary) o This means that within any construct system certain constructs are superordinal (encompassing many other constructs) and others are subordinal (being encompassed by larger constructs) o Ex. The construct of helpfulunhelpful may be part of the larger construct of friendlyunfriendly Within a given persons construct system, particular constructs differ from one another with respect to their range of convenience (range corollary) There are marked individual differences across persons with respect to range Constructs are more like hypotheses to be tested than like assumed facts Anticipations guide behaviour and experience Constructs differ in other ways too. Some constructs are highly permeable whereas others are not (modulation corollary). A permeable construct is open to modification and the introduction of new elements www.notesolution.com
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