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Chapter 8

PSYB30 Chapter 8.docx

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Marc A Fournier

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PSYB30 Chapter 8 Self and Other: Social-Cognitive Aspects of Personality - Social-cognitive approaches to personality psychology -> human beings are complex information processing systems that operate in social environments - Social-cognitive approaches to personality focus on how people make and use mental representations of selves, others and social worlds o How these mental representations are implicated in behavior - People differ from one another in how they construe themselves and the social world The Psychology of Personal Constructs George Kelly -> Personal Construct Theory Kelly rejected the search for underlying principles of WHY people do things and concluded that people are alive and act by virtue of being alive Kelly’s principle of motivation: A person is motivated to predict or anticipate what will happen to him or her o What moves ppl to act, is the desire to know what the world has in store for them - Each of us classifies his/her world by developing personal constructs (characteristic ways of construing how some things are alike and some things are different) - Every construct is bipolar o Specifying how two things are similar to e/o (lying on same pole) o And differing from a third thing (lying on opposite pole) E.g. Classifying friends on personality construct of serious/funny: - Grant and Jack are serious; Dan differs from both in that he is funny - Constructs help predict/control interpersonal world Superordinal vs Subordinal constructs - Ppl best understood in terms of their own constructs systems - Ppl develop own construct systems containing number of constructs organized into a hierarchy (organization corollary) - W/ in construct system : 1) Superordinal constructs ; encompassing many other constructs 2) Subordinal constructs ; being encompassed by larger constructs  Eg the subordinal construct of helpful/unhelpful may be encompassed by superordinal construct of friendly/unfriendly - Helps us anticipate/speculate events/situations ; anticipations guide behavior and experience - Everyone’s personal construct system is unique - W/ in a given person’s construct system , particular constructs differ from one another with respect to their range of convenience (range corollary)  If the construct friendly/unfriendly has a WIDE range of convenience ; it is likely to guide the person’s
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