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Chapter 10

Chapter 10 Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Marc A Fournier

Chapter 10: Life Scripts, Life Stories PSYB30 Jerome Johnson was African-American who was assigned to be Martin Luther King Jr.s bodyguard o He had considered quitting the police force because blacks werent being promoted, but MLK told him not to give up o His stories are filled with overcoming adversity (racial, monetary, etc.) Traits, motivations, development, dont completely explain Johnsons life, and not what it mean to him Modern world wants people to have identity and meaning in life We make a life by making a story, and they become part of us 3 levels of personality: o Level 1 dispositional outline (traits) o Level 2 characteristic adaptations (motivations, cognition, development) o Level 3 life stories Tell us what overall meaning of life might be THE MEANING OF STORIES THE NARRATING MIND We are storytellers by nature Stories are subjective, let us draw meaning Consciousness is mentally taking the position of narrator Bruner said human beings evolved to interpret personal experiences in terms of stories Bruners 2 ways of understanding world: o Paradigmatic mode: Understand experience using logic, proof and empirical observation We want to predict and control reality Look for cause and effect, exemplified by scientists www.notesolution.comChapter 10: Life Scripts, Life Stories PSYB30 o Narrative mode: Tendency to make sense of experience through stories Things arent explained by physical or logical causes Deals with human wants, needs and goals Tells story of human actor wanting to do something over time Stories try to say more than they mean, have multiple meanings, paradigmatic mode doesnt try to say more than they mean (clear and precise) HEALING AND INTEGRATION Stories entertain and teach, integrate and heal (psychological stress) Writing about oneself can help us heal, grow and integrate different parts of our lives Psychotherapy attempts to help us rewrite, revise and make sense of our lives through story Pennebaker et al. have studied how life-storytelling can have positive effect on coping and mental health o Told participants to write about traumatic life event, found that many were depressed during and after writing, but found it valuable o *Pennebaker and Beall (1986) found that people that wrote about facts of trauma and the emotions that were associated with it had the best health during a 6 month period Telling full life story of stressful experience, and feelings about it may enhance health Just reporting facts or emotions themselves didnt really help There is some evidence that writing about deeply traumatic events has positive physiological effects o Pennebaker argues that inhibiting feels and thoughts about negative events takes physiological toll Storytelling may help us let go of trauma Degree of negative emotion expressed and extent trauma is made into well-formed story is how disclosure reduces physiological arousal and obsessive thought www.notesolution.com
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