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Chapter 8

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Chapter 8 Social-cognitive approaches to personality – human beings are complex information-processing systems that operate in social environments The Psychology of Personal Constructs George Kelly’s Theory (Page 304!! COROLLARY) A person is motivated to predict or anticipate what will happen to him or her Each of us classifies our world by developing personal constructs – characteristic ways of how things are alike and diff from one another (more like hypotheses to be tested than like assumed facts)  Every construct is bipolar (dichotomy corollary)  People best understood in their own construct systems  Each person develops their own construct system that contains a number of constructs organized into a hierarchy (organizational corollary)  Every person’s construct system is unique (individuality corollary)  To know another person’s construct system is to see the world through their eyes (sociality corollary)  W/in a person’s construct system, particular constructs differ from one another w/ respect to the range of convenience – the extent to which a given personal constructs is likely to guide a person’s interpretation of events and the behaviour he or she is likely to show (range corollary)  Some constructs are highly permeable and others aren’t (modulation corollary) o Person with an especially permeable construct system is likely to be seen by others as very-opened minded o Complete permeable isn’t good, doesn’t function well  When a person’s constructs are mutually incompatible and contradictory, then they are more likely to have a difficult time making consistent sense of the world and anticipating events in an adaptive way (fragmentation corollary) Kelly views anxiety as the recognition that the events w/ which one is confronted lie outside the range of convenience of one’s construct system Core role structure – the construction a person has of who they are in relation to significant people, such as parents. Guilt is the perception that one is no longer living according to one’s personal-construct system Exploring Personal Constructs: The Rep Test Role Construct Repertory Test (Rep Test) – designed to explore personal constructs in people’s lives  One version asks you to make a series of comparisons among those who play important roles in your life o Compile a Role Title list, similar and contrast o Each of the parings represents a single construct o People who use many different kinds of constructs are said to manifest higher levels of cognitive complexity and tend to view the world in high differentiated manner o People who use few different kinds of constructs are viewed has having a simpler, more global construct system Cognitive Styles and Personality Cognitive styles – people’s characteristics and typically preferred modes of processing information  Partly captures in Openness to Experience (O), people high in O tent to process info in a more nuanced, differentiated, and abstract matter while those low in O see fewer distinctions and adhere to concrete and clearly defined categories Field Independence – Dependence A general dimension of cognitive style ranging from highly analytical and differentiated processing of information (field-independence) to highly contextual and global processing (field-dependence) Tilted chair/room Witkin  Field-dependent o People who use room as the reference for their adjustment. o Perception and judgment of perpendicularity depend on the “field,” or environment  Field-independent o People who bypass the field and make their perception and judgment according to inner cues Dimension has two poles  Highly field-independent people o Process info in an especially analytical and differentiated style o They rely on internal frames of reference that enable them to act upon info in a highly independent fashion  Highly field-dependent people employ external frames of reference available in the field  Base their perceptions on the external context w/in which they occurs Embedded Figures Test – person attempts to find forms hidden in an embedding field Field-independence  Associated w/ greater levels of perceptual and cognitive restructuring  Tend to reshape info from the environment according to internalized plans, rules, and goals  View info in the nonsocial world in a highly differentiated manner  Predicts the ability to block our irrelevant info and focus attention on central tasks and stimuli in complex learning situations  Cops of high FI make more accurate judgments under high-stimulation crime conditions  Drawn to careers that require cognitive restructuring and objective analysis of info, such as careers in science, math, management, mechanics  Men score toward FI Field-dependence  More global and intuitive in processing info about the world  Tend to engage in less cognitive restructuring, accepting info from the environment in its own contextual terms, rather than employing internal plans and guidelines for info  Tend to be more interested in humanitarian and social-welfare professions, such as careers in the ministry, social work, teaching young children, social sciences, selling and advertising  More senitive to social context  Pay closer attention to interpersonal cues ans social info  Spend more time lookint at people than inanimate objects and make more eye contact when talking w/ others  Prefer being physically closer to others  Women score toward FD Integrative Complexity Integrative complexity – the extent to which a person reasons about issues in a differentiated and integrative manner  Assessed through written material People high in IC  Make many conceptual distinctions and see many interconnections when interpreting and making sense of intellectual and social issues People low in IC  See fewer distinctions and tend to reason about the world in a holistic manner Examples of politics, war, illness, slavery Social-Cognitive Theory and the Person Social Intelligence Nancy Cantor and John Kihlstorm argue that the key to understanding personality coherence is social intelligence – each person’s set of skills, abilities, and knowledge about social situations According to them social interaction involves problem solving Consists of three different kinds of organized knowledge: concepts, episodes, and rules. Concepts and episodes may be grouped together as aspects of declarative knowledge Concepts are the
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