Cognitive-Social Learning Theories in Personality Notes by hcj


									                  Cognitive-Social Learning Theories in Personality

We each have a set of personal standers that grew out of our own life history and thus
shape our behavior. In this light, behavior is seen as the interaction of cognition, learning
and past experiences and the current environment.

Albert Bandura
   - Expectancies – people evaluate situations based on these (what a person expects
       from a situation or their behavior)
           o Based on personal preferences/past experiences
           o The actual feedback will in turn mold future expectancies
   - This leads people to conduct themselves according to performance standards
           o Individually determined standards of excellence by which we judge our
           o If you meet your own performance standards then you get
   - Self-efficacy
           o The expectancy that your efforts will be successful
   - Locus of control is a common expectancy (Julian Rotter) by which people view a
           o Internal locus of control – they can control their own fate. Through hard
               work, skill, and training, they can find reinforcements and avoid
           o External locus of control – do not believe they control their own fate.
               Instead they are convinced that chance, luck, and the behavior of others
               determines their destiny and that they are helpless to change the course of
               their lives. – learned helplessness
   - The key is to combine personal expectancies with situational variables to
       explain human behavior
   - The way we behave is our explanatory style (optimism or pessimism)
           o Could develop as young as 8

         Learning                                                       Cognition

Feature Film/Classroom Exercise: Schindler’s List and
Personal Control
A brief clip from Schindler’s List provides an excellent
introduction to the psychological research on personal
control. Start the clip at 98 minutes 16 seconds into the
film and run it for 4 minutes, 35 seconds. While at the
commandant’s house party, Schindler walks down the
steps to the basement and introduces himself to Helen,
a Jewish maid and prisoner. In reflecting on her experience,
Helen explains her despair to Schindler. She has
learned that her actions and outcomes are unrelated.
After vividly describing the arbitrary beating she
received at the hands of the brutal commandant on her
arrival, she goes on to give an account of how he
recently shot and killed a passerby without reason.
“There are no set rules to live by,” she laments.
Although Schindler tries to reassure her, it is clear that
Helen has lost all sense of personal control. After
showing this powerful clip you might form small
groups to discuss the following questions.
1. One important aspect of personality is our sense of
personal control—whether we learn to see ourselves
as controlling, or as controlled by, our environments.
Briefly describe a time in your life when
your efforts seemed to make little difference. What
effects did those feelings have on you?
2. Concentration camp and prison inmates experience
little control over their lives. What other groups are
likely to feel that they have little control over their
outcomes? What do you think are the long-term
effects on them?
Chapter 15 Personality 23
3. How do you think gender, age, and race might
influence one’s feelings of control? How might
religious faith influence one’s feelings of control?
4. Do you feel you have more control in some areas
of life than others? Describe and explain one
5. What are the most important factors influencing
one’s sense of control?

Personality Assessment

Four Types
   1. Personal Interview
   2. Direct Observation
   3. Objective Tests
   4. Projective Tests

Personal Interview
   -   Unstructured
   -   Structured – better at comparative and drawing out sensitive topics

Direct Observation
   - Behaviorists and Social Learning theorists like this way since they can see how
       the environment interacts
   - Works best with young children, since most of us get self conscious
   - Can misinterpret motives
   - Expensive
   - Presence can change behavior

Objective Tests
   - Personality Inventories
   - Written tests / standard scoring
   - Drawbacks – self report (oftentimes peers that know you will do a better job than
      you do) your familiarity with them may influence responses
   - Catell Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire
          o 16PF
          o Has helped in the role traits play in cancer, heart disease, alcoholism, and
             war-related stress
   - NEO-PI-R (Big Five)
          o Geared to assess a normal adult
          o May be useful in a clinical setting
   - Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2)
          o Originally used to diagnose psychiatric disorders
          o T / F or cannot say
          o Test contains an L or lie scale and similar questions worded different ways
             to overcome self-report bias

Projective Tests
   - Simple ambiguous stimuli that can elicit an unlimited number of responses to get
       to the unconscious
   - More relaxed
   - Harder to fake, because you don’t know the true purpose
   - Rorschach Test
   - Thematic Apperception Test ( 20 cards picturing one or more human figures in
       ambiguous situations
           o Shown a card and asked to write a story about the situation (what are they
               doing, feeling, and what will happen.)
           o Interp in light of one’s personal knowledge
           o Content, language, originality, organization, and consistency
           o Recurring themes get most attention
           o Valid, relaibable?

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