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 behavior 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 situation o Internal locus of control – they can control their own fate. Through hard work, skill, and training, they can find reinforcements and avoid punishments 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 Environment 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 difference. 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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