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Chapter 17: Self-Regulation Chapter 15: Personal Constructs. Theories of Personality May 9, 2003 Class #14. Self-Regulation Perspective. Over the past two decades self-regulation theory has emerged to offer a whole new perspective on human behavior

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chapter 17 self regulation chapter 15 personal constructs

Chapter 17:Self-RegulationChapter 15:Personal Constructs

Theories of Personality

May 9, 2003

Class #14

self regulation perspective
Self-Regulation Perspective
  • Over the past two decades self-regulation theory has emerged to offer a whole new perspective on human behavior
  • With its focus on the ways in which individuals direct and monitor their activities and emotions to attain their goals, the theory provides a dynamic framework for understanding the complexities of behavior in response to emotionally provocative events, such as illness and stressful experiences
    • People are always striving to attain a goal
      • This being a never-ending battle
constant monitoring
Constant Monitoring…
  • Behavior is regulated by cycles involving the monitoring of one’s own status, comparison of status with expectations, and “course correction” when they don’t match
self monitoring life as theater
Self-Monitoring: Life as theater
  • There seems to be degrees to which people attend to and control the impression they make on others in social interactions
    • High self-monitoring
      • Very sensitive to how they are being perceived by others
      • Good at adjusting how people see them
      • Good actors
      • Good at reading others
self monitoring life as theater1
Self-Monitoring: Life as theater
  • Low self-monitoring
    • Either don’t care or lack ability to detect how they are perceived by others
    • Don’t attempt to adjust
from cognitions to behavior
From Cognitions to Behavior
  • Motor schemas
    • Information that helps us to produce behavior, action
    • Information or schemas used for understanding, will influence later behavior
  • Considering the role or memory
    • As you think about a situation, you activate certain memory nodes
    • Behavioral qualities linked to those nodes also become activated, making these behaviors more likely to occur
self regulation and feedback control
Self-regulation and feedback control
  • Feedback loop
    • Self-regulating system
      • Like thermostat in your house
        • Regulate towards a goal, standard or reference value
          • For example: 68 degrees
        • Perception of present situation or behavior
          • Present temp. is 70 degrees
        • Comparing present situation (or behavior) with goal  (comparator)
          • 2 degrees too warm
        • Change in behavior (or situation) if needed
          • AC kicks on to cool house to 68 degrees
albert bandura was involved with this theory as well
Albert Bandura was involved with this theory as well…
  • Self-regulation -- controlling our own behavior -- was the “workhorse” of human personality.  He suggests three important steps in this process:
  • 1.  Self-observation
    • We look at ourselves, our behavior, and keep tabs on it.
  • 2.  Judgment
    • We compare what we see with a standard
      • For example, we can compare our performance with traditional standards, such as “rules of etiquette” 
    • Or we can create arbitrary ones, like “I’ll read a book a week” 
    • Or we can compete with others, or with ourselves
bandura s self regulation views
Bandura’s self-regulation views…
  • 3. Self-response
    • If you did well in comparison with your standard, you give yourself rewarding self-responses
    • If you did poorly, you give yourself punishing self-responses
    • These self-responses can range from the obvious (treating yourself to a sundae or working late) to the more covert (feelings of pride or shame)
are you hard or easy on yourself
Are you hard or easy on yourself?
  • A very important concept in psychology that can be understood well with self-regulation is self-concept (better known as self-esteem)
    • If, over the years, you find yourself meeting your standards and life loaded with self-praise and self-reward, you will have a pleasant self-concept (high self-esteem)
    • If, on the other hand, you find yourself forever failing to meet your standards and punishing yourself, you will have a poor self-concept (low self-esteem).
implications of self regulation model
Implications of self-regulation model
  • Behavior is purposeful
    • Much effort to adjust behavior to meet criteria or goal
  • Process of self regulation is continuous and never-ending
    • For example: maintaining good grades, job performance, etc.
research methods on self regulation
Research Methods on Self Regulation
  • Evaluation of self through measure such as self-consciousness scale
    • Hypothesis that self focus should increase comparator process
    • Behavior should then shift to more closely correspond with goal
    • Findings usually show that self attention caused greater conformity to the value or goal
self regulation therapy
Self Regulation Therapy
  • Effort is made to break down automatic thoughts/ behaviors which may be maladaptive
  • Then work to make desired responses more automatic (in place of problem responses)
  • Often accomplished through imagery, role play, homework in real life settings
  • Process of therapy is a feedback system
  • Process of therapy is dynamic as goals, behavior are shifting
  • Emphasis on problem solving skills (means-ends analysis)
potential problems in self regulation process
Potential Problems in self-regulation process
  • At times, self regulation is driven by lower level goals
  • We may temporarily lose sight of higher order goals
    • For example:
      • When describing ourselves, tend to focus on what we DO, suggests importance of program level
potential problems in self regulation process1
Potential Problems in self-regulation process
  • Metaphor of human computer may depersonalize, doesn't consider free will, spirituality
  • People try to match several values at once
    • Form example:
      • Caring for family, completing work goals, etc.
      • Can cause conflict
george kelly 1905 1967
George Kelly (1905-1967)
  • Born in 1905 in Kansas
  • He pursued undergraduate study for three years at Friends University followed by one year at Park College
  • Here he graduated with the Bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics, but his interests had already begun to shift to social problems--perhaps in part because of experiences that he had gained in intercollegiate debates
  • In line with this newly developing interest, he pursued graduate study in educational sociology at the University of Kansas
  • His master's thesis was a study of the leisure time activities of workers in Kansas City, and he completed minor studies in labor relations and sociology
kelly s background
Kelly’s Background
  • At this point, George Kelly's activities expanded to include a wide range of teaching in different situations
  • He was a part-time instructor in a labor college in Minneapolis
  • He taught classes in speech for the American Bankers Association, and he taught an Americanization class for future citizens
  • An additional brief spell as an aeronautical engineer in Wichita followed teaching experience in Iowa and at the University of Minnesota
  • In 1929, he moved to the University of Edinburgh as an exchange scholar
kelly s background1
Kelly’s Background
  • He then returned to the United States and became a graduate student in psychology at the State University of Iowa. In 1931, he received his Ph.D. with a dissertation dealing with common factors in speech and reading disabilities
kelly s personal construct theory
Kelly's Personal Construct Theory
  • Kelly placed the emphasis on cognition in personality development
  • Cognition includes the processes involved in thinking, problem solving and predicting events in the environment and Kelly believed that each of us acts like a natural scientist in that one of our prime needs is to predict and control events in our environment
    • We think about what happens to us and we construct theories about what's going on, attempting to satisfy the drive to make sense of things
a hypothetical example
A Hypothetical Example…
  • If you ask your normally helpful Psychology professor for help and he gives you the brush-off, you don't just leave it at that…
    • You try and figure out a reason…
      • Did you ask in the wrong way?
      • Had you done something to upset him?
      • Perhaps he's got problems that are causing him to have a “bad day”?
  • You cast your mind back over his and your behavior and try to work out why this has happened, establishing a theory or two and trying to see how they fit the observed facts
like a scientist
Like a scientist…
  • Just like a scientist you create your own way of seeing the world in which you live
  • You builds constructs and try them on for size
  • In an uncertain universe, the constructs we establish should, like a scientific hypothesis, also have predictive power
kelly s personal construct theory1
Kelly's Personal Construct Theory
  • In Kelly's view we all develop a set of personal constructs which we use to make sense of the world and the people in it
  • Our construct systems are not static. They are confirmed or challenged every moment we are conscious
another hypothetical example
Another hypothetical example…
  • If we believe that Arctic Airlines offers the best service in the world, and then we have a dreadful trip where everything goes wrong, we do one of two things:
    • We either adapt our construct system, altering our feelings about them in the light of our experience or we immunize our construct system, with thoughts like “They must have been having a really bad day”, or “Yes, but the airport was so overcrowded they didn't stand a chance”
our construct systems influence our expectations and perceptions
Our construct systems influence our expectations and perceptions…
  • Also, if we're expecting Arctic Airlines to treat us well, we probably get on the plane in a better mood than we would on an airline which gave us poor treatment last time
  • If our experience is that Arctic's cabin staff always smile when they meet us, we probably board the plane with a smile ourselves
  • We might not notice when Arctic's service fails to live up to standard, but pay attention when it happens with the other airline
  • Because our construct systems reflect our past experience, they also influence our expectations and behavior
some constructs and some aspects of our construct systems are more important than others
Some constructs, and some aspects of our construct systems, are more important than others…
  • The airline example repeats in every area of our experience…
    • We feel, think, and behave according to our construct system
    • We adapt our constructs, immunize them, or have them confirmed
    • Some of our constructs - those which represent our core values and concern our key relationships - are complex, quite firmly fixed, wide-ranging, and difficult to change
    • Others, about things which don't matter so much, or about which we haven't much experience, are simpler, narrower, and carry less personal commitment