Topic 5a: Social-Cognitive Approach {by 11/4}

There are three readings due this week – Text Chs. 12 (pp. 312-319) & 14 on the Social Cognitive approach and Kelly (1955).  Address the following two discussion points: (1) A good portion of this week’s readings focuses on George Kelly and his theory of personal constructs.  Identify a couple of points related to personal constructs that resonate with your understanding of cognitions and social learning.  (2) Walter Mischel is also credited with the social cognitive reconceptualization of personality.  What did you take away from Mischel’s theory that shows a move towards stronger consideration of a person’s thoughts?  Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 11/4.  Have your two replies no later than 11/6.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jillian Harrison
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 09:24:41

    George Kelly believed that the personality of an individual was made up of multiple constructs through which the individual views and interprets reality. According to this theory, the individual is seen as a scientist who, in order to understand the world around us, must predict future events and theorize their findings. These constructs are the theories that are interpreted by our experiences and observations. Because the world is experienced through the lens of these constructs, these constructs then determine thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This attributes directly to learning by use of trial and error. As the person, or the scientist, experiences the world, they predict events and outcomes and apply their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors using a construct. If the outcome is congruent with the prediction, then the individual assumes that their construct is useful and will apply that construct again in a similar situation. If the prediction is wrong, then the individual will amend the construct or abandon it altogether, thus indicating that learning is occurring.

    Walter Mischel created the Cognitive-Affective Model of personality. His theory relied heavily on the role of situational cues that determine behavior. This is to say that the same event, but in a different situation will elicit a different reaction from the same individual. This process marks a shift in the way psychologists understand personality from external cues or biological make-up, to cognitions, as this theory involves the judgment, thinking, and other cognitive processes of an individual in order to interpret a situation.

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    • Brittany King
      Nov 03, 2015 @ 16:18:25

      We had a very similiar interpretation of the material this week! When reading more on Kelly, I found it really interesting when he described people as scientist where they construe behavior by categorizing, labelling, interpreting, and judging the world and themselves. When I think of a scientist I think of someone conducting experiments, getting a result and then modifying their experiment if they do not get the results they want. Kelly saw a similar thing happen with people’s predictios of events and outcomes when they apply it to their own thoughts, feelings and behaviors in terms of a construct. You mentioned how if a predicition is wrong, the person will fic the construct or leave it altogether. When thinking of a person as a scietnist in relation to Kelly’s ideas, it really helps see where he was heading. You made a great connection between Kelly’s theory and social learning, great post!

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    • Janean Desjardins
      Nov 03, 2015 @ 22:57:46

      Jillian,
      I think that Mischel made a good point that you cannot take one person’s reaction to a single situation and determine their personality just from that situation. I agree with the thought the looking at different situations over a period of time will eventually lead one to see how a person may react in the future. One’s personality will most likely show overtime in those reactions especially if begin exposed and observed with the same situation.

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    • Marisa Molinaro
      Nov 04, 2015 @ 13:12:05

      Jillian, I agree with your post and found that we had similar comments! I find it interesting how personal constructs are so subjective and individual to each person. The way you explained the learning process as trial and error helped me understand the actual process of forming the constructs. I find Walter Mischel’s theory very similar to Kelly’s in that they are both very subjective and rely heavily on the experiences of the individual. The shift between behaviorism and cognitive thinking was made very clear in your post and I enjoyed reading it!

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    • Heather Lawrence
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 07:52:36

      The way psychologists understand personality and other cognitive processes of an individual in order to interpret a situation is still interestingly enough debatable. Mischel argues that you cannot take one person’s reaction to a single situation and determine their personality just from that one situation. Is a personality test really telling us about a person? If your late for an appointment, and sitting in a traffic jam, one probably won’t behave the same way if they are at home relaxed. Mischel would support the theory that we are what is outside, the situation. People do seem to be different in certain aspects. For example, some people also show remarkable similarities in certain situations e.g. their need to conform. Maybe the trick is in finding the balance between the two. A person may respond to situations in different ways. Thus, people do not act similar in all situations. They exhibit different behavioral responses in different situations. Personality is a diverse and complex cognitive process. It refers to the entire person, including his external appearance, traits, self-concept and situational interactions.

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  2. Brittany King
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 11:05:47

    (1)
    George Kelly’s personal construct theory attempts to see how the person views and aligns events on their own dimension (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). Kelly saw that different people may interpret the same event differently and that every event can be interpreted in alternative ways. In Kelly’s theory, the personal construct is a central feature. A personal construct is the subjective dimensions through which a person experience the world and the self (Mischel et al., 2008). An interesting aspect of this theory is that the idea of constructs and how people use them. Kelly believes that people use constructs to make sense of the world and to try to predict events ultimately building a map of the world and how to function within that map (Mischel et al., 2008). When a person’s construct system does not allow them to predict and interpret events and people in their life adequately, a person will develop feelings of uncertainty and helplessness. The uncertainty and helplessness can then experience anxiety.

    An important to piece to note is that when a major trauma or life crisis happens and the central concepts do not function adequately, threat is experiences and from that behavioral problems can develop. Kelly saw humans as scientist where they construe behavior by categorizing, labelling, interpreting, and judging the world and themselves. With social learning, a person is learning new response patterns by observing others perform them. A person will learn about potential consequences of certain behaviors through observation of someone else who engages in that behavior or something similar. Similar to what Kelly believes about humans being scientist and construing behaviors through interpreting and judging them based on the world.

    (2)
    Walter Mischel attempted to understand the consistency in personality where he addressed the assumption of trait theory. This assumption is that people behave in highly consistent ways across different situations. Mischel threw the field of personality psychology into a panic when he disputed this assumption based on objective evidence (Mischel et al., 2008). Mischel’s answer to this panic was an alternative answer where he proposed the social cognitive reconceptualization of personality where that consistency could be found by analyzing behavior in its situational context which lead to the if… then… situation-behavior patterns. This means that people act in ways that are consistent with the meaning that a given situation has for them (Mischel et al., 2008). Mischel believed that individual differences in personality come about in distinctive ways that people process and understand these situations. With the social cognitive reconceptualization of personality, there is consideration of a person’s thoughts. In this approach, there are a basic set of psychological social cognitive person variables where these variables characterize differences between people in how they interpret social stimuli and situations as they are in them (Mischel et al., 2008). Overall, the move was to a cognitive based approach where how to person interprets social stimuli and situations are taken into consideration.

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    • Salome Wilfred
      Nov 03, 2015 @ 15:14:52

      Brittany,

      I enjoyed your reading and understanding of Mischel’s move towards a stronger consideration of a person’s thoughts. I agree and think it is very important to understand that people process and understand situations while analyzing behavior. Lacking that information can potentially prevent true progress in therapy. I also, thought it was interesting that when Mischel explained his theory some researchers thought it meant that the situation or context was critical and individual differences was simply noise. It’s so important in these types of theories to take into consideration all aspects opposed to highlighting and emphasizing specific ones.

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    • Mark Joyce
      Nov 03, 2015 @ 20:59:06

      Brittany, you make a great point about the consequences for inadequate constructs. Schematic approaches significantly influence how we perceive the world and when these constructs are maladaptive that can lead to significant impairment. Your example of learned helplessness is a great example of the potential dysfunction of an individual’s constructs. Perceiving the world in a negative matter dramatically affects the manner in which one predicts and interprets events. Additionally, I appreciate your emphasis on social learning being a function of observing the rewards and consequences other individuals experience. This form of social learning or modeling is very powerful and can be a useful tool in modifying behavior.

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    • Janean Desjardins
      Nov 03, 2015 @ 23:09:58

      Brittany,
      I think you bring up good points here that I agreed with as well. I found it interesting as well when the person’s construct system did not allow them to predict and interpret events that they developed feelings of helplessness. It is up to them according to Kelly to turn that around and find their path back through self-determination and freedom. However, I like how you brought in the component of if a major trauma or life crisis happens and the central concepts for the person does not work. One needs to recognize that behavioral problems can start from here if not addressed right away in a more adequate manner. Kelly saw people as constantly learning, judging the world and themselves to get through.

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  3. Marisa Molinaro
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 13:34:42

    1. According to George Kelly, personal constructs are the ways in which we represent or view the unique experiences in our lives (Mischel, Shoda & Ayduk, 2008). This goes along with the cognitive approach because it takes into account what the individual is thinking and feeling about an experience. Many people could experience the same event and all develop their own personal constructs from that experience. He believes that the focus in therapy should be on the individual’s personal construct dimensions and not on where the individual falls on the dimensions of the psychologist’s theory (Mischel et al., 2008). Some points about personal constructs that resonate with my understanding of cognitions and social learning is that they are completely subjective and also there cannot be any implications made by the therapist as to what certain constructs mean for the individual. For example, if a client describes their husband or wife as being controlling, the therapist cannot just assume that they understand the word “controlling” according to the client and they need to gather more information to gain insight into this construct. It is also important to understand the opposites of these constructs. Some people may say their opposite of controlling is submissive, but your client may say the opposite of controlling to them is laidback. All of these things play a major role in how therapy is conducted using the personal construct theory and Kelly felt that gaining more insight into the client’s own personal constructs about the world around them was the only way to truly understand the client. When our own construct systems fail in allowing us to predict and interpret events and experiences, this is when we may begin to feel helplessness which may lead to anxiety (Mischel et al., 2008). This is when the role of the therapist comes into play to help us either change or modify the personal constructs that we have formed around our own experiences.

    2. Mischel believed that the personality traits between people differ because of the distinct ways that people process situations in their own way (Mischel et al., 2008). He believed that the consistency within one’s personality could be understood through the if…then… situation-behavior patterns of their experiences. He also believed that people differ greatly in how they encode themselves, other people and events, and their experiences (Mischel et al., 2008). Because everyone experiences different events differently, we need to make sure that we understand how these differences in interpretations play a role in how people are reacting to these situations. This belief puts a greater emphasis on the individual’s thoughts and feelings and not solely on the behavior that they are demonstrating. By having a better understanding of the if…then… behavior patterns of your specific client, you can then begin to understand the implications behind the way the person reacted or behaved in a certain way.

    Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Ayduk, O. (2008). Introduction to personality: Toward an integrative science of the person (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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    • Salome Wilfred
      Nov 03, 2015 @ 15:30:21

      Marisa,

      I really appreciate you highlighting the importance of the subjectivity of one’s personal constructs. Simply identifying personal constructs is not enough because everyone’s understanding is different. Therefore, it is really important to not only know an individual’s personal construct when analyzing behavior but what the construct means to them and how they demonstrate it. I also agree that the more insight a therapist has into a client’s personal construct significantly helps in understanding the client. In reference to your point about the therapist needing to help the client either change or modify their personal constructs when anxiety arises: do you think there is power in having the therapist not change or modify the client’s personal construct but help the client simply accept their personal constructs and the thoughts that come with them?

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    • Brittany King
      Nov 03, 2015 @ 16:27:22

      This was a great post to read, Marisa. One thing I would like to point out is when you talked about is the subjectivity on constructs in terms of what they mean for the individual. It would be easy to assume that we all have the same conception of a word and use it in the same context when describing a situation. By Kelly feeling that it was of great importance to understand how the client interperts a construct, he could better see how the client experiences the world. This made me think of working in residential and how each child had a different reaction to almost the same situation but realizing how they construed it impacted how they reacted. If the staff is able to understand how the client understands the world around them, they will be better able to help them. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and thinking outside of the box to make a connection to this weeks reading!

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    • Anissa Rader
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 19:27:33

      Having worked with children for over five years I have had the opportunity to see just how influential this concept is. Every child acts different to every situation. You make a great point by highlighting the need to put a larger emphasis on thoughts and feelings of an individual to better understand behavior rather than just paying attention to what is being seen on the surface. As you explained, behavior is simply too complex to view it in such simple terms.

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  4. Salome Wilfred
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 15:03:47

    George Kelly’s personal construct theory aims to understand how an individual sees and aligns events from their perspective. Kelly noted that a person’s construct is used to understand the world and try to predict future situations. These constructs are also used to build an individual’s map of the world and help them better function in it. Feelings of uncertainty, discomfort, helplessness, and potentially anxiety results when one’s construct system does not allow them to predict and interpret events (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). These individuals learned socially and through experience that uncertainty and discomfort is bad which helped shape their personal construct. When this discomfort arises and constructs do not function behavioral problems develop (Mischel et al., 2008) This understanding of Kelly’s theory demonstrates the “worry” aspect that is prominent in anxiety disorders. Many individuals who experience anxiety report that it results from uncertainty about whether something will happen and worry about knowing what to do or whether they will be able to do anything (helplessness) if something they predicted or did not predict occurs. This thought process and learning eventually develop the behavioral problems associated with anxiety. .

    Kelly’s suggests that individuals have a tendency to selectively attend to certain features, which heavily influences their meaning and understanding of events and interactions (Mischel et al., 2008). As discussed earlier in class and in our readings, an individual’s thoughts and beliefs influence what, how and how quickly they process new information (i.e sequential priming-pronunciation). Kelly’s personal construct highlights this importance. Different people interpret the same event differently due to their personal constructs. Therefore, it is very important to understand and know an individual’s personal construct and not simply assume what they are based off what is observed.

    Walter Mischel’s theory that behavior should be analyzed in its situational context contradicted the then popular belief that the situation was not critical in understanding an individual’s personality. Mischel predicted that analyzing behavior in its situational context would demonstrate that individuals have consistent if…then…situation-behavior patterns (Mischel et al., 2008). This idea took into consideration that the way an individual thinks and feels about the current situation influences the way they act and their personality. Through this theory Mischel noted that one’s hot cognitions, which are beliefs about the self, activate strong emotions which is demonstrated through a person’s behavior and personality (Mischel et al., 2008). Mischel’s focus and emphasis on the importance of an individual’s thoughts brought new insight and perspective to the field of psychology.

    Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Ayduk, O. (2008). Introduction to personality: Toward an integrative science of the person (8th ed.) Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons

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    • Julia Sherman
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 11:36:31

      I liked the way you described how Kelly’s theory explains “worry.” Anxiety generally stems from uncertainties about future events. For example, social anxiety may stem from the fear that the individual may embarrass themselves publicly. According to Kelly’s theory, the individual’s constructs are incorrectly predicting future events, resulting in anxiety. I am not sure how substantiated this theory is, but looking at it anecdotally, I think it makes a lot of sense.

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  5. Heather Lawrence
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 18:30:35

    1.George Kelly saw individual differences as a result of how we interpret and predict the events that affect us. He called these personal constructs. It is our individual way of gathering information from the world and developing hypotheses based on these interpretations. Similar to the scientists who develop hypotheses and then perform tests to determine the efficacy of the initial thought, so do individuals develop ideas about relationships and test their ideas. Based on our results, right or not, we develop a way of interacting with the world. This way of interacting is our personality. We act in a manner that is congruent with how we expect the world to be based on interpretations of past events. For example, if we see people as friendly and helpful, we are much more likely to engage others and seek advice. However, if we see people as selfish and cruel, it would only be logical to avoid interpersonal relationships and rely solely on our own abilities. We interpret information differently, and influence the perceptions of others. As therapists, we need to look at the world through our clients eyes. Kelly’s “personal constructs” help us to understand an individual’s construct system and how it applies to important facets of ones life(e.g. relationships with friends, partners, and family members etc.). Body images of anorexic clients and the ability of family members to understand another’s outlooks, reflects this method of thinking.

    2.Walter Mischel is also credited with the social cognitive reconceptualization of personality. Mischel’s theory shows a move towards strong consideration of a person’s thoughts. Mischel’s Theory of Personality states that an individual’s behavior is influenced by several factors. First, the specific attributes of a given situation and the manner in which we perceives the situation. Mischel believed that whenever these actions are highly likely to result into the same results, he emphasized that we have individual differences, so our values and expediencies must be considered in predicting a person’s behavior and personality. Mischel’s experiments suggested that an individual’s behavior is not simply the result of their traits, but fundamentally dependent on situational cues. The cognitive affective model of personality, argues that an individual’s behavior, rather than simply being a result of traits, stresses the importance of both the situation and the way the person perceives the situation; instead of behavior being determined by the situation. People use cognitive processes to interpret the situation and then behave in accordance with that interpretation.

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    • Anissa Rader
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 19:33:19

      George Kelly’s concepts and ideas about behavior definitely helped make understanding behavior more personal then it had been before. As you mentioned our interactions with the world are important in how we react. Where previous theorists followed more basic ideas such as stimulus → response, psychodynamic, etc, Kelly adds the personal construct as an area of importance to understand behavior. I think his input was very influential and coincides in some ways to how behavior is viewed presently. You explain this importance quite well in your post.

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  6. Mark Joyce
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 18:32:16

    One of the first and most resonating facets of personal construct theory lies in its approach. The description provided in the text (Mischel, Shoda, Ayduk, 2008) incapsulates the shift of focus towards understanding individuals cognitions. Attempting to understand an individual’s cognitive constructs allows for a deeper understanding of the presenting behaviors. The ability to identify, interpret, and restructure an individual’s cognitions has proved to be a long lasting technique first addressed in personal construct theory. Schematic thinking was another feature of this theory which concerns an approach employed in our cognitions. Schemas, or the patterns of interpretations an individual makes, significantly affect how we interact with the environment. Understanding the characteristics of an individual’s schemas will allow for greater insight into how they perceive the world around them. Altering these schemas will allow for significant therapeutic changes to be enacted. An additional resonating feature of personal construct theory was the commonality corollary. This dictates that individuals construct their experiences through others, which is central to social learning theories.
    Mischel’s reconceptualization of personality shifted the emphasis from focusing on solely behavior to a more comprehensive situational context approach to describing behavior. Observing the consistency of behaviors over a number of situations and analyzing individual’s if…then responses allows for a more complete conceptualization according to Mischel. One of the most important concepts Mischel proposed was that it is not evolutionarily appropriate for individuals to act consistently among varying situations. This assertion emphasizes the importance the situation plays in human development as situational context is integral to understanding behavior. Mischel also introduced social cognitive person variables which again focuses on the roles thoughts or cognitions play. This dramatic shift in conceptualizing personality allows for a fuller understanding of the individual.

    Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Ayduk, O. (2008). Introduction to personality: Toward an integrative science of the person (8th ed.) Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons

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    • Jason Prior
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 10:22:53

      Mark, I really like your description of Mischel’s theory of personality. Specifically, it was your mentioning of this theory giving us a broader look at an individual’s personality. Do you think that Mishcel’s theory will have clinical utility for you in the future? We have not discussed this much in class, but these theories all have some practicality to them. Your description makes me think you will be applying this theory in your practice.

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  7. Colleen Popores-LaFleur
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 20:19:10

    (1) Kelly describes personal constructs as unique to each individual, meaning that they differ in how they perceive and react to events. He also states that how a person anticipates events influences how they behave. The social cognitive approach states that a person is able to actively think beginning early in life, and that these thoughts influence how they act and learn. For example, a child may learn that some behaviors are considered good or bad, and act accordingly. A person may anticipate the consequences of certain behaviors, and react emotionally. Rather than focusing solely on how a person behaves in response to stimuli, both Kelly and the social cognitive approach recognize that a person’s thoughts and feelings can influence a person’s behavior as well. Bandura emphasized the importance of the construct of self-efficacy, which has to do with how a person thinks they can execute certain behaviors. Depending on their view of their own self-efficacy, they may vary in how they approach different challenges and situations. This illustrates the differences in how people may view a construct in their minds, but also how it plays out in their behavior. Like Kelly, Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy states that a person’s expectations of an event will influence their behavior.

    Kelly addresses the permeability of constructs and states that a person’s construct may be narrow and more or less closed to interpretation, or it may be more broad and inclusive. He uses the example of religion, in which a person’s idea of good may include only behaviors found acceptable by a certain doctrine. This is less permeable as there are only a small number of behaviors that would fall into this category compared to a more permeable construct of good that might include any actions without ill intentions. This construct may look completely different from person to person, or may appear similar to others’ interpretations. Social cognitive theories take this idea one step further and speak to what makes up the differences in peoples’ perceptions of events and experiences. Mischel’s social cognitive variables describe different ways in which people interpret, but also interact, with situations and stimuli. For example, a person who has what Kelly might call a narrow construct of good may encode situations in which a person says God’s name in vain as uncomfortable or inappropriate.

    (2) Mischel states that there are different ways in which a person reacts to a situation, through encoding, expectancies and beliefs, affects, goals and values, and competencies and self-regulatory plans. The book gives the example of two runners getting the same time, but the professional runner feels disappointed while the amateur feels proud. Their personal goals varied, as well as their beliefs about what a successful race means and how they will emotionally react to the situation. This move toward a stronger consideration of a person’s thoughts, in my mind, makes sense. It relates to our personal experiences more than other theories, such as behaviorism, which only focuses on out outward experiences, or psychoanalysis, which focuses on unknown processes occurring in our unconscious mind.

    The idea that personality is not as simple as previous theorists have made it out to be resonates with me after reading about Mischel’s theory. We may have specific traits and our behavior change may be caused by the consequences of our actions, but our personal way of looking at and reacting to life may change this. For example, a person who has low self-esteem may react with strong negative emotions when criticized. He may then see any comments about his behavior as a negative statement, while another person may have taken the same ambiguous statement as a compliment. He may also have lower self-efficacy expectations, and not believe that he will do well on any of his upcoming exams.

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    • Erin Mamott
      Nov 05, 2015 @ 12:22:55

      It sounds like you have a really good handle on the basics of personal construct theory. Kelly’s theory is really good at allowing for individual differences and accounting for variability in thoughts and behaviors. Personal construct theory along with Mischel’s theory definitely make personality more personal in how we view individuals.

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    • Mark Joyce
      Nov 05, 2015 @ 21:40:52

      Colleen, you did a fantastic job of capturing Mischel’s reconceptualization of personality. Using the example of the runner really drove home the point regarding the variability in individuals goals, beliefs, affects, and values. It seems common place to us that these factors have significant influences and Mischel’s work was instrumental in developing this approach. The shift towards focusing on individual experience seems intuitive, while in reality it was revolutionary compared to the deterministic approaches dominating the field at the time. Mischel’s work explored and began to explain the variability in human behavior. Understanding the possible cognitions and thoughts sheds light on how the same events are interpreted in such varying manners.

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    • Heather Lawrence
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 08:44:12

      Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy is defined as a person’s expectations of an event and how it will influence their behavior. God and religion definitely can affect the belief in one’s own abilities to deal with various situations. It plays a role in not only how you feel about yourself, but whether or not you successfully achieve your goals in life. Bandura has found that an individual’s self-efficacy plays a major role in how goals, tasks, and challenges are approached. Religious beliefs have been shown to affect self-efficacy. For example, cancer patients who have religious beliefs may experience a stronger sense of social support from a community with whom they share those beliefs. Religious beliefs can also be found to be valuable in exploring the relationship between personality and self-efficacy and how attitudes can improve mental health. Studies have shown that families with strong religious beliefs have higher efficacy and life expectancy. There is a positive correlations between practicing religion and mental health instilling hopefulness and optimism.

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  8. Janean Desjardins
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 22:49:21

    A good portion of this week’s readings focuses on George Kelly and his theory of personal constructs. Identify a couple of points related to personal constructs that resonate with your understanding of cognitions and social learning.

    George Kelly’s core of his approach was that personal constructs are the basic unit of one’s personality (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). It focuses on how a person see’s themselves on multiple levels and also how they view different events in their lives. Constructs are used to make sense of the world around them and how they function within that world. People construct their own behavior by categorizing, labeling, and judging themselves and the world they live in. A person’s will try to predict events through different influences such as social learning and past history. These are generally based through thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If they are unable to predict an event it leads them to feel worthless, helpless, and have increased anxiety. The events themselves are not telling the person what to do but in fact the person is the one guiding themselves. The person has their own freedom to learn and fix what they are doing in their own life. For Kelly it was about self-determination, freedom, and looking through the lens of another person to know what it is like to walk in their shoes.

    (2) Walter Mischel is also credited with the social cognitive reconceptualization of personality. What did you take away from Mischel’s theory that shows a move towards stronger consideration of a person’s thoughts?

    Walter Mischel believed that each person should be looked at on a situational base. Judging a person’s behavior regardless of the situation was not what Mischel believed. A person’s personality shows by the way that people comprehend and view different situations. He believed that people have consistent behavioral patterns. Mischel believed that if you observed people one would see that people had distinctive patterns of what if…then…situation-behavior patterns (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). If this is the case then one would be able to predict a person’s behavior based on the situation the person is in.

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  9. Ana Cerda
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 23:15:15

    1. Kelly’s concept of personal constructs seem important for therapy in that it helps to understand and clarify the client’s views of the world. It is very true that what one construct means to one person may vary from another. Kelly’s approach helps to elaborate on what each construct means to the individual and allows for a more holistic approach to understanding the client and their experiences. For example, a client may have grown up in a traumatic environment not conducive to healthy development but because he or she grew up this way, that is his or her basis of “norm” and anything that deviates from this “norm” is aversive and maladaptive to him or her. If, as therapists, we can come to understand that they do not see their environment as abusive we can start to work on redefining the constructs rather than forcing our views of what is dysfunctional into their lives.
    According to Kelly, personal constructs are used to make sense and organize the world we as individuals live in. They are used to help us interpret events and people. This relates to cognitions in that thought patterns that help us organize and react to the world are important in influencing behaviors. It is interesting to note that Kelly presumed that when the personal constructs fail to help predict or interpret the world around us, anxiety, uncertainty may develop.

    2. Mischel looked at the situational variation in personality theories and proposed that individuals interpret meaning out of the various situations they encounter and adapt their behaviors according to those interpretations. This is moving towards viewing the mind as adaptive and constructive and thoughts and feelings related being the basis behind personality. Mischel’s concept of encoding demonstrates more consideration for cognitions. Encoding entails interpreting and representing the world around us; these interpretations then influence our behaviors and reactions to the environment.
    Another interesting aspect of Mischel’s approach is the consideration of expectancies and beliefs. Because behavior seemed to depend on the consequences that followed it, Mischel believed that in order to more effectively predict behaviors, an individual’s expectancy of consequences for that particular situation was important in determining behavior and thus important to consider in the analysis.

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  10. Gabriel Lamptey
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 00:42:32

    George Kelly view’s each individual as scientist of their own right possessing the liberty to develop hypothesis, test the validity and reliability of hypothesis, and if results confirm their views then it’s acceptable. If results are unacceptable, the hypothesis can be modified. In Kelly’s view, each individual is on a continual quest of updating mental constructs to approximate reality. Also, each individual filters or conceptualizes the world as it appears to their mind or liking.
    George Kelly’s constructive alternativism illuminates the understanding of cognition’s malleability in that mental constructs are subject to change and ought not to be stagnant. An individual can alternate his believe system in light of new information. An individual’s tunnel vision, all or nothing thinking is embedded or determined by their belief system and that determines the individual’s openness to considering alternative course of actions (reconstructions) or not. Kelly’s convenience of constructs highlights on the redirections of cognitions to focus on helpful results. In therapy, rather than try to evaluate whether a construct is true or false, such an evaluation should be geared toward usefulness or solving a problem. In this regard, Kelly explained that the job of a therapy is to provide conducive atmosphere in which personal constructs can be elaborated and tested for their implications. If implications turn out to be undesirable, next step is to modify them (Mischel et al., 2008) To develop open mindedness, Kelly proposed the role play method, where he emphasized on an attempt to view another individual through his or her constructs and not yours. This technique limits biases, and prejudice. For example, to understand an individual that identifies with a different sexuality, one would have to set aside their views and try viewing things from the perspective of the other person.
    Michel’s theory of social cognitive reconceptualization of personality was a shift from the classic assumption of trait theory that individual’s behaved highly consistent across different situations. Mischel’s view proposed a contextual evaluation of behavior which reveals that individual have consistency as related to changing their behavior in different situations, in order words, individual’s have contextualized personality signatures. I can identify with Mischel’s theory in that depending on the elements or factors in an environment, some behaviors are will be favored or elicited over others. For example, in hostile environment, an individual might be more defensive, aggressive, and less sensitive to others needs, compared to a nurturing environment (respectful, polite, helpful).

    Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Ayduk, O. (2008). Introduction to personality: Toward an integrative science of the person (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

    Reply

    • Julia Sherman
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 11:51:55

      I agree with your view towards Mischel’s theory of social cognitive reconceptualization. I think that in general, it is the situation that is more relevant than the individual’s personality, as demonstrated by your example of an individual in a hostile environment. In such situations, a fight or flight response is going to occur for virtually any individual no matter what. However, this example also demonstrates the importance of individual mental events as well. One individual, when put into a hostile situation, may choose to fight, while a different individual may run away instead. While both have engaged their sympathetic nervous systems, their utilization of it was quite different. This is why Mischel has theorized that environment and personality are both important factors when it comes to analyzing behavior.

      Reply

      • Gabriel Lamptey
        Nov 06, 2015 @ 21:42:10

        Julia,

        To add to Mischel’s focus on the situational influence on behavior, Mischel further encourages researchers to incorporate situational findings into their experiments and look for the consistencies that characterize an individual in a variety of contexts. Mitchell found that although behavior was inconsistent across different situations, it was much more consistent within situations so that a person’s behavior in one situation would likely be repeated in a similar one.

        Reply

    • Colleen Popores-LaFleur
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 15:20:01

      Gabriel,

      I like the way you said that individuals have personality signatures. I think this is an interesting way to describe what Mischel was trying to say about how we think and behave. Although we may have certain ideas and may have some consistencies over time, personality is not as simple as that. Mischel breaks it down in a way that I think makes sense, as we may perceive and interpret events differently depending on how we feel, what or goals are or what our beliefs are. This takes what may be seen as the oversimplification of trait theory and allows for an understanding that it is not just the situation, but how we process it that influences how we think, feel and behave.

      Reply

      • Gabriel Lamptey
        Nov 06, 2015 @ 22:44:44

        Colleen,

        I like Mischel’s further explanation of the personality signature with research. In his research, individuals who were similar in average levels of behavior, such as aggression, differed predictably and dramatically in their aggressive behavior depending on the type of situation they were in. The behaviors elicited in the research supported the “if-then” behavioral signature proposed by Mischel.

        Reply

  11. Bridget Kesling
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 07:27:09

    (1) A good portion of this week’s readings focuses on George Kelly and his theory of personal constructs. Identify a couple of points related to personal constructs that resonate with your understanding of cognition’s and social learning.
    George Kelly presented a lot of really interesting ideas related to personal construct. The first idea important to highlight is the meaning of events. The idea that our expectations of an event are based on preconceived notions rooted in our experiences. Based on weather or not we are right or “wrong” in our prediction, we are able to rationalize and look for the meaning on why it could be that way. This is important because, it serves as a protective factor to clients emotional well being. The second Idea that rang true was the idea of the conduct of inquiry. This suggest that for every answer we can build more questions upon it because no one has and ultimate truth. This is an interesting idea because it challenges us to believe the idea that we don’t have ultimate truths. This could be an important idea because sometimes it is important to learn to accept the fact that you just may not get an answer for something.
    (2) Walter Mischel is also credited with the social cognitive reconceptualization of personality. What did you take away from Mischel’s theory that shows a move towards stronger consideration of a person’s thoughts?
    Walter Mischel’s ideas around expectancies and beliefs showed a huge move towards the thinking of the strength of a person’s thoughts. I like the idea of taking focus away from what actually happened and looking at how a event was perceived by an individual. His ideas surrounding self-efficacy expectations was previously by Martin Seligman’s ideas of learned helplessness. Also by Robert Merton’s ideas of a self fulfilling prophecy. A individuals mentality, going into a situation can play a significant role in them being able to manage the situation in an adaptive manner. I also liked the idea’s around Encoding. This idea that we all work from our own place of perception and that one person’s truth may not be another. This is important for clinicians to remember when working with clientele because what may seem so obvious for one person to see may be very difficult for another person.

    Reply

  12. Erin Mamott
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 09:36:52

    1. I really liked George Kelly’s ‘personal constructs’ where the world is perceived and interpreted by each individual (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). This naturally leads to a plethora of alternative ways of interpreting or internalizing an event. The way Kelly described personal construct sort of reminded me of a reverse characterization process in theater. The months long characterization process starts with many alternative constructs and ends with a single personal construct for the character. Each actor has to create, with the director, a personal construct which makes the character’s role make sense in the play. There are many alternatives that are just as good as the one chosen, in life and in a play. In theater it is known as characterization, for Kelly it is known as ‘constructive alternativism’ (Kelly, 1955).

    Kelly also tried to define guilt as experiential. I was a little confused at first on his definition. It seems that guilt for Kelly is simply when some core belief is disrupted or appears to be disrupted for the individual (Kelly, 1955). I would be more inclined to call this disruption an identity crisis rather than guilt, but I can see where Kelly is going with his definition. The definitions of constructs and guilt sound similar to Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stage of identity vs. role confusion. That Erikson stage is usually first experienced in adolescence, however as with the other stages can be revisited later in life. If the adolescent goes through the psychosocial crisis, he or she has to explore several alternatives to find and choose his or her identity. In personal construct theory, guilt is when a core belief is disrupted (crisis), then the individual has to explore alternatives to rebuild his or her personal construct (identity). The terms do not perfectly match up, but there seems to be a parallel.

    2. It seems to me that Mischel’s theory was trying to explain how personality can remain the same when there is variability within behavioral responses to similar events (Mischel, et al., 2008). Since behavior appears to have fallen short, perhaps mental activities, such as thoughts or perceptions, would appear more consistent. The initial indications seems to be that this is the case. Thoughts and perceptions, when left unaltered or attempted to be changed, are consistent overtime (Mischel, et al., 2008). This seems obvious to me, that thoughts are important, but perhaps that is due to the culture in which I have been raised. Perhaps in a different time I might have found this notion to be novel or unusual. Understanding behaviors in terms of their thought groupings accounts for the variety and gives stability to personality. The difficulty is when behaviors overlap in groupings between individuals or even within an individual. Another difficulty is accurately defining or measuring thoughts and other mental activities. Instead of purely quantitative research, qualitative measures need some consideration to fully measure the role of thought in personality.

    Reply

    • Marisa Molinaro
      Nov 04, 2015 @ 13:17:57

      Erin, I really enjoyed how you connected Kelly’s personal construct theory to a personal example in your own life. I found that your explanation of connecting the constructs to experiences you have had in theater and trying to create the role of another character. It is important to make sure that you understand how that one character would react to different situations. It also shows you firsthand how the same situation can be perceived differently by different people. Mischel’s theory was explained well in your post and I like how you put an emphasis on how we instinctively thing that thoughts are an important part of psychology but this is mainly because of the culture in which we grew up in. During Mischel and Kelly’s time, most of the emphasis was on behavior and not so much on thoughts and feelings. You did a great job of explaining the shift from just worrying about behavior to being concerned about our thoughts and feelings as well.

      Reply

  13. Julia Sherman
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 13:24:47

    1) George Kelly’s theory of personal constructs is clearly much different from many other theories that we have studied thus far. As the text explains, the personal constructs approach attempts to analyze an individual’s own perceptions of his or her thoughts and behavior, and avoids analyzing those constructs by comparing them to the constructs of others (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). Although it appears to be difficult to utilize this theory in research, the approach is true to the way in which each individual actually functions. Because each individual undergoes social learning in a different way due to the inevitability of varying experiences, each individual’s cognitions are going to be unique and should be approached as such. Although behaviors between people are going to appear similar, no two people will have the same experiences, thus no two people are going to develop the same perceptions regarding their thoughts, their behaviors, and their environment. The personal construct approach takes this vast variability into account.

    Kelly’s description of constructs being bipolar is also a true part of each individual’s cognitions. For each construct that each individual defines, that individual is also going to have a concept of that construct’s opposite (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). Even more relevant, Kelly theorized that these opposite constructs will not always appear to others to be rational (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). Again, this is consistent with social learning and the fact that each individual is inevitably going to have different experiences, and thus learn differently. There is no true way to define what constructs should and should not be opposing due to the varying definitions that each individual has arrived to in his or her own mind.

    2) Walter Mischel is credited with proposing the social cognitive reconceptualization of personality, which largely focuses on the importance of situational contexts in understanding and predicting individual behavior. In other words, it is primarily the environment that leads to behaviors in an individual; behaviors cannot be attributed only to the individual’s personality constructs. While researchers had previously attempted to analyze personality by removing the contributing factor of social environment, Mischel theorized that this approach took the most important factors out of the equation. However, he did not discredit the importance of individual mental events. To demonstrate this theory, Mischel theorized that behavior is based on five separate “types of person variables”: “encodings,” “expectancies and beliefs,” “affects,” “goals and values,” and “competencies and self-regulatory plans” (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008, p. 359). These variables clearly do not avoid the individual’s personal cognitions and constructs. Personal mental events are an integral part of Mischel’s theory of behavior. However, these variables are viewed as interacting directly with the particular environment so that the psychologist can answer, “What are people trying to do in particular situations?” (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008, p. 358). The types of person variables by themselves do not answer any questions regarding the individual’s behavior, but rather help us understand how the environment directly affects the individual and thus leads to the behaviors.

    Reply

    • Jacleen Charbonneau
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 14:34:49

      Julia,

      I like how you mentioned that each individual’s experiences are inevitably different. Because of this, individuals may never be able to perfectly fit into theories created by psychologists.Taking into account that each person can interpret and predict his or her own experiences is something that I find refreshing and really appreciate about George Kelly.

      Reply

    • Bridget Kesling
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 21:31:49

      I really like how you stated, “There is no true way to define what constructs should and should not be opposing due to the varying definitions that each individual has arrived to in his or her own mind.” its really interesting how ones reality can be another’s fantasy. Perspective and scema’s are so important to take into account when treating clients and recognizing that unless it is disruptive to the client life then it may not be worth treating.

      Reply

  14. Taylor Gibson
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 13:40:41

    1) George Kelly believed that people appraise the events they encounter in accordance with their personal constructs (Kelly, 1966). These constructs are dichotomous views of the world that allow a person to “locate” and evaluate their experiences (Kelly, 1966). The individual is also able to adjust their constructs in order to allow for subjectively improved psychological management of events in the future (Kelly, 1966). One particular belief of Kelly’s, constructive alternativism, is the idea that people are agentic, or responsible for their own choices and behaviors (Kelly, 1966; Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). My personal understanding is that there are often situations we encounter which we are not able to control however, we are able to control how we manage ourselves in those situations. Unlike other theories, that assert people are slaves to the events that happened in the past Kelly (1966) contends that “events do not tell us what to do” (29) but that individual always possess the initiative to change the way that they behave. This idea of volition stuck out for me because I believe that it is a very good and straight-forward position to begin the process of both natural, psychological growth and therapeutic change.

    2) Mischel theorized that the consistency that personality psychologists were looking for could be found within a situational context (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). Similarly to Kelly, Mischel believed that individual differences were due to differences in how people perceive situations they encounter (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). Mishel’s theory differentiated between the types of thoughts that guide our behavior into variables that he referred to as the social cognitive person variable (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). I believe that this theory is especially important because it acknowledges that our thoughts and cognitions are not uniform occurrences. It seems as though some previous cognitive theories have utilized “cognition” as a blanket statement. Mischel’s theory adds strength to cognition as a field by acknowledging that our executive process that allow us to evaluate the world are not all the same and that they serve different functions.

    Reply

  15. Anissa Rader
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 13:55:44

    Personality of a person consists of multiple constructs. Through these constructs a person is able to view and interpret their reality. George Kelly’s theory focuses on the idea that different people can view the same event differently and that no two people view an event in the same way. (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). The personal construct is the main feature in Kelly’s theory and was used in therapy. It describes people in a subjective way comparing how one understands the world. Therapy is more about their own dimensions rather than on psychological theory. This aspect resonates with with my understanding of cognitions and social learning to some extent. Experience is highly subjective for every individual and is experienced uniquely by each based on their own perceptions and feelings. Another important thing Kelly focused on was the fact that a person’s behavior was based on more than just a response caused by stimuli, and is more complex involving feelings and perceptions.

    Walter Mischel tried to understand social cognitive reconceptualization of personality touching base on his ideas of trait theory. He believed that personality traits differed between people due to how people perceive, process, and understand events uniquely. (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk, 2008). He describes the if… then… situation behavior patterns of a person’s experience and how someone’s personality could be better understand using this method. His want was to express the importance of examining behavior based in its situational context to demonstrate behavior patterns. He explains that people react differently to situations through encoding, expectancies, goals, and values. Each perception is unique. The concept that Mischel focuses on that personality is more complex than previous theorists explained it as being shows a move towards providing stronger consideration for a person’s thoughts.

    Reply

    • Erin Mamott
      Nov 05, 2015 @ 12:36:20

      I think many of us have similar answers to these questions since we are all in a CBT program and therefore acknowledge cognitions as important to understanding individuals. Kelly seems to be one of the first theorists we have studied who recognizes that human behavior is complex. Mischel, I think, makes Kelly’s ideas more practical and standardized for study. Obviously whenever thoughts are introduced it is difficult to perfectly standardize any measure, but Mischel seems to have a decent start. (Just a side note: I like the way you write, it is clear, concise, and enjoyable to read.)

      Reply

  16. Jacleen Charbonneau
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 14:26:44

    1) Instead of basing one’s constructs off of the ideas of psychologists, George Kelly believed in the personal construct theory, in which the person defined his or her own constructs (Mishel et al., 2008). Personal constructs include the way one sees and represents events. The individual is the one who is hypothesizing in regards to his or her constructs, a view which allows those that believe in the personal construct theory to view individuals as being more in control and less overruled by his or her impulses. The psychology of traits attempts to identify a person’s position on his or her own personality dimension. Each person is treated individually regarding how he he or she interprets such experiences, and are not placed on a predetermined dimension created by psychologists. Underlying or unconscious motives are not looked at within this theory, which is opposed to psychoanalytical theories. This idea of individual interpretation reminds me of Bandura’s social learning theory in which individuals learn based off of observation of others (Mischel et al., 2008). There is a heavy emphasis on one’s own personal analysis of events and experiences.

    Kelly believed that contracts are bipolar, which include two polar opposites of one construct that an individual may have (Mischel et al., 2008). According to Mischel et al. (2008), he believed that constructs may be permeable, in which a number of possibilities can be found within a single construct. One’s constructs allows him or her to develop a philosophy, as well as be able to make predictions of future events. Anxiety may result when one’s system of constructs does not provide the ability to sufficiently predict experiences. Constructs that are primary in one’s life may not function properly, which are found in traumatic events, and therefore may produce problems in one’s behavior.

    The personal constructs theory, like a number of other theories, include subjectivity. For example, it may be particularly difficult for a therapist and a patient to be on the same page when discussing a construct, for everyone has a different interpretation. For example, Mischel et al. (2008) noted that a “good person” can be seen as good regardless of their family history, faith level, etc. It is hard to determine what exactly makes someone good. As with all constructs, it may be difficult for both the therapist and the client to agree upon which construct means what.

    2) Mischel et al. (2008) noted that often times it is assumed that people behave consistently regardless of the situation. However, Walter Mischel found that this is not necessarily true because there was a contradiction within the evidence supporting this idea. He believed that perhaps one’s behavior is determined by situational influences instead. In other words, he believed that consistency is not separated from one’s situations, but is found when looking at behavior in the context of a situation. He believed, therefore, that people had consistency within their situation- behavior patterns of if…then. Mischel looked more into what a situation meant to an individual— one in which his or her personal history and biology are reflected. One’s personality is believed to be built off of this idea (Mischel et al., 2008). I agree with Mischel’s predictions, which, like many ideas discussed within the readings, heavily emphasize the personal views and representations of particular situations for individuals.

    Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Ayduk, O. (2008). Introduction to personality: Toward an integrative science of the person (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

    Reply

  17. Meagan Monteiro
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 15:53:31

    1.) A good portion of this week’s readings focuses on George Kelly and his theory of personal constructs. Identify a couple of points related to personal constructs that resonate with your understanding of cognitions and social learning.
    In George Kelly’s personal construct theory, the emphasis is on how a person views events and the world around them on their own dimension. To exemplify this theory, Kelly considered constructs that were bipolar, or made up of a pair of characteristics that are psychologically opposite for an individual. In this way, characteristics that can have different meanings for different people can be represented. For example, friendliness, assertiveness, determination, etc. can all be defined and expressed in various different ways. In his theory, Kelly attempts to account for this ambiguity by focusing on the individual’s perspective. Like cognitions, in Kelly’s theory it is important to consider a person’s point of view, and then in turn, their behaviors as a result of the specific way in which they think. Since cognitions provide the basis for how we feel and behave, it is important, as clinicians, to understand the lens that is behind these cognitions. An individual’s worldview is also important when considering social learning. Observation is a fundamental aspect of social learning, and it is important to consider how a person may perceive the world around them, if they are to make sense of other people’s actions. Kelly argued that similar to operational or classical conditioning, people were able to passively learn specific behaviors by watching other people perform an action and witnessing the outcomes of this action. A behavior will be either increased or decreased depending on the consequence for the other person. A simple example is that people may not kill another person because they have witnessed or understand the consequences of killing another human being. On the other hand, if people learn that arriving on time for work, results in a free lunch, they may be more inclined to do so. However, for this learning to take place, it is important that people understand these concepts and are able to readily perceive them. These cognitions and social learning allow a person to understand how to behave, and expect certain outcomes. If a person is unable to predict an outcome or is uncertain how to behave, then they may experience some anxiety or disruption in functioning.
    2.) Walter Mischel is also credited with the social cognitive reconceptualization of personality. What did you take away from Mischel’s theory that shows a move towards stronger consideration of a person’s thoughts
    In Mischel’s theory of the social cognitive reconceptualization of personality, he proposed that personality psychologists should not look at traits as consistencies in behavior across situations but rather consistencies in behavior based upon the situation. In his theory, he developed if…then..situation-behavior patterns, where a behavior was evaluated based on its contextual factors. Behavior could be predicted by establishing if a specific person is in a specific situation, then a subsequent behavior will follow, rather than a person with a specific trait will behave in a specific way in every situation. This theory strongly considers the role of a person’s thoughts, because the theory and the person take into account the situation, and their role within that environment. This processing requires a person to perceive the environment around them, and also to interact with automatic thoughts, feelings, and characteristics that a person may have. In order to study and therefore predict a person’s behavior, a psychologist will have to have a clear understanding of the way a person understands and may relate to a situation. Not only will these cognitions help to predict behavior, but also give us a clue into how a person may see the world, and how that person may feel about the world at that time.
    Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., & Ayduk, O. (2008). Introduction to personality: Toward an integrative science of the person (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

    Reply

    • Jason Prior
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 09:58:18

      Meagan, I like the way you emphasized the clinicians need to understand a clients internal motivations behind behavior. We, that is future clinicians in a CBT program, should be learning that behavior is not only controlled by external stimuli, but cognition as well.

      Reply

    • Colleen Popores-LaFleur
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 15:04:05

      Meagan,

      I appreciate your describing the bipolar aspect to Kelly’s construct theory. I think his identifying that there are two different parts to a construct that we use to judge things and events in our environment is helpful in both the understanding of what a construct is and how a person applies it. It also helps us develop a picture of what a person’s construct might be like, even if we will never fully be able to see things from their perspective. To use your example of friendliness, a person may someone is friendly but compare it to verbal aggressiveness, while another person may think someone isn’t friendly because they are quiet or not talkative. This can be useful in therapy as asking these questions of a client will gain a better understanding of what they mean when they describe their experiences.

      Reply

  18. brian faust
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 15:59:00

    George Kelly was influential in his work on multiple constructs in regards to the views of individuals and their interpretation of reality. Each individual views the world based upon his or her interpretations of the ever-changing environment around them. Some people may see a large dog and immediately feel happiness. They may have had a dog as a pet, or maybe they are dog lovers. Their past experiences with dogs were influential in they perceive the present stimuli in front of them. Other people may see a large dog and react in terror. Maybe they were bitten as a child or just generally have a fear of dogs. Their prior experiences with dogs have caused them to negatively react in this manner. How individuals interacted with their environment and interpreted it was at the forefront of Kelly’s theory. Kelly states that we experience the world through “lens of our constructs”. Kelly believed that we were all open to multiple interpretations of our environment. He believed that we made “predictions” in regards to the outcomes that one experiences in their environment. If the outcome matches our prediction, then the construct is deemed as useful. If the prediction is not congruent to the outcome, we may abandon it or adapt it to better fit our environment.

    Walter Mischel’s theory of the cognitive-affective model of personality states that an indivduals behavior is best predicted as an understanding of the: person, environment, and how the person interacts with the environment. Instead of purely focusing on the individual or on the environment, all three are taken into consideration. He believed that situational cues were adamant in his theory. This is people can interpret similar events in different manner based upon what their environment is.

    Reply

    • Bridget Kesling
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 21:37:12

      I also really enjoyed the idea of cognitive-effective model. Looking at all three dimensions of situations of the person, environment, and how the person interacts with the environment provides great insight on why a client is doing what they are doing. Perspective is important to consider before attempting treatment because without a background of what the benefit of a behavior is then treating the symptom only puts a band aid on for a short while.

      Reply

  19. Jason Prior
    Nov 04, 2015 @ 23:09:46

    1. George Kelly had an interesting perspective on how people interpret and view events. Through experience, individuals will develop their own schema to use as a guide. Schemas are internal constructs that are built using the person’s past perceptions. Due to their nature, no two constructs will be identical, so the owners of those constructs will perceive an event in different ways. Schemas can also be used for prospective thinking. Through previous experience individuals can anticipate how an event will play out. If the scope of a particular schema does not allow the individual to anticipate future events, then the individual may experience anxiety and apprehension. Due to their individualistic nature, it is not possible for another person to know how an individual perceives events unless the individual explains the schema in detail. George Kelly was also avidly against determinism. He saw people as agents who are in charge of their own lives and are not only capable of, but responsible for making decisions for themselves.

    2. Walter Mischle developed a much broader theory of personality than any other at that time. Mischel believed that there were a number of factors that influenced the way a person’s personality would express itself. A person’s values and beliefs are an important factor for predicting their behavior, but different situations will instigate different parts of the personality to be expressed. It is not advantageous, however, for that expression to be always consistent in similar situations. A person will behave differently in two similar situations depending on what their perception of the situation is. Likewise, two people will have very different sets of beliefs and experiences to perceive the same situation with, so what they take away from the event will be different.

    Reply

    • Jacleen Charbonneau
      Nov 06, 2015 @ 14:25:04

      Jason,

      I like the way you touched upon Kelly’s idea that individuals are responsible for making their own decisions. Often times the focus in psychology is on the influences and causes of behavior, but the responsibility of an individual is hardly ever noted. It’s interesting to see a different perspective in which individuals have responsibility, as well.

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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