Kurt Lewin’s Field TheoryLife space ◦ All internal and external forces, and their relationships to one another ◦ e.g., family, religion, work, etc.Contemporaneous causation Behavior is caused at the moment of its occurrence by all the forces acting at that momentHow affected you are by the environmental forces and context of the situation is your level of “field dependence” field = the forces/context around you at a given moment that can affect your behavior See table 7.1 in textbook
Schema TheorySchema ◦ A cognitive structure that organizes knowledge and expectations about one’s environment ◦ Determines how we think and act ◦ Different experiences lead to different ways of “seeing things” ◦ We may often expect others to share our schemasScript ◦ Schemas for familiar events ◦ e.g., eating at a restaurant ◦ What if your dinner partner has a different script for this? They eat pizza with a fork, don’t usually leave a tip, take 20 minutes to choose something from the menu, and order dessert & coffee. While you use your hands, always tips, make choices quickly, and leave as soon as you are done eating.
Categorization We tend to organize events, objects, and people into categories Positive effects of categorization ◦ Quickly understand complex information ◦ Make likely inferences about new things Negative effects of categorization ◦ Stereotypes ◦ Overlook individuating characteristics One of the first categories we tend to put people into is gender, male or female. When it is ambiguous, we feel uncomfortable and confused because our normal categorization process isn’t working and our scripts fail us On the other hand, if we frequently came into contact with gender ambiguity, we would develop a schema, scripts, and a probably a different categorization process
Explanatory StyleA characteristic way of interpreting life eventsOptimism and Pessimism ◦ Optimistic style is generally associated with better outcomes ◦ Implications for achievementLearned Helplessness (Seligman) ◦ Repeated exposure to unavoidable punishment leads to the acceptance of avoidable punishmentCognitive intervention can reduce the depressive effect of pessimismPositive Psychology (Seligman) ◦ New ways of thinking can be trained ◦ Learned Optimism ◦ http://youtu.be/Q-Vhjmdp4nI (Interview with Seligman)
Julian RotterBehavior potential ◦ Likelihood that a behavior will be performed in a particular situationGeneralized vs. specific expectancies ◦ Generalized expectancies apply to categories of behaviors and situations General personality traits & behaviors Ex. I don’t enjoy parties as a general rule because I expect them to be dull and I get nervous talking to new people ◦ Specific expectancies apply to particular instances of behaviors and situations Ex. I am looking forward to my best friend’s birthday party
Julian RotterSix psychological needs ◦ Recognition-status ◦ Dominance ◦ Independence ◦ Protection-dependency ◦ Love and affection ◦ Physical comfortSecondary reinforcers ◦ Associated with satisfaction of these needs ◦ Subjective value of reinforcers, depending on person ◦ Ex. A promotion at work gives me the ability to have a roof over my head, eat, and meet basic biological needs (primary). It also is important to me because I get more recognition at work, can move into a bigger place to be more comfortable, and get to be work more independently in my new job (secondary). These are things I value, therefore I worked hard to get the promotion.