James Uleman and Laura M. Kressel
Why do we view people as we do? What is scientifically tractable, in that view? How did subjective concepts such as traits become legitimate “objects of perception”? Thorndike, Asch, and Cronbach were critical. This chapter traces Asch’s legacy to the present and describes the strange independence of research on accuracy from social cognition. Impressions’ internal organization (not accuracy) became the foundation of research on the Big Two (warmth and competence), facial trait dimensions, and morality’s unique status. Associative memory structures and schemata provided the language. The unique impact of negative information is reviewed, along with behaviors’ diagnosticity and how the morality and competence domains differ. The chapter highlights the importance of goals in shaping impressions, of forming impressions without goals (spontaneously), and of stages in forming spontaneous trait inferences. It also notes the importance of social cognitive transference, perceptions of persons and groups, and conceptions of persons as moral agents and objects.
Communal (and Other) Relationships: History, Theory Development, Recent Findings, and Future Directions
Margaret S. Clark and Oriana R. Aragón
This chapter describes a program of research focused on the nature of giving and receiving benefits in close relationships. It begins with an initial, qualitative distinction drawn between communal and exchange relationships in the late 1970s, together with experimental work devoted to establishing the distinction. Subsequent theoretical developments, including adding the construct of communal strength, introducing the ideas of hierarchies of communal relationships and of individual differences in communal and exchange orientations, together with empirical work relating to those developments, are then described. Challenges to the work, including others' (but not our own!) convictions that the original qualitative distinction was simply a distinction between short-term and long-term exchange relationships and that we were naïve to think that entirely unselfish communal relationships exist (we don't!) are raised and addressed. Finally, recent work on the applicability of communal norms to ongoing close relationships, such as marriages and friendships, on factors that undermine the communal nature of these relationships, and on ways in which people initiate (or fail to initiate) communal relationships is discussed. Throughout, we strive to place this work in the rapidly evolving relationship science context within which it evolved: When we started this work, few social psychologists were studying the relationships that are, normatively, communal in nature. Today, many people study them.
The overall aim of this chapter is to discuss an approach to studying culture by drawing on the project of remembering and reconciliation from a discursive psychology perspective. I demonstrate discourse analysis from research using a case of the Anglo-Japanese reconciliation. I provide a brief overview of the development of discourse analysis and discursive psychology and highlight key philosophical foundations and theoretical assumptions on which discursive psychology and practice of discourse analysis are based. As the examples of discourse analysis, I will demonstrate how culture can be studied as a topic of members' concern. In this view, culture is not a matter of the researcher's concern to handle as a causal factor or independent variable. Discursive psychologists study culture as a resource for the participants. Finally, I will discuss the implication of the discursive approach and its far-reaching challenges for advancing the methodology of studying time-relevant phenomena of people's experience as a matter of duration and transformation.
Larry C. Bernard
Three social science approaches—evolutionary psychology, behavioral ecology, and behavioral genetics—share the metatheory of evolution. They also suggest several mechanisms that may account for heritable individual differences in personality and motivation, including stabilizing selection, fluctuating selection, trade-offs, balancing selection, life history theory, and behavioral syndromes. These mechanisms are discussed as possible explanations for individual differences in the five-factor model of personality and in a new theory of human motivation. The theory postulates that 15 latent motive dimensions evolved in humans to facilitate behavior in five social domains. Trade-offs that, in combination with fluctuating and balancing selection, might have maintained individual differences in motive phenotypes are described. The reliability and validity of a method to assess individual differences in the strength of these motive dimensions is also discussed.
Chapter 51 focuses on the subjective side of alcoholism, specifically about what memoirs of alcoholism teach about alcoholism, and argue that a common theme in many memoirs is that drinking, sometimes heavy drinking, a prerequisite of addiction, was modelled, endorsed, and eventually achieved in a way that involves deep identification, and also argues that alcoholic memoirs, even assuming that they suffer from objectivity problems such as the latter, nonetheless serve an important function, and not just whatever cathartic function they serve for the author.
Seth J. Schwartz, Byron L. Zamboanga, Koen Luyckx, Alan Meca, and Rachel Ritchie
This chapter presents a review of identity status-based theory and research with adolescents and emerging adults, with some coverage of related approaches such as narrative identity and identity style. In the first section, the authors review Erikson’s theory of identity and early identity status research examining differences in personality and cognitive variables across statuses. They then review two contemporary identity models that extend identity status theory and explicitly frame identity development as a dynamic and iterative process. The authors also review work that has focused on specific domains of identity. The second section of the chapter discusses mental and physical health correlates of identity processes and statuses. The chapter concludes with recommendations for future identity research with adolescent and emerging-adult populations.
Mariann Märtsin and Hala W. Mahmoud
This chapter explores the dialectic meaning of “home,” and movement away from home. Movement away from home—or migration—is characterized as a dynamic, dialectic, and developmental experience. We emphasize the sense of being at-home and the intertwined sense of identity as interlinked and mutually defining anchors of our existence that become inevitably shaken and ruptured in the experience of migration. But when looking at how this rupture is experienced and managed, we highlight the inherently complex and dialectic nature of migration, instead of seeing it as a unidirectional sequence from rupture to shock, to coping and finally to new stable being. We discuss the complexities of migration experiences as entailing dialectics of home and non-home, rupture and continuity, novelty and everydayness, changing and remaining. The sense of being at-home is simultaneously enabling and constraining, helping us to build self-continuity in a new environment, yet also holding us back and distancing us from novelty. Similarly, migration is a threat, yet also a promise; it is a painful, yet possibly exhilarating experience that makes us lose our center of security and familiarity, yet also opens up opportunities for transformation and reinvention.
Antonella Delle Fave
Flow or Optimal Experience is a positive and complex state of consciousness arising in situations characterized by the individual’s perception of high challenges in the task at hand, and of adequate personal skills. Its core psychological features are concentration, involvement, control of the situation, clear-cut feedback on the course of the activity, and clear goals. These features were detected among participants belonging to the most varied age groups, cultures, SES, and occupational categories. The cultivation of activities associated with optimal experience progressively promotes the increase of related skills, and the subsequent search for more complex challenges. From this perspective, flow represents a useful tool to promote learning, development, and well-being in the domains of work, leisure, education and health.
Stephen R. L. Clark
There are people where two or more personalities seem to have independent-and sometimes mutually forgetful-control of the same bodily individual. This chapter gives a brief account of the history of the diagnosis of "Multiple Personality Disorder" or (the more recent label) "Dissociative Identity Disorder", and the conflicting judgment of therapists, lawyers, and philosophers as to whether this is a real syndrome. It is suggested that the diagnosis may be therapeutically helpful for some other disturbances, including anorexia, even if it does not carry the strong metaphysical moral that some have supposed. The cases are of interest to philosophers as they purport to represent "real -life" difficulties for standard theories of "personal identity." The chapter argues that the diagnosis (and its rejection) depend on prior assumptions about such identity, and so don't easily confirm or rebut any available theory, including more ancient theories about demonic possession.
Peter Zachar and Robert F. Krueger
This chapter describes the introduction of the concept of personality in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as a secularization and medicalization of the notion of character. This secularization served as the key prelude to the initiation of the scientific study of personality traits. It also examines the origins of the concept of personality disorder in psychiatry's rejection of the disease-based concept of the degenerate, morbid personality. After setting the historical stage, the chapter explores three validity-related issues. The first is a question about what role values should play in the conceptualization of personality disorders. It is argued that that recent empirical research has shown that the evaluative issues that were historically associated with the concept of character have not been (and maybe cannot be) eliminated from the modern notion of personality. The second is a question about the nature of psychopathology in personality disorders. It is argued that, while developing an empirically based capacity-failure model is an important goal, currently multiple models are needed to justify the pathological nature of personality disorders. The third question is about the extent to which personality traits can be considered causal entities in the head that "carve nature at the joints." Characterizing the received view in contemporary trait theory as scientific realism, it is argued that in some cases, the arguments for realism about traits can be empirically refuted, or at least cast into doubt. The conclusion is that the relative merits of a more empiricist instrumental view and scientific realism have not been sorted out.
In contrast to current opinion which locates mental states including moods and emotions within our head, phenomenology regards affects as encompassing phenomena that connect body, self, and world. Based on the phenomenological approach, the chapter gives a detailed account of: (a) the feeling of being alive or vitality, (b) existential feelings, (c) affective atmospheres, (d) moods, and (e) emotions, emphasizing the embodied as well as intersubjective dimensions of affectivity. Thus, emotions are regarded as resulting from the circular interaction between affective affordances in the environment and the subject's bodily resonance, be it in the form of sensations, postures, gestures, or movement tendencies. A special section deals with the phenomena of interaffectivity, understood as the mutual empathic coupling of two embodied subjects. Psychopathological examples complete the phenomenological account of affectivity.
This chapter briefly reviews the history of positive psychology, and the endeavor by scientists to answer the classic question posed by philosophers: What is the good life? One piece of evidence for the growth of positive psychology is the proliferation of measures to assess concepts such as happiness, well-being, and virtue. The chapter briefly reviews the importance of C. R. Snyder to the field of positive psychology. Several critiques of positive psychology are discussed. One valid critique is that there is too much emphasis within positive psychology on the individual, and too little focus on positive societies, institutions, and situations. We can profit from considering the various critiques because they will help us to improve the field. Positive psychology has important strengths, such as the number of young scholars and practitioners who are entering the field. The Handbook of Positive Psychology is an outstanding resource for all those who are working in this discipline, and also for others outside of the area, to gain broad knowledge of the important developments that are occurring in our understanding of positive human functioning.
Psychopharmacological drugs have effects on selfhood in ways that often overlap with the treatment of mental disorders, but the effects also go beyond the domain of disorder into the sphere of enhancement. To what extent this is and will be the case depends, of course, on the definition and understanding of mental disorder. The psychotropic effects on selfhood can be mapped out by distinguishing groups of traits that belong to personality and that form dimensions of selfhood, but they can also be distinguished by acknowledging different layers of selfhood-pre-reflective embodied self, reflective self, and narrative self. The effects of psychopharmacological drugs in some cases normalize the alienating experiences of the breakdown of pre-reflective selfhood, in other cases they rather bring about changes in basic dimensions of selfhood and personality, such as temperament and emotional dispositions.
Darrin M. McMahon
This article examines the pursuit of happiness from a historical perspective, tracing Western philosophical reflection on the subject from the ancient Greeks to the present. Focusing on a number of key junctures or shifts in conceptions of happiness and its pursuit, the article nonetheless identifies a recurrent preoccupation: the frustrating tendency of human happiness to elude its would-be captors. Though this body of received wisdom, it is suggested, should not inhibit our further pursuit of an elusive human end, it does provide a cautionary message against the inflated expectations of our own day: the single-minded focus on happiness can be self-defeating.
Alexandra Rutherford and Wade Pickren
Teaching the history of psychology offers both challenges and opportunities for the psychology instructor. We present a variety of course development and pedagogical strategies by reviewing the literature on teaching the history of psychology that has developed since the late 1970s. Specifically, we 1) survey a variety of course aims and objectives; 2) address how to situate the history course within the psychology curriculum; 3) discuss approaches to teaching history (including how the course can help students develop a critical-analytic perspective on the discipline); and 4) highlight historiographic issues and debates. Finally, we survey a small selection of on-line resources that are particularly useful for teaching history.
This chapter argues that recent attempts to make sense of the delusion of thought insertion in terms of a distinction between two notions of thought ownership have been unsuccessful. It also proposes an alternative account, in which the delusion is to be interpreted in the light of its prehistory.