One of the best known psychologists of the 20th century was Jean Piaget. The memory he described was from when he was about 2 years old, a kidnapping attempt in which his nurse tried to protect him. According to the storehouse metaphor, memory is kind of a warehouse. When one remembers an event from one’s life, one looks through this warehouse. Remembering a past event is also a kind of simulation, a simulation of what happened in the past, rather than a veridical reproduction of the past. In fact, our best understanding is that brains are massively parallel simulation devices. Constructive theories deal with filling in gaps at encoding as the event transpires, whereas reconstructive theories deal with filling in gaps at retrieval as one tries to remember the event. When thinking about memory illusions it is important to make a similar distinction.
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This chapter presents the most salient psychological theories of personality. Personality is a core determinant of individual differences in everyday behaviors. The chapter discusses the difference between what psychologists broadly refer to as normal and what they regard as abnormal or clinical/mental illness. If one looks for an Elvis among personality psychologists, Sigmund Freud would be the one. During the mid-20th century, behaviorism emerged as a dominant paradigm for understanding human behavior, including personality. Although the social cognitive theory of personality has its origins in the radical behaviorist tradition, it emerged in clear opposition to it. According to the lexical hypothesis, historically, the most important and socially relevant behaviors that people display will eventually become encoded into language. Indeed, personality disorders are defined as long-standing, pervasive, and inflexible patterns of behavior and inner experience that deviate from the expectations of a person’s culture.Source:
So here the authors are, caught between two worldviews. In one camp, they have educators and academics, attempting to overthrow the “old guard”—those of them who define giftedness through the narrow lens of IQ tests. They are hoping to establish a raison d’etre for gifted education—a field with a wobbly foundation. In the other camp, the authors have parents and the psychologists who specialize in working with the gifted, railing against the externalizing of giftedness. They want the inner world of the gifted to be recognized and appreciated. Controversy has dogged the study of giftedness since its inception, and is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Multiple views will somehow have to learn to coexist. The psychology of giftedness is a fledgling. An impressive number of people think they know more about the gifted than one does and they are delighted to share their opinions.Source:
This chapter suggests some new directions that personality research is, or should be, taking as well as the future agenda of this research. In contrast, personality psychology provides us with a solid evidence base that people can lean on when searching for answers about human nature. Personality refers to the stable and consistent patterns we observe in how people behave, feel, and think. Associations between personality and intelligence have been found on the measurement level and hypothesized at a conceptual level. It is supposedly human nature not to trust humankind to provide the unselfish responses in questionnaires, or to possess an adequate level of self-awareness. Admittedly, this trend has been changing. An increasing number of organizations are using self-report personality measures and even laypeople seem to accept the notion of questionnaires more kindly than before.Source:
The purpose of this book is to dispel many of the myths about the gifted, define the term in a nonelitist manner, explore how it manifests in individuals, describe why it is important, consider its origins, examine its psychological implications, and provide guidelines for its recognition, assessment, and development. It provides a cohesive conception of the psychology and development of a group with special needs. This perspective was shaped through 50 years of concentrated study and is informed by the author’s experience as a teacher of gifted elementary students, a counselor of gifted adolescents, a teacher educator of graduate students in gifted education, a psychologist specializing in the assessment of giftedness, a clinician with gifted clients, the creator of a refereed psychological journal on adult giftedness, and a researcher. In humanistic psychology, optimal development has been conceptualized differently. Self-realization can be understood in terms of Maslow’s self-actualization, Dabrowski’s secondary integration, Jung’s individuation, or other theoretical perspectives of human development. Families, educators, and psychologists can support inner development or they can act as agents of socialization, exhorting the gifted to "work harder" to attain external trappings of success.
The ideas of Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato all contribute to the foundation of our understanding of the nature of human intelligence. Their ideas on topics as diverse as the origin of ability, the mind-body relationship, and general inquiry methods continued to inspire thinkers centuries later and influenced those who shaped modern psychology and intelligence theory. This chapter provides an overview of recent research on how people’s beliefs about intelligence impact their behaviors, a body of research that has significant implications for education. The emergence of reliable genetic and neurological research methodologies is creating a new area of study in which environmental, biological, and psychological facets of intelligence are studied simultaneously. Structure of Intellect (SOI) model represents a very different approach to theories of intelligence. Recent technological advances have encouraged explorations into the relationship between brain function and specific types of cognitive functioning.Source:
This chapter explores positive psychology’s attempt to identify significant human virtues. Early in the positive psychology movement it was recognized that in order to advance research on human excellence, there was a need to develop a classification system complete with measurable strengths that would be meaningful to the good life. The chapter describes and defines the six core virtues, and also explores some of the more specific human strengths thought to be clustered with each virtue. The author believe that the most significant achievement of the Values in Action (VIA) project was to identify virtues and strengths that appear to transcend time and culture. Finally the chapter emphasizes and recommends two other attempts to identify transcendent virtues that come from outside of psychology. To emphasize one virtue without the others is bound to result in an imbalanced life.
This chapter helps the reader to learn happiness matters. Happiness is not simply a nice consequence of a successful life. Indeed, happiness itself is consequential. Research has shown that there are a number of beneficial by-products to experiencing positive emotions frequently: better relationships, better health, and better occupational success. Lyubomirsky’s theory highlights the importance of the intentionality of positive activities and this brings up an important point about happy people’s pursuits. As positive psychology and the study of happiness come more and more into the public eye, the author increasingly see the need for science to be at the heart of positive psychology. The positive psychology movement has identified six primary virtues that are essential to the good life: wisdom, courage, love, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Although these virtues vary somewhat in their relationships to subjective well-being (SWB), they all may be seen as critical to the life well lived.
This book is about all the exciting aspects that have been investigated in the science of positive psychology. One of the reasons that the interest in positive psychology has increased so much in recent years is that people are interested in happiness, and they’re interested in enhancing their well-being. All conceptions of positive psychology involve something to do with the “positive side of life”, which is clearly contrasted with the negative side of life. The positive side of life seems to go by many names, such as happiness, flourishing, thriving, a worthwhile life, a meaningful life, a fulfilling life, or “what goes right in life”. The study of positive subjective states involves two related but distinct areas of study: positive emotions and subjective well-being (SWB). Positive psychologists often refer to two types of happiness: hedonic and eudaimonic. Any treatments of the history of happiness spend little time on ancient Jewish contributions to our understanding of well-being. From the early Christian tradition, writers encouraged enduring suffering now in the light of future happiness in the afterlife. The book focuses on two theories that are both representative and helpful to the field of positive psychology: the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and the Hedonic Adaptation Prevention (HAP) model. Gratitude and compassion are very important to the good life; however, when we also emphasize strengths such as prudence, humility, self-control, and integrity, we are much more likely to flourish. The issue of Internet relationships also brings up an alternative form of relationships: Our relationships with our pets. The book attempts to describe the cognitive characteristics of happy people.
- Go to chapter: Foundational Concepts and Issues of Positive Psychology: The What and Why of Happiness
This chapter shows that how positive psychology is in fact important to psychology as a whole. It attempts to explain the foundations of positive psychology. It looks at basic conceptions of happiness and subjective well-being (SWB) including all the debates therein, it explores the history of happiness, it debates the criticisms of positive psychology, it examines important theories of SWB and positive emotion, and finally it gives a taste of research in positive psychology. The chapter demonstrates the importance of the study of happiness and SWB. Moreover, as Fredrickson’s theory has shown, positive emotions are crucial, in that they broaden the authors’ momentary thought/action readiness and build essential personal resources for the future. Happiness and joy are consequential, as Helen Keller affirmed, “Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow”.