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Flashcards in Mini-Theories Of Personality Deck (70):

Developed a lifelong concern with social injustice after a dramatic change in circumstances brought about by his family's financial suffering during the 1929 economic depression; witnessed firsthand the powerful lesson on how personality and behavior were affected by situational conditions

Julian Rotter (developed the Locus of Control Theory)


To Rotter, a belief that reinforcement is brought about by our own behavior

Internal Locus of Control


To Rotter, a belief that reinforcement is under the control of other people, fate or luck

External Locus of Control


Self-report inventory developed by Rotter to assess locus of control

Internal-External (I-E) Scale


A widely used 40-item test that has been translated into two dozen languages, initially used for children

Children's Nowicki-Strickland Internal-External Scale
An adult form of the scale is available, as well as a cartoon version for use with preschool children.


Studies have shown that attempts to control our external environment begin in __, becoming more pronounced between ages __. People become more __ oriented as they grow older, reaching a peak in __.

Infancy; 8 to 14; Internally; Middle age


A large-scale research program reported a strong relationship between Rotter's concept of locus of control and Bandura's concept of __.

A major difference between the two concepts is that locus of control can be generalized over many situations whereas self-efficacy tends to be specific to a particular situation.


Rotter's research has been highly __ and that he used __ measures whenever possible.

Rigorous and well-controlled; Objective


The need for varied, novel, complex and intense sensations and experience, and the willingness to take physical, social, legal and financial risks for the sake of such experience

Sensation Seeking


__ proposed the concept of sensation seeking and noted that it has a large __ component.

Marvin Zuckerman; Hereditary


A 40-item questionnaire constructed by Zuckerman to measure sensation seeking

Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS)


A component of sensation seeking related to the need to seek release in uninhibited social activities



A component of sensation seeking which refers to the search for novel experiences through travel, music, art or a nonconformist lifestyle with similarly inclined persons

Experience seeking


A component of sensation seeking associated with an aversion to repetitive experiences, routine work and predictable people, and a reaction of restless discontent when exposed to such situations

Boredom susceptibility


A component of sensation seeking which involves a desire to engage in physical activities involving speed, danger, novelty and defiance of gravity such as parachuting, scuba diving or bungee jumping

Thrill and adventure seeking


Identify the two kinds of sensation seeking according to Zuckerman

Good type / non-impulsive socialized sensation seeking (thrill and adventure seeking component)
Bad type / impulsive unsocialized sensation seeking (disinhibition, experience seeking and boredom susceptibility components)


__ began research on a limited-domain aspect of personality he calls __, which is a condition resulting from the perception that we have no control over our environment, that there is nothing we can do to change our circumstances.

Martin Seligman; Learned Helplessness


To Seligman, a way of explaining to ourselves our relative lack of control over our environment

Explanatory Style


__ explanatory style can prevent learned helplessness; __ spreads helplessness to all facets of life

Optimistic; Pessimistic


The belief that good things are much more likely to happen to oneself than to others

Unrealistic Optimism


Seligman referred to __ as the "ultimate pessimism."

Seligman observed similarities between the symptoms of depression and the characteristics of learned helplessness.


Identify symptoms in depression similar to learned helplessness

-Difficulty learning that responses produce outcomes
-Introjected hostility (lack of aggression)
-Loss of libido
-Norepinephrine depletion
-Ulcers and stress, feelings of helplessness


According to Seligman, the important difference between people who recover from temporary depression and those who do not is their __. Learned helplessness becomes full-blown depression when the person who fails is a __. In __, a failure produces only brief demoralization.

Explanatory style; Pessimist; Optimists


Although learned helplessness can occur throughout life, Seligman believes we are particularly vulnerable in __ and __. Research shows that a consistent explanatory style develops by about age __ and is strongly affected by the __.

Infancy; Early childhood; 8; Parent's explanatory style


__ was advanced in the late __ by __ during his term as president of __. It deals with happiness, excellence, and optimal human functioning.

Positive psychology; 1990s; American Psychological Association


Identify the major difference between humanistic psychology and positive psychology

Seligman's positive psychology relies on rigorous experimental research as opposed to the highly subjective approach of Maslow


Psychological terminology for the happy personality; encompassing a cognitive evaluation of the quality of one's life experience and a possession of positive affect

Subjective well-being or life satisfaction


Identify the dinstinct components or types of happiness proposed by Seligman

The Pleasant Life / Positive emotion (great deal of positive emotions such as satisfaction, job contentment, serenity and optimism)
The Engaged Life / Engagement (involvement, commitment and absorption in work)
The Meaningful Life / Meaning (committing one's talents and abilities in the service of a cause or purpose larger than oneself)


__ University first offered a course on positive psychology in __, of which only 20 students signed up; by __, it had become the most popular course on campus, with an enrollment of 854

Harvard; 1999; 2006


Identify the most prominent characteristics of the happy personality according to research

-Low neuroticism
-High extraversion
-High autonomy
-High self-esteem
-High self-efficacy
-Internal locus of control
-A sense of being in control of one's life


The __ of both __ and __ attempt to synthesize the strengths of reinforcement theory and with those of cognitive theory. They view people as forward-looking, purposive, unified, cognitive, affective and social animals who ate capable of evaluating __ experiences and anticipating __ events on the basis of __ they have chosen for themselves.

Cognitive social learning theories; Julian Rotter; Walter Mischel; Present; Future; Goals


According to Rotter, people's behavior in a specific situation is a function of their __ and the strength of the __ satisfied by those reinforcements.

Expectations of reinforcements; Needs


In specific situations, behavior is estimated by the __ that suggests that the potential for a given behavior to occur is function of the person's expectancy plus the value of the reinforcement.

Basic Prediction Formula


The __ states that need potential is a function of freedom of movement and need value.

General Prediction Formula


__ is the possible occurrence of a set of functionally related behaviors directed toward the satisfaction of a goal or a similar set of goals.

Need Potential (NP)


__ is the average expectancy that a set of related behaviors will be reinforced.

Freedom of Movement (FM)


__ is the degree to which a person prefers one set of reinforcements to another.

Need Value (NV)


In many situations, people develop __ for success because a similar set of experiences has been previously reinforced.

Generalized Expectancies (GE)


__ is a generalized expectancy that refers to people's belief that they can or cannot control their lives.

Locus of Control


__ is a generalized expectancy that the word of another is reliable.

Interpersonal Trust


__ refers to those actions that fail to move a person closer to a desired goal. Maladjusted individuals are characterized by __ goals, __ behaviors, __ skills or __ expectancies.

Maladaptive Behaviors; Unrealistic; Inappropriate; Inadequate; Unreasonably low


Rotter's method of psychotherapy aims toward __ and __.

Changing goals; Eliminating low expectancies


Mischel's __ suggests that people's behavior is largely shaped by an interaction of stable personality traits and the situation, which include a number of personal variables.

Cognitive-Affective Personality/Processing System (CAPS)


__ have some consistency over time but little consistency from one situation to another.

Personal Dispositions


To Mischel, relatively stable personal dispositions interact with __ to produce behavior.

Cognitive-affective units


Cognitive-affective units include people's __, or their way of construing and categorizing information; their __, or what they can do and their strategies for doing it; their __ about the perceived consequences of their actions; their __; and their __.

Encoding strategies;
Competencies and self-regulatory plans;
Expectancies and beliefs;
Goals and values;
Affective responses


Mischel's contributions to personality theory have evolve from research on __.

Delay of gratification


Identify the most well known assessment instruments constructed by Rotter

Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank
Interpersonal Trust Scale
Internal-External Control Scale


Rotter defines __ as any action, condition or event which affects the individual's movement toward a goal. This is related to his __ which states that other things being equal, people are most strongly reinforced by behaviors that move them in the direction of anticipated goals.

Reinforcement; Empirical law of effect


Identify the four variables that must be analyzed in predicting specific behaviors according to Rotter

1. Behavior Potential (possibility that a particular response will occur at a given time and space)
2. Expectancy (expectation that some specific reinforcement or set of reinforcements will occur in a given situation)
3. Reinforcement Value (preference a person attaches to any reinforcement)
4. Psychological Situation (part of the external and internal world to which a person is responding)


To Rotter, any response, implicit or explicit, that can be observed or measured directly or indirectly



Total expectancy of success is a function of both one's __, which is learned through previous experiences with a particular response or similar responses, and one's __.

Generalized expectancy; Specific expectancy


__ refers to the individual's perception of whether an event has a positive or negative value; __ refers to events, conditions, or actions on which one's society or culture places a value

Internal reinforcement; External reinforcement


Expound Rotter's hypothetical Basic Prediction Formula

The potential for behavior (x) to occur in situation (1) in relation to reinforcement (a) is a function of the expectancy that behavior (x) will be followed by reinforcement (a) in situation (1) and the value of reinforcement (a) in situation (1)


Identify the three broader variables that must be analyzed in predicting general behaviors according to Rotter

1. Need Potential (possible occurrence of a set of functionally related behaviors directed toward satisfying the same or similar goals)
2. Freedom of Movement (overall expectation of being reinforced for performing those behaviors)
3. Need Value (degree to which one prefers one set of reinforcements to another)
Collectively, they are the three essential components of a need complex.


To Rotter, any behavior or set of behaviors that people see as moving them in the direction of a goal



Differentiate goals from needs

When focus is on the environment, Rotter speaks of goals; when it is on the person, he talks of needs


Identify six broad categories of needs proposed by ROtter

Love and Affection
Physical Comfort


The most basic need because other needs are learned in relation to it

Physical Comfort
Other needs are learned as an outgrowth of needs for pleasure, physical contact and well-being.


Expound Rotter's General Prediction Formula

Need potential is a function of freedom of movement and need value


To Rotter, people strive to reach their goals because they have a __ that such strivings will be successful.

Generalized expectancy


It measured the degree to which people perceive a causal relationship between their own efforts and environmental consequences

Internal-External Control Scale (by Rotter)
Very high external scores might be related to apathy and despair; extremely high internal scores would mean that people accept responsibility for everything that happens to them.


Identify possible reasons why people may have low expectancies of success or low freedom of movement

-They lack the skills or information needed to successfully strive toward their goals
-They make faulty evaluation of the present situation
-They make inadequate generalization such as using failure in one situation as proof that they cannot be successful in other areas


What is the goal of Rotter's therapy?

To bring freedom of movement and need value into harmony by changing the importance of goals and eliminating unrealistically low expectancies for success


__ proposed cognitive-affective personality theory which holds that behavior stems from relatively stable __ and __ processes interacting with a particular __.

Walter Mischel; Personal dispositions; Cognitive-affective; Situation


Concept that refers to the idea that both laypersons and professional psychologists seem to intuitively believe that people's behavior is relatively consistent, yet empirical evidence suggests much variability in behavior

Consistency Paradox


Mischel and Shoda's Cognitive-Affective Personality System predicts that a person's behavior will __ from situation to situation in a __ manner; it can be conceptualized in the framework __.

Change; Meaningful; If A, then X; but if B, then Y.


To Mischel, a person's consistent manner of varying his behavior (or pattern of variability) in particular situations

Behavioral Signature of Personality


Include all those psychological, social and physiological aspects of people that cause them to interact with their environment with a relatively stable pattern of variation

Cognitive-affective units


According to Mischel, people's __ enables them to plan, initiate, and maintain behaviors even when environment support is weak or nonexistent.

Self-regulatory system
Notable people with such system are Abraham Lincoln and Mohandas Gandhi.