Chapter 16 The Cognitive Approach: Relevant Research Cognitions

Chapter 16 The Cognitive Approach: Relevant Research Cognitions

Chapter 16 The Cognitive Approach: Relevant Research Cognitions and Aggression Boys are much more likely to engage in physical acts of aggression than girls. Researchers are particularly interested in boys who engage in reactive aggression (angry, hostile aggression in response to frustration or provocation). Many provocations in life are unintended, but people can get seriously injuredor even killedif a thin-skinned hothead reacts instantly, violently, and with little or no

conscious control. The role of cognitions in aggression According to the cognitive perspective, exposure to violent images activates corresponding cognitions. Aggressive behavior scripts (for example, a fistfight) Aggressive interpretation of ambiguous situations (for example, teenage boys in the park) Crick and Dodge (1996). Hypothetical scenario study of aggressive and non-aggressive boys. The aggressive boys perceived more aggressive intent than the non-aggressive boys did. Metropolitan Area Child Study (2007). Children attended 40 one-hour sessions over two years. Compared to children in the control group, those in the aggression intervention group became less aggressive in

their response to hypothetical provocation scenarios as they got older. Gender, Memory, and Self-Construal Studies of differences in what men and women recall In a study asking men and women to recall either personal events from the past three years or events from American history, the women recalled more personal events whereas the men recalled more impersonal events (Seidlitz & Diener, 1998). Two differences between mens and womens recall help to explain this finding: Men and women differ in the extent to which self-relevant (i.e., personal) information is associated with emotions.

Men and women also differ in the extent to which information about themselves is associated with information about their personal relationships. Gender differences in the recall of emotional memories Because females in our culture are socialized to pay attention to their own emotions and other peoples emotions from an early age, women should be more likely than men to pay attention to and process information about emotions. Memories for both positive and negative emotional events should therefore be more accessible for women than for men. This prediction was confirmed in a study by Davis (1999). The participants in this study were cued with a series of emotional

words and phrases such as feeling rejected and getting something you really wanted. In response to these cues, women were able to remember more childhood events relevant to the emotions than men were. Number of emotional childhood memories recalled (Davis, 1999) 25 20 15 10 5 Women Men

Gender differences in self-concept and in memories about relationships Because females in our culture are socialized to develop more interdependent self-construals than males, the content of womens self-concepts should reflect this difference. In a study by Mackie (1983) that used the Who Am I? test, womens spontaneous self-descriptions included more statements than the mens about their role relationships as parents and family members. In a study by Clancy and Dollinger (1993), women and men were given 12-exposure cameras and asked to use them to describe who you are as you see yourself. The womens photos more often showed self with others than self alone, whereas the mens photos

more often showed self alone than self with others. Who Am I? 1. I am: 2. I am: 3. I am: 4. I am: 5. I am: 6. I am: 7. I am: 8. I am: 9. I am: 10. I am: 11. I am: 12. I am:

Gender differences in self-concept and in memories about relationships Because females in our culture are socialized to develop more interdependent self-construals than males, the content of womens self-concepts should reflect this difference. In a study by Mackie (1983) that used the Who Am I? test, womens spontaneous self-descriptions included more statements than the mens about their role relationships as family members, friends, etc. In a study by Clancy and Dollinger (1993), women and men were given 12-exposure cameras and asked to use them to describe who you are as you see yourself. The womens photos more often showed self with others than self alone, whereas the mens photos

more often showed self alone than self with others. Number of photographs used to portray self with others versus self alone (Clancy & Dollinger, 1993) 5 4 3 Men Women 2 1 0 Self with others

Self alone Gender differences in self-concept and in memories about relationships In a study by Josephs, Markus, and Tafarodi (1992), the researchers manipulated the schemas through which a set of stimulus words were processed. When the participants were later asked in a free recall test to remember as many of the stimulus words as possible, the women remembered more of the words processed through best friend and group schemas than the men did. Cognitions and Depression

The depressive cognitive triad (Beck,1972) Depressed people: typically have negative thoughts about themselves. are pessimistic about the future. tend to interpret ongoing experiences in a negative manner. In other words, depressed people look at the world through very dark glasses. Depressive schemas

In a study by Derry and Kuiper (1981), depressed patients and two groups of nondepressed individuals responded to a list of adjectives by pressing a YES or NO button to indicate if the word described them or not. Half of the words were related to depression (bleak, dismal, helpless), whereas the other half were not. The researchers then surprised the participants by giving them 3 minutes to recall and write down as many of the stimulus words as they could. As predicted, the depressed patients remembered the depressionassociated words better, whereas nondepressed patients and normals remembered the other words better, suggesting the operation of a depressive schema in the depressed patients. Proportion of self-descriptive words recalled

(Derry & Kuiper, 1981) 50 45 40 35 30 D words 25 ND words 20 15

10 5 0 D patients ND patients ND normals Depressive schemas Pace and Dixon (1993) compared the tendency to recall depression-related words before and after receiving cognitive therapy for depression. They found that the treatment resulted in a reduced recall of depression-related words, and this effect was

still evident one month after the completion of therapy. Clark and Teasdale (1982) gave depressed clients a series of words such as train and ice and asked them to recall real-life experiences that each word brought to mind. Each client was tested twice, once when feeling particularly depressed and once when feeling less depressed. Significantly more of the experiences recalled during the depressed period were unhappy ones. Percentage of depression-related words recalled by therapy clients (Pace & Dixon, 1993) 50 45 40 35

30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Before treatment After treatment One-month follow-up

Depressive schemas Pace and Dixon (1993) compared the tendency to recall negative words before and after receiving cognitive therapy for depression. They found that the treatment resulted in a reduced recall of depressing words, and this effect was still evident one month after the completion of therapy. Clark and Teasdale (1982) gave depressed clients a series of words such a train and ice and asked them to recall real-life experiences that each word brought to mind. Each client was tested twice, once when feeling particularly depressed and once when feeling less depressed. Significantly more of the experiences recalled during the depressed period were unhappy ones.

Percentages of happy and unhappy experiences recalled (Clark & Teasdale, 1982) 55 45 Happy experiences Unhappy experiences 35 25 When depressed

When less depressed Learned Helplessness Revisited: Attributional Model and Explanatory Style Examples of attributions by a failing student (Abramson et al., 1978) Internal Stable Global Specific

Unstable External Stable Unstable Lack of general intelligence Exhaustion ETS gives unfair tests

Bad luck: today is Friday the 13th Laziness I was ill and couldnt think clearly ETS tests for boring, useless information The new proctor is inexperienced and gives confusing

instructions I lack ability in mathematics I got fed up doing the math items ETS gives unfair math tests My copy of the math test was numbered 13 Math always

bores me I confused sines with cosines just long enough to miss all the trigonometry items Math tests are hard for most people The copies of the math test were blurred

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