Discussion: Psych Response
Psych Discussion Response
Cognitive Therapy Techniques
Forum Assignment for the Week:
Discuss the theory of personality behind cognitive therapy. How can you recognize automatic thoughts? How can you identify your irrational beliefs? Discuss assessment and research in Beck’s theory.
Reply t the following response with 200 words minimum. (please make response as if having a conversation, respond directly to some of the statements in below post.)
The basis of cognitive theory as it relates to the theory of personality is based off Charles Darwin’s idea of evolution in that scientists began to pattern their thinking off the concept that as a child continued to develop, so did their thinking, or cognitive development (Friedman, 7, 215). There are many parts of the cognitive theory including whether a person thinks more as a field dependent or field independent person. The first tends to be more analytical in problem solving in various situations while the latter puts greater emphasis on the social aspects of the problem. Not only are their field dependencies to consider as it relates to the cognitive theory approach to understanding personality, but there are also cognitive complexities to be aware of. Cognitive complexity is how much a person is able to understand and categorize the events that happen in their life and how the connections are made between them and their personal or acquaintance type of relationships. Research has shown that those who aren’t able to analyze their experience well in a cognitive way interpret their world in a more black and white fashion and therefore in a straightforward, simple way when dealing with problems that arise. Whereas people who have a higher cognitive approach to events are better at dealing with ambiguous situations/problems that come their way (Friedman, 7, 216-218). In conclusion, cognitive theory has had a huge impact on the study of personality and is still a relevant approach to researching the construct of what makes us human.
Automatic thoughts are conclusions based on things that happen without a person even realizing it or doing it on purpose. For instance, I was on a date once with a man who was immediately agitated that we were not met by a server yet after 10 minutes of waiting. I on the other hand was not bothered by the time at all as I was so enjoying just being with him. I also thought nothing of it because it was a busy time of the evening and at a really classy place. I knew we would be served as soon as they were able. And if in fact we were forgotten, a simple raise of the hand or going to the front to make someone aware of our situation would suffice for me. However, after waiting 10 minutes and no service, my date said it was time to leave. He felt we were being treated poorly on purpose. Another key piece of information is that he was African American and I am Caucasian. This story is an example of the negative effects of automatic thoughts. As stated in Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research, we tend to “fill in the blanks” of what we perceive we saw based on our expectations and interpretations of the situation as well as our social stereotypes concerning religion, ethnicity, and so on (Friedman, 7, 220). Because automatic thoughts are just that, automatic and without purpose of thought, I think the only way to recognize my own automatic thoughts is through the help of friends who witness me doing it.
Identifying my own irrational beliefs would take a variety of things to happen. First, I would need to continually read about my beliefs and have conversations with others about them. Second, in order to come to an understanding that a belief I may have about something is irrational, I would need to do that reading and conversations with an open mind focused on understanding and wanting truth. Third, it would take a concerted effort to place the hard core ways I have been sometimes conditioned to believe as just that. And to understand that in the end, by focusing my mind on a search for truth it doesn’t mean my first held beliefs have to change. When in fact, my research may in fact validate what I had held to believe as true.
Berk’s theory of transference of past close relationships relating to how we interact with current relationships has proven to be quite accurate. He took a person aside one week and interviewed them on a person in their life who was close to them. The next week, he diverted the participant’s attention into a seemingly new category or research by sharing fictitious information with them about a new person they have not met nor will they. In the description of the fictitious person, he purposely made their characteristics resemble that of the person who was close to the participant. Berk then asked questions about the fictitious that were unrelated to any information that was given about that fictitious person. Incredibly, the participant answered the questions as if they knew the person. The participant was answering based on the idea of transferring their knowledge of their close relationship who had similar characteristics of the fictitious person onto that person. Berk’s research showed great significance in our understanding that cognitive and social-cognitive thought processes can display the concept of transference on their own (Friedman, 7, 224).
Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research. (2012). (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Friedman, Howard S., Schustack, Miriam W.
Psych Discussion Response
Psych Discussion Response
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