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The Encyclopedia of Psychology
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  • Cognitive Social Theories

    There are two early cognitive social theories, those of Bandura and Mischel. Bandura pioneered the study of observational learning (or vicarious conditioning). He believed that, rather than operating in a mechanistic way, reinforcement provides information about future reinforcement. Such information can be gleaned by watching models' behavior rather than by behaving in a particular way and experiencing the consequences oneself. Note how this definition of reinforcement differs from that of Skinner, for whom one had to experience reinforcement personally to increase a target behavior. Note also that for Bandura, thinking is not an irrelevant activity that occurs within a "black box," but rather is an important object of study in its own right.

    Added: March 29, 2000 Hits: 19336

  • Five-Factor Model

    The five-factor model is comprised of five personality dimensions (OCEAN): openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The five dimensions are held to be a complete description and completely descriptive; their causes are a matter of relative indifference. The PEN Model, by contrast, is held to have a psychophysiological basis. Extraversion and agreeableness are only rotations of the dimensions in Interpersonal Theory.

    Added: March 29, 2000 Hits: 7493

  • Great Ideas in Personality

    How do people tend to think, feel, and behave--and what causes these tendencies? These are the questions that occupy personality theorists and researchers. This website deals with scientific research programs in personality. They are offered as candidates for the title "great ideas"; whether they are indeed great remains an open question.

    Added: March 29, 2000 Hits: 8005

  • Interpersonal Theory

    Interpersonal theory deals with people's characteristic interaction patterns, which vary along the dimensions of dominance and friendliness. Interpersonal theory's two dimensions are part of the Five-Factor Model, and its interpersonal focus is shared with Attachment Theory.

    Added: March 29, 2000 Hits: 4097

  • The PEN Model: Its Contribution to Personality Psychology

    To explain individual differences in personality or temperament, Eysenck proposed the PEN model and Gray attempted to reformulate Eysenck's theory. This paper summarizes and evaluates the PEN model. Special attention is given to the contribution of the PEN model to an experimental approach to the study of personality. In the PEN model, personality is comprised of three major dimensions: extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism. These descriptive dimensions have psychophysiological roots in which cortical arousal causes extraversion, visceral brain activation causes neuroticism, and gonadal hormones and enzymes cause psychoticism.

    Added: March 29, 2000 Hits: 2241

  • Basic Emotions

    Many psychologists have claimed that certain emotions are more fundamental than others, often for very different reasons. According to the PEN Model, emotions arise as aspects of a person's personality. Many Personality Disorders include problems with emotions, in addition to problems with thoughts and behavior.

    Added: March 29, 2000 Hits: 18912

  • Intelligence

    Intelligence might be defined broadly as facility at solving problems. Clearly, such facility is related to the competencies described in Cognitive Social Theories. The heritability of intelligence has been shown by many studies in Behavior Genetics.

    Added: March 29, 2000 Hits: 11872

  • One Intelligence or Many?--Alternative Approaches to Cognitive Abilities

    To this day, how exactly to define intelligence is still debated. There are, however, two major schools of thought on its nature and properties. This paper examines and evaluates the two opposing theories on the nature of intelligence. The two opposing theories of intelligence are the one general intelligence school of thought and the multiple intelligences school of thought. The general intelligence proponents believe that there is one factor from which all intelligence is derived; the multiple intelligences proponents believe that there are different kinds of intelligence. Each theory has merit and evidence to support its claims.

    Added: March 29, 2000 Hits: 4907

  • Behavior Genetics

    Added: March 29, 2000 Hits: 1944

  • Effect of Addictive History on Conditioned Responses Anticipatory to the Effects of Heroin

    The object of this study was to examine the direction and intensity of the anticipatory conditioned responses of mimetic character (conditioned sensitivity) and of compensatory character (conditioned abstinence) to the analgesic and subjective effects of heroin. There were four different groups, 16 men in each: G1, non-addicts; G2, occasional users; G3, non-detoxified addicts; G4, detoxified addicts. The responses, heart rate (HR), electrodermal activity (EA), desire for heroin (HD), withdrawal symptoms self-perception (WSS), and subjective symptoms mimetic to those induced by heroin (SMS) were evaluated before and after the projection of two films, one with neutral stimuli, the other with heroin-related stimuli.

    Added: March 28, 2000 Hits: 1009

  • Effects of Alcohol on Divided Attention and on Accuracy of Attentional Shift

    Added: March 28, 2000 Hits: 1338

  • The Problem of Tobacco Addiction: Meta-analysis of Behavioural Treatments in Spain

    This work presents the results of a meta-analytic study on the effectiveness of multi-component programs in the treatment of subjects addicted to smoking. An exhaustive literature search identified 16 empirical studies carried out in Spain from 1980 to 1996, providing a total of 37 independent works with data from 1,979 subjects. The results showed a clear global effectiveness of behavioural treatments, although this was reduced by half after 18 months of follow-up.

    Added: March 28, 2000 Hits: 637