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Social Cognitive Perspective

views behavior as influenced by the interaction between persons (and their thinking) and their social context. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 623)

Reciprocal Determinism

the interacting influences between personality and environmental factors. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 623)

Personal Control

our sense of controlling our environment rather than feeling helpless. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 625)

External Locus of Control

the perception that chance or outside forces beyond one's personal control determine one's fate. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 625)

Internal Locus of Control

the perception that one controls one's own fate. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 625)

Learned Helplessness

the hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 625)

Positive Psychology

the scientific study of optimal human functioning; aims to discover and promote strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 628)

Spotlight Effect

overestimating others' noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders (as if we presume a spotlight shines on us). (Myers Psychology 8e p. 632)

Self Esteem

one's feelings of high or low self-worth. (Myers Psychology 8e p. 632)

Self Serving Bias

a readiness to perceive oneself favorably (Myers Psychology 8e p. 634)

Albert Bandura

1925-present; Field: sociocultural; Contributions: pioneer in observational learning, stated that people profit from the mistakes/successes of others; Studies: Bobo Dolls-adults demonstrated 'appropriate' play with dolls, children mimicked play

Reciprocal Determinism

Bandura's explanation of how the factors of environment, personal characteristics, and behavior can interact to determine future behavior

Triadic Reciprocality

3 factors that interact: 1) thoughts and expectations, 2) our behavior, 3) our environment

Julian Rotter

Developed terms: internal/external locus of control

Martin Seligman

Conducted experiments with dogs that led to the concept of "learned helplessness." He believed that an animal's capacity for conditioning is constrained by its biology --> species are naturally predisposed to learn associations that enhance survival.

William Sheldon

1898-1977; Field: personality; Contributions: theory that linked personality to physique on the grounds that both are governed by genetic endowment: endomorphic (large), mesomorphic (average), and ectomorphic (skinny)


A term that refers to a person's individual body type. One researcher (Sheldon) suggested that there are three basic body types, ectomorph (linear), mesomorph (muscular), and endomorph (round).

George Kelly

Personal Construct Psychology. investigative technique, which would remove the influence of the observer's frame of reference on what was observed. he believed (personal construct theory) our personality consists of our thoughts about ourselves, including our biases, errors, mistakes, and false conclusions

Personal Construct Theory

Kelly's description of personality in terms of cognitive processes. we are capable of interpreting behaviors and events and of using this understanding to guide our behavior and to predict the behavior of other people

Nomothetic Theory

an approach to explanation in which we seek to identify a few causal factors that generally impact a class of conditions of events (general)

Ideographic Theory

any number of those traits

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