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Cognitive and Social-Cognitive Aspects of Personality

What are the individual differences in explanatory style (e.g., optimism and pessimism) and the constructs of learned helplessness.

Explain how vicarious learning occurs and what are some of the things that determine whether or not a learned behavior is actually performed, and give an example of vicarious learning in personality development.

What is meant by internal versus external locus of control, including any pertinent considerations from social learning and how does locus of control relate to health (physical and mental)?

Take one element of the theories or ideas and apply it to a real person; such-as someone from current events, politics, business, sports, the entertainment field. Define the terms you're using, and apply them to an aspect of this person's life (a specific action, behavior, or decision, for example).How can we understand this person more fully by using this concept to understand him/her?

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AE 105878/Xenia Jones

Explanatory vs. Learned Construct

How do we make sense of our lives? When we reflect back on an event or think about the tasks ahead we do so by making meaning about it - it's impact on us then is shaped by this meaning. A pessimistic explanation shapes a negative view of the event whereas an optimistic explanation shapes a more empowering and hopeful meaning of the event. But at times, being helpless can be learned - not consciously of course but through conditioning, through socialization and institutionalized practices. Overmier (2009) stated that "showing learned helplessness is a clear instance of a distressed organism." While the primary research were on animals, it is clear that when exposed to stress and trauma, human beings react in a way that is debilitating so that they become helpless an unable to react normally, logically. The differences between a pessimistic view and a positive explanation is that a positive explanation allows for ...

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