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Stubs about theories

Dr. Simon Moss

This page presents stubs--that is, preliminary extracts--about specific theories.

COGNITIVE NEOASSOCIATION THEORY

When individuals experience some aversive event--an unfair criticism, for example--they subsequently become more inclined to act aggressively towards anyone who acts even marginally offensively or critically. In other words, individuals often displace their anger and hostility from one person to another person.

Interestingly, however, individuals do not direct this displaced aggression towards someone who they perceive as similar or connected to themselves. Cognitive neoassociation theory, propounded by Berkowitz (1983, 1988, 1989, 1993&

Finman & Berkowitz, 1989), can accommodate this finding as well as many other observations. This finding extends the frustration-aggression hypothesis, popularized by Dollard et al. (1939).

According to the cognitive neoassociation theory, several stages or phases of cognitive processes underpin such displaced aggression. First, an aversive event--a physical attack, aloud noise, an uncomfortable temperature, the withdrawal of resources, or exclusion from some collective, for instance--evokes negative affective states. These negative states automatically activate motor responses, memories, thoughts, and feelings that correspond to either fight or flight inclinations. That is, adverse events elicit physical and psychological correlates of attack and anger or escape and fear.

Several factors determine whether fight or flight inclinations will prevail. First, the characteristics of individuals, such as their physical size, might determine whether attack or escape is more likely. Second, the context, such as the relative strength of opponents, might also affect these inclinations.

Cues that tend to coincide with these aversive events will also become associated with these fight or flight inclinations. If individuals often experience an inclination to attack when a gun is in the room, over time, this object will evoke a fight rather than flight reaction.

As a consequence, extensive emotional networks develop over time. Concepts that are frequently activated simultaneously, such as fear and shoot, are strongly associated with each other. When one of these concepts is activated, such as when individuals hear a gunshot, associated concepts are activated as well, such as the experience of fear.

Second, only after these automatic responses are evoked, subsequent cognitions can shape the reactions and experiences of individuals. During this stage, individuals consider the causes of their unpleasant experiences. In addition, they clarify the precise nature of these feelings, distinguishing between distinct forms of anger for example. Furthermore, they reflect upon the consequences of their actions and regulate their responses accordingly.

Hence, their initial reactions of anger or fear are clarified, modified, enriched, differentiated, amplified, or inhibited, provided that individuals are motivated to engage in these cognitive processes. The emotional schemas of individuals determine the interpretions and decisions they will extract.

APPLICATION OF COGNITIVE NEOASSOCIATION THEORY

references

Berkowitz, L. (1983). Aversively stimulated aggression: Some parallels and differences in research with animals and humans.

American Psychologist

, 38, 1135-1144.

Berkowitz, L. (1988). Frustrations, appraisals, and aversively stimulated aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 14, 3-11.

Berkowitz, L. (1989). Frustration-aggression hypothesis: Examination and reformulation. Psychological Bulletin, 106, 59-73.

Berkowitz, L. (1993). Aggression: Its causes, consequences, and control. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Bushman, B. J. (2002). Does venting anger feed or extinguish the flame? Catharsis, rumination, distraction, anger, and aggressive responding. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 724-731.

Dollard J., Doob L., Miller N., Mowrer O., & Sears, R. (1939). Frustration and Aggression. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press

Finman, R., & Berkowitz, L. (1989). Some factors influencing the effect of depressed mood on anger and overt hostility toward another.

Journal of Research in Personality

, 23, 70-84.

Pedersen, W. C., Bushman, B. J., Vasquez, E. A., & Miller, N. (2008). Kicking the (barking) dog effect: The moderating role of target attributes on triggered displaced aggression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1382-1395.

INTERPRETATION COMPARISON MODEL

References

Martin, L. (1986). Set/reset: Use and disuse of concepts in impression formation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 493-504.

Murphy, S. T., & Zajonc, R. B. (1993). Affect, cognition, and awareness: Affective priming with optimal and suboptimal stimulus exposures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 723-739.

Schwarz, N., & Bless, H. (1992). Constructing reality and its alternatives: An inclusion/exclusion model of assimilation and contrast effects in social judgment. In L. Martin & A. Tesser (Eds.), The construction of social judgments (pp. 217-245). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Stapel, D. A. (2007). In the mind of the beholder: The interpretation comparison model of accessibility effects. In D. A. Stapel & J. Suls (Eds.), Assimilation and contrast in social psychology. New York: Psychology Press.

Stapel, D. A., & Blanton, H. (2004). From seeing to being: Subliminal social comparisons affect implicit and explicit self evaluations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 468-481.

Stapel, D. A., & Koomen, W. (2001). The impact of interpretation versus comparison goals on knowledge accessibility effects. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 37, 134-149.

Stapel, D. A., Koomen, W., & Ruys, K. (2002). The effects of diffuse and distinct affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 60-74.

Stapel, D. A., Koomen, W., & van der Pligt, J. (1996). The referents of trait inferences: The impact of trait concepts versus actor-trait links on subsequent judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 437-450.

Stapel, D. A., Koomen, W., & Zeelenberg, M. (1998). The impact of accuracy motivation on interpretation, comparison, and correction processes: Accuracy Motivation x Knowledge accessibility effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 878-893.

Stapel, D. A., & Semin, G. R. (2007). The magic spell of language: Linguistic categories and their perceptual consequences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 34-48.

Stapel, D. A., & Suls, J. (2004). Method matters: Effects of implicit versus explicit social comparisons on activation, behavior, and self-views. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 860-875.

Wyer, R. S., & Srull, T. K. (1989).

Memory and cognition in its social context

. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

RULE GOVERNANCE

References

Barnes-Holmes, D., Hayes, S. C., & Dymond, S. (2001). Self and self-directed rules. In Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (Eds.), Relational frame theory: A post-Skinnerian account of human language and cognition (pp. 119-139). New York: Plenum Press.

Bond, F. W., & Flaxman, P. E. (2006). The ability of psychological flexibility and job control to predict learning, job performance, and mental health. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 26 (1/2), 113-130.

Bond, F. W., Hayes, S. C., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2006). Psychological flexibility, ACT, and organizational behavior. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 26 (1/2), 25-154.

Cullen C. (1998). The trouble with rules. Psychologist, 11, 471-5.

Haas, J. R., & Hayes, S. C. (2006). When knowing you are doing well hinders performance: Exploring the interaction between rules and feedback. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 26 (1/2), 91-111.

Hayes, S. C. (Ed.). (1989). Rule-governed behavior: Cognition, contingencies, and instructional control. Plenum: New York.

Hayes, S. C., & Brownstein, A. J. (1986). Mentalism, behavior-behavior relations and a behavior analytic view of the purposes of science. The Behavior Analyst, 9, 175-190.

Hayes, S. C., & Gifford, E. V. (1997). The trouble with language: Experiential avoidance, rules, and the nature of verbal events. Psychological Science, 8, 170-173.

Hayes, S. C., & Gifford, E. V., Hayes, G. J. (1998). Moral behavior and the development of verbal regulation. Behavior Analyst, 21, 253-279.

Hayes, S. C., & Hayes, L. J. (1989). The verbal action of the listener as a basis for rule-governance. In S. C. Hayes (Ed.), Rule-governed behavior: Cognition, contingencies, and instructional control (pp. 153-190). New York: Plenum.

Hayes, S. C., & Wilson, K. G. (1993). Some applied implications of a contemporary behavior-analytic account of verbal events. The Behavior Analyst, 16, 283-301.

Hayes, S. C., Zettle, R. D., & Rosenfarb, I. (1989). Rule following. In S. C. Hayes (Ed.), Rule-governed behavior: Cognition, contingencies, and instructional control, (pp. 191-220). New York: Plenum

Zettle, R. D., & Hayes, S. C. (1982). Rule-governed behavior: A potential theoretical framework for cognitive-behavior therapy. In P. C. Kendall (Ed.), Advances in cognitive-behavioral research and therapy (pp. 73-118). New York: Academic.

RELATIONAL FRAME THEORY

References

Barnes, D., & Roche, B. (1996). Relational frame theory and stimulus equivalence are fundamentally different: A reply to Saunders' commentary.

The Psychological Record

, 46, 489-507.

Barnes, D., Browne, M., Smeets, P. M., & Roche, B. (1995). A transfer of functions and a conditional transfer of functions through equivalence relations in three- to six-year old children. The Psychological Record, 45, 405-430.

Barnes, D., McCullagh, P. D., & Keenan, M. (1990). Equivalence class formation in non-hearing impaired children and hearing impaired children. Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 8, 1-11.

Barnes-Holmes, D. & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (2000). Explaining complex behavior: Two perspectives on the concept of generalized operant classes. The Psychological Record, 50, 251-265.

Barnes-Holmes, D., O'Hora, D., Roche, B., Hayes, S. C., Bissett, R. T., & Lyddy, F. (2001). Understanding and verbal regulation. In. S. C. Hayes, D. Barnes-Holmes, & B. Roche (Eds), Relational frame theory: A post-Skinnerian account of language and cognition (pp. 103-117). New York: Plenum Press.

Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D., Roche, B., & Smeets, P. M. (2001). Exemplar training and a derived transformation of function in accordance with symmetry. The Psychological Record, 51, 287-308.

Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Smeets, P. M. (2004). Establishing relational responding in accordance with opposite as generalized operant behavior in young children. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 4, 559-586.

Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D., Smeets, P. M., Strand, P., & Friman, P. (2004). Establishing relational responding in accordance with more-than and less-than as generalized operant behavior in young children. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 4, 531-558.

Carr, D., Wilkinson, K. M., Blackman, D. E., & McIlvane, W. J. (2000). Equivalence classes in individuals with minimal verbal repertoires. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 71, 101-114.

Devany, J. M., Hayes, S. C., & Nelson, R. O. (1986). Equivalence class formation in language-able and language-disabled children. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 46, 243-257.

Dymond, S., & Barnes, D. (1994). A transfer of self-discrimination response functions through equivalence relations. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 62, 251-267.

Dymond, S., & Barnes, D. (1995). A transformation of self-discrimination response functions in accordance with the arbitrarily applicable relations of sameness, more-than, and less-than. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 64, 163-184.

Dymond, S., & Barnes, D. (1996). A transformation of self-discrimination response functions in accordance with the arbitrarily applicable relations of sameness and opposition. The Psychological Record, 46, 271-300.

Grey, I. M., & Barnes, D. (1996). Stimulus equivalence and attitudes. The Psychological Record, 46, 243-270.

Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (2001). (Eds.). Relational frame theory: A post-Skinnerian account of language and cognition. New York: Plenum Press.

Healy, O., Barnes, D., & Smeets, P. M. (1998). Derived relational responding as an operant: The effects of between-session feedback. The Psychological Record, 48, 511-536.

Healy, O., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Smeets, P. M. (2000). Derived relational responding as generalized operant behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 74, 207-227

Lipkens, G., Hayes, S. C., & Hayes, L. J. (1993). Longitudinal study of derived stimulus relations in an infant. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 56, 201-239.

McHugh, L., Barnes-Holmes, Y., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2004). An RFT account of the development of complex cognitive phenomena: Perspective-taking, false belief understanding and deception. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 4, 303-324

O'Hora, D. O., & Maglieri, K. A. (2006). Goal statements and goal-directed behavior: A relational frame account of goal setting in organizations. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 26, 131-170.

Reese, H. W. (1968). The perception of stimulus relations: Discrimination learning and transposition. New York: Academic Press.

Roche, B., Barnes-Holmes, D., Smeets, P. M., Barnes-Holmes, Y., & McGeady, S. (2000). Contextual control over the derived transformation of discriminative and sexual arousal functions. The Psychological Record, 50, 267-291

Schauss, S., Chase, P., & Hawkins, R. (1997). Environment behavior relations, behavior therapy, and the process of persuasion and attitude change. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 28, 31-40.

Sidman, M., Rauzin, R., Lazar, R., Cunningham, S., Tailby, W., & Carrigan, P. (1982). A search for symmetry in the conditional discrimination of rhesus monkeys, baboons, and children. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 37, 23-44.

Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: Macmillan.

Skinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Steele, D., & Hayes, S. C. (1991). Stimulus equivalence and arbitrarily applicable derived relational responding. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 56, 519-555

Wilson, K. G., & Hayes, S. C. (1996). Resurgence of derived stimulus relations. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 66, 267-281.

SELF EXPANSION THEORY

Overview

Aron and Aron (1997) formulated the self-expansion model of motivation and cognition. According to this model, individuals are fundamentally motivated to extend their resources and attributes, primilary to achieve future goals (Aron & Aron, 1986& 1996, 1997). Critically, close relationships afford individuals with the opportunity to expand their resources and attributes. That is, individuals assimilate the resources and attributes of romantic partners, close friends, or some relatives into their own self concept. For example, if their partner is extraverted, they perceive this attribute as part of their own repetoire.

One of the key implications of this model is that individuals will seek relationships with someone who demonstrates a profile of resources or attributes that departs from their own qualities.

Measures

The inclusion of other in the self scale was designed to measure the extent to which individuals feel their identity overlaps with another person (see Aron, Aron, & Smollan, 1992). This overlap reflects the extent to which individuals feel close to another person. Seven pairs of circles are presented, each overlapping to different degrees, from no overlap to complete overlap. Participants specify the pair of circles that most closely represents the extent to which they feel they overlap with another person (for an example of this application, see Fitzsimons & Shah, 2008).

References

Aron, A., & Aron, E. (1986).

Love and the expansion of self: Understanding attraction and satisfaction

. New York: Hemisphere.

Aron, A., Aron, E. N., & Smollan, D. (1992). Inclusion of Other in the Self Scale and the structure of interpersonal closeness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 596-612.

Aron, A., Aron, E. N., Tudor, M., & Nelson, G. (1991). Close relationships as including other in the self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 241-253.

Fitzsimons, G. M, & Shah, J. Y. (2008). How goal instrumentality shapes relationship evaluations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 319-337.

SHARED REPRESENTATIONAL SYSTEMS

Overview

Several scholars argue that perception and action are represented in overlapping schemas

(Dijksterhuis & Bargh, 2001& Prinz, 1990). For example, the schema associated with elderly individuals guides both the perception of a person as well as responses towards this person. When this schema is activated, attention is directed towards features that characterize elderly individuals--grey hair, facial wrinkles, impaired hearing, wise aphorisms, slow movement, and so forth. In addition, behaviors that are often enacted in response to elderly individuals, such as speaking loudly or moving slowly, are also primed and thus more likely to be emitted.

Evidence that perception affects action

Elderly stereotype

Many studies have shown that perceptual features that activate a specific schema can also affect the behaviors of individuals. Indeed, many studies have shown that features that relate to the elderly stereotype tend to evoke behaviors that also relate to this stereotype. For example, Kawakami, Dovidio, and Dijksterhuis (2003) showed that photographs of elderly individuals promoted the expression of conservative attitudes.

Other studies have observed a similar pattern of findings with other perceptual and motor features of elderly individuals. In the study conducted by Banfield, Pendry, Mewse, and Edwards (2003), for example, some participants were exposed to words that exemplify elderly individuals, such as "grey" or "old". Incidental exposure to these words increased the likelihood that participants would subsequently walk more slowly.

Evidence that action affects perception

Mussweiler (2006) showed that actions associated with specific schemas can also affect perception. For example, in this study, some participants were encouraged to move slowly, which putatively activates a schema associated with the elderly. These participants were especially likely to judge another person to be forgetful--a trait that is stereotypically prevalent in elderly individuals.

References

Banfield, J. F., Pendry, L. F., Mewse, A. J., & Edwards, M. G. (2003). The effects of an elderly stereotype prime on reaching and grasping actions.

Social Cognition

, 21, 299-319.

Bargh, I. A., & Chartrand, T. L. (1999). The unbearable automaticity of being. American Psychologist, 54, 462-479.

Bargh, J. A., Chen, M., & Burrows, L. (1996). Automaticity of social behavior: Direct effects of trait construct and stereotype activation on action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 230-244.

Bargh, J. A., Gollwitzer, P. M., Lee-Chai, A., Barndollar, K., & Trotschel, R. (2001). The automated will: Nonconscious activation and pursuit of behavioral goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 1041-1027

Chartrand, T. L., & Bargh, J. A. (1999). The Chameleon effect: The perception-behavior link and social interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 893-910.

Chartrand, T. L., & Bargh, J. A. (2002). Nonconscious motivations: Their activation, operation, and consequences. In A. Tesser & D. Stapel (Eds.), Self and motivation: Emerging psychological perspectives (pp. 13-41). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Chartrand, T. L., Van Baaren, R. B., & Bargh, J. A. (2006). Linking automatic evaluations to emotion and information processing style: Consequences for experienced affect, impression formation, and stereotyping. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 135, 70-77.

Dijksterhuis, A., & Bargh, J. A. (2001). The perception-behavior expressway: Automatic effects of social perception on social behavior. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 33, 1-40.

Dijksterhuis, A., Bargh, J. A., & Miedema, J. (2000). Of men and mackerels: Attention and automatic behavior. In H. Bless & J.P. Forgas (Eds.), Subjective experiences in social cognition and behavior (pp. 36-51). Philadelphia: Psychology Press.

Dijksterhuis, A., & van Knippenberg, A. (1998). The relation between perception and behavior or how to win a game of Trivial Pursuit. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 865-877.

Fitzsimons, G. M., & Bargh, J. A. (2003). Thinking of you: Nonconscious pursuit of interpersonal goals associated with relationship partners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 148-163.

Kawakami, K., Dovidio, J. F., & Dijksterhuis, A. (2003). Effect of social category priming on personal attitudes.

Psychological Science

, 14, 315-319.

Leventhal, H. (1982). A perceptual motor theory of emotion. Social Science Information, 21, 819-845.

Mussweiler, T. (2006). Doing is for thinking: Stereotype activation by stereotypic movements. Psychological Science, 17, 17-21.

Prinz, W. (1990). A common coding approach to perception and action. In O. Neumann & W. Prinz (Eds.), Relationships between perception and action: Current approaches (pp. 167-201). Berlin: Springer.




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