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chapter 11-13


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case studies
ideographic approach (looks for the uniqueness of each individual case)
case study: significance
based on soundness of the analysis, opportunity to discover (induction), can provide counter-evidence
case study: rules
be truthful and accurate, clear in objective, professional and respectful, recognize context, evaluate in terms of original objective, write using ordinary language.
Psychobiography: definition
systematic use of psychological theory to illuminate or "explain" a life
psychobiography: approach
focus is individual life (counterplayers recognized), idiographic, not wed to single psychological theory (but dominated by psychodynamic approaches)
psychobiography: criticisms
too theory dependent (esp. psychoanalytic), too pathological, too methodologically loose, too simple-minded.
Freud's proscriptions
avoid arguments built on single clue, aviod pathographizing or idealizing the subject, aviod drawing conclusions from inadequate data.
Da Vinci's psychobiography
written by Freud, violated his proscriptions. determined that Da Vinci was a homo- projection and identification for Freud.
Salience markers
emphasis, omission (esp. affect), error/distortion, isolation (what doesn't fit), incompletion
Erikson's term to describe how one individual's life intersects with another in important ways (eg Bush and Saddam)
Psychobiography: ethical questions
death, affect surviving family, consent from both, public figures, cross cultures.
Why tell stories? Interpretive
for the self: to see purpose in human experience, to show we have effects, to put behavior in a moral context, to affirm self-worth
Why tell stories? Interpersonal
Relating to others: to obtain rewards (sympath, respect), to validate identity & moral worth, to inform others (socialize, warn of danger), to attract other (as portrayed, or as a good storyteller)
historical truth: Paradigmatic mode
what "really" happened, that "facts"
narrative truth: Narrative mode
how we subjectively make sense of our experiences
False stories: appearance
fewer 1st person pronouns, more concrete descriptions, less evaluation, less complexity
The person as a story
out of our own experiences, we develop stories that we tell ourselves and others; how others (and we) respond further shapes our experiences and the way we view ourselves, continuously tell and revise stories/life story
the study and interpretation of texts, extended to the study and interpretation of life stories
what makes a story good (narrative mode)
internally coherent, continuous plot line, embody closure and aesthetically pleasing, probably our natural mode, generative
Paradigmatic mode
logical and rational, scientific and objective, unchanged meaning. Love story? behavior potencial=expectancy + reinforcement value
listing of events in chronological order
telling of events in chronological order
story grammar
rules that structure a well-made story with central subjects, proper beginnings, middles, and ends, and a coherence that permits us to see "the end" in the beginning.
stories have
a setting, human like characters (agentive), intentions, thoughts, feelings, initiating event, consequnce(s), reaction. Emphasis on problem solving
High-point analysis: definition
events that lead up to high/suspension points are then resolved. Emphasis on reference (what happened) and evaluation (how the narrator feels about what happened)
high-point analysis
orientation, complicating action, a high point, resolution and coda.
Stories and health: Pennebaker
After writing about traumatic event, health improved. Disclosure led to decreased stress which led to improved health.
Adler: early memories
reflect style of life: life goals and ways of meeting them. Memories are reconstructions, may not even be "real."
storied life: motives
strive for superiority- great upward drive; social interest: innate sense of connection
fictional finalism
the self-centered endpoint
Tomkins: basic emotions
hard wired, feel different and associated with unique facial expressions
Tomkins: affect
It motivates because of the positive affect associated with certain activities; emotions are usually about something
Tomkins: scene
1 affect and 1 object
Tomkins: scripts
Connects scenes, helps you interpret and respond, more self-validating than fulfilling, organize and give meaning to your life.
tranisent scenes
of no lasting consequence, unscripted, represent much of our life
habitual scenes
routines, habits, have many scripts (nuclear, committment and addictive)
How do you connect scenes to form scripts?
Psychological magnification, affect is driving force: positive- richness in variation; negative affect- close similarities, restrict feeling (habituate)
nuclear script
rules that lead to ambivalence, confusion about life goals (tragedy)
nuclear script: in childhood
specific scene in which good things (anticipation) turns bad. negative affect connects it to other scenes
committment script: definition
clear, long-term goal to make the world better, to better yourself.
committment script: formation
origins in childhood: bad things turned good, or promise to
sedative script
based on scene with negative affect, affect separated from cause, sedative behavior (drinking, smoking, eating) reduces the affect. Not addicted
preaddictive script
starts with a sedative script. No longer simply respond, but anticipate the negative affect and respond. Not addicted.
addiction script: pre-conditions
experience more negative than positive affects, have a sedative script and a preaddictive script.
addiction script: definition
Sedative becomes an end in itself, vigilant about its absence, fear absence more than negative affect. Addiction governs behavior
positive affect savoring scripts
Experience more positive than negative affect (occational cig after coffee or big meal), you can take or leave the behavior.
Tomkins: bottom line
each person carries many scripts, scripts are interconnected and unique to each individual, affect underlies scripts and early on, magnification of scenes determines scripts.
McAdams' Life Story Model
Identity=life story; origins or raw material from childhood; story making beings in adolescence (fables); (re)constructed in earnest in early adulthood and continues throughout life.
McAdams' Life Story Model: exercise
divide life into imp. chapters, relevant ages, key events and characterss, overall sense of affect.
McAdams' Life Story Model: need to identify
tone, imagery, themes, nuclear eposodes, ideological setting and imago
Narrative tone
origins or raw material from childhood. Basic sense of the story: optimism- comedy, romance; pessimism comes from attachment and sense of self.
Narrative imagery
The feel of the story: drawn from the environment and culture. Affectively charged: warm, safe and happy vs. hostile, cold and sad. Bleak streets and lack of green spaces.
Narrative theme
motivation over time; themes of agency and communion, related to narrative tone.
Narrative ideological setting
Beliefs and values, once set setting changes little.
Nuclear episodes: Adolescence and thereafter
Turning points, selected out and reconstructed from past, possibly seemed trivial at the time.
Narrative imagoes in Adulthood: definition
idealized personifications of the self, includes ideal and ought selves, abstraced view of social role (profession), categorized in terms of agency and communion, one dominant imago
have an origin, reflect aspects of a significant other, generally consistent with personality traits, motives and goals and philosophy of life
opposite imago, our divided selves
Imagoes: Class 1
High Agency: mastery, self display, assertive and powerful. eg Zeus, James Bond.
Imagoes: Class 2
High Agency and Communion: social power, promote relationships, actions help self and others. eg Apollo, Erin Brokovitch
Imagoes: Class 3
High Communion: surrender, cooperation, care and concern. Renee Zellweger in Jerry McGuire.
Imagoes: Class 4
Low Agency and Communion: survival and perseverance, escape. Just trying to get by. eg Tom Hanks in Castaway, John Cusack in High Fidelity
Imagoes: Empirical findings
most people rated themselves as low agenct and low communion (40%)
Imagoes: Developmental progression
none identifiable (6%), only one (24%), two unintegrated (46%), two integrated (24%).

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