Attention and Self-Regulation: A Control-Theory Approach to by C. S. Carver, M. F. Scheier

By C. S. Carver, M. F. Scheier

"Seek simplicity and mistrust it. " Alfred North Whitehead "It turns into all too transparent that a capability to work out styles in habit, a capability that a few may perhaps think happy with, can lead extra simply to a improper description than a correct one. " William T. Powers The aim of the theorist-the scholar-is to take a suite of observations of the area, and understand order in them. This method unavoidably imposes a synthetic simplicity upon these observations. that's, particular observations are weighed otherwise from one another every time a theoretical account is abstracted from uncooked reviews. a few saw occasions are misunderstood or distorted, others are visible as representing random fluctuations and are overlooked, and but others are considered as centrally very important. This abstraction and oversimplification of fact is inevitable in concept development. in addition, the abstracted imaginative and prescient builds upon itself. that's, as a constitution starts to emerge from persevered commentary, the constitution itself publications the quest for brand spanking new details. the result's a development that's extra intricate than what existed ahead of, however it nonetheless is mostly less complicated than truth. it's important for students to think within the price in their activity, and within the normal correctness of the imaginative and prescient that publications their paintings. This dedication, and the wish of development that follows from it, give the opportunity to proceed even if the paintings is tough and gradual.

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Extra info for Attention and Self-Regulation: A Control-Theory Approach to Human Behavior (Springer Series in Social Psychology)

Example text

All of these people dealt primarily with the transmission and combining of information, however, rather than with motivational issues. Control theory retained its promise as a way to analyze the regulation of behaviors of interest to the social and personality psychologist. But as yet it was a promise that was largely unfulfilled. Infonnation, Control, and Personality-Social Psychology In more recent years, personality and social psychologists have begun to take another look at the constructs of information and control theory.

Any percept can be stored by isolating and encoding its characteristics, or attributes. That is, each percept falls somewhere on every logical dimension that is being analyzed by the organism. By determining the percept's characteristics (completely or partially), we can locate the percept in memory either by storing its various attributes, or by placing it in a multidimensional logical space (one dimension for each type of characteristic being abstracted). Now let's back up for a moment. This general perspective on memory seems quite compatible with our portrayal, immediately above, of the processing of sensory input signals.

And we assume that our own experience of events will be enhanced if we attend to them as they occur. Part of the conceptualization that underlies this book draws upon an assumption about attention. Stated simply, we assume that attention is a useful variable to consider in understanding behavioral self-regulation even at the "macro" level at which we will be approaching it. More explicitly, in much of what follows we are going to be relying to some degree on a simple dichotomy proposed by Duval and Wicklund (1972): Attention may be directed outward into the environment, or it may be directed inward to the self.

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