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Ch 9: Cognitive & Existential Theories of Personality

About This Chapter

We can help you understand the cognitive and existential theories of personality with this informative chapter. Each of our video and text lessons clearly covers a different personality topic, allowing you to work at your own pace as you study for a psychology test or get caught up in class.

Cognitive & Existential Theories of Personality - Chapter Summary

The informative lessons that make up this chapter outline the cognitive and existential theories of personality. You'll review the definition of cognitive psychology, some of the cognitive approaches to personality development and the specific theories of psychologists, such as George Kelly, Julian B. Rotter and Ulric Neisser. We've made it easy to study at your convenience with our helpful learning materials, which are accessible 24 hours a day on your mobile phone, tablet or computer. After completing this chapter, you should be ready to:

  • Explain the theories of cognitive psychology
  • Outline the biography and theories of George Kelly
  • Detail the cognitive aspects and perceptual mechanisms of personality
  • Understand how the personal construct theory is applied
  • Define social intelligence
  • Differentiate between explanatory style and expressive style in psychology
  • Explain the social learning theory and locus of control by Julian B. Rotter
  • Identify vicarious learning and social cognitive theory by Albert Bandura
  • Discuss Ulric Neisser's contributions in cognitive psychology
  • Give a definition for cognitive revolution in psychology
  • Outline the existentialist theories of Rollo May
  • Compare computer information processing to human personality
  • Differentiate between existential and humanistic theories

15 Lessons in Chapter 9: Cognitive & Existential Theories of Personality
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Cognitive Psychology? - Definition & Theories

1. What is Cognitive Psychology? - Definition & Theories

Cognitive psychology focuses on the way people process information. In this lesson, you will gain an overview of the field of cognitive psychology and learn about prominent theories. You can test your knowledge with a quiz at the end.

Cognitive Approaches to Personality Development

2. Cognitive Approaches to Personality Development

What makes people different from each other, and how does the way we think about things influence who we are? In this lesson, we'll examine cognitive approaches to personality development, including explanatory styles.

George Kelly: Theory & Biography

3. George Kelly: Theory & Biography

George Kelly was an American psychologist whose work helped to shape modern mental health treatment. Through this lesson, you will explore a brief biography on Kelly and learn some of the specifics of his personal construct theory.

Perceptual Mechanisms & Cognitive Aspects of Personality

4. Perceptual Mechanisms & Cognitive Aspects of Personality

This lesson explores Piaget's theories on the cognitive development of personality as well as how we learn. Specific focus includes the perceptual mechanisms of expecting, attending, and information processing in the context of Piaget's overall theories.

Applying the Personal Construct Theory

5. Applying the Personal Construct Theory

Everybody interprets the world through their own lens. But how might our views shape who we are? In this lesson, we'll look at the personal construct theory of George Kelly and what it has to do with personality.

Social Intelligence: Definition & Theory

6. Social Intelligence: Definition & Theory

This lesson explores social intelligence and how it may or may not relate to personality. Specific topics include a definition, aspects of social intelligence, and theoretical views on what social intelligence is and how it works.

Explanatory Style in Psychology

7. Explanatory Style in Psychology

In this lesson, we'll explore the psychological concept of explanatory style using the polar opposite concepts of pessimism and optimism. We'll examine three basic aspects of explanatory style and discuss how explanatory style is related to learned helplessness and learned optimism.

Expressive Style in Psychology

8. Expressive Style in Psychology

Why do some people focus on feelings, while others are more cerebral and detached? In this lesson, we'll explore the expressive personality style in psychology, including how it shows up at different points in the lifespan.

Julian B. Rotter: Social Learning Theory & Locus of Control

9. Julian B. Rotter: Social Learning Theory & Locus of Control

Psychologist Julian B. Rotter believed that actions, or behaviors, are determined by the interaction of personality and environment. This lesson discusses Rotter's social learning theory and his subsequent work on locus of control.

Albert Bandura: Social-Cognitive Theory and Vicarious Learning

10. Albert Bandura: Social-Cognitive Theory and Vicarious Learning

A person's cognition, environment and behavior play important roles in learning new knowledge and skills. This lesson will focus on Albert Bandura's contributions to social learning and vicarious experiences.

Ulric Neisser and Cognitive Psychology: Overview

11. Ulric Neisser and Cognitive Psychology: Overview

In this lesson, you'll learn more about the work of Ulric Neisser and the limitations of human information processing with phenomena like inattentional blindness and flashbulb memory. Then test your knowledge with a quiz.

Cognitive Revolution in Psychology

12. Cognitive Revolution in Psychology

Psychology was once dominated by behavioral scientists and theories. Then came the cognitive revolution, an explosion of research and findings in the fields of cognitive science and cognitive psychology. In this lesson, you'll learn about the pioneers of the cognitive revolution.

Rollo May's Existentialist Theories

13. Rollo May's Existentialist Theories

Rollo May was an American psychologist who is often referred to as the father of existential psychology. This lesson will explore the theories of Rollo May.

Human Personality Compared to Computer Information Processing

14. Human Personality Compared to Computer Information Processing

The human personality has often been compared to a computer that continually takes in and processes information. In this sense, it is malleable and ever-changing. In this lesson, we will explore this metaphor and explain how this process works.

Existential vs. Humanistic Theories: Comparing Two Major Theories in Psychotherapy

15. Existential vs. Humanistic Theories: Comparing Two Major Theories in Psychotherapy

The humanistic and existential theories of psychology are often confused. In this lesson, we'll look at the similarities of and differences between the two theories and their related therapies.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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