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The Psychology Of Personality Research

The Psychology Of Personality Research

The Psychology Of Personality Research

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 Seligman (2011) described well-being as the psychological construct that involves engaging with life, experiencing meaningful/positive relationships, having a sense of life purpose, feeling positive emotions, and embracing opportunities for experiencing a sense of accomplishment. Reference: Bates, W. (2011). Flourish A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being by Martin E. P. Seligman [Book review]. Policy, 27(3), 60–61. Business Source Complete Database (Accession No 66835840). https://search-ebscohost-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=66835840&site=eds-live&scope=site Think about the psychology of personality research topic on well-being that interests you. Consider the following as you research and choose your topic: The Psychology Of Personality Research

  • What areas of personality do you find interesting?
  • What personality theories do you find interesting?
  • What topics of well-being do you find interesting?
  • When you combine your interests in personality psychology with your interests in well-being, what are some potential topics you would like to learn more about? The Psychology Of Personality Research

Post 2-3 topics related to well-being that you would be interested in learning more about. Connect these topics to one or more personality theories.    Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. A. (2019). Personality: Theory and research (14th ed.). Wiley.

  • Chapter 2, “The Scientific Study of People” (pp. 27-52)
https://www.simplypsychology.org/qualitative-quantitative.html
  • attachmentRevisitingCulturalAwareness.pdf
  • attachmentTheNeglected95.pdf
  • attachmentTheimportanceofbeingresilientPsychologicalwell-beingjobautonomyandself-esteemoforganizationmanagers.pdf

lieve that people of various cultures are more similar than different. As Helgeson (2012) articulates regarding the issue of gender differences, “most of us have two eyes, two arms, two legs; a heart, lungs, and vocal chords . . . The same logic applies to cognitive and social domains” (p. 103). Sim- ilarly, Myers (2005) draws from G. K. Ches- terton’s observations—“When someone has ‘discovered why men in Bond Street wear black hats he will at the same moment have discovered why men in Timbuctoo wear red feathers’” (Myers, 2005, p. 180)—to expli- cate the universality of fundamental psycho- logical processes. Although such nomothetic propositions are often drowned by loud pro- tests directed against the ethnocentrism of mainstream psychology, we must neverthe- less reiterate that the contributions of psy- chologists from all the different camps are essential in order to weave a truly coherent and meaningful fabric of human behavior.

REFERENCES

Baron-Cohen, S. (2000). Autism: Deficits in folk psychology exist alongside superiority in folk physics. In S. Baron-Cohen, H. Tager-Flus- berg, & D. Cohen (Eds.), Understanding other minds: Perspectives from autism and develop- mental cognitive neuroscience (2nd ed., pp. 73– 82). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Bhagat, C. (2014, July 17). Bestselling English author: I write about an India that the West is not interested in. The Huffington Post. Re- trieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ chetan-bhagat/bestselling-english-author_b_ 5575570.html?ir�India

Christopher, J. C., Wendt, D. C., Marecek, J., & Goodman, D. M. (2014). Critical cultural awareness: Contributions to a globalizing psy- chology. American Psychologist, 69, 645– 655. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036851

Helgeson, V. (2012). Psychology of gender (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Educa- tion.

Myers, D. G. (2005). Social psychology (8th ed.). New Delhi, India: Tata McGraw-Hill.

Rao, M. A., Berry, R., Gonsalves, A., Hastak, Y., Shah, M., & Roeser, R. W. (2013). Globalization and the identity remix among urban adolescents in India. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23, 9 –24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jora.12002

Sartre, J. (1956). Being and nothingness (H. E. Barnes, Trans.). New York, NY: Washington Square Press.

Schwartz, S. H., & Sagie, G. (2000). Value con- sensus and importance: A cross-national study. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 31, 465– 497. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00220 22100031004003

Correspondence concerning this comment should be addressed to Christine N. Winston, Depart- ment of Psychology, Women’s Christian Col- lege, College Road, Chennai – 600 006, India. E-mail: christinewinston@live.com

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0038984

Revisiting Cultural Awareness and Cultural Relevancy

Naji Abi-Hashem Independent Practice, Seattle, Washington

and Beirut, Lebanon

I was delighted to see the article on “Critical Cultural Awareness” in the October issue of the American Psychologist by Christopher, Wendt, Marecek, and Goodman (2014).

The more insights and exploration of the meaning and influence of culture we receive, the better. There is no single treat- ment of any personal or collective cul- ture(s) that can be inherently complete or totally exhaustive. New hermeneutics and skills are always needed, appreciated, and refreshing.

A few thousand years ago, Socrates once said, “Know Thyself.” Culturally speaking, the practice of self-awareness re- mains a desired virtue. That was true in an- cient times, and is still true today, especially when modern societies and subcultures are changing more rapidly than ever and unfold- ing faster than we can mentally adapt, so- cially digest, or emotionally process.

The concept of culture does not ap- pear to be fixed or static but is always dynamic and is ever fluid. As a Lebanese American, I continue to observe, study, and interact with so many cultures and subcultures locally and globally, espe- cially comparing the differences and sim- ilarities between the East and the West (and anything in between). I find the no- tion of culture(s) in general to be intrigu- ing and truly fascinating!

Actually, there are many layers of cultures and many spheres of world- views, even within one geographical area, urban setting, or residential loca- tion. That is also true inside the faculties of the human personality, on individual level as well. It seems there are subcul- tures within each culture, mentalities within each mentality, and worldviews within each worldview.

Furthermore, I find that cultures can- not be adequately defined or fully under- stood. They are better felt than defined and better experienced than explained (Abi- Hashem, 1997, 2014a, 2014b; Cohen, 2009). I wish sometimes that our graduate schools in psychology would require more cultural studies and anthropological train- ing to equip students for dealing with the rich and yet complex phenomena of our global-social-local-personal culture(s).

I would like to add to the well-docu- mented treatment and discussion that

Christopher et al. (2014) provided, that it is also critical to emphasize that our cultural self-awareness must be quite frequent and up-to-date. It is not a one-time procedure, examination, or discovery. The present times we live in are changing fast, deep, and strong, affecting our existential iden- tity and sense of cultural and global self (if I may use the term—as I have been trying to develop this concept recently).

That is, who are we becoming cultur- ally at this globalized, polarized, and digi- talized age? Societies are drastically vary- ing and rapidly moving, and the world’s cultures are increasingly mixing and inter- acting, more than ever. With the invasion of the Internet and its cyberspace technol- ogy into all aspects of modern life, the traditional norms, geographical boundaries, basic structures, social values, established lifestyles, and national heritages are hold- ing no more.

Virtually, any field of knowledge, discipline, or helping profession has many concepts, principles, and constructs that are universal in nature, and could apply and be understood anywhere in the world.

However, each discipline, including psychology, has many specifics and partic- ulars that are not readily applicable else- where or well suited to be used outside their place of origin. These are solely local and provisional, relevant only to the imme- diate context where they are designed, for- mulated, and produced. They usually make sense inside (not outside) their cultural contours. But if they were to be introduced or applied elsewhere, nearby or faraway, they will need serious screening, trimming, and adaptation, as well as thoughtful revi- sions, modifications, and alterations. Oth- erwise, they will remain foreign and un- suitable to the population in mind, which could be a special target audience, a minor- ity group, a local community, or even an- other society or a different nation.

In addition, each discipline has some aspects, theories, tools, and assumptions that are counterculture in nature and will eventually cause confusion, if not harm, when they are applied blindly and without any discernment. These are totally irrele- vant and need to be omitted all together (cf. Abi-Hashem, 2014b).

How do we know the difference be- tween what is cultural-normal-natural and what is clinical-abnormal-unnatural, especially when we work cross-culturally or transnationally? The answer is by ex- perience and by allowing ourselves to be coached and trained by local educators and caregivers. They are the indigenous experts who know enough about their own settings and mentalities and some-

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660 October 2015 ● American Psychologist

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chetan-bhagat/bestselling-english-author_b_5575570.html?ir=India

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chetan-bhagat/bestselling-english-author_b_5575570.html?ir=India

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chetan-bhagat/bestselling-english-author_b_5575570.html?ir=India

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036851

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jora.12002

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022022100031004003

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022022100031004003

mailto:christinewinston@live.com

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0038984

thing about ours (and where we come from and how we operate). Otherwise, good intentions and self-confidence on the part of the visiting professionals are not enough.

I personally spend several months a year in Beirut, Lebanon, focusing on community service, teaching, counseling, training, crisis intervention, and trauma debriefing among various Middle East- erner populations and refugees living there, as well as interacting with profes- sionals and educators on various levels. I have experimented with many concepts, approaches, themes, and techniques widely practiced in North America, only to find that some of them were ineffective and questionable.

While the more generic principles and universal methods work nicely across the board and people relate and respond well to them, other notions, approaches, and interventions remain very awkward and foreign. They appear to be counterpro- ductive and unfortunately do complicate the relationships as well as the outcomes. Some actually have negative side-effects! Like suggesting a strict separation-individ- uation process, or a sharp drawing of per- sonal boundaries on the expense of alien- ating family and friends and other essential community bonding; or encouraging rigid privacy, impersonal autonomy, and total self-reliance, thus glorifying I-me-myself on the expense of we-us-together. This can destroy the fabric of communal harmony and intimate-collaborative beauty of many families, groups, communities, and societ- ies, because individuals have full meaning and clear identity only in relationship to significant others, in a fluid interdepen- dence and interconnectedness (rather than floating alone). Another example would be the open expression of anger and resent- ment. To encourage a quick verbalization of anger and hate is very foreign and shameful in many subcultures, e.g., “I hate my mother,” “I am angry at my father (or spouse),” or pushing the person to directly express and confront others publicly, as if to rub anger in their face. Indirect ways of describing and expressing negative emo- tions are more common in many traditions. Therefore, helping-professionals ought to be very careful and very patient with them- selves and with those they attempt to serve, either across the street, across the border, or across the ocean. The Psychology Of Personality Research

In the Arabic language, there is no single term or word to describe the Eng- lish parallel of “culture.” Rather, several terms are used, at times, to convey the meaning of culture and to capture its overall essence, like, Hadaarah (civiliza-

tion), Thihneyyah (mentality), Thakaafah (educational civility), and Turaath (liv- ing tradition). The Psychology Of Personality Research

Finally, as we strive toward a better contextualization and a healthy internation- alization of all social sciences, in general, and the psychological concepts, tools, methods, and therapeutic skills, in particu- lar, let us do these with full hermeneutic integrity, professional sensitivity, and cul- tural humility. Surely, the results will be more effective, the experiences more meaningful, and the newfound relation- ships more rewarding. The Psychology Of Personality Research

REFERENCES

Abi-Hashem, N. (1997). Reflections on “Inter- national perspectives in psychology.” Ameri- can Psychologist, 52, 569 –570. http://dx.doi .org/10.1037/0003-066X.52.5.569.b

Abi-Hashem, N. (2014a). Worldview. In D. A. Leeming (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychology and religion (2nd ed., pp. 1938 –1941). New York, NY: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/ 978-1-4614-6086-2_9357

Abi-Hashem, N. (2014b). Cross-cultural psy- chology and counseling: A Middle Eastern perspective. Journal of Psychology and Chris- tianity, 33, 156 –163.

Christopher, J. C., Wendt, D. C., Marecek, J., & Goodman, D. M. (2014). Critical cultural awareness: Contributions to a globalizing psy- chology. American Psychologist, 69, 645– 655. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036851

Cohen, A. B. (2009). Many forms of culture. American Psychologist, 64, 194 –204. http:// dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015308

Correspondence concerning this comment should be addressed to Naji Abi-Hashem, 14054 Wallingford Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98133. E-mail: NajiAbiHashem@gmail.com

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0038965

Cultural Humility: The Cornerstone of Positive

Contact With Culturally Different Individuals and

Groups?

Joshua N. Hook and C. Edward Watkins Jr. University of North Texas

Increased globalization has resulted in in- creased connections between different kinds of individuals and groups, in a sense “flattening” the world (Friedman, 2007). Psychologists have been influenced by this increased globalization and, with far greater frequency than ever before, now engage with individuals and groups from a host of different nations and cultures. But

increased contact alone does not necessar- ily undo the parochialism and ethnocen- trism of psychology in the United States. As noted by Christopher, Wendt, Marecek, and Goodman (2014), “U.S. psychology remains not only overwhelmingly U.S.- centric but also largely unaware of how its cultural roots shape theory and research” (Christopher et al., 2014, p. 645). Their case example about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Sri Lanka loudly and clearly reflects that reality— demonstrating how failure to incorporate cultural consider- ations into helping strategies can result in wasted efforts and even bring harm to the very people that we are attempting to aid. It indeed appears that the way in which psy- chologists engage with culturally different individuals and groups can still be a serious problem in the delivery of competent psy- chological services.

But why? Why is it that many psy- chologists— despite such increasingly di- versifying opportunities for cultural con- tact, despite being trained and steeped in the values of multiculturalism, and despite being designated as leaders in promoting multiculturalism and positive cultural en- gagement— continue to seemingly struggle to positively engage with culturally differ- ent individuals and groups? And how is it that large failures, such as the response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, could hap- pen but a decade ago and could perhaps still happen again now? From our perspec- tive, answers to those questions can be found in what may well be the very foun- dational cornerstone of any and all cultural contact: cultural humility. Although a more commonly used concept in family medi- cine (Falicov, 2014), cultural humility —an important component of multicultural com- petence and multicultural orientation— has recently begun to gain increasing traction as a vital explanatory construct and prac- tice-crucial variable in psychological ser- vice provision (e.g., Falicov, 2014; Hook, Davis, Owen, Worthington, & Utsey, 2013; Owen, 2013). Intrapersonally, cultural hu- mility involves a willingness and openness to reflect on one’s own self as an embedded cultural being, having an awareness of per- sonal limitations in understanding the cul- tural background and viewpoints of others; interpersonally, cultural humility involves an other-oriented stance (or openness to the other) with regard to aspects of an individ- ual’s or group’s cultural background and identity. Some of the core features of a culturally humble stance have been empir- ically identified as being respectful and considerate of the other; being genuinely interested in, open to exploring, and want- ing to understand the other’s perspective;

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661October 2015 ● American Psychologist

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.52.5.569.b

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.52.5.569.b

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_9357

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_9357

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036851

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015308

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015308

mailto:NajiAbiHashem@gmail.com

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0038965

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