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Adjusting to Life Chapter 1: Human Adjustment John W. Santrock McGraw-Hill © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Presentation on theme: "Adjusting to Life Chapter 1: Human Adjustment John W. Santrock McGraw-Hill © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved."— Presentation transcript:

1 Adjusting to Life Chapter 1: Human Adjustment John W. Santrock McGraw-Hill © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-2 Learning Goals - Chapter 1 1. Identify key concepts that provide a foundation for understanding adjustment 2. Describe factors related to subjective well-being 3. Characterize scientific foundations of the study of adjustment 4. Discuss resources for improving adjustment

3 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-3 What Is Adjustment?  Growth involves learning, expanding your awareness, accepting new challenges, and coping effectively Adjustment = psychological process of adapting to, coping with, and managing the problems, challenges, and demands of everyday life

4 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-4 Contexts, Diversity, and Adjustment  Contexts refer to the historical, economic, social, and cultural factors and settings that influence us Culture = behavior patterns, beliefs, and other products of a group of people, that are passed on from generation to generation

5 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-5 Thinking Critically About Adjustment  Critical thinking involves thinking reflectively, productively, and evaluating the evidence  Being a critical thinker requires being: – open-minded and curious – intellectually careful – skeptical

6 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-6 Adjustment Strategies Involving Critical Thinking 1. Describe and interpret behavior carefully 2. Identify values and challenge assumptions about behavior 3. Examine influence of context and culture on behavior 4. Seek multiple points of view 5. Appreciate individual and group differences 6. Engage in self-reflection to improve self-knowledge

7 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-7 SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING AND ADJUSTMENT Are Rich People Happier? Who Is Happy?

8 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-8 Subjective Well-Being  Subjective well-being is the scientific term for how people evaluate their lives in terms of their happiness and life satisfaction  Diener (2003) reported that college students in 41 countries rate life satisfaction and happiness as very important or extremely important

9 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-9 Are Rich People Happier?  Extremely wealthy people are not happier than people who can only purchase what they need  Those who strive the most for wealth have lower subjective well-being than those who do not

10 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Who is Happy?  Characteristics of happy people: – good social relationships – mentally healthy and cope effectively with stress – high levels of creativity, self-esteem, optimism, extraversion, and self-control – good citizens at work – spirituality and faith – altruistic

11 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Happiness in College Students  Diener & Seligman (2001) found that compared to less happy college students, happy college students were: – highly social – more extraverted – had stronger romantic and social relationships

12 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Adjustment Strategies For Happiness and Life Satisfaction 1. Recognize that no single factor produces happiness 2. Develop good social relationships 3. Learn how to cope effectively with stress 4. Involve yourself in activities you enjoy and value 5. Develop purposefulness in your life

13 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO ADJUSTMENT Psychology and Adjustment Experimental and Correlational Research Being a Wise Consumer of Research Information

14 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Learning Goals – What is psychology? – What are the characteristics of scientific attitudes toward information? – What characterizes experimental research? What characterizes correlational research? – How can individuals become wise consumers of information about psychological and adjustment research?

15 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Psychology and Adjustment  Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes Behavior = everything people do that can be directly observed Mental processes = thoughts, feelings and motives that each person experiences privately

16 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Adopting a Scientific Attitude  Adopting a scientific attitude means: – thinking critically – being curious – being skeptical – being objective

17 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Experimental Research  Independent variable - manipulated, influential experimental factor  Dependent variable - factor that is measured to determine change in response to changes in independent variable Experiment = procedure in which one or more factors believed to influence the behavior being studied are manipulated while all other factors are held constant

18 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Experimental Research  Experimental group - group whose experience is manipulated  Control group - group treated like experimental group except does not receive manipulated factor  Random assignment - when researchers assign participants to experimental and control groups by chance

19 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Random assignment and experimental design

20 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Correlational Research  In correlational research, the goal is to describe the strength of relationship between two or more events or characteristics  Correlation does not equal causation

21 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Being a Wise Consumer of Research Information  Important to take responsibility for evaluating reports on psychological and adjustment research

22 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Adjustment Strategies for Understanding Adjustment Research 1. Distinguish between group results and individual needs 2. Don’t overgeneralize from a small sample 3. Look for answers beyond a single study 4. Don’t attribute causes where none have been found 5. Evaluate the source of the information

23 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved RESOURCES FOR IMPROVING ADJUSTMENT Mental Health Professionals National Support Groups Self-Help Books The Internet

24 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Mental Health Professionals  Clinical and counseling psychologists - evaluate and treat people with psychological problems  Psychiatrists - medical physicians specializing in treating abnormal behavior

25 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved National Support Groups  National support groups are supportive, educational groups that address a single life problem or condition shared by their members – participation is voluntary – members typically serve as leaders – professionals rarely have an active role in the groups’ activities

26 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Self-Help Books  Self-help books have become an important source of psychological advice for millions of Americans  High quality self-help books can benefit individuals with problems

27 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Adjustment Strategies For Selecting a Self-Help Book 1. Select a book that makes realistic recommendations 2. Examine evidence reported in the book 3. Select a book that recognizes that a problem is caused by a number of factors and has alternative solutions 4. Select a book that focuses on one problem 5. Don’t be conned by slick writing 6. Check out author’s educational credentials 7. Be wary of authors who complain about the conventional knowledge of mental health experts

28 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved The Internet  Mental health topics are among the most frequently searched topics on the Internet.

29 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Adjustment Strategies for Finding the Best Information on the Internet Involving Human Adjustment 1. Adjustment strategies for evaluating self-help books often apply to websites 2. Evaluate credibility of the website 3. Avoid websites that are purely commercial 4. Be wary about information from websites 5. Protect your privacy 6. The Internet is not a substitute for professional help

30 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Review - Learning Goal 4 – Where can people can find mental health professionals to help them adjust more effectively? – How are national support groups involved in human adjustment? – What role do self-help books play in human adjustment? What are some cautions in their use? – How extensively do individuals use the Internet to obtain information about human adjustment? – What are some cautions in using the Internet for mental health information?

31 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Adjustment Strategies for Writing to Improve Your Health 1. Write on issues and concerns; reveal your emotions 2. Just start writing without worrying about formalities 3. Write whenever and wherever you feel like writing 4. Keep your writing to yourself 5. Writing will help you see things in perspective


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