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

1 Adjusting to Life Chapter 1: Human Adjustment 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 Outline - Chapter 1 Exploring Adjustment Subjective Well-Being and Adjustment The Scientific Approach to Adjustment Resources for Improving Adjustment

3 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-3 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

4 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-4 EXPLORING ADJUSTMENT What Is Adjustment? Contexts, Diversity, and Adjustment Thinking Critically About Adjustment

5 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-5 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

6 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-6 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

7 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-7 Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory  Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory - people’s lives are influenced by five environmental systems: – microsystem (immediate living setting and people) – mesosystem (connections between microsystems) – exosystem (other social settings influence microsystem) – macrosystem (culture in which individual lives) – chronosystem (patterning of events and transitions over life- time)

8 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-8 Contexts and Diversity  Cross-cultural studies compare a culture with one or more other cultures  Ethnicity is rooted in: – Cultural heritage – Nationality characteristics – Race – Religion – Language

9 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 1-9 Contexts and Diversity Race = classification of people according to biological characteristics (such as skin color) Gender = psychological and sociocultural dimensions of being female or male

10 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved 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

11 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved 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

12 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Review - Learning Goal 1 – How can adjustment be defined? – What are contexts? What is Bronfenbrenner’s model? – How can culture, cross-cultural studies, ethnicity, and gender be defined? – What is critical thinking?

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

14 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved 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

15 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved 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

16 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

17 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

18 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

19 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Review - Learning Goal 2 – Does subjective well-being depend on wealth? – What characteristics are linked to subjective well-being?

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

21 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

22 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

23 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Using the Scientific Method  Theories and hypotheses play key roles in the scientific method Theory = broad idea or set of closely related ideas that attempt to explain certain observations Hypothesis = prediction that can be tested

24 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Using the Scientific Method  The scientific method has four steps: 1. Conceptualize the problem 2. Collect research information (data) 3. Analyze data 4. Draw conclusions

25 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

26 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

27 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

28 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Figure 1.4 Random assignment and experimental design

29 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

30 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

31 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

32 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved Review - Learning Goal 3 – What is psychology? – What are the characteristics of scientific attitudes toward information? – What is the scientific method? How can theory and hypothesis be defined? – What characterizes experimental research? What characterizes correlational research? – How can individuals become wise consumers of information about psychological and adjustment research?

33 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

34 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

35 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

36 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

37 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

38 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.

39 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

40 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?


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