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 determine styles in habit, a capability that a few may well believe happy with, can lead extra simply to a incorrect description than a correct one. " William T. Powers The target of the theorist-the scholar-is to take a suite of observations of the realm, and understand order in them. This strategy unavoidably imposes a man-made simplicity upon these observations. that's, particular observations are weighed in a different way from one another each time a theoretical account is abstracted from uncooked reviews. a few saw occasions are misunderstood or distorted, others are obvious as representing random fluctuations and are missed, and but others are considered as centrally very important. This abstraction and oversimplification of truth is inevitable in conception building. additionally, the abstracted imaginative and prescient builds upon itself. that's, as a constitution starts off to emerge from persevered statement, the constitution itself courses the hunt for brand new details. the result's a development that's extra tricky than what existed prior to, however it nonetheless is generally easier than fact. it is vital for students to think within the price in their job, and within the common correctness of the imaginative and prescient that courses their paintings. This dedication, and the wish of development that follows from it, give the opportunity to proceed even if the paintings is hard and slow.

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Additional info for Attention and Self-Regulation: A Control-Theory Approach to Human Behavior

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It is the selective aspect of attention which we will be emphasizing throughout the book. This is not to say that the research to be discussed later on incorporated controls to ensure that no other aspect of attention was inadvertently varied. But it was the selective aspect that was varied most conspicuously. And we feel it safe to assert that variations in other aspects of attentional functioning would not typically have led to the behavioral effects that were observed. , vision or hearing. Such research investigates the processes within the person that determine how effective or impactful a given environmental stimulus will be, compared to other environmental stimuli.

In so doing, they have also begun to adopt the constructs and vocabulary of cognitive psychology, an area which is heavily influenced by infonnation processing concepts. Workers in this area, which we discuss in Chapters 5 and 6, have thus been drawn to serious consideration of infonnation-processing models of recognition, recall, decision making, and so on. A second reason for an awakening interest in control theory among social and personality psychologists is the fact that it is now possible to point to the components of a feedback loop that regulates behavior at the level of analysis that is of interest to them.

To anSwer this question requires that we also address another question: where did the old reference value come from? In both cases, the anSwer is the same. It is the output of a superordinate control system. As was argued several pages ago, control systems can be arranged in a hierarchy, such that the output of a superordinate feedback loop constitutes the reference value for a subordinate loop. Our earlier illustration of such an organization was that of a thermostat regUlating room temperature, and a man regulating the thermostat.

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