Section 1: Definition
Section 2: Hypotheses
Section 3: Key Concepts
- Perception is the process of registering the sensory stimuli as a meaningful experience. A sensation, or sensory stimulus, is simple. Our brain recognizes the sensory stimuli and joins those simple elements through association, which makes perception a complex task. Our brain recognizes, joins, and interprets the sensory stimuli, making evaluative judgments and identifying attributes. Learning strongly influences and modifies our perceptions.
- Cognition is the psychological term for the mental functions or processing of information, applying our knowledge, and changing our preferences. In simpler terms, cognitions are how we know the world. Students’ mental processes or thoughts (the way they think) are evident to teachers through their self-talking and self-images. According to the cognitive-emotive model, children's self-talking and self-images guide us in understanding and modifying their feelings and behavior.
- Attitudes are affective or emotional responses to social situations. Attitudes represent a degree of like or dislike for an item, that is, positive and negative views of another person, place, thing, or event. In one word, attitudes are judgments.
- Expectations are inferences and predictions that we all make about how others will behave based upon a set of beliefs that the evidence available may or may not support. Once an expectation is set, even if it is not accurate, we tend to act in ways that are consistent with that expectation. Teachers communicate both social (behavior) and academic expectations to students all the time; high expectations lead us to expect more from children, but lower expectations lead us to expect less.
- Locus of control is a psychological concept developed by Julian Rotter in the 1950’s. This concept refers to our perception about the underlying causes of events in our lives. When we believe that the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do, we have an internal control orientation, but if we believe that the outcomes of our actions are outside our personal control, we have an external control orientation. Children with an internal locus orientation believe that the good or bad outcomes in their lives are due to their personal decisions and efforts. Children with an external locus orientation feel that good and bad outcomes in their lives result from fate, luck, or other external or environmental circumstances, e.g., “I had a low score on the science test because Ms. Williams hates me and gave me a bad grade.”
- Appraisal is a cognitive process in which children evaluate an event or situation as stressful or benign in terms of the significance of the event for their well-being. There are two main types of appraisal:
- Attributions start from the premise that we all need to explain the world, both to ourselves and to other people, attributing causes to the events around us. This gives us a sense of self-control. In other words, we feel we need to explain why we do what we do, attributing causes to our behavior and to the behavior of others. The way we interpret events (attribute causes) influences both our thinking and our behavior. We can classify attributions along three causal dimensions:
- Cognitive distortion, cognitive errors, or irrational thinking is a pattern of deviation in our reasoning and judgment that happens in particular situations. These faulty thought patterns consist mainly of exaggerations, distortions, and negative thoughts. Most common cognitive errors are (See for example DeRubeis and Beck, in Dobson, 1988; also, Shapiro, 1994):
- Rationality/irrationality. Rational thinking is any thought that the facts and evidence support (can be proved). Irrational thinking, on the other hand, reflects the child’s cognitive distortions or cognitive errors, and it is not supported by the evidence (cannot be proved). Irrational thinking is negative thinking, leading to self-defeating and/or self-destructive thoughts, troubled emotions, and/or dysfunctional behaviors. The cognitive-emotive literature distinguishes between three categories of cognitive errors/irrational thinking: