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Review of General Psychology - Vol 18, Iss 1

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Review of General Psychology Review of General Psychology publishes innovative theoretical, conceptual, and methodological articles that crosscut the traditional subdisciplines of psychology. The journal contains articles that advance theory, evaluate and integrate research literatures, provide a new historical analyses, or discuss new methodological developments in psychology as a whole.
Copyright 2014 American Psychological Association
  • Toward a critically personalistic general psychology in consideration of its unifying potential.
    At a time of renewed interest in the possibility of unifying psychology, the present article suggests that the personalistic perspective might warrant consideration as a possible framework within which to pursue this objective. The reference here is an approach set forth by the German psychologist and philosopher William Stern (1871–1938) in his General Psychology From the Personalistic Standpoint, a work first published in German in 1935, and in an English translation by Howard Davis Spoerl in 1938. The article first discusses some of the historical context within which Stern’s work emerged, and then elaborates on certain of the key aspects of the personalistic view, including Stern’s notion of the person as a psychophysically neutral unitas multiplex, or multifaceted whole. It is suggested that Stern’s personalistic perspective might be especially valuable today, at a time when, in the view of some, the person is disappearing from view in psychology, as the discipline focuses its attention to an ever greater degree on the neuroscience of brain functioning at one end, and on large-scale statistical studies of populations at the other end. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The Nested Model of well-being: A unified approach.
    Although well-being is a central topic in psychology in general and positive psychology in particular, it remains somewhat nebulous and more work is required to foster conceptual clarity that will in turn lead to empirical advances. The article outlines the Nested Model (NM) of well-being, which is conceptually grounded in a new unified theory of psychology (Henriques, 2011) that maps the construct into 4 related but also separable nested domains: (a) the subjective domain, which includes the first person phenomenological state of being; (b) the biological and psychological health and functioning of the individual; (c) the material and social environmental context; and (d) the values and ideology of the evaluator. By recognizing these elements and how they combine to form a holistic concept of well-being, theorists, practitioners and researchers from many different areas of inquiry will be able to coordinate their efforts with much greater effectiveness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Psychological momentum: Why success breeds success.
    Whether trying to win Presidential primaries, trading stocks, or playing sports, performance-enhancing effects of psychological momentum (PM) are widely accepted. But, does initial success (S₁) lead to subsequent success (S₂) in and of itself due to increased know-how on one’s and opponents’ performance or because it creates psychological force (momentum) that mediates this relationship? We review research on the phenomenon and show its strong empirical foundations in various domains of human performance. To advance research, we present an organizing theoretical framework that proposes both mediating and moderating effects of PM as mechanisms to explain why success breeds success in general. Initial success is critical for PM and has 3 types of effects: intensity, frequency, and duration. Whether performing alone (trader) or against an opponent (tennis player), perceptions of self as a performer (Sp) and of opponent as a performer (Op) are at the center of PM. The theory posits that the more the initial success separates the two (Op/Sp), the greater the PM. These and associated perceptions, however, have to turn into an increased subjective probability of winning or succeeding before PM becomes a psychological force. Evidence supports the mediating mechanism since initial success increases PM, which in turn enhances subsequent success. When initial success with PM leads to a greater likelihood of subsequent success than without PM, PM then modifies (“moderates”) the S₁–S₂ relationship without PM’s independent effect on S₂. There is also tentative evidence for a moderated mediation effect as the influence of PM seems to be greater for male than female performers. Areas of future research are highlighted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Eastwood’s brawn and Einstein’s brain: An evolutionary account of dominance, prestige, and precarious manhood.
    Researchers have theorized that manhood is a precarious social status that requires effort to achieve. Because of this, men whose manhood is threatened react with a variety of compensatory behaviors and cognitions such as aggression, support for hierarchy, low tolerance for homosexuality, and support for war. In the following article, we argue that the precarious status of manhood is a result of evolutionary propensities and cultural forces. Specifically, men evolved in dominance hierarchies and therefore, display honest signals of strength and vigor to dissuade other men from fighting them. However, men also evolved in large, prestige-based coalitions and compete against each other to display traits that enhance a coalition. These traits can vary from physical prowess and aggression to intelligence and empathy. As culture becomes more pluralistic and modernized, traditional notions of manhood become less important and alternative avenues for achieving status become available. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Unifying psychology: Shared ontology and the continuum of practical assumptions.
    Critics have described psychology as a science impaired by disunity. The most recent special issue of Review of General Psychology sought to specifically address this concern, seeking perspectives from a wide range of theorists, each of whom offered their tradition’s approach to how psychology as a whole may be integrated into a more unified whole. To continue this discussion, this article draws upon examples from the special issue, the disunity crisis literature, and wider writings in the philosophy of science, to explore the theoretical and conceptual divisions that foster ambiguity, confusion, and apparent irreconcilable differences between the disparate fields of psychology. The authors conclude that the majority of contemporary, scientific psychology is oriented toward a shared physical ontology, which can serve as a common grounding point from which the conceptual and theoretical differences of disparate fields may be meaningfully framed and evaluated. To this end, this article proposes that the various research traditions of psychology can be understood through their positions along a continuum of practical assumptions, which embodies the inherent conflict between two scientific priorities: metaphysical certainty (the safe end of the continuum) and practical experimental predictions (the risky end of the continuum). Three theoretical perspectives offered in the unification special issue are examined under this framework: situational realism (a distinctly safe approach), developmental evolutionary psychology (an intermediate approach), and the Tree of Knowledge unified theory (a relatively risky approach). The authors explore how the recommendations of each approach can be seen as a function of its position on the continuum of practical assumptions, and the implications of this understanding for future integrative efforts is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Correction to Andrews, Lilienfeld, and Duke (2013).
    Reports an error in "Evaluating an animal model of compulsive hoarding in humans" by Jennifer G. Andrews-McClymont, Scott O. Lilienfeld and Marshall P. Duke (Review of General Psychology, 2013[Dec], Vol 17[4], 399-419). The affiliation and name of author Jenna G. Andrews of Morehouse College were incorrectly listed in the byline and author note as Jennifer G. Andrews-McClymont of Stephens College. The online version of this article has been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2013-45157-004.) Recently, researchers have begun to advocate use of an animal model for understanding compulsive hoarding in humans. Nevertheless, a comprehensive review of the literature for this argument is lacking. We compare data for compulsive hoarding behavior in humans with hoarding in several vertebrates (rat, bird, and primate) to examine the potential validity of an animal model of hoarding. Although the strength of each animal model varies, there is provisional evidence in support of an analogue between hoarding in nonhuman animals (especially rodents) and humans, most notably on neurobiological grounds. Nevertheless, substantially more evidence is needed before this relationship can be confirmed with confidence. We identify gaps in the literature and offer suggestions for further investigation of the validity of animal models of human hoarding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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