Personal Constructs Paper

I want to introduce you to my constructs paper which will ultimately allow a better sense of the judgments I’ve made from the people I choose to associate with. This paper will describe in detail an analysis of specific people in my life and why I choose to categorize them the way I have. I will also discuss if stereotyping enters my cognitive process based on my personal analysis. I hope to find ways to improve my values and yield negative perceptions that society has desensitized me to believe are accurate.
After evaluating my personal constructs in which I used a family member (John), a male friend (James), teacher (Mrs, Noche), a person I don’t like (Willie Lynch), a female friend (Nahtalie) and self. After evaluating the clusters of similarities and differences, I was able to see what I value in a person, and what values a person I do not like encompass. The similarities of the constructs paper I feel confident that I choose moral and ethical people to associate with and have in my life. From the list used to describe the differences I was able to conclude that I do not like negative actions of people rather than verbal actions. The reason why is because I noticed that on my list of adjectives, the only reason why some of the adjectives were negative is because secondary reasons such as a personal preference or ideology. After evaluating my constructs, I noticed that I value religion, morals, loyalty, honesty and people who are down to earth. I also realized that I categorize people by squeezing them into categories, which allows me to have a level of comfort that I place to each category making it easy to unconsciously label any and everyone I come in contact with.
I do have a stable set of constructs based on my analysis of the individuals discussed in the paper. Based on my constructs for similarities, I was able to see that loyalty, honesty, education and respect were very strong adjectives that I value. The reason why I value these similarities the most is due to the way I was raised and the surrounding environments. Growing up in an environment that was a breeding ground for pimps, dope dealers, and fast living, helped shape my constructs when I was younger without me even knowing it. I say this because if I have never came into contact with this type of demographic, my values to what a friend , male friend, and teacher would all come from a different perspective giving me different cognitive process. I also realized that my constructs for similarities and differences do not change even depending on who I am judging. I feel like the reason why is because of my youth and how I was forced to grow up at an early age due to the environment I was in. The book states “cognitive complexity occurs when an individual has a large, rich and varied set of personal constructs.” (Trenholm 2011 p.49) Due to all the lying, cheating and thieving people I have met while I was a child, helped mature my cognitive complexity regardless if I wanted it or not. The book also states “cognitive complexity is a mark of maturity and is necessary for good communication.” (Trenholm 2011 p.49)
Stereotyping does enter my mind and I work hard daily on trying to improve my first thought about someone or thing. The best way for me to describe this is when you go to the store to buy a pair of shoes. My first reaction is always “no” until I try the shoe on and walk around in them. I then look around to see who is looking for confirmation to see how well liked the shoes are from the customers in the store. I then make sure I am making the best choice after evaluating all my options to make sure I gave each shoe a fair chance. In my eyes I try to not stereotype individuals, actions, or ideas, due to the fact that my ideologies about certain aspects are not the most knowledgably but I am fair regarding whom I am judging. I also try not to stereotype, because each time I go for a job interview, I have to face 3 stereotypes such as skin color, hair type, and background information regarding a felonies. These 3 stereotypes I face daily hinder me from stereotyping individuals because I believe what goes around will come around. It is hard to stereotype others when life treats you like a stereotype from birth.
I feel as though the constructs I have assessed are fair and equal. I give a lot of credit to the negative influences that helped shaped my thoughts and beliefs into what they are today. Another thing that I feel has helped me adequate an assessment of others is my sixth sense. I have always been able to know when trouble is lurking or brewing and to get far away from it as possible. This is true as well when it comes to judgment of character with people. I do not feel as though my constructs are complete because I am still young and I do not feel as though I anyone will ever be complete due to the changing world each day. The more people change their behaviors from youth to adolescents to young adulthood, to late adulthood; each of stage in life will bring a more defined aspect to our personal constructs.
After evaluating my set of constructs I found that I did not judge myself in favor than any of the others used to help define my personal constructs. I found out that I am just a source that starts off with certain adjectives that describe who I am and my communication style. The other people in this paper just helped put in perspective the type of qualities in people that I like. One big thing I learned from doing this exercise by being able to pinpoint the type of differences not liked from the similarities of people that I do like in order to help understand my communication value and beliefs. Being able to address these characteristics helps increase my willingness to communicate better with those I am in tune with, from those who I don’t understand why they do not understand what I am saying when I speak to certain individuals.
People are encouraged to develop rich and complex personal constructs in my eyes to better understand each other. Communication is all around us and that is even true with those we do not have a communication problem with. By having rich personal constructs this will allow for a better overall communication and this will allow you to understand why communication is not happening when you need it to work the most. This also allows you to be a better listener and be able to encode and decode messages a lot faster as well.
Society has helped develop positive and negative actions in life that we can either choose to look the other way and avoid the problem, or we can understand why we categorize people the way we do. Society has a place, stereotype, derogatory name, and slur to describe each and everybody in the world. It is up the individual to be willing and able to improve values and erase negative behaviors learned as a child.

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