Psychology and Success

Chapter 1


 What lies behind us and what lies before

 us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”


Ralph Waldo Emerson, Philosopher









Learning Objectives

      Define success.

      List several personal qualities that help people to be happy.

      Define psychology and cite its four major goals.

      Explain the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and actions.

      Define self, self-image, and identity.

      Describe the components of identity.










What do you see?














 An   Interesting Afterimage                        Illusion







Understanding Psychology

      Psychology  Scientific study of human behavior.


      Behavior   Anything that you think, feel or do.


      Goals of Psychology  Describe, predict, explain, and (in some cases) change human behavior.


Success Secret

      Studying psychology helps you understand yourself and others.

Explaining Human Behavior

Why do people think, feel and act the way they do?


      Nervous system  Regulates thoughts, feelings and actions.


      Conscious Mind  The part of the brain that controls the mental processes of which we are aware.


      Subconscious Mind  The part of the brain that controls the mental processes of which we are not actively aware.

Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions

      Cognition (thought) Mental processing of information in any form.


      Includes: perceiving, recognizing, remembering, reasoning, solving problems, making decisions, forming concepts, visualizing.


      Emotion (feeling)  Subjective feeling accompanied by physical and behavioral changes.


  Personal Journal 1.2

  Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions



The science & study of human behavior…including the underlying processes that cause behavior…
oth physiological & mental…

We study those psychological (mental, emotional, social) and physiological  processes that underlie human behavior!

empirical study*
and clinical observations!


What you measure, see, count, time, etc.
An observation is an event,                  
even a little one..



      A TRUE experiment is a research method where one variable (IV) is manipulated to see if there is a change in another variable (DV).

      The independent variable is the thing that someone actively controls/changes; while the dependent variable is the thing that changes as a result. In other words, the independent variable is the “presumed cause,” while dependent variable is the “presumed effect” of the independent variable.

What is Success?

Success: a lifetime of personal fulfillment.


Success Secrets

      Success is a journey, not a destination.

      Money and fame don’t equal success.


Activity 1: What Success Means to You



Ingredients of Success

1. Self-Awareness  Appreciating your personal values, qualities, skills and interests.


2. Self-Direction  Setting a goal and working toward it.


3. Self-Esteem  Respecting oneself.


4. Positive Thinking  Focusing on future possibilities to propel yourself toward your goals.

Ingredients of Success continued…

5. Self-Discipline  Daily personal effort putting your plans into action.


6. Self-Motivation  Getting and staying motivated. Moving forward despite fears.


7. Positive Relationships  Healthy relationships with friends, family, and          co-workers.


Personal Journal 1.1  Ingredients of Success

Who is a Success?

      In society, it is not always obvious who are truly successful people.


      Role Model  Person who has qualities you would like to have.


Success Secrets

      Always make time for relationships.

      Adults need role models, too.


Activity 2: Role Model




Social-Learning Theory

      Modeling: The social-learning process by which behavior is observed and imitated

      Locus of Control: The expectancy that one’s reinforcements are generally controlled by internal or external factors

      Self-Efficacy: The belief that one is capable of performing the behaviors required to produce a desired outcome.

Reciprocal Determinism

      Personality emerges from the mutual interactions of individuals, their actions, and their environments


Success and Happiness

      Happiness  The natural experience of winning your self-respect and the respect of others.


      Outside factors—wealth, youth, physical attractiveness, etc., have little effect on happiness.


Success Secret

      Create your own opportunities for happiness.


Activity 3: How Happy Are You?

The search?

      Enlightenment programs

     E.g., “est,” Scientology, Silva Mind Control

      Organized groups

     Cult-type ideology

    Dangers apparent in Heaven’s Gate

    Security and belongingness are keys to involvement

     Established Religious Groups

    E.g., Promise Keepers

      Public “counsel”

     E.g., Dear Abby, Dr. Phil, etc.

      Self-improvement strategies

     E.g., self-help media

Codependency Movement

      Origin: “enabling” aspects of alcoholics’ spouses

      Beattie’s 1987 Codependent No More

     Expanded application of the term

     Identified addictions to diverse behaviors &

     “Codependency” to the participation of significant others          in that “addictive” behavior

     The participation/controlling/enabling, itself, signals “codependency” in the significant other

      Treatment options include The Twelve-Step Program of AA

Is the Codependency Movement           for real?

      Evaluation difficult

     Definitions vary widely

     Empirical research is minimal

    With vague definition, it’s hard…

    Which behaviors would one choose?

     Are all compulsive behaviors addictions? 

    Are all repetitive behaviors compulsive?

     What problems are the ones “caused” by codependency?

     Gender bias

    Over-application to women

    Questions as to the NURTURING ROLE applied more to women






Self-Improvement plans

The SELF-HELP Evaluation

      Problems to watch for…


   Circular definitions and solutions

    Absence of empirical backing

    Concrete solutions

      Look for …

    Clarity and soundness

    A plan, not a “miracle cure” or “quick fix”

    Scientific support of effectiveness

Positive Qualities

      Another way to boost your happiness is to develop personal qualities that will help you enjoy life and cope with challenges.


      Psychologists have identified the following qualities: ability to love, vocation, courage, trust, optimism, future-mindedness, social skills, aesthetic sensibility, work ethic, honesty, emotional awareness, persistence, forgiveness, creative thinking, spirituality, self-esteem and wisdom.


Success Secret

      Try new ways of thinking and doing.


Positive and Negative Emotions.

Understanding Yourself

      Self  Your sense of being a unique, conscious being, the inner core of you.


      Self-Image  All the beliefs you have about yourself.


      Areas in which you have self-images include: intellectual ability, competence, creativity, sense of humor, morality, romantic appeal, physical appearance, parental relationships, close friendships, and social acceptance.

Building A Healthy Self-Image

      A healthy self-image is positive but realistic.


      Makes the best of all the things you do well.


      Is based on who you are right now.


      Does not limit who you will be next week.


      A complex self-image means having a variety of positive ways to see yourself.


Personal Journal 1.3  How Do You See Yourself?

Activity 4: Wheel of Life

You and Your Social World

      Social Role  Norms that define how you are supposed to behave in a given situation.


      Self-Preservation  Altering your behavior to make a good impression of others.



   Activity 5: Sides of Yourself




      How you choose to define yourself to the world.


      Individual Identity  The physical and psychological characteristics that distinguish you.


      Relational Identity  How you identify yourself in relation to others.


      Collective Identity  The sum of the social roles you play and the social groups to which you belong.


     Activity 6: Identify Profile

Culture, Gender and Identity

      Culture – the behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large social group, transmitted from one generation to the next.

    Western– individualism, Eastern-collectivism


      Gender Role – norms that define how males and females are supposed to behave.


      Gender Bias  - treating someone differently or unfairly due to one’s gender.


Defining Your Role

      Researchers suggest that it is healthiest to have a combination of stereotypically masculine and feminine qualities.


      Some typical qualities: logical, assertive, sensitive, independent, gentle, compassionate.


Success Secret

      Don’t put limits on what you can become.