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Generalized expectancies for problem solving and psychotherapy


One variable in social learning theory which relates to the general problem of adjustment is generalized expectancies for problem solving. In conducting psychotherapy it can be useful for many clients for the therapist to teach and encourage selected expectancies of this kind. The place of generalized expectancies for problem solving within social learning theory is described, and examples for increasing internal control, looking for alternatives, interpersonal trust, understanding the motives of others, long-term planning, and discriminating differences in psychological situations, in the context of psychotherapy, are briefly described.

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Revised from a paper read at the XV Interamerican Congress of Psychology, Bogota, Colombia, December 1974. This paper was presented as part of a symposium titled Applications of a Social Learning Theory of Personality to Clinical Psychology.

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Rotter, J.B. Generalized expectancies for problem solving and psychotherapy. Cogn Ther Res 2, 1–10 (1978).

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  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Internal Control
  • General Problem
  • Social Learning
  • Learning Theory