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Cognitive Complexity and Personality Development

  • James Bieri

Abstract

The concept of cognitive complexity stands at the junction of two converging streams of theoretical activity in contemporary personality theory. One of these streams is the concern with cognitive structural variables in behavior, emerging from such varied sources as the work of Bartlett, Piaget, Lewin, and Tolman, among others. In more recent years this stream has been fed by the productive headwaters of psychoanalytic ego psychology, as in the work of Klein and his colleagues, and by the developmentally based research of Witkin. An underlying assumption of much of this work has been that the person’s encounters with the world about him are mediated by the operation of cognitive structures which have been variously labelled as schema, controls, or styles. The invocation of such cognitive mediational constructs has not been restricted to the theoretical sources mentioned above, but rather has ranged over the entire conceptual spectrum from more purely cognitive theories (Kelly, 1955) to more basically associational approaches (Mandler, 1962).

Keywords

Information Transmission Social Dimension Perceptual Learning Cognitive Structure Social Stimulus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1966

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  • James Bieri

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