Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

2020 Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24612-3_1938


The cognitive experiential self-theory (CEST) is an information processing theory developed by Seymour Epsteinthat explains ways in which people perceive and incorporate information to make decisions. CEST is categorized as a theory of personality and suggests that people process information through two distinct systems: a conscious rational system and an unconscious experiential system. It is the combination of these two systems across patterns of behavior and thought that essentially lead to the development of a person’s attitudes, behavior, and ultimately personality, and this occurs within one’s social context. CEST is integrated and compatible with several psychological theories such as psychodynamic, learning, phenomenological, and modern cognitive theories of psychology. Similar to many dual process theories, CEST includes a system based on deliberate and analytical processing; however, different from other dual process theories, CEST includes an emotion-laden...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Prairie View A&M UniversityPrairie ViewUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Chris Ditzfeld
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA