Self-Conception Lit Review

What follows in this brief report is the culmination of prior outlining and research on the subject of self-conception and its place in the broader field of psychology. In total, there are six high-level points that have been covered within the prior assignments relating to this final literature review. For each section, there were questions and blanks to be answered to including how, that is, for example and beyond. What is referenced shall include a number of prominent authors that speak about self-conception and what goes into it. The different conditions and other subsections of the theory will be touched upon. While there are some that suggest that self-conception and psychology in general are going in the wrong direction, the different facets and lessons that are currently coming out of the proverbial woodwork are fascinating.


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One thing that needs to be known off the top is that both conscious and subconscious self-conceptions have a deliberate and palpable effect on what a person wants and how successful that they are in achieving it. A person’s conception of their own abilities has an important impact on the self-regulatory influences that feed the motivations and need for accomplishment when it comes to existing and being in decision-making environments. Just a few of the authors that have spoken on this subject include Carol Dweck, Albert Bandura, Robert Wood and Joseph Martocchio. The methods that these four people have and still do use are different in notable ways. However, they still come to similar conclusions when it comes to the impact of a person’s self-conception on their success (Dweck, 2006; Martocchio, 1994; Wood & Bandura, 1987).

Bandura and Wood actually worked as partners when it came to their work. They authored a 1987 treatise on the subject. It related to the impact of conceptions of ability on self-regulatory mechanisms and how all of that relates to complex decision-making. The work of this pair was later cited in the 1994 work of Martocchio and the 2006 work of Dweck. As noted above, these three sources all take at least somewhat different approaches. Even so, they all come to the same basic conception of ability and self-regulatory mechanisms. Beyond the different approaches and authors of the works, Dweck and Martocchio were based in the United States while Wood and Bandura were hailing out of Australia when they wrote their part of the knowledge base. Just one conclusion that is shared across the field, and that would include among the four authors just mentioned, is that self-efficacy, conception and mindset is what guides someone to succeed or not succeed in the endeavors that they embark on (Dweck, 2006; Martocchio, 1994; Wood & Bandura, 1987).

Continuing the thread of conversation and thought just spoken of, it should be expanded up on just how the three works noted above differed in terms of methodology and practice. Indeed, Wood used the term “skill acquisition entity” and juxtaposed that against what is known as “fixed entity.” This is the way that he described people’s mindsets when it comes to managerial practice. A study was done to prove this theory and it contained twenty men and four women who were all studying at the graduate level within a business major. The students were studied the students in terms of their managerial mindset via a simulated scenario. They looked at the underlying beliefs that were in play with the two dozen people being studied and how these beliefs made them act and react. In general, it was found that those that believed that ability was an acquirable skill were more apt to learn from their challenges and shortfalls so as to avoid them in the future and actually learn from the same (Dweck, 2006; Martocchio, 1994; Wood & Bandura, 1987).

The way that Dweck looked at this paradigm was not…


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