Cognitive-Experiential Theory: An Integrative Theory of Personality

Hardcover | February 10, 2014

bySeymour Epstein

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The book presents a new theory of personality, referred to as cognitive-experiential theory (CET). Currently there are a variety of personality theories that seem irreconcilable with each other. CET is integrative of all other major personality theories. This integration is accomplished byexpanding upon current basic assumptions, including the assumption that all higher-order animals automatically construct an implicit theory of reality that is necessary for adapting to their environments and that is therefore inherently reinforcing. The system that accomplishes this is referred toas the experiential system, as it is an empirical system that adapts by automatically learning from experience. Because it operates without requiring conscious awareness it can be regarded as an adaptive unconscious system, however, this book reveals that the experiential system is not identicalwith an unconscious adaptive system, and is superior to that construct in several important respects.Humans, of course, also uniquely operate with a conscious, reasoning system, referred to in CET as a rational system. This book demonstrates how these two systems operate in parallel and influence each other in important ways. For example, the influence of the experiential on the rational system canaccount for why the human species, despite its outstanding intelligence in solving impersonal problems, which are mainly in the domain of the rational system, often think and behave unintelligently and destructively in solving interpersonal problems, which are primarily in the domain of theexperiential system. Yet, neither system is generally superior to the other, and the book discusses how each system is superior in uniquely important ways.

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The book presents a new theory of personality, referred to as cognitive-experiential theory (CET). Currently there are a variety of personality theories that seem irreconcilable with each other. CET is integrative of all other major personality theories. This integration is accomplished byexpanding upon current basic assumptions, inclu...

Seymour Epstein is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, where he has held a position since obtaining his Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1953. His major interest has been in developing an integrative theory of personality, which he has set forth in the present book. Over the pas...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:February 10, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199927553

ISBN - 13:9780199927555

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart I. The Theory1. The Basic Theory: Two Systems2. Evidence in Real Life of Two Modes of Information Processing3. The Content and Organization of the Experiential System with an Emphasis on Basic Needs and Beliefs4. Motivation Further Considered and Emotions5. Interactions Between and Within the Two Systems: Conflict, Compromises, Synergy, Repression, and DissociationPart 2. Development and Adjustment6. Development7. Coping and Defense Mechanisms8. The Maladaptive Behavior of Everyday Life9. Neurosis, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychosis, and Autism10. DepressionPart 3. Clinical Applications11. Psychotherapy 1: Constructive Thinking, Cognitive Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy12. Psychotherapy 2: Psychoanalytic Therapy, Client-centered Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Psychosynthesis, Cognitive-experiential Therapy, Relapse13. Psychotherapy 3: Communicating with the Experiential System Communicating with the Experiential System Through the Use of FantasyPart 4. Implications