A Glossary of Descriptive Psychology Concepts

What's this all about?


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  1. An attempt to effect a change from one state of affairs to another. In the sense that a furnace has a core competence—start a fire and put it out— Person' core competence is to use Behavior to make things different or keep them the same.

  2. A set, <B>, whose members can be told apart by specifying eight parameters:

    <B>= <I, W, K, S, P, A, PC, S>
    I= Identity
    W= Want
    K= Know
    KH= Know How
    P= Performance
    A= Achievement
    PC= Person Characteristics
    S= Significance.

  3. Intentional Action (<IA>).

  4. One of four perspectives on the Person Concept.

Behavior goes right if it does not go wrong in one of the ways it can go wrong.

If a certain behavior is going wrong, its eight parameters provide a checklist for getting a more detailed description of some ways it might be going wrong.

The very notion of "going wrong" can be characterized as: "The value of the Achievement parameter does not include the value of the Want parameter." Possible reasons for going wrong include, for example:
  1. missing necessary knowledge (K),
  2. insufficient practice and experience (KH),
  3. bungled performance (P), and
  4. person characteristics that prevent the success of this particular action (PC).

Description of behavior is also a behavior. Any description can be tested by using the parameters as a checklist of information missing from the description.