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JournalISSN: 0003-066X

American Psychologist

About: American Psychologist is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Mental health & Poison control. It has an ISSN identifier of 0003-066X. Over the lifetime, 8597 publication(s) have been published receiving 892061 citation(s). The journal is also known as: The American psychologist & American Psychologist : the Professional Journal of the American Psychological Association. more


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1037//0003-066X.55.1.68
Richard M. Ryan1, Edward L. DeciInstitutions (1)
Abstract: Human beings can be proactive and engaged or, alternatively, passive and alienated, largely as a function of the social conditions in which they develop and function. Accordingly, research guided by self-determination theo~ has focused on the social-contextual conditions that facilitate versus forestall the natural processes of self-motivation and healthy psychological development. Specifically, factors have been examined that enhance versus undermine intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and well-being. The findings have led to the postulate of three innate psychological needs--competence, autonomy, and relatednesswhich when satisfied yield enhanced self-motivation and mental health and when thwarted lead to diminished motivation and well-being. Also considered is the significance of these psychological needs and processes within domains such as health care, education, work, sport, religion, and psychotherapy. T he fullest representations of humanity show people to be curious, vital, and self-motivated. At their best, they are agentic and inspired, striving to learn; extend themselves; master new skills; and apply their talents responsibly. That most people show considerable effort, agency, and commitment in their lives appears, in fact, to be more normative than exceptional, suggesting some very positive and persistent features of human nature. Yet, it is also clear that the human spirit can be diminished or crushed and that individuals sometimes reject growth and responsibility. Regardless of social strata or cultural origin, examples of both children and adults who are apathetic, alienated, and irresponsible are abundant. Such non-optimal human functioning can be observed not only in our psychological clinics but also among the millions who, for hours a day, sit passively before their televisions, stare blankly from the back of their classrooms, or wait listlessly for the weekend as they go about their jobs. The persistent, proactive, and positive tendencies of human nature are clearly not invariantly apparent. The fact that human nature, phenotypically expressed, can be either active or passive, constructive or indolent, suggests more than mere dispositional differences and is a function of more than just biological endowments. It also bespeaks a wide range of reactions to social environments that is worthy of our most intense scientific investigation. Specifically, social contexts catalyze both within- and between-person differences in motivation and personal growth, resulting in people being more self-motivated, energized, and integrated in some situations, domains, and cultures than in others. Research on the conditions that foster versus undermine positive human potentials has both theoretical import and practical significance because it can contribute not only to formal knowledge of the causes of human behavior but also to the design of social environments that optimize people's development, performance, and well-being. Research guided by self-determination theory (SDT) has had an ongoing concern with precisely these more

Topics: Self-determination theory (58%), Human spirit (54%), Need theory (53%) more

26,488 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.37.2.122
Albert Bandura1Institutions (1)
Abstract: This article addresses the centrality of the self-efficacy mechanism in human agency. Self-per- cepts of efficacy influence thought patterns, actions, and emotional arousal. In causal tests the higher the level of induced self-efficacy, the higher the perfor- mance accomplishments and the lower the emotional arousal. Different lines of research are reviewed, show- ing that the self-efficacy mechanism may have wide explanatory power. Perceived self-efficacy helps to ac- count for such diverse phenomena as changes in coping behavior produced by different modes of influence, level of physiological stress reactions, self-regulation of refractory behavior, resignation and despondency to failure experiences, self-debilitating effects of proxy control and illusory inefficaciousness, achievement strivings, growth of intrinsic interest, and career pur- suits. The influential role of perceived collective effi- cacy in social change is analyzed, as are the social con- ditions conducive to development of collective inefficacy. Psychological theorizing and research tend to cen- ter on issues concerning either acquisition of knowledge or execution of response patterns. As a result the processes governing the interrelation- ship between knowledge and action have been largely neglected (Newell, 1978). Some of the re- cent efforts to bridge this gap have been directed at the biomechanics problem—how efferent com- mands of action plans guide the production of ap- propriate response patterns (Stelmach, 1976,1978). Others have approached the matter in terms of algorithmic knowledge, which furnishes guides for executing action sequences (Greeno, 1973; Newell, 1973). , more

13,946 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1037//0003-066X.55.1.5
Abstract: A science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions promises to improve quality of life and prevent the pathologies that arise when life is barren and meaningless, The exclusive focus on pathology that has dominated so much of our discipline results in a model of the human being lacking the positive features that make life worth living. Hope, wisdom, creativity, future mindedness, courage, spirituality, responsibility, and perseverance are ignored or explained as transformations of more authentic negative impulses. The 15 articles in this millennial issue of the American Psychologist discuss such issues as what enables happiness, the effects of autonomy and self-regulation, how optimism and hope affect health, what constitutes wisdom, and how talent and creativity come to fruition. The authors outline a framework for a science of positive psychology, point to gaps in our knowledge, and predict that the next century will see a science and profession that will come to understand and build the factors that allow individuals, communities, and societies to flourish. more

11,929 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.55.5.469
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Emerging adulthood is proposed as a new conception of development for the period from the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on ages 18-25. A theoretical background is presented. Then evidence is provided to support the idea that emerging adulthood is a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations. How emerging adulthood differs from adolescence and young adulthood is explained. Finally, a cultural context for the idea of emerging adulthood is outlined, and it is specified that emerging adulthood exists only in cultures that allow young people a prolonged period of independent role exploration during the late teens and twenties. more

10,224 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1037//0003-066X.44.3.513
Stevan E. Hobfoll1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Major perspectives concerning stress are presented with the goal of clarifying the nature of what has proved to be a heuristic but vague construct. Current conceptualizations of stress are challenged as being too phenomenological and ambiguous, and consequently, not given to direct empirical testing. Indeed, it is argued that researchers have tended to avoid the problem of defining stress, choosing to study stress without reference to a clear framework. A new stress model called the model of conservation of resources is presented as an alternative. This resource-oriented model is based on the supposition that people strive to retain, project, and build resources and that what is threatening to them is the potential or actual loss of these valued resources. Implications of the model of conservation of resources for new research directions are discussed. more

8,316 Citations

No. of papers from the Journal in previous years

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Journal's top 5 most impactful authors

Wilbert J. McKeachie

25 papers, 903 citations

Gary B. Melton

20 papers, 821 citations

Patrick H. DeLeon

20 papers, 549 citations

Robert J. Sternberg

17 papers, 5.1K citations

Ludy T. Benjamin

16 papers, 498 citations

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