Social psychology basics: Categorization

19 01 2014
DreAm

 

 

Lifting old thoughts from dusty ruts. Polishing them carefully before putting them on a display. It will be a proper display with matching, beautiful colors that shine along with their value. 
https://i0.wp.com/img692.imageshack.us/img692/543/wallpaper1206472.jpg

Most of the time, we use only one end or the other of a contrast at a time.  These ends are called characteristics or, especially in reference to the characteristics of people,  traits.   But at the other end there will always be a contrast.

Float2

Things float without a systemlways there, lurking in the background.  You can’t have one without the other — good without bad, up without down. Please note that these contrast need not be verbal:  My cat knows the difference between the expensive cat food and the cheap stuff, yet can’t tell you about it;  an infant contrasts between mommy and non-mommy; wild animals contrast safe areas and dangerous ones, etc.  Even adult humans sometimes “just know” without being about to say — unconscious contrasts, if you like:  what is it about that person that you like or dislike?

Flower

Pieces coming together

Contrasts don’t just float around independently, either.  We interrelate and organize them.  For example, we can  define  a category:  “Women are adult female human beings.”  Or we can go a step further and organize things into  taxonomies,  those tree-like structures we come across in biology:  A Siamese is a kind of cat, which is a kind of carnivore, which is a kind of mammal, which is a kind of vertebrate..
..
Or we can put contrasts into more temporal structures, like  rules.   These are often called schemas or scripts.  You can find explicit examples in books about card games, etiquette, or grammar; but you know quite a few rule systems yourself, even if they have become so automatic as to be unconscious!
Not all organization of contrasts are so tightly structured.  We can  describe  something:  “Women are delicate.”  As the example is intended to suggest, descriptions, as opposed to definitions, need not be true!   Beliefs  are similar to, but looser than, taxonomies.  Whereas birds definitely (i.e. by definition) are vertebrates and have feathers, it is only my belief that they all fly — I could be wrong!  Stereotypes are examples of beliefs; so are opinions.  But some beliefs are so strongly held that we see them as definite.
There are also  narratives — the stories we have in our minds.  These are temporal, like rules, but are amazingly flexible.  They can be a matter of remembered personal experiences, or memorized history lessons, or pure fiction.  I have a suspicion that these contribute greatly to our sense of identity, and that animals don’t have them to the degree we do.

          Good evening dear followers. Cheers from mirrorgirl

clinical psychologist

More basic psychology on:
I will also get some sleep and dream up my next stories

The Simplest Defintio and What Are We Really?

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