Incremental Vs Entity Essay, Research Paper
In terms of goals, an incremental person is usually eager to learn. At school, he is most likely going to take difficult classes in hopes of learning new things. On the other hand, an entity person usually focuses more on performance, rather than learning since he already believes that intelligence is fixed. He would take easy classes just so that he could get an “A” or a “B” in the class, but he would not take a challenging course which would teach him new things and expand his knowledge.
In terms of effort, an incremental people view it as a good thing. Effort is a way to expand one’s knowledge; by putting effort in something, one can find out what he is capable of doing and what he is incapable of doing, whereas an entity person views effort as a risky thing. He fears if he puts a lot of effort in something, for example studying, and he flunks, then it would just be proving to him that he was not intelligent to begin with or he does not have the intelligence that it takes.
An incremental person views errors as learning experiences, which is not bad at all. He believes that errors are where to direct effort. An entity person, on the other hand, believes that errors are bad and that they reveal the limits of one’s intelligence. So basically, an entity person would put no effort in something in fear of making an error of some sort.
The degree of involvement in something also differentiates an incremental person and an entity person. Involvement is considered to be how one situates himself. An incremental person is very task involved. Once he gets a task started, he does not care as to what is going on around him or how difficult the task becomes until he is done with it. An entity person, however, is very ego involved. He usually has his mind on other things. He would work on a task but at the same time worry about other things, like how stupid he is for not being able to get the task done fast, or breakfast, or phone calls, or any other things that do not involve the task at hand. Later, when the task is not completed on time, the person tends to put the blame on all the other little things he had to take care of like making phone calls etc.
Standards are another thing that differentiates an incremental person from an entity person. What should be taken into consideration is who sets the standards with what we are pleased with. An incremental person sets personal standards and goals for himself. For example, he may say, “If I get a ‘B,’ then that’s good enough,” before taking an examination. An entity person sets normative standards for himself. He is always comparing himself to others. He does not evaluate his performance in terms of himself, but rather in terms of others.
How an incremental person and entity person perceives an instructor makes a difference also. An incremental person sees his teacher as being there for resource, whereas an entity person sees his instructor as almost an enemy. An entity person would never ask a question in class because it would give the teacher a chance to see his limited intelligence. He is usually the type who worries about talking to a teacher and he is also the type who would never turn a paper in ahead of schedule.
One thing that can influence how one thinks is a parent or parents. Parents usually are more interested in how their child does in class in terms of letter grades. They focus more on the child’s performance, rather than what the child has learned. They reward their children with money or special privileges for A’s and B’s and punish them for grades that are any less. This shows the child that as long as they do well performance wise, then all is well. The parents’ behavior can influence a child by changing him into an entity person.
Another thing that can influence a learner is a teacher. If a student seems to really like participating a lot in class and is always the first one to raise his hand in class, it’s great, but sometimes the teacher would want to call on others in class. The teacher can accidentally tell the child in a rude way that he should let others have a chance or that he’s ruining it for others. This can affect a child in a significant way. He can start viewing his teacher as an enemy and he would stop participating so much as he did before. What the teacher has said, can make him more like an entity person.
Unlike Freud, whose developmental theories ended at the adolescent’s stage, Erikson believed that there were eight more stages of development after through adolescence and on. Erikson theorized that one is always in search for an identity of oneself. As defined in the text, Erikson’s theory for identity formation is “the developmental crisis faced by adolescents, which they must resolve in both the individual and social spheres to forge a secure identity.” Usually, identity formation is established by the disregarding of some goals, values, rules (etc.) which are set by parents or society.
As defined in the text, learned helplessness is “People’s perception that their behavior does not matter because of their inability to affect events. As a consequence, they lost the desire to act.” Basically, if one attempts to do something a few times and gets no results, then the person is more than likely going to simply give up; this is described as learned helplessness.
The identity formation conflict is related to the development of learned helplessness. As one is growing up, he is influenced by many outside factors such as media, peer, parents, cultural background, etc. A lot of the times, the messages sent out by each one of these factors are in opposition. For example, on one hand, one will see the media putting on things which gives a person the idea that having sex is ok, cool, and fun; while on the other hand, from teachers and parents, one would be getting the message that it is cool to remain chaste. Another example would be that while one gets the message that hard work is important and absolutely necessary, at the same time, through media, he is getting messages to get away from it all and just relax and take some time for oneself. All this opposition in influences can cause a lot of confusion. Through this confusion, one may decide that it would be better to just not do anything at all. He would figure that since everything is in opposition, that it would be better to just stay out of the “game.”