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The dialogical self theory's (DST) growing importance and increasing multidisciplinarity have resulted in elaborating several developmental issues: in infancy, in young adults, and regarding significant processes such as cultural transition and motherhood. The chronology given is thus an approach with hints to significant moments within the first two years of life and a glimpse into further development. The dialogical quality of the infant's activities is correlated with heart rate: provocative imitations are shown to be anticipated by heart deceleration indicating preparation for an expected stimulus. Timing and taking up the other's bodily performance show time and form as supports of earliest proto-conversations between partners on the body level. Self comes to be within the rhythm of intersubjectivity, first in a fully concrete sense. DST is different from other self theories in the respect that it opens up to the rhythmicity of selfness-otherness, forming a dynamic unity.
Central to dialogical self theory (DST) is the notion that the self is organized as a dialogical interchange between mutually influencing I-positions in the society of the mind. This chapter presents a case study of an inner conflict to illustrate the internal negotiation process and to outline its characteristics and dynamics. It demonstrates how different I-positions put forward their needs and claims in a back-and-forth communication until a decision is made. Then, using well-established criteria from the field of interpersonal negotiation, the chapter presents several hypothetical resolutions to the inner conflict and illustrates the differences between distributive and integrative internal negotiations. The chapter discusses the notion of transforming win-lose internal decisions into integrative win-win resolutions. It delineates a four-stage negotiational self theory (NST) intervention method, designed to direct systematically the inner conflict towards a collaborative and integrative resolution.
This chapter aims to show how dialogical self theory (DST) can inspire empirical research in creative writers. DST proposes that dialogue in and of itself is a dynamic process achieved by the exchange of ideas between the I-positions which represent different parts of the self, or various points of view present in the environment and culture. The chapter introduces innovative concepts and is an interdisciplinary enterprise in which one can connect psychology, psychobiography and the theory of literature. The participants are recognized Polish novelists who have agreed to reveal something important about their writing processes and about the relationships with their novelistic figures. Analysing the results of the spatial self-representation procedure and the interviews, the authors found three kinds of relationships between the author's I-position and the characters' I-positions: the author as an omniscient expert, the author as a spectator, and the author as a partner of the novelistic figure.
This chapter utilizes dialogical self theory (DST) to construct an account of experiences of self-diminishment in schizophrenia. It suggests that many disparate accounts of self-diminishment may be understood as involving lost or weakened capacities for intrapersonal and interpersonal dialogue. The chapter outlines how losses of this kind appear to assume at least three different forms. It describes models of self-disturbance from psychoanalytic, phenomenological and existential vantage points in order to be able to compare them later with the dialogical approach and then articulates the advances offered by DST. Each view reports an overall sense of compromised agency and a felt lack of meaning among persons diagnosed with schizophrenia. The chapter returns to the claims of DST within a larger discourse concerning self-experience in schizophrenia and shows how our account squares with a range of three other descriptions of alterations in self-experience, including those from psychoanalytic, phenomenological and existential perspectives.
This chapter explores a dialogical process through which innovation is aborted in psychotherapy a cyclical movement between two opposing voices, one dominant that organizes the client's problematic self-narrative, and one innovative, non-dominant voice. Self-narrative presents a meaningful framework of understanding life experiences, triggering repetition. Dominant self-narratives are characterized by an asymmetrical relationship between the different I-positions involved. The emergence of innovative moments (IMs) leads the self to strive to restore its sense of continuity, protecting itself from uncertainty, by aborting novelty exploration and returning to the dominant previous self-narrative. The chapter discusses this defensive movement facing innovation, which, if persistent during psychotherapeutic treatment, could lead to an unsuccessful outcome. It describes two implications of the work for dialogical self theory (DST): the dialogical functions of reconceptualization, as a particular form of metaposition, and the way multiplicity in the self produces stability or change.
If the dialogical self is an extended position repertoire in time and space, then it must have features of both simultaneity and succession. This conceptualization presents significant challenges for theory building, and is addressed in this chapter. The chapter considers recent developments in positioning theory and presents an overview and synthesis of positioning processes. It draws particularly on the recent work of H.J.M. Hermans, as well as other scholars. The chapter takes the liberty of summarizing their ideas along with other recent contributions to positioning theory. It looks at the historical processes captured in the premodern, modern and postmodern models of the self; it is tempting to link dialogical self theory (DST) explicitly to the postmodern model DST. The chapter focuses on the concepts of ambiguous third position and dialogical triad, arguing that they provide important tools for conceptualizing both integration and differentiation in the formation of a dialogical self.
In this chapter, using a correlation approach, the authors comment on selected personality correlates of the internal dialogical activity, which seems to challenge dialogical self theory (DST). According to the five-factor theory of personality, the core components of the personality system are basic tendencies, characteristic adaptations and self-concept. The author explores how dialogicality is related to each of the three levels of personality. Provided that people differ in the intensity of dialogicality, and that these differences can be empirically assessed, they construct a scale to measure the general intensity of inner dialogues according to the individual differences approach. The authors define internal dialogical activity as engagement in dialogues with imagined figures, the simulation of social dialogical relationships in one's own thoughts, and the mutual confrontation of the points of view representing different I-positions relevant to personal and/or social identity.
This chapter offers two mutually relatable ideas into the discourse of dialogical self theory (DST) to make better sense of the complex self in structural dynamics and development: self-making and synthesis. The general ethos of these two directions for theoretical innovation of the DS field is that of abstract conceptualization of the dynamic processes of constant self-organization and self-creation of the DS. Different perspectives that have emphasized the multiplicity-in-unity of the self have made it clear that the use of fixed, unitary, point-like descriptors of the self constitutes a theoretical impasse for psychology. The mind as a semiotic demand setting is a complementary innovation that foregrounds the dynamics of dialogue within the self-system. Depending on the contextual support of the semiotic catalyser, various semiotic regulators can be enabled (or disabled) to act directly on the I-positions and their dialogues.
The advent of the internet (Net) in the closing decades of the twentieth century was a technological innovation with a potentially profound and influential effect upon human beings, individually and communally. This chapter examines crucial aspects of the internet, which functions as a particularly rich instantiation of the forces of globalization and the emergence of the self as dialogical. It highlights three more specific points of intersection between dialogical self theory (DST) and how the internet functions dynamically as a globalizing experience. The chapter suggests that the internet alters the personal and social experience of Cartesian space and time and the internet may foster or undermine dialogical exchange depending upon the degree of anonymity and isolation users' experience. It also suggests that the internet facilitates the expression of extreme forms of monologicality including what might be termed voices of darkness and the irrational.
This chapter illustrates how phenomena on the personal, social and societal levels work together in the production of novel I-positions within the dialogical self. Globalization has opened the door to greater discretionary transnational migration and ushered in a new immigration. Hybridization can occur in situations where multiple I-positions are simultaneously active and cannot simply coexist, either because of conflict or because of the creative urge towards synthesis. The chapter approaches hybridization through three co-necessary levels of analysis: the personal, social and societal. Societal-level formations function as constraints on and promoters of forms of hybridization and, therefore, the emergence of third positions. Further research into the relationship between specific societal-level formations and the dynamics of expressive dominance would strengthen the ability of dialogical self theory (DST) to address the personal, social and societal levels of analysis while maintaining a focus on the dynamic and developmental potential of DST.
This chapter argues that one of the main advantages of the dialogical self approach in psychotherapy is that it offers, in the concept of I-positions, a more effective way of approaching the multiplicity within the person. The I-positions offer a way of talking which neatly sidesteps the problem of reification inherent in such older concepts as subpersonalities, and ego states and parts. The main advantage of I-positions is that there is no suggestion with them of subordination, of their being lesser in some way than the whole person. The transpersonal is a vast realm for psychotherapy, counselling and coaching, and it has been emerging as a really important aspect of the therapeutic engagement over the past 30-odd years. The chapter illustrates the point that dialogical work can lead us into some very deep areas, and may suggest ways of working which are theoretically quite unusual.
This chapter focuses on a confrontation of two crucial key elements from both theories, namely the model of the multivoiced self characterized by moving I-positions and the central phenomenological-dialectical personality model (Phe-Di P model). In order to facilitate dialogical processes, positions were approached as voiced positions, able to tell their stories and implied meaning units. Three kinds of (imaginal) interchange can be distinguished: internal-external, internal-internal and external-external. The chapter presents a succinct analysis of the Phe-Di P model with systematic references to Hermans model of moving I-positions. The dialogical self theory (DST) supports a much broader and richer inter- and intrapersonal activity than what a client expresses through the self-confrontation method (SCM), even in combination with a personal position repertoire (PPR) investigation. In psychodrama, the protagonist can really meet the antagonist. This encounter intensifies and surpasses the imaginary self-reflective dimension.
Dialogical self theory (DST) possesses high face validity and connects with personal experience of an internal dialogue and the tensions of indecision. This chapter argues that a methodology is needed which will enable an analysis of the relation between the social and the psychological. It examines how perspectives within the social world become perspectives within the dialogical self. The chapter focuses on three distinctive approaches: the self-confrontation, the personal-position repertoire and the use of bi-plots to map internal and external I-positions. It illustrates the benefits of these methodologies in enabling us to address particular questions but also to highlight that existing methodologies do not enable us to examine the relation between the voices within the dialogical self and the actual perspectives of significant others in the social environment. The interpersonal perception method (IPM) examines the relation between what people think other people think and what those other people actually think.
Dialogical self theory (DST) has something very important to propose to mainstream psychology. This chapter outlines such a proposal, which one can call as a model of the discursive mind. Discursive mind model is based on the thesis of the cognitive system's discursive organization. Different modules contain specific cognitive-affective resources, shaped by different ways of giving meaning to personal experience. There are three fundamental assumptions of the discursive mind model: the modular character of one's knowledge structures, the social origin of one's knowledge structures, and the specificity of the knowledge structures for the social context from which they stem. According to the discursive mind model, I-positions are relatively autonomic modules of the cognitive system, which consist of script-like structures combining personal and socially shared knowledge. The model of the discursive mind assumes that the activation of different I-positions within the same person causes significant intra-individual variations in cognitive functioning.
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