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Psychology in Action

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take the perspective of others because of their limited cognitive development. Although Piaget believed that most adults naturally outgrow such egocentric thinking, recent research suggests that a tendency toward egocentricity may persist throughout adulthood. It is difficult to outgrow our own egocentricity because we suppress facts that are inconsistent with our conclusions and we fail to notice when our behavior contradicts our self-image. The best antidote to egocentricity is self-awareness and critical self-analysis. To develop insight into your own egocentricity, you should use the following rating scale (Handout 9.2) to first rate the personality traits of someone you find it hard to get along with. Then using the same scale, rate your best friend and then yourself. Instructor’s Resource Guide                               Chapter 9                                            Page  37                             
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H andout 9.1 –Critical Thinking Personality Rating Test 1 = never behaves in this way 2 = seldom behaves in this way 3 = occasionally behaves in this way 4 = often behaves in this way 5 = always behaves in this way _____________________________________________________________________________ DISLIKED BEST SELF PERSON FRIEND Is aggressive and irritable with others. _____ _____ _____ Is helpful and courteous to others. _____ _____ _____ Offers support and encouragement to others. _____ _____ _____ Takes advantage of others. _____ _____ _____ Is hard working and reliable. _____ _____ _____ Is sociable and fun to be with. _____ _____ _____ Dominates conversations. _____ _____ _____ Values advice from others. _____ _____ _____ Is interested in trying new things. _____ _____ _____ Tries to be fair and just with others. _____ _____ _____ Now check back over the values you assigned in the first and third column. Compare the positive and negative items. Do you think the "disliked person" would agree with your evaluation? Why or why not? Can you see how your own egocentrism could explain the differences in perception? Now compare the ratings you assigned for yourself and your best friend. If you are like most people, you will notice a strong similarity. An obvious, and somewhat egocentric, explanation for this is that similarity attracts--we like people who are like us. Further critical thinking, however, would explain this similarity as the result of sociocentricity--the extension of egocentrism to groups. The individual goes from thinking "I am right!" to "We are right!" When this egocentrism extends to ethnic groups, countries, and religions, it is sometimes referred to as ethnocentrism. The best antidote to egocentrism, sociocentrism, and ethnocentrism is to listen carefully and with an open mind to those with whom we disagree and to apply the full force of our critical thinking skills to our own behaviors. Critical Thinking Exercise 9.2 - English-Only Versus Bilingual Education Instructor’s Resource Guide                               Chapter 9                                            Page  38                             
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  • Developmental Psychology, Resource Guide                                Chapter

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