Ellis on Cushman

Albert EllisAfter class today Heather showed me a letter to the Editor of the American Psychologist by Albert Ellis in which he responds to an article in that journal by Philip Cushman on the empty self. Both the article and the Ellis letter predate Cushman’s book, but he is clearly concerned with the same issues. Ellis suggests some limitations of the “empty self” metaphor and some alternative conceptions that you might find interesting in light of our class discussion. Both items are available electronically. Here are the references with links to the journal:

Cushman, P. (1990). Why the self is empty: Toward a historically situated psychology. American Psychologist, 45, 599-611.

Ellis, A. (1991). How to fix the empty self. American Psychologist, 46, 539-540.

The Ellis letter is followed by two other letters and a response from Cushman.

While I am writing I will also post a couple of references to articles by Robyn Fivush, a psychologist whose research considers how parents interact with their children about emotional topics and events. I heard her speak last year at the University of Toronto and thought her methodology had lots of promise for elucidating the idea of “co-construction” of meaning – or, in the language of today’s class, how families construct their moral worlds.

Bohanek, J., Marin, K., Fivush, R. & Duke, M. (2006). Family narrative interaction and children’s sense of self. Family Process, 45, 39-54.

Fivush, R., Haden, C. & Reese, E. (2006). Elaborating on elaborations: Role of maternal reminiscing style in cognitive and socioemotional development. Child Development , 77, 1568-1588.

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