Dialogical Self Theory State of the Art Hubert Hermans International Institute for the Dialogical Self Inspired by Mikhail Bakhtin Inspired by William James Overview - Summary Dialogical Self Theory - Different conceptions of dialogue - Dialogue inhibitors vs. -facilitators - Controverse between Descartes and Montaigne - The multiplicity (multivoicedness) of het self and the necessity of emotion-reason dialogue The Dialogical Self A dynamic multiplicity of I-positions in the landscape of the mind. As voiced positions they allow dialogical relationships both within and between people: Self as society of mind. Dialogical relationships involve both interchange and relative dominance and are placed in a contex of power relationships. Hermans, H.J.M., Kempen, H.J.G., & Van Loon, J.P. (1992). The dialogical self: Beyond individualism and rationalism. American Psychologist, 47, 23-33. The dialogical self Hubert Hermans & Agnieszka Hermans-Konopka Inspired by Mikhail Bakhtin Inspired by William James David Bohm, 1917-1992 Quantum physicist, philosophy of mind, neuropsychology. Left USA in McCarthy period because of suspicions of communism. Became British citizen People say: ‘All we need is love.’ If there were universal love, all would go well. But we don’t appear to have it. So we need to find a way that works. David Bohm on dialogue - “Thus, in a dialogue, each person does not attempt to make common certain ideas or items of information that are already known to him. Rather, it may be said that the two people are making something in common, i.e., creating something new together “ (p. 3) - “Each one of us is doing the same thing- sticking to the absolute necessity of his idea (…). ‘Is it absolutely necessary?’. ‘Well, maybe it ‘s not absolute necessary’. Then the whole thing becomes easier (…) The dialogue can then enter a creative new area. I think this is crucial” (p. 26) - Compare also Mead’s (1934) distinction between I and Me with the generalized other as part of Me and I as the source of innovation of society (see also Miguel Goncalves’ work on innovative moments in psychotherapy) Difference between Bohmian and Bakhtinian dialogue Bohm 1. Dialogue is sometimes 2. Enhances collective meanings 3. Discussion (including disagreement) is no dialogue Bakhtin 1. Dialogue is always 2. Individual and collective voices 3. Discussion (including disagreement) is dialogical Barge, J.K., & Little, M. (2002), Dialogical wisdom, communicative practice, and organizational life. Communication theory, 12 (4), 375-397. - Martin Buber, 1878-1965 Israeli philosopher of dialogue. Broke with Jewish custom. Professor at Frankfurt, resigned as protest to Hitler. Left Germany in 1938 Buber’s distinction between I-You and I-it Buber (1970): distinction between I –YOU relationship and I-IT relationship. I is involved in dialogical contact with YOU. The perception of IT is a form of objectification (although it can be linguistic communication). - - I and YOU are members of a pair and not isolated entities; - I and IT are also members of a pair but of a different quality. - While the tree or a person is observed as part of a category (I-IT) in the I-YOU relationship it is experienced as a whole and in its ‘speaking richness’ (see also music or paintings) Who wrote this text? (2000) “But dialogue becomes possible only at a particular time and place under certain psychological, philosophical, and ethical conditions, and therefore, not everybody, with any world view and belief in some political, moral, religious or philosophical system, can claim that he or she is an advocate of dialogue. For real dialogue to take place, we require a set of general, all-inclusive, a priori axioms, without which no dialogue is possible in the true sense of the word. It is up to such world organizations as Unesco to conduct research into these axioms, to publicize them, and to make them acceptable and even desirable to the world community” (p. 30) Mohammad Khatami (1943-), Iranian scholar, Shiite theologian, and Reformist politician. He served as the fifth president of Iran from 1997 to 2005. He is currently one of the leaders of the Iranian Green Movement and an outspoken critic of the President Ahmadinejad’s government Dialogue-inhibitors Exclusive truth pretentions: ‘I’m right’: confusion of ‘perspective’ and ‘reality’ Strong emotions are totalizing the mind: reduction of multiplicity (e.g., anger, substance addiction, fanatic love) Masking positions as dialogue-inhibitors Transforming cognitive dissonance into consonance moves the self into a monological direction: tolerance for contradictions Dialogue facilitators Four levels of listening: (a) to the literate text; (b) conceptual listening; (c) going into the intentions of the other; (d) listerning to both yourself and the other Inclusion of uncertainty: creating space for a not-yetknown counter-voice (opposite to prejudice) Tolerance for contradictions: Montaigne: against artificial certainty: there is always another perspective possible; consulting head and heart (two inner perspectives) Transform dichtomies into mutually complementing, counter-voices (open vs. closed, optimist vs. pessimist, feminine vs. masculine) Internal dialogues from trait perspective Revised NEO Personality Inventory (neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness, agreebleness, openness) correlated with measures of internal dialogical activity. Persons having many inner dialogues scored significantly higher on openness (fantasy, aesthetics, feelings) and higher on instability (self-consciousness, and anxiety) than persons with less dialogues. Puchalska-Wasyl,, M. et al. (2008). From internal interlocutors to psychological functions of dialogical activity. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 21, 239-269 See also Oles’et al.’s chapter in the Handbook of Dialogical Self Theory. (2012). Internal dialogues from trait perspective “This is probably modified by developmental factors since, in adolescents, internal dialogicality corresponds higher with Neuroticism than with Openness […] while in the middle-aged samples the internal dialogical activity corresponds higher with Openness than with Neuroticism […]). This implies that in adolescents internal dialogues are stimulated mainly by anxiety and personal problems, whereas in adults mostly by openness and curiosity. Adolescents may use internal dialogues for coping with the unknown, which tends mainly to reduce anxiety, while middle-aged adults use internal dialogues mainly for exploring new worlds and for dialectical thinking which broadens the scope of personal possibilities” Oles et al. (2011). Dialogicality and personality traits. In: H.J.M. Hermans & T. Gieser (Eds.) (2012), Handbook of Dialogical Self Theory (241-252). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. Talking to, about, and with Triadic situation: Student stalking about their experiences in their internship with a school mentor and workplace mentor: - Talking to the student: 65% - Talking about the student: 21% - Talking with the student: 9% While talking with the student is the situation in which they learn most about themselves Winters et al. (2012). The self in carreer learning: An evolving dialogue. In: H.J.M. Hermans & T. Gieser (Eds.) (2012), Handbook of Dialogical Self Theory (pp. 454-469). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. Controverse between Descartes and Montaigne on certainty and contradictions Montaigne: (1533-1592) Descartes: (1596-1650) 1. Against arrogant certainty 1. Perfect certainty (“Que sais je?”) 2. Removing 2. Tolerance and awareness contradictions and of contradictions and uncertainty: one uncertainty: different rational perspective perspectives 3. Reason above emotion: 3. Reason and emotion as head above the heart equivalent sources of knowledge Montaigne: Multiplicity within and between selves “We are all framed of flaps and patches, and of so shapeless and diverse contexture, that every piece, and every moment plays its part. And there is as much difference found between us and our selves, as there is between our selves and others’’ (Montaigne, 1580) “It is a major achievement, believe me, to act as one person” (Seneca, circa 65 AD) Hermans, H.J.M., & Kempen, H.J.G. (1993). The dialogical self: Meaning as movement. San Diego: Academic Press Alice: Telling different things from different positions (open vs. closed) Question about her past: Is there something important or influential in your past that still exerts an influence today? Valuation from her open position: “My mother, open and cheerful, has always been like a friend to me” Valuation from her closed position: “When I was 12 years old, my father left the house; I know so little about that period; I think there is much pain and sorrow during that time” Alice: Telling different things about the same person Question about her present: Is there something important or influential in your present life? Valuation from her open position: “In the contact with my boyfriend: I’m always listening to him; I’m always there for him” Valuation from her closed position: “My partner and I have both had a broken relationship in the past; I do not want to lose myself again in another relationship” 70 60 How DOMINANT were these valuations in your thinking during the past week? 50 40 open closed 30 20 Reversal of dominance is expressed by the crossing lines 10 0 1 2 3 4 Figure 3.1. Average dominance ratings for thinking about personal valuations for open and closed positions over four weeks Hermans, H.J.M., & Kempen, H.J.G. (1993). The dialogical self. San Diego: Academic Press 70 60 How MEANINGFULwere these valuations in your thinking during the past week? 50 40 open closed 30 Meaningfulness reversal is expressed by the crossing lines 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 Figure 3.2 . Average meaningfulness ratings for thinking about personal valuations for open and closed positions over four weeks Hermans, H.J.M., & Kempen, H.J.G. (1993). The dialogical self. San Diego: Academic Press I in relationship with mother, father, partner, friend, and teacher “The position of Mother's Child was the most talkative, expressed most emotions , had the most colorful stories , most intensively expressed the needs of affiliation and intimacy and most often mentioned relations with other people […] Generally, these findings are in agreement with the assumption of DST that people produce different self-narratives from the perspective of different I-positions” (Stemplewska et al., 2012; see also Raggatt’s work on positioning) Stemplewska-Żakowicz, K., et al. (2012). Cognitive architecture of the dialogical self: An experimental approach. In H.J.M. Hermans & T. Gieser (Eds.), Handbook on the Dialogical Self Theory. (264-283). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Emotion from Different Perspectieves - COGNITIVE: result of interpretations - FYSIOLOGICAL: adrenaline, cortisol - EVOLUTIONARY: fight, flight, freezing - DIALOGICAL: Emotion als message; as temporary I-position; . importance of listening. . What does an emotion say about yourself or another? . Reason gives an answer to the emotion. Learning from it. - First-order phenomenology (“He is a….”) and second-order awareness(“I’m angry”) (Lambie & Marcel, 2002): uncertainty! - Dialogue emotion-reason (not rational and also not overwhelmed by emotions ) Emotion-reason dialogue Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592): knowing via head and heart; reason and emotion mind and body versus Descartes: reason above emotion Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) “The heart has its reasons, that the reason doesn't know" Emotion-reason dialogue Emotion work after a loss, deep insult or serious conflict: ‘dialogical emotion’ Dialogical authenticity: Taking the position of a significant other: dialogical emotion Falling in love and taking a realistic metaposition (e.g., alimentation, common property) Summarizing 1 1. Philosophical, psychological, and novelistic literature shows different conceptions of dialogue 2. When dialogue is not always and everywhere, it makes sense to give attention to the distinction between dialogue-inhibitors and – facilitators. 3. In the controverse between Descartes and Montaigne one of the deeper implications is the tolerance for contradictions and uncertainty. Summarizing 2 4. A significant aspect of the multiplicity of the self, is the relationship between emotion and reason. This leads to the relevance of developing emotion-reason dialogue 5. Dialogue implies learning from the other and from oneself Thank you for your attention! Have a good dialogue! General Info - Website Hubert J.M. Hermans: www.huberthermans.com - Dialogical Practice Network: www.dialogicalpractice.com - Hermans, H.J.M., & Hermans-Konopka, A. (2010). Dialogical Self Theory: Positioning and counter-positioning in a globalizing society. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.