Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Analysis of Social Problem Solving and Social Self-Efficacy in Prospective Teachers

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Analysis of Social Problem Solving and Social Self-Efficacy in Prospective Teachers

Article excerpt

There is a need to have a problem solving ability to lead a better life as problems are inevitable and a source of stress. The amount of stress is directly related to the severity of the problem and personality factors such as disposition, biology, life experience and coping behavior. There is not much to be done in relation to personality and biology but much can be done in terms of developing coping strategies and problem solving strategies. This is important because coping and problem solving strategies can be significant determining how to manage problems stressful daily events and adjustment processes (Heppner, Pretorius, Wei, Lee, & Wang, 2002). Problems represent a discrepancy between an actual situation and its desired state (D'Zurilla, 1986). Solutions, on the other hand, represent the responses given to change the nature of a problem (Nezu, 2004). Problem solving skills enable us to generate alternatives and evaluate the pros and cons of these alternatives (MacNair & Elliot, 1992). The concept of social problem solving is widely used to define the process one follows to come up with effective means of handling a problematic situation (D'Zurilla & Nezu, 1982; Nezu, 2004).

The term "social" in this concept is used to emphasize that the focus is on problem solving conducted in a natural social environment (D'Zurilla & Nezu, 1999). Social problem solving oriented research looks at all kinds of problems experienced in life ranging from impersonal, personal and interpersonal to the broader problems of community and society. Hence, his term emphasizes the personal and social context where the solving of real-life problems takes place (D'Zurilla, Nezu, & Maydeu-Olivares, 2002).

This is social problem solving model and the major assumption regarding this model is based on the success of problem solving resulting from two general and partially independent processes. These processes involve problem orientation and problem solving style. What makes problem orientation successful is its motivational function in solving social problem. On the other hand, problem solving style presents cognitive and behavioral activities for enabling a person understand problems and find solutions. Based on these, a five-dimensional social problem solving model was developed. This model holds two positive and negative aspects of problem orientation, and it has three different styles such as rational problem solving, the impulsive-careless style and the avoidance style. These people who have positive problem orientation have an inclination to view a problem as a challenge that problems are presents and they should be solved. These people solve the problem with success. However, people having negative problem orientation see the problem as a threat to one's own existence, they are of the opinion that problems are very difficult to solve, they do not have confidence in themselves, and they easily become distressed when confronted with a problem. But the general structure of rational problem solving necessitates rationality, deliberateness and a systematic application of problem solving skills. These people with impulsive-careless style are actively attempting the implementation of effective problem solving skills, and they are not well-planned in their attempts, while main characteristics of the avoidance style try to ignore reactions, passivity and dependency (Chang, D'Zurilla, & Sanna, 2004; D'Zurilla & Chang, 1995; D'Zurilla et al., 2002; Erözkan, 2013).

Within the context of the social problem solving model, constructive dimensions are represented by positive problem orientation and rational problem solving and dysfunctional dimensions are represented by negative problem orientation, the impulsive-careless style, and the avoidance style. Hence, it is expected that positive problem orientation and rational problem solving lead to a reduction of psychological distress and that negative problem orientation, the impulsive- careless style, and the avoidance style lead to an increase in distress. …

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