As the list of trigger warning–worthy topics continues to grow, there’s scant research demonstrating how words “trigger” or how warnings might help. Most psychological research on P.S.T.D. suggests that, for those who have experienced trauma, “triggers” can be complex and unpredictable, appearing in many forms, from sounds to smells to weather conditions and times of the year. In this sense, anything can be a trigger —a musky cologne, a ditsy pop song, a footprint in the snow.
As a means of navigating the Internet, or setting the tone for academic discussion, the trigger warning is unhelpful. Once we start imposing alerts on the basis of potential trauma, where do we stop? One of the problems with the concept of triggering—understanding words as devices that activate a mechanism or cause a situation—is it promotes a rigid, overly deterministic approach to language. There is no rational basis for applying warnings because there is no objective measure of words’ potential harm. Of course, words can inspire intense reactions, but they have no intrinsic danger. Two people who have endured similarly painful experiences, from rape to war, can read the same material and respond in wholly different ways.
“Do what you love” disguises the fact that being able to choose a career primarily for personal reward is a privilege, a sign of socioeconomic class. Even if a self-employed graphic designer had parents who could pay for art school and co-sign a lease for a slick Brooklyn apartment, she can bestow DWYL as career advice upon those covetous of her success.
If we believe that working as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur or a museum publicist or a think-tank acolyte is essential to being true to ourselves, what do we believe about the inner lives and hopes of those who clean hotel rooms and stock shelves at big-box stores? The answer is: nothing.
Self-Efficacy differs from self-esteem in two ways:
- Perceived self-efficacy is not a global construct; you can have different self-efficacy beliefs in different situations.
- Perceived self-efficacy is not an abstract sense of personal worth, but a judgement of what one can do.
The correlation between self-esteem and performance is weak, while the correlation between perceived self-efficacy and performance is strong.
People with low self-efficacy:
- Do not attempt desired activities
- Give up when they encounter difficulty
- Become anxious during task performance
- Become “rattled” by failing to think analytically about the task
Thought I’d share some pictures from last year. Two of my best friends got married, and I got all goo-goo-eyed for the dork on the bottom.