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May 2022

Voicing the self: From information processing to dialogical interchange

Journal/Book: Psychol Bull. 1996; 119: 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Amer Psychological Assoc. 31-50.

Abstract: Dialogue implies an interchange between mutually influencing voices. Two metaphors playing a major role in contemporary research are analyzed from such a perspective: the computer metaphor, in which the self is studied as an information-processing device, and the narrative metaphor, in which, story and storytelling are guiding principles for the self. It is argued that, on the metaphorical level, the computer and the narrative analogy allow voice and intersubjective exchange to play important roles in self-organization. In actual research, however, these elements are neglected. Theoretical and empirical arguments emphasize the relevance of the dialogical view for the study of the self. Finally, the role of dominance in inter- and intrapersonal processes and the relevance of collective voices for contemporary psychology are sketched.

Note: Review HJM Hermans, Univ Nijmegen, Dept Clin Psychol & Personal, POB 9104, 6500 He Nijmegen, Netherlands

Keyword(s): PERSONALITY-RESEARCH; IMAGINARY AUDIENCE; MORAL DEVELOPMENT; PSYCHOLOGY; DEPRESSION; COMPLEXITY; STORIES; SELVES; VULNERABILITY; DISCREPANCIES


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