Samstag, 5. Mai 2018

'Yeasayers and Naysayers'

Impro, Keith Johnstone:

>When I meet a new group of students they will usually be 'naysayers'. This term and its opposite, 'yeasayers', come from a paper by Arthur Couch and Kenneth Kenison, who were investigating the tendency of people answering questionnaires to be generally affirmative, or generally negative in attitude. They wrote in Freudian terms:

'We have arrived at a fairly consistent picture of the variables that differentiate yeasayers from naysayers. Yeasayers seem to be "id-dominated" personalities, with little concern about or positive evaluation of an integrated control of their impulses. They say they express themselves freely and quickly. Their "psychological inertia" is very low, that is, very few secondary processes intervene as a screen between underlying wish and overt behavioural response. The yeasayers desire and actively search for emotional excitement in their environment. Novelty, movement, change, adventure - these provide the external stimuli for their emotionalism. They see the world as a stage where the main theme is 'acting out' libidinal desires. In the same way, they seek and respond quickly to internal stimuli: their inner impulses are allowed ready expression ... the yeasayer's general attitude is one of stimulus acceptance, by which we mean a pervasive readiness to respond affirmatively or yield willingly to both outer and inner forces demanding expression.

'The "disagreeing" naysayers have the opposite orientation. For them, impulses are seen as forces requiring control, and perhaps in some sense as threats to general personality stability. The naysayer wants to maintain inner equilibrium; his secondary processes are extremely impulsive and value maintaining forces. We might describe this as a state of high psychological inertia - impulses undergo a series of delays, censorships, and transformations before they are permitted expression. Both internal and external stimuli that demand response are carefully scrutinised and evaluated: these forces appear as unwelcome intruders into a subjective world of "classical" balance. Thus, as opposed to the yeasayers, the naysayers' general attitude is one of stimulus rejection - a pervasive unwillingness to respond to impulsive or environmental forces.' ('Yeasayers and Naysayers', Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, Vol. 160, No.2, 1960.)<

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