Our theories of the contents and processes of thought will ge studied in 3 types of thought systems that complement one another, each allowing efficient study of issues that would be hard to study in the other 2. On each type a large bank of naturalistic thought samples has been accumulated,some studies completed , and additional one proposed. A first, """"""""sequential,"""""""" type of thought system is expressed in peoples' flowing 3 minute descriptions of involving topics (self, family, etc.). We have amused and content analyzed a large data bank of such continuous thought samples, and published several studies on their content and processes. Proposed studies deal with affirmational vs. negational thinking, further implications of distinctiveness theory, the social psychology to verbs, and transitional links between successive thoughts. We study thought processes, secondly, in a """"""""radial,"""""""" type of thought system consisting of a core topic (e.g., developing a vaccine against AIDS) plus salient topics which it evokes (mostly its antecedents and consequences). The thought systems around 365 core events have been identified by content analyzing free associations that they evoke, allowing tests of our theory 's implications for the static states of radial thought system at a given moment and for the systems' dynamic functioning (i.e, how introducing a change at one point in the system has remote ramifications at distal points). Studies are proposed on how changes spread through the system on the operation of additional rational thought processes, on delayed-action systemic changes, on quantitative aspects of the theory, etc. A third program investigates """"""""detergent"""""""" (creative) thinking on social topics. We have described 49 creative heuristic usable to generate social hypotheses and hade developed worksheets for training people in each of them, and rough-tested some in pedagogic situations. Laboratory experiments are proposed to test hypotheses about how the creativity-enhancing efficacy of such training is affected by independent variables such as type of heuristic, of training is affected by independent variables such as type of heuristic, of training (timing, guidance, feedback, etc.) of problem types, of personal characteristics (ability, style), etc.
|McGuire, W J; McGuire, C V (1996) Enhancing self-esteem by directed-thinking tasks: cognitive and affective positivity asymmetries. J Pers Soc Psychol 70:1117-25|
|McGuire, W J (1991) Using guiding-idea theories of the person to develop educational campaigns against drug abuse and other health-threatening behavior. Health Educ Res 6:173-84|
|McGuire, W J (1990) Dynamic operations of thought systems. Am Psychol 45:504-12|
|McGuire, W J; McGuire, C V; Cheever, J (1986) The self in society: effects of social contexts on the sense of self. Br J Soc Psychol 25 ( Pt 3):259-70|
|McGuire, W J; McGuire, C V (1986) Differences in conceptualizing self versus conceptualizing other people as manifested in contrasting verb types used in natural speech. J Pers Soc Psychol 51:1135-43|