The SCOPES model organizes information about human functioning in six domains of functioning commonly discussed in psychological research and clinical practice. The model also helps researchers and clinicians organize tests or questionnaires that measure different dimensions of functioning.
We are whole persons thus, focusing on a dimension can lead to unrealistic views if we forget that each dimension of functioning interacts with the others. For example, our memories of important people from childhood are part of cognition but affect our emotions, behavior, and even our physiological reactions. Memories are part of our self-identity and may affect our spirituality too. Finally, our memories can be triggered by events in our social context like a photograph, a trip to our home town, or a movie.
THE SIX COMPONENTS OF THE SCOPES MODEL
We project ourselves to others through our core dimensions of expressed thoughts (cognition), feelings (emotion), observable behaviors (personality traits), and observed physical attributes. We may express our selves differently in different social contexts.
My interest is in the psychology of religion and spirituality so let me give an example of the spiritual aspect of identity. Spirituality includes religious and other ways people find meaning in life. Most organized religious faiths include specific beliefs and practices but these are integrated with each person’s experience. For example, a person’s dreams and visions or culture influence how they pray and what they identify as right and wrong. Atheists and those with nontraditional spirituality may describe meaningful experiences in the beauty of nature and music. For some, the spiritual dimension is so vital to their identity that it dominates their clothing, communicated beliefs, daily practices, interactions with others, and what they eat.
Following is an illustration of the SCOPES model where the primary self-identity is spiritual and they have a particular religious or spiritual worldview.
Openness: intelligent, imaginative, insightful
Conscientious: organized, thorough, planners
Extraversion: talkative, outgoing, energetic, assertive; contrasted with introversion
Agreeable: forgiving, sympathetic, kind, affectionate
Neuroticism (v. stability) tense, moody, anxious
The people we identify as "my people" or "my family" and places (e.g., my hometown, my country) and epochs of time (I grew up in the 50s and 50s) may also be a part of our identity.
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