Rigidity, though common, is dysfunctional & tragically inappropriate for shipwrecks; psychological flexibility, though uncommon & depends on intelligent, mature conscious choices, is adaptive & absolutely essential, particularly in times of shipwreck.
"differences in identity styles are based on a differential balance in the use of the processes of assimilation & accommodation. Assimilation ... the process of incorporating or assimilating new information into one’s existing worldview whereas accommodation involves changing one’s worldview to accept the new information.
... a balanced use of assimilation and accommodation characterizes only the informational style whereas the normative style is characterized by an overreliance on assimilation processes and the diffuse-avoidant style is characterized by an overuse of accommodation processes.
... theoretically the informational style, with its balanced social-cognitive processing, should allow for the most mature defense use. In contrast, the unbalanced processing associated with the normative and diffuse-avoidant styles should be associated with less mature forms of defenses; namely, those that are associated with distortion (neurotic) & denial (immature) of reality, respectively."
Seaton CL, Beaumont SL. Identity processing styles and defense styles during emerging adulthood: Implications for life distress. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 2011; 11(1): 1-24.
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