Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I'm working on my T homework post. In the middle of it, I used the word closure and I started a little sidebar about what exactly that means. It took on a life of it's own, requiring it's own entry!

I've been using that word alot lately. Closure. Is there ever really closure?

So I take to my good friends Merriam & Webster: closure: an often comforting or satisfying sense of finality (victims needing closure); also : something (as a satisfying ending) that provides such a sense.

My other dear friend, Wikipedia, has this to say: the state of experiencing an emotional conclusion to a difficult life event, or, a point in the development of an artifact where social understanding and interpretation reaches consensus.
The need for closure varies across individuals, situations, and cultures. A person with a high need for closure prefers order and predictability and is decisive and close minded. This person also feels discomfort from ambiguity . Someone rating low on need for closure will express more ideational fluidity and emit more creative acts .
The Need for Closure Scale (NFCS) was developed by Arie Kruglanski, Donna Webster, and Adena Klem in 1993. Items on the scale include statements such as “I think that having clear rules and order at work is essential to success.” and “I do not like situations that are uncertain”. Items such as “Even after I’ve made up my mind about something, I am always eager to consider a different opinion.” and “I like to have friends who are unpredictable” are reversed scored. This scale is composed of 42 items and has been used in numerous research studies and has been translated into multiple languages. The Need for Closure Scale exhibits low to moderate association with the following: “authoritarianism, intolerance of ambiguity, dogmatism, need for cognition, cognitive complexity, impulsivity, need for structure, and fear of invalidity, while retaining considerable distinctiveness from those various constructs”. It does not appear to be related with the intelligence level nor social desirability concerns.

What's this now?? A Need For Closure Scale?? Some sort of test to take to tell me how rigid and controlling I am? Thumbs Up! Gotta love the internet....a mere matter of searches, clicks and cut & paste later:

Need for Closure Scale

"Attitude, Belief and Experience Survey"

(I'm going to forewarn you that there is really no basis for scoring this survey....but still the questions were interesting!)

Read each of the following statements and decide how much you agree with each according to your beliefs and experiences. Please respond according to the following scale.

1 strongly disagree
2 moderately disagree
3 slightly disagree
4 slightly agree
5 moderately agree
6 strongly agree

01.I think that having clear rules and order at work is essential for success.
02.Even after I've made up my mind about something, I am always eager to consider a different opinion.
03.I don't like situations that are uncertain.
04.I dislike questions which could be answered in many different ways. (If I could answer this one with a score of 10,000, I would!!!!)
05.I like to have friends who are unpredictable.
06.I find that a well ordered life with regular hours suits my temperament.
07.I enjoy the uncertainty of going into a new situation without knowingwhat might happen.
08.When dining out, I like to go to places where I have been before so thatI know what to expect.
09.I feel uncomfortable when I don't understand the reason why an event occurred in my life.
10.I feel irritated when one person disagrees with what everyone else in a group believes.
11.I hate to change my plans at the last minute.
12.I would describe myself as indecisive.
13.When I go shopping, I have difficulty deciding exactly what it is I want.
14.When faced with a problem I usually see the one best solution very quickly.
15.When I am confused about an important issue, I feel very upset.
16.I tend to put off making important decisions until the last possible moment.
17.I usually make important decisions quickly and confidently.
18.I have never been late for an appointment or work.
19.I think it is fun to change my plans at the last moment.
20.My personal space is usually messy and disorganized.
21.In most social conflicts, I can easily see which side is right and which is wrong.
22.I have never known someone I did not like.
23.I tend to struggle with most decisions.
24.I believe orderliness and organization are among the most important characteristics of a good student.
25.When considering most conflict situations, I can usually see how both sides could be right.
26.I don't like to be with people who are capable of unexpected actions.
27.I prefer to socialize with familiar friends because I know what to expect from them.
28.I think that I would learn best in a class that lacks clearly stated objectives and requirements. 29.When thinking about a problem, I consider as many different opinions on the issue as possible.
30.I don't like to go into a situation without knowing what I can expect from it.
31.I like to know what people are thinking all the time.
32.I dislike it when a person's statement could mean many different things.
33.It's annoying to listen to someone who cannot seem to make up his or her mind.
34.I find that establishing a consistent routine enables me to enjoy life more.
35.I enjoy having a clear and structured mode of life.
36.I prefer interacting with people whose opinions are very different from my own.
37.I like to have a plan for everything and a place for everything. (As if there is something wrong with this?!?!?!)
38.I feel uncomfortable when someone's meaning or intention is unclear to me.
39.I believe that one should never engage in leisure activities.
40.When trying to solve a problem I often see so many possible options that it's confusing.
41.I always see many possible solutions to problems I face.
42.I'd rather know bad news than stay in a state of uncertainty.
43.I feel that there is no such thing as an honest mistake.
44.I do not usually consult many different options before forming my own view.
45.I dislike unpredictable situations.
46.I have never hurt another person's feelings.
47.I dislike the routine aspects of my work (studies).

So before I go back and re-read any of this....I must ask myself: What does "Closure" mean to ME? I'm going to focus this on my father so it doesn't turn too general. In practical terms, I would say that I will believe I've achieved closure when:
1. I stop feeling the urge to contact him.
2. I stop wishing that things could be/could have been different.
3. I accept that whatever I did or did not do was the right course for me.
4. I no longer care what anyone else thinks of my decisions about him.
5. I stop replaying the confrontation scenario in my mind.
6. I find another way to fulfill my desire for a father figure.
7. I stop wishing him dead.

1 comment:

Enola said...

What's wrong with 35 and 37? I think those are perfectly good things myself!