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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Crazy Person Terms for Teens

Define the terms imaginary audience, personal fable, invincibility fable, foreclosure, moratorium and diffusion using your own adolescence to provide examples of each.

Imaginary Audience: The condition where a person believes that the world should be as interested or concerned with them as they are (p.301). As a theater student I always believed that my teachers should be as interested in my success as I am if for no other reason than I paid them. Honestly, I still believe that but I fear the world disagrees.

Personal Fable: The condition where a person thinks too much of themselves, believes that they have an over important role to play in the world, or thinks that their experiences are completely and totally unique (p.301). I can recall this when I wrote my first full length play. It was science fiction and I thought that this had never been done before, but I was wrong. The word Robot was coined in a play and many of the big production scripts could be called Sci Fi. Look at ‘Cats’ where a cat is taken away by space ship or ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ where an alien takes over the world.

Invincibility Fable: the perceptual error where a person believes they are invincible and unstoppable (p.301). I was once on a walk with my father and a runaway horse came by with a second horse, this one with rider, short behind calling ‘stop the horse, stop the horse!’ My first thought was to grab the saddle as the horse ran by and put my foot into the stirrup. Then I would pull myself up. I will grant I could have been killed, but to be honest at the time I felt I had no reason to live.

Foreclosure: The condition where a person conforms to norms without exploring alternatives (p.304). The only place where I can say that I did this was water polo where I put on the Speedo as part of being on the team. I never liked the thing and they had little longevity, but I never looked for an alternative.

Moratorium: This is the state where in a person is actively looking for who they are but are confused and working overtime to define themselves(p.304). I noted this in my early college days. One week I wanted to be a photographer and the next an engineer. I lost years of my life to these changes in mind.  

Diffusion: A point where a person has yet to make a firm life choice but is not active in exploring possible choices. (P. 303) The danger here being that the person may be susceptible to group influence like that of a gang. I once had this problem and turned to my name as an idea of who I am. I wrote my name as R.L. Neal, I was called Neal, but I proffered Richard. Still there were people who called me Rick. To my friends and myself Rick was a person who was worthy of abuse and so I expected abuse as part of life until I refused to hang around with those who called me Rick.


Broderick, P. & Blewett, P. (2010). The Life Span: Human Development for Helping Professionals. New York: Prentice-Hall Publishers.