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10. Classifying Scripts


  • Describe the major dimensions for classifying scripts and draw a chart to illustrate Tomkins’s classifications.
  • Identify the various types of scripts that you recognize from personal or clinical experience.


EA, “Script Theory,” pp. 334-353.

TT, Donald L. Nathanson, “Scripts and Interventions,” March 26, 1997.

TT, Melvyn A. Hill, “Negative Affect in Therapy,” December 8, 1997.

Questions on Readings:

  1. Describe some of the major modular components of scripts.
  2. What is the difference between scripts where affect is salient and scripts where affect is derivative?
  3. What are three different strategies for managing risk/benefits?
  4. What is the difference between monistic, dualistic, and pluralistic scripts?
  5. What is necessary for positive affect to remain greater than negative affect? Are good health, high social status, intelligence, and wealth enough?
  6. Why can’t societies ignore affect?
  7. Describe four types of scripts that deal with risk, cost/benefit. What happens to cost/benefit strategies as the ratio of positive to negative affect decreases?
  8. How does the affluence script maintain positive affect? Can restriction of focus to positive affects (through affect salience) do this?
  9. Give examples of types of limitation/remediation scripts. What do they have in common?
  10. How do major religions script limitation/remediation?
  11. What is the goal of decontamination scripts, such as the nuclear script? What is the probability of successfully attaining this goal?
  12. Describe subtypes of nuclear scripts that handle different ratios of positive to negative affect.
  13. How can anti-toxic scripts reduce suffering?