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Lecture 7

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Carleton University
PSYC 2600
Chris Motz

Lecture 7 Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - Our goals for today- finish last class- FFT o Focus on traits (dispositional domain) - What do traits MEAN? What does it mean for someone to be high or low on a particular trait? - Consistency and coherence (essence of personality is stable over time) o How early in life does personality start to manifest? o Will do this as parents anyway o Make predictions? o Do early traits hold through across life span? - Although core might stay the same, we would expect some things to change o The way you express that part of yourself might change, but that part of yourself stays the same o Expressing happiness as baby- rocking back and forth o Expressing happiness as adult- something else, hopefully - *Big question: Can we predict life outcomes? (whether person will end up happy, successful, etc.) - *What predicts behaviour? Predict why people do what they do, what they’re likely to do again. - Ch. 5: coherence across time o *Rank order (stability) and mean level (change) o Two big concepts in this chapter o Consistency despite of the fact that we change o A lot of research evidence- life outcomes (interesting stuff- achievement, impulsivity, etc.)—summarize the research evidence - Last week’s notes o Dynamic processes of FFT  Connection between objective biography and self-concept  Elements of life story can impact parts of personality  *Objective biography is personal life story of things that influenced you, but we’re not talking about everything—we’re talking about the meaningful events that happened to you o Objective biography- one of peripheral components of FFT  Not what you would immediately think of when you think of personality  But it could influence it  Ex. Dispositionally bubbly friend suddenly isn’t bubbly anymore. That was part of her personality that she would carry everywhere with her, but for the last few months she has not done any of that behaviour. Like a big personality shift and no longer has this core. Part of her objective biography is that two months ago, her father suffered a serious heart attack and had to be hospitalized. Had an impact on all aspects of personality- how she interacts with world, thinks about herself, etc. o FFT is a personality system—how the process works together o FFT in action o Trait one: Neuroticism  Basic tendency (trait) • Neuroticism- depression (facet)- sadness, hopelessness, guilt  Characteristic adaptation • Way of interacting with world- low self-esteem, irrational perfectionistic beliefs, pessimistic attitudes  Objective biography • Betty would feel guilty about low-prestige job (basic tendency influences objective biography) o Trait two: Extraversion  Basic tendency • Extraversion- gregariousness (social interaction)  Characteristic adaptation • Good at social interaction- friendships (good at making and maintaining)- more likely to engage in participation in sporting activities  Objective biography • Low in gregariousness- life of solitude (countryside) o Not seeking social interaction o Trait three: Openness to experience  Basic tendency • Openness to experience- actions (need for variety, novelty, change)  Characteristic adaptation • Interest in travel- travelling/doing research on where to travel, different hobbies, knowledge of foreign cuisine (recipes/restaurants)  Objective biography • Cruising the Antarctic o Trait four: Agreeableness  Basic tendency • Agreeableness- compliance (desire to avoid disagreement)  Characteristic adaptation • Forgives others, cooperates with others, inoffensive language (not likely to choose language that would start a fight)  Objective biography • Low compliance- doesn’t want to avoid fights, doesn’t listen to other person, doesn’t care about offending- might throw things during fight o Trait five: Conscientiousness  Basic tendency • Conscientiousness- achievement striving (really focused on goals- want to accomplish as much as they can- not necessarily selfish- could be in order to help people)  Characteristic adaptation • Leadership skills, long-term planning, ability to network and organize social connections in order to facilitate achievement strategy  Objective biography • High in achievement striving- run for PM - This week’s notes - Trait psychology o What does it mean to have high or low level of trait? o Does it last across whole lifespan? o Can it carry across all situations or do situations dictate behaviour? o Can we make predictions? - Meaningful differences between people o People can score different levels of a particular trait o But in this class, we’ll have two who score virtually identically on all five traits o We do differ- people may seem to be the same, but when we break it down into the different facets, almost impossible to be the same. o Infinite amount of variability o With just a few core traits, we can start to count for all the individual variation o Differential psychology- taking a few core traits and by subtle variations, can give all the infinite types o Goal is to be able to understand behaviour- what will potentially happen in the future- we could potentially prevent that by improving social skills and intelligence o Costa and McCrae would argue that the basic tendencies are consistent over time. But will argue that we can work on character
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