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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 Sept. 19.docx

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PSYO 3280
Dr.Simon Sherry

Wednesday, Sept. 19 2012 PSYO 3280 Personality Psychology On Becoming a Person Continued 5. Socio-historical and cultural processes → Rights and privileges regarding who is a person (e.g., slave) - We grow up in a society that has ideas about what is a person or makes up a person. If you are defined by the society (for example, by law) in a way that is dependent of you that constrains your behaviour would deem you to not be a person → Individuals personal identity needs cultural conditions to realize free agency in society - You may be developing a personal identity in which you think you are a fully free independent functioning person which is fine as long as you live in a place and time where society deems that okay. If you do not it may lead to conflict. Society, in a way, determines who you are. - Duality: you and society are a subjective thing  You are who you might think you are but there is a subjective component to your role imposed by society and what it says we are  For example, a teenager thinks they’re grown up, until their parents or the police for example, state otherwise 6. Normative ideal → Ought; normative view of person - What you should be/ the idea/ the moral expectations - Expectation that we have in our society of a person is a very individual person who is themselves and is special and unique. → What is best/right way to conceive of person? (not a scientific/empirical question) - Society also determines the ideal view of persons / an ethical choice that society makes – we decide what personhood is and can challenge this ideal → Conception of person (e.g., moral agent, free will, ethical ideals) affects practice in just society Rolf Harris → Australian → Had a variety entertainment show in which he would sing folk songs, and behind him was a big white wall in which he would pick up huge paintbrushes and he would paint an image on this board. - At first you just seen a few spots that made no sense, then he filled in the spaces and put in some details and eventually you could figure out what it was → His painting is a bit like McAdams’ article - You get some general dabs at the beginning that are bold and important in anchoring the picture he is about to create What do we Know When we Know a Person? (McAdams, 1995) → Similar to what Rolf Harris does with paintings - First thing he brings up is traits that characterize us but do not tell us much about the person – the dabs - As he adds more information you get more detail - At the end you know what he is talking about. Even though we know the traits and some of the personal concerns that makes us different from someone else we then want to know everything about you. → Personality psychologists make sense of persons (what makes X tick?) - What we should be doing as personality psychologists to make sense of persons is describe and explain what is you, the person which consists of multiple traits → Description + explanation (both interpretive) pg. 368 - Most of his paper about description. Explanation involves a certain amount of interpretation. Description too is an interpretive process. You can have two people looking at the same thing and you can ask them to describe them and they will describe two different things. → Personologists - More systematic and structured and - Organize into meaningful system/framework Power of Traits (p.
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