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Personality Study Guide.doc

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 332
Professor
Richard Koestner
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter One: Studying the Person (pg. 1-17) • Personality Psychology – scientific study of the whole person ◦ often study individual differences in people ◦ develop ways to classify, categorize, and organize the diversity of psychological individuality, and they look for the biological and environmental forces and factors that explain those differences What Do We Know When We Know a Person? Sketching an Outline: Dispositional Traits • personality traits – general, internal, and comparative dispositions that we attribute to people in our initial efforts to sort individuals into meaningful behavioral categories and to account for consistencies we perceive or expect in behavior from one situation to the next and over time • personality psychologists have identified many different methods for quantifying individual differences in dispositional traits ◦ most common procedure is self-report • good trait measures are useful in predicting behavior over time and across situations • two psychologists went to the English-language dictionary and counted more than 18,000 words that referred to psychological states, traits, and evaluations ◦ of these, about 4,500 refer o relatively stable and enduring dispositional traits BIG 5 TRAITS ◦ provide a comprehensive description of basic dimensions of variability in human psychological qualities that are implicated in consequential social behavior ◦ sketch the outline of the person ▪ Openness to Experience • original vs. conventional • imaginative vs. down-to-earth • creative vs. uncreative ▪ Conscientiousness • conscientious vs. negligent • careful vs. careless • reliable vs. undependable ▪ Extraversion • sociable vs. retiring • fun-loving vs. sober • affectionate vs. reserved ▪ Agreeableness • good-natured vs. irritable • soft-hearted vs. ruthless • courteous vs. rude ▪ Neuroticism • worrying vs. calm • nervous vs. at-ease • high-strung vs. relaxed Filling in the Details: Characteristic Adaptations • characteristic adaptations – contextualized facets of psychological individuality that speak to motivational, cognitive, and developmental concerns in personality ◦ contextualized in time, place, and/or role ◦ address many of the most important questions in personality psychology: ▪ What do people want? ▪ How do people seek what they desire and avoid what they fear? ▪ How do people develop plans, goals, and programs for their lives? ▪ How do people think about and cope with the challenges of social life? ▪ What psychological and social tasks await people at particular stages or times in their lives? • we can group theories of personality psychology regarding characteristic adaptations into three categories: ◦ Human Motivation ▪ what people fundamentally want or desire in life Sigmund Freud (1900/1953) Unconscious drives/needs for sexuality and aggression Henry Murray (1938) More than 20 psychogenic needs, such as needs for achievement, power and affiliation/intimacy Carl Rogers (1951) Fundamental need for self-actualization motivates healthy, growth-inducing behavior Abraham Maslow (1968) Hierarchy of needs, running from physiological and safety needs to esteem and actualization needs Deci and Ryan (1991) Three besic growth needs: autonomy, competence, relatedness ◦ Cognition and Personality ▪ underscore the role of cognitive factors in human individuality • values/ beliefs/ expectancies/ schemas/ plans/ personal constructs/ cognitive styles George Kelly (1955) Psychology of personal constructs: basic categories for construing subjective experience Cantor and Kihlstrom (1987) Social intelligence: schemas and skills ◦ Developmental ▪ focus on the evolution of the self and its relationships with others from birth to old age Erik Erikson (1963) Eight stages of psychosocial development Jane Loevinger (1976) Stages of ego development Constructing a Story: Integrative Life Narratives • identity is the problem of unity and purpose in life ◦ challenge that many persons first encounter as they move from adolescence into young adulthood ◦ beyond traits and adaptations, many people seek an integrative framework or model for their own lives own lives that gives them a sense that the various pieces of who they are come together into some kind of sensible whole ◦ the challenge of modern identity is to come up with a way of understanding and talking about the self such that: ▪ despite the many different parts of me I am whole and coherent ▪ despite the many changes that attend the passage of time, the self of my past led up to or set the stage for the self of the present, which will in turn lead up to or set the stage for the self of the future ◦ this kind of integration of the self into an identity is accomplished through the construction and revision of a “life story” • life story – an internalized and evolving narrative of the self that integrates the reconstructed past, perceived present, and anticipated in order to provide a life with a sense of unity and purpose ◦ the story is the identity; thus, as identity changes, so changes the story • some approaches to understanding people's life stories suggest that: ◦ people actively and more-or-less consciously make meaning out of their own lives in terms of narratives that are prevalent in their own cultures • others suggest: ◦ these stories are shaped by forces over which individuals do not and typically cannot know what the meaning of their lives are • post-modern / discursive / dialogical ◦ post-modern approaches look to the “confusing swirl of narratives in culture and society” • according to this theory, people are storytellers who make themselves anew with each new conversation they have, each new story they tell and perform ◦ no story ever really takes hold, for life moves too quickly in today's society; there are too many things to do and be • a fully psychological account of an individual human life must consider that life from at least three different standpoints: ◦ where he or she stands on a series of dispositional traits that speak to general tendencies in behavior across situations, and over time ◦ how he or she is confronting and adapting to motivational, cognitive and developmental tasks and concerns that are contextualized in place, time and/or role ◦ what kind of identity he or she is articulating in life through the construction of stories about the self • Psychological individuality is conveyed, therefore, through the patterning of traits, adaptations, and stories Science and the Person science generally proceeds according to three steps: unsystematic observation building theories evaluating propositions Step 1: Unsystematic Observation • early observation is relatively unsystematic • we look for patterns so we can arrive at tentative first ordering or classification of what we are observing • the correct image of the scientist in step 1 of the scientific process is that of a creative observer who perceives order or pattern where it has not been perceived before • not a passive, casual sort of thing, but an active attempt to discern and then describe organization, pattern, design, or structure in a phenomenon that initially seems to be unorganized and without design • the scientist, operating in the context of discovery seeks to discover new ways of seeing reality, formulating in a highly subjective manner new categories, new terminologies, and new distinctions to describe the careful observations that he or she undertakes • induction – when a scientist moves from focusing on the concrete and particular events that are discerned to focusing on the more abstract and general representations of those events • case studies – an in-depth investigation of a single individual, sometimes conducted over a substantial period of time ◦ personality psychologists have traditionally used them as ways to organize complex observations about a single person so as to build a theory about some (or all) persons in general Step 2: Building Theories • theory – a set of interrelated statements proposed to explain certain observations of reality ◦ always a tentative and somewhat speculative abstraction ◦ generally accepted by the scientific community to the extent that it is consistent with observations of the phenomena it purports to explain ◦ subject to change whenever new, inconsistent observations become available ◦ provides at least four different tools the scientist can use to increase understanding of the phenomena: ▪ an abstract model or picture that serves as an easily envisioned representation for the structure of the theory ▪ a conceptual terminology or set of names for key ideas and major classes of observations in the theory ▪ a set of correspondence rules that describe the specific relationships to be expected between the various components ▪ hypotheses, or testable predictions that are logically derived from the correspondence rules ◦ the value of a theory may be judged by seven different standards: ▪ Comprehensiveness • the scope of a theory's explanatory details ◦ the wider the scope, the better the theory ▪ Parsimony • explanation of the maximum number of observations with a minimum number of explanatory concepts ◦ the more simple and straightforward the explanation, the better the theory ▪ Coherence • the components that make up the theory are logical and internally consistent ◦ the more logical and internally consistent, the better ▪ Testability • the scientist is able to derive testable hypotheses from the theory ◦ the more testable hypotheses, the better the theory ▪ Empirical Validity • results of empirical tests support the theory's claim ◦ the more the results validate the theory, the better the theory ▪ Usefulness • the ability of the scientist to solve real-world, human problems using the results of the theory ◦ the more applicable the results, the better the theory ▪ Generativity • the ability of scientists to generate new research and new theorizing about the phenomena ◦ a theory should serve “to challenge the guiding assumptions of the culture, to raise fundamental questions regarding contemporary social life, to foster reconsideration of that which is 'taken for granted', and thereby to generate fresh alternatives for social action” (Gergen, 1982, p.109) Step 3: Evaluating Propositions • context of justification – the scientist attempts to evaluate, or “justify” the truth of a given statement proposed by a given theory ◦ scientist seeks to subject a portion of a theory to a rigorous and objective test • the scientists anticipation of step 3 influences the way in which they explore the phenomenon of interest (step 1) and the kinds of theories he or she eventually produces (step 2) ◦ scientists who are proposing theories are urged by the logic of scientific inquiry to put forth theories that present testable hypotheses ▪ a theory should be stated in such a way as to render its propositions falsifiable ▪ the theory should specify what observations it would take to disprove its major propositions or such observations should at least be deducible from the theory's propositions Setting Up an Empirical Study • scientific hypotheses should be grounded in theories • our background reading would supply us with important ideas concerning how to think about our present study and how to design it to test the hypotheses in a fair and precise way • it is easy to criticize someone by the sample he/she employs, but all samples are biased in some way ◦ in general, we should strive to obtain a sample for our study that is appropriate for the proposition to be evaluated • to confirm or disconfirm a given hypothesis, different researchers employing different kinds of samples should, over time, produce similar results • no single study, no matter how representative or large the sample, establishes once and for all the truth value of a scientific proposition • variable – any quality that can assume two or more values ◦ operationalize – to decide how to measure a variable ▪ the operationalization of most variables in personality research requires us to quantify the data • two general formats for hypothesis-testing research are the correlational and experimental designs (pg. 18-34) The Correlational Design • positive correlation - if an increase in the value of one variable tends to be associated with an increase in value of the other variable • having information about one of the variables for a given participant in the study gives you a reliable hint about the value of the other variable for that participant • negative correlation – when an increase in one variable is generally associated with a decrease in the other variable • when two variables are not related to each other in any systematic manner, we say that there is little to no correlation between them • a numerical way of expressing the degree of correlation between two variables is the correlation coefficient ◦ range from +1.0 (perfect positive correlation) through 0.0 (no correlation between the two variables) to -1.0 (perfect negative correlation) • statistical significance – a measure of the extent to which a given result can be attributed to chance ◦ statistically significant when there is a less than 5% chance that the findings could have occurred by chance ▪ determined by the absolute value of the correlation coefficient and the number of participants from which the correlation was obtained • correlational does not imply causation!!! The Experimental Design • in an experiment, a scientist manipulates or alters one variable of interest in order to observe its impact on another variable of interest ◦ dependent variable is understood as the individual's response to the experimental alteration or manipulation of the independent variable ◦ experimentally controlled variations in the independent variable are seen as causing variations in the dependent variable • it is essential that the conditions of the experimental and control groups, therefore, be identical with the exception of one variable • a statistically significant difference between two groups in this experiment would suggest that variations in the experimentally manipulated independent variable were responsible for, or caused, variations in the dependent variable ◦ “basic method of science” ▪ other personality psychologists are highly critical of laboratory experimentation, arguing that experiments tend to be contrived, artificial, and trivial • Step 1: Observation • Step 2:Abstractions (observations organized into a theory) • Step 3: Systemic Observation (attempt empirical test of hypothesis) Personality Psychology • focus on psychological individuality • maintains that the person in his or her very individuality is important enough and cohesive enough to warrant special status as the main unit of analysis • heir to what psychological historians call “Renaissance Humanism” ◦ 16 c. worldview ◦ celebrates the dignity of man, the theme insisting that the world was made for man ◦ modern science, in its dispassionate objectivity and urge towards reductionism, has generally rejected Renaissance Humanism (personality psychology combats this) The Past and the Present • personality psychology was born within psychology departments inAmerican Universities in the 1930's • first issue of Character and Personality (now the Journal of Personality) published in 1932 ◦ aimed to join German studies of character with British andAmerican studies of individual differences in persons ▪ incorporating case studies, correlational surveys, experiments, and theoretical discussions • first major textbook on personality – Personality: A Psychological Interpretation ◦ first to articulate a grand vision for the field of personality psychology and place it within the context of historical and contemporary scholarship in the arts and sciences ◦ viewed personality psychology as the study of the individual person ◦ personality - “the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustment to his environment” • in the 1930's,American psychology tended to focus minutely on things such as habits, reflexes, stimuli, and discrete responses ◦ personality was holistic, taking on the whole person as the primary unit of study ▪ suggesting that unity, coherence, and wholeness are properties of human lives • in the 1930's,American psychology obsessed over the vicissitudes of animal learning ◦ personality concerned itself with the problems of human motivation, understood in terms of unobservable urges and promptings from within • in the 1930's,American psychology was a nomothetic enterprise (it aimed to discover and test general principles) ◦ personality emphasized how people were different as well as how they were the same ◦ ideographic approach (ignores general laws to discern the specific and individual patternings of particular lives • the history of modern psychology can be divided into three major periods: ◦ from ~1930 to 1950 ▪ establishment of the field and a number of general systems • comprehensive conceptual systems for understanding the person • 1937 - Allport's psychology of the individual • 1938 – Murray's personological system [chapters 7 and 12] • 1947 – Cattel's trait theories • 1952 – Eysenck's trait theories • 1942 – Roger's humanistic theory [chapter 7] • 1955 – Kelly's cognitive theory of personal constructs [chapter 8] • 1950 – Erikson's psycholsocial theory of personality development [chapter 9] • various derivatives ofAmerican behaviorism [chapter 3] and social learning theory [chapter 3] • Comprehensive Theories of Personality from: ◦ Sigmund Freud [chapters 7 and 11] ◦ Carl Jung [chapter 11] ◦ Alfred Adler [chapter 11] ▪ derived from clinical observations and rooted in European psychoanalytic tradition ◦ from 1950 to 1970 ▪ personality textbooks organized the field according to the grand systems • psychoanalytic and psychosocial theories • temperament and trait models • approaches emphasizing needs and motives ▪ research focused on personality constructs that can be reliably measured and whose impact on behavior can be reliably observed • extraversion (Eysenck -1952) • anxiety (Taylor -1953) • need for achievement (McClelland – 1961) ▪ in the late 1960's and early 1970's psychologists delivered a series of critiques: • Carlson (1971) ◦ ignoring grand theories of older years • Fiske (1974) ◦ limited by its reliance on imprecise verbal reports from people • Shweder (1975) ◦ questioned need for psychology based on individual differences • Mischel (1968, 1973) ◦ argued against explanations of humans based on internal personality traits and in favor of situational explanations ▪ this debate has raged on through the 70's and into the 80's ◦ from 1970 to the present day ▪ phase began with the critique and pervasive doubt concerning the legitimacy and worth of personality studies ▪ contemporary research in personality has become more sensitive to the complex interactions of internal personality variables and external situational factors • Big Five factor model for personality traits • new research methodology • renewed interest in the integrative personality theory and the development of a personality across the life course • renewed commitment to studying the whole person in their full biographical complexity • while other branches of psychology offer many important insights into human behavior and experience, it is only personality psychology that focuses unswervingly on the individual person ◦ draws on fields as diverse as brain physiology, molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, sociology, cultural anthropology, and even literary studies ◦ focus inquiries on the adult years ◦ tend to focus on the aspects of the person that show some degree of continuity and stability over time ▪ some are interested in personality change • many ties to social psych ◦ social psychologists focus on human sociality, while personality psychologists focus on human individuality • in examining human individuality, personality psychologists must also consider social contexts ◦ tend to be somewhat more interested in how different people react differently to the same situation, whereas social psychologists emphasize how people in general react to different situations ◦ tends to focus more on relatively normal functioning and the wide varieties of psychological individuality that may be expressed among more-or-less well-adjusted people ◦ NOT centrally concerned with psychotherapy and other treatment aspects of clinical practice ▪ no more important background for effective psychotherapy than a strong understanding of theory and research in personality psychology The Rest (27-34) is Organization of Book and Summary (pg. 35-54) The Environment of EvolutionaryAdaptedness • Life on earth emerged 3.5 million years ago ◦ In the heart ofAfrica human life appeared 2-4 million years ago ▪ Humans are inherently social beings and they were able to survive because of cooperation with each other by taking care of each other’s young and sharing the hunt • There was also a lot of aggression and violence during evolution and that aided in created the hierarchical structure • As far as we can tell, there was no ancient time when all human beings lived together in peace ▪ Different human groups developed different cultures, but they share a lot of commonalities that are even present today • Dancing, education systems, funeral rites, games, law, marriage, etc ◦ E.O Wilson argues that each of these traditions can be traced back to hunting and gathering societies. ◦ These patterns have become part of human nature and coded in our genes. Figure 2.A: The Evolution of Religion Most people on earth proclaim to believe in God and are religious. So it is fair to say that religion is part of human nature, but why? For highly religious people the answer is obvious: Because God is real, but that is insufficient in a scientific point of view. There are two scientific views: Religion is an evolutionary adaptation or a byproduct of other adaptations that have proven to be successful over the course of human history. E.O Wilson suggests that religion may have played a role in enabling hunters and gatherers to live together in a bands and tribes; religion may have persuaded humans to care about the self-interest and more about the interest of the group. Other scientists argue that theory of mind, the ability to think that other’s have thoughts of their own, is projected onto unseen imagined agents (gods, sprits, angels, the devil, etc). TheAdapted Mind Physical evolution: For example the giraffe having a long neck evolved over time. The individuals by dumb luck who had longer necks would survive and reproduce because they were able to get food that was located at a higher elevation. Eventually, this would be a universal feature of the organism’s design. The evolution of the human mind can be thought of as a much greater feat of evolution. The intelligence of the human has aided its survival far more than his physical strength. Acarpenter’s tool kit could be an analogy for the human mind:Acarpenter doesn’t have an all purpose tool that does it all, but a many specialized tools, each designed to perform a particular function. Mating Males are promiscuous and females tend to want to have one mate in their lifetime. In a study over 16 000 men & women researchers asked how many different secual partnes they might ideally like to have over the course of their lifetimes. Women need to invest substantially in the end result of sexual activity (think: gestation, lactation, caregiving). Men answered 13 and women 2.5 difference sex partners on average. Men tend to focus on physical attractiveness and women on the financial prospects of the opposite sex. Getting along and getting ahead “getting along and getting ahead are the two great problems in life that each person must solve” Aggression Human beings are naturally inclined to engage in war with typically deadly results. In warfare, states, tribes, and other social groups marshal forces and organize aggressive actions to defend or expand their respective geographic, cultural, ethnic or ideological turfs. History has shown that humans are evolutionarily aggressive, but society, education and context set limits to the violence. Animals on the other hand perform ritualistic aggression where there is no real violence and none of the parties get hurt. In humans, males are more violent that women. This can be the result of men being stronger than women and evolution rewards stronger males. (pg. 54 - 74) (Chapter 2) Altruism • If natural selection pulled human nature n the direction of aggression, how to explain altruism (and heroism)? o One possible answer: they are two sides of the same coins • Humans evolved to live in groups o All about competition and cooperation o Tendency towards aggression indirectly supports cooperation by ultimately working to establish the social ability and structure that communal human activities require o BUT antisocial aggression must be kept more-or-less under control => humans have evolved to be “moral animals” Origins of human morality: 3 conditions of group life: 1. Group value: indv humans depended on the group for food and security 2. Mutual aid: cooperation and reciprocal exchange within the group 3. Internal conflict: diverging interests and in-group competition Conflict resolution on 2 levels: 1. Diadic: one-to-one interaction 2. Higher levels: community concern and care abt good relationships between individuals shown by group encouragement of indv contribution to good social enviro THE ORIGINS OF HUMAN MORALITYAND ALTRUISM (see recap in table p.55) • When norms of fairness are broken; strong desire for moralistic aggression Kin selection • Because biologically related animals share some of their genes, certain species are predisposed to engage in helping behaviour that benefit their relatives o Explains why siblings are inclined to help each other & why parents often sacrifice themselves for their children  The closer the blood relationship, the greater the likelihood of altruism Conditions under which kin selection is most likely to occur: 1. Among closely related 2. Among indv living in close-knit/geographic proximity 3. Among species capable of recognizing relatives Reciprocal altruism most likely to occur: 1. Low risk for the helper 2. High benefit for the recipient 3. High likelihood that the situation will be reversed in the future Evolutionary pt of view: altruistic behaviour most likely to occur among closely related indv or when the cost-benefit ratio for the helper is favourable  altruistic behaviour increases when contributions are made public  Also, as the costs increase, status rewards increase as well Attachment Bowlby and Ainsworth’s Attachment theory: Goal-oriented system designed to ensure the caregiver-infant proximity • Shows that attachment between human beings have proven to be adaptive over human evolution • Quality of caregiver-infant interaction may impact personality • Attachment bond (develops through well-defined stages): o Complex, instinctually guided behavioural system that has functioned throughout human evolution to protect the infant from predators Oxytocin: Hormone in mammals that also act as a neurotransmitter in the brain • May be related to dev of social bonds • Can reduce the levels of cortisol (major stress hormone), lower blood pressure, increase tolerance to pain and reduce anxiety • Most important human response to threat; social bonding (tend and befriend) Steps in dev of attachment: 1. 2m: infants start showing true smiles in response to social stimuli 2. 6-7m: crying, smiling, following to achieve mother-infant proximity 3. End of first year: dev of stranger and separation anxiety a. Caution and fear in the presence of novel events/ppl b. BUT the felt security experienced in the attachment bond makes new and strange things seem less threatening and dangerous c. Expectations come to form an internalized working model: Secure base: basic trust when caregiver is present Insecure attachment bond: the infant considers the world a threatening and dangerous place Strange situation method: 1. Caregiver plays with infant 2. Stranger enters 3. Caregiver leaves 4. Caregiver returns and stranger leaves (first reunion episode) 5. Caregiver leaves again (infant alone) 6. Stranger enters 7. Caregiver returns and stranger leaves (second reunion episode) Goal: assess quality of attachment by looking at the infant’s behaviour in the reunion episodes Secure attachment: B-babies: find brief separation mildly upsetting but explore the enviro with great ease when caregiver is present (using caregiver as a secure base). They also great caregiver with great enthousiasm. Insecure attachment: A-babies:Avoidant; tendency to avoid caregiver in reunion episodes C-babies: Resistant; mixture of approach and avoidance behaviour in the strange situation D-babies: Disorganized; promoted by chronic child abuse. Tend to show heightened levels of aggression when they reach grade school Predictors of attachment: • Maternal sensitivity • Social class (stress of poverty and unemployment may impede the dev of secure attachment bonds) Secure attachment in the 1 year and indices of mastery and independence at ages 2 and 3 indicate: 1. Higher quality of exploration 2. Higher levels of pretend play 3. Greater competence in problem-solving tasks 4. More rapid and smooth adjustments to strangers ** Sec. attach infants become children rated higher on all measures of social competence Quality of infant attach. Predicts peer competence in preschool, which in turn predicts friendship at 16, which then predicts the quality of romantic relationships in young adulthood. (Chapter 3 – Social learning and Culture) Behaviourism and Social-Learning Theory American Environmentalism: The Behaviourist tradition Behaviourism: ways in which observable behaviour is learned and shaped by the environment Founder of behaviourism: Watson • Saw the mind of newborns as blank slates o The environment shapes the person; we learn in order to obtain pleasure and avoid pain o Moral sense; the world is constructed so that what is good brings pleasure and what is bad (morally or ethically) brings displeasure or pain Utilitarianism: Good society should make for the greatest happiness or pleasure of the greatest number of people • Learning occurs through the association of actions with positive (pleasurable) or negative (painful) events o Associationism: various objects and ideas contiguous in time/space come to be connected with each other into meaningful units o Classical conditioning: conditioned stimulus (CS) comes to signal the unconditioned stimulus (US) (Astimulus is a factor that causes a response in an organism.) The conditioned response is the learned response to the previously neutral stimulus. The US is usually a biologically significant stimulus such as food or pain that elicits a response from the start; this is called the unconditioned response or UR. The CS usually produces no particular response at first, but after conditioning it elicits the conditioned response or CR.  Stimulus generalization: extend the CR to other similar CS  Higher-order conditioning: CS come to be associated with other neutral stimuli, which themselves become conditioned stimuli by virtue of association o Operant (instrumental) conditioning: behaviour is modified by its consequences  Shaping: process of reinforcing closer and closer approximations to a desired behaviour in an attempt ti elicit that behaviour  Discriminant stimuli: know when and where to perform or refrain certain behaviors  Partial conditioning: a particular response is reinforced intermittently  Continuous reinforcement: response reinforced every time  Extinction: when behaviour is no longer reinforced  Conditioned generalized reinforcers: reinforcers that acquire their power through association with a variety of other reinforcers • Stimulation rewards: receiving attention from others • Affective rewards: receiving respect, praise and affection (emotional response from others) (Pg. 74-90) EXPECTANCIES AND VALUES Introduction of cognition into behaviorist accounts of human personality – Julian Rotter - person actively constructing his own reality, rather than merely passively responding to it. • Rotter’s social-learning theory: Key concept #1 = expectancy = subjectively held probability that a particular reinforcement will occur as the outcome of a specific behavior • Overtime people develop generalized expectancies abt the nature of reinforcement • Locus of control = generalized expectancies – (Internal & External) • Internal LOC = they believe their own behavior controls the consequences that follow • External LOC = expects that his behavior will not lead to predictable reinforcement (believe in chance, luck) • Measuring LOC – self-report scales – most well known measure is I-E scale ->29 items asking ppl to choose between internal and external options. • Massive research suggest LOC is an extremely important social- cognitive variable in personality. • INTERNAL LOC => many +ve outcomes in life,academic achievement, interpersonal relationships, healthy and independent information seekers, adapt to life’s challenges • However: not good in nonresponsive environments. Believing that reinforcements will come from your own efforts can work against you when you find yourself in an environment that does not value personal agency and individual effort. Key concept #2 = reinforcement value = subjective attractiveness of a particular reinforcement. • to predict how a person will behave – take into account expectancy and reinforcement value for that person. • Behavioral Potential (BP) = likelihood that a person will perform a given behavior • BP = E (expectancy) + RV (reinforcement value) • Most likely to obtain goals if: E is high and RV is high • Least likely to obtain goal if: E is low and RV is low • • Walter Mischel  Cognitive/social learning/person variables: characteristic strategies/styles of approaching situations thought to grow out of the individual’s previous experiences with both situations and rewards. • Competencies = what a person knows and can do • Encoding Strategies = the manner in which people interpret information • Self-regulating systems and plans = the ways we regulate and guide our own behavior through self-imposed goals and standards. BANDURA’S SOCIAL-LEARNING THEORY Observational learning Bandura suggests  Rewards and Punishments directly shape what ppl will do but they may not be always implicated in what people learn. Bandura believes learning can occur outside the bounds of pleasure and pain  by observing the world  Observational Learning The person must proceed through attentional, retention, motor reproduction, and motivational processes in order for observational learning to produce successful imitation. • Bandura’s views on observational learning underscore the profoundly social quality of human learning and performance. • Observer and model are involved in a complex personal relationship, the nature of which can profoundly influence how learning occurs and the extent to which imitation will be shown. • Children are more likely to imitate models of their own sex, models who are perceived as powerful and models whose behavior is observed to be reinforced by others. Self-Efficacy Our belief in our own behavioral competence in a particular situation. Self- efficacy judgments help determine whether we undertake particular goal- directed activities, the amount of effort we put into them, and the length of time we persist in striving for goals in particular situations. Study: 52 pregnant women – measured self-efficacy before and during labor with questionnaires – then post-birth interview  women who manifested high self-efficacy judgments were able to cope with pain better and resist medication than women scoring low on self-efficacy. Key mechanism whereby people are able to exercise control over threatening events. – heightened self-efficacy exerts “empowering effects”. • Self-efficacy has possible health benefits • Stress experienced in the process of building up mastery and self- efficacy may actually strengthen the body’s immune system. THE SOCIAL ECOLOGY OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR How should Parents raise their children? 4 basic styles of parenting : 1. Authoritative-reciprocal, 2. 2. Authoritarian 3. 3. Indulgent-permissive 4. 4. Neglecting 2 basic dimensions: • demanding/undemanding, • accepting/rejecting 1. Authoritative-reciprocal pattern →most likely to promote competence and mastery in children - independence. • Parents establish clear standards for appropriate behavior in the family but open and accepting to the points of views of the children. 2. Authoritarian →high on demands but low on responsiveness, children grow to lack social competence with peers, withdrawn and lack spontaneity, low levels of self-esteem • Parents strongly value obedience and discourage spontaneous give-and- take between children and their elders. • Children are more likely to make moral decisions based on what external authorities tell them to do; other children may rely more on internalized standards. 3. Indulgent-permissive →opposite of the authoritarian style • Parents fail to set high standards for behavior but tend to be highly responsive to the demands of children. • Tolerant and accepting attitude toward the child’s impulses – including sexual and aggression. • Little punishment – children tend to be relatively impulsive, aggressive, and lacking in independence to take responsibility in their behaviors. 4. Neglecting → most seriously flawed parenting style – uninvolved • Parents unresponsive and place few demands on them • Passive neglect and emotional indifference to active child abuse • Children show low self-esteem to poor impulse control to high levels of aggression Social Ecology = the many environmental contexts that influence a person’s behavior and shape his/her life. Microcontexts of social ecology: immediate situational factors that shape behavior at a given time in a given place. MICROCONTEXTS: THE SOCIAL SITUATION Moos: 6-part taxonomy of human environments • Dimensions of the physical ecology = climate, geography, type of building one lives in, physical characteristics of the setting • Behavior Settings or episodes = Church, football game, kitchen, classroom • Organizational Structure = Population density in an organization, site of organization, degree of hierarchic structure, student-teacher ratio in a school • Characteristics of persons in the situation = Age, Sex, abilities, status, talents of ppl in the environment • Organizational Climate = Social morale, nature and intensity of personal relations • Functional & Reinforcement Properties = Reinforcement consequences for particular behaviors in the situation, such as whether aggressive acts are rewarded or encouraged People tend to perceive situations in terms of their own subjective criteria, classifying environments in terms of what those environments can make possible for them – psychological rather than physical terms. Personality characteristics may determine how a person interprets the environment. • Introverts tend too organize info abt situations in terms of a self- confidence dimension • Extraverts categorize situations in terms of how pleasant the situations were and how strongly they afforded interpersonal involvement Situational prototypes: abstract set of features about a given class of situations, serves as a working model for the person, telling him what to expect and how to behave in situations of a particular type. MACROCONTEXTS: SOCIAL STRUCTURE Social structure refers to those conditions of society that differentiate people among the lines of power and resources. The impact of this macrocontext on personality is evident when we look at the relation between personality and social class. Higher classes vs. poorer classes – differences in attitude regarding job satisfaction and what they value (interesting job vs. security)  also associated with lower conformity, lower anxiety, and greater intellectual flexibility. • The impact of social class on personality can be seen both in the demands of the workplace and the dynamics of the family. • Higher status employees  self-direction at work • Lower status  socialized to value obedience to authority • Generalizes to the realm of the families as well. GENDER AS A MACROCONTEXT As a product of social learning we come to expect that women and men will differ from each other in a number of important ways. • Gender role stereotypes typically reinforce the power differential between men and women. • Gender socialization is pervasive in society both obviously and subtly – by instrumental conditioning and observational learning. Alice Eagly and Wendy Wood argue Socialization into gender roles accounts for most of the general sex differences that are observed in human social behavior. • Sex differences tend to be consistent with society’s expectations about gender roles. • Constructs of agency (men) and communion (women) • Agency – power, aggressive, independent, masterful, instrumentally competent • Communion – friendly, unselfish, concerned with others, emotionally expressive. • Gender knowledge shapes our expectations as to how a person should behave, who that person is and how we should interact with that person. Gender roles inform our approaches to a vast array of social situations. • Personality is itself gendered. (pg. 90 – 107) (pg. 108-125) The Idea of a Trait What is a Trait? 4. Traits are internal dispositions that are relatively stable over time and across situations and they are bipolar, meaning they have opposites a. Most people reside near center of the continuum (“moderately friendly” to “moderately unfriendly”) and fewer lie at the extremes 5. Traits are seen as additive and independent – mix and match different amounts of the major traits to get one’s trait profile 6. Traits refer to broad individual differences in socioemotional functioning – they constitute very generalized behavior patterns in response to emotional tendencies a. Distinguished from other variables that are less socioemotional, and more cognitive, i.e. values, attitudes, worldviews, schemas, etc. b. Thus “intelligence” is not usually considered part of personality (debated) 7. Overall, personality traits refer to individual differences between people in terms of characteristic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors a. The more consistency there is between someone’s traits, the more you can predict how they will act across situations 8. Four different positions have been used over time in terms of what trait actually means: a. First two view traits as causal mechanisms in human functioning b. Second two argue that traits do not really cause behavior but exist as convenient categories for describing the behaviors that people show Table 4.1 FOUR POSITIONS OFTHE NATURE OFTRAITS Traits are Description Theorists Neurophysiological Traits are biological patternings in the central Allport (1937) nervous system that cause behavior to occur and Eysenck (1967) substrates account for the consistencies in socioemotional Gray (1982) functioning from one situation to the next and overCloninger (1987) time Zuckerman (2005) Behavioral Traits are tendencies to act, think, or feel in Cattell (1957) dispositions consistent ways that interact with external Wiggins (1973) influences, such as cultural norms and situational Hogan (1986) variables, to influence a person’s functioning. TraMcCrae & Costa (1990) attributions can be used both to describe behavior summaries and to suggest casual or generative mechanisms for behavior. Act frequencies Traits are descriptive summary categories for Buss & Craik (1983) behavioral acts.Acts that have the same functional properties may be grouped together into families, with some acts being more prototypical or representative of the general family features than others. Linguistic Traits are convenient fictions devised by people toMischel (1968) categories categorize and make sense of the diversity of humanShweder (1975) behavior and experience. Traits do not exist outsidHampson (1988) the mind of the observer, and therefore they can Harre & Gillett (1994) have no casual influence. Through social interaction and discourse, people construct meanings for trait terms 4. Arguments can be made for each position: a. 1 – traits have a biological reality b. 2 – notes the dispositional nature of traits rd c. 3 thtraits connect to functionally similar behaviors d. 4 – trait labels are useful in everyday social cognition 5. They contradict each other though, especially 1 and 4  traits cannot be neuropsychic structures that cause the behavior of actors if they are also convenient fictions devised by people 6. Most personality psychologists compromise that the one closest to correct is the second position – traits as dispositions that have causal influence on behavior – but with added elements of the other positions 7. Different cultures also have different rules and conventions for defining traits – i.e. certain types of smiles or touch can be construed in different ways – making defining traits all the more difficult ABrief History of Traits • 4 Century BCE – Theophrastus generated one of the first trait taxonomies in Western civilization o Series of semi-humorous character sketches depicting different types of people in Athenian social life; caricatures • Galen, Greek physician (A.D. 130 – 200) – developed the theory of the four humors (humors = bodily fluids associated with behavioral traits) o Blood  sanguine personality  bold, confident, robust in temperament o Black bile  melancholic type  depressed, anxious, pessimistic, brooding o Yellow bile  choleric type  restless, irritable, bursts of anger o Phlegm  phlegmatic type  aloof, apathetic, cold, sluggish, boring Gordon Allport (1937) • Defined a trait as, “a neuropyschic structure having the capacity to render many stimuli functionally equivalent and to initiate and guide equivalent (meaningfully consistent) forms of adaptive and expressive behavior.” • Two notes from definition: o First, trait labels are more than semantic conveniences – they exist as unobservable neuropsychic structures | we infer existence of traits from observing behavior o Second, traits account for consistency in human behavior – behavior is predictable because of traits • Existence of a particular trait can be ascertained by 3 types of evidence: frequency, range of situations, and intensity o I.e. particular strong “stubbornness” revealed in person who is frequently stubborn over time and in many situations  intensity • Allport distinguished between two senses of the term trait o Common trait  dimensions of human functioning upon which many different people are likely to differ (traits discussed in this chapter) o Personal disposition  traits that are especially characteristic of a given individual and is instrumental in depicting that individual’s uniqueness • Types of personal disposition: o Cardinal disposition  a trait so general and pervasive that it seems directly involved in a wide range of the person’s activities | people have maybe 1-2 tops  Ex. Generosity and Mother Teresa o Central disposition  wide range of dispositions that may be characteristic for a given person and called into play on a regular basis | people have 5-10  Ex. Quarrelsome-suspicious, aesthetic-artistic, self-centered… o Secondary disposition  more limited in scope and less critical to description of overall personality | people have many  Ex. More contingent on particular situational cues • Allport’s insistence that personality psychologists examine the uniqueness of individuals made him ambivalent about the idea of common, comparative traits of personality Raymond B. Cattell (1940s) • Advocated for brand of trait psychology that emphasized quantification and statistical analysis with ultimate goal of improving scientists’ability to predict behavior • Defined personality as, “that which permits a prediction of what a person will do in a given situation” • Cattell distinguished three different sources for data on traits: o By
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