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Lecture 1.docx

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McGill University
PSYC 332
Richard Koestner

Lecture 1 January 8, 2010 Questions of the Day • Why take an Introduction to Personality course? o What can we learn about personality from Furby? o What can we learn about personality from graphology? What Prof was hoping would be covered: • What do we mean when we say: o “s/he has a lot personality” o “not much of a personality” o “a great personality” A useful definition of a “personality” • Personality refers to the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make a person unique • Personality arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent across situations and time o Sometimes you might see a person and they might actually be constrained by the situation or their role • Most psychologists argue that there are 5 basic dimensions of personality, including extroversion and neuroticism o Extroversion is coded first when we meet other ppl, it is what we think about when we think of ourselves relative to others o Neuroticism = vulnerability to negative affects  E.g. worrying, anxious, self-conscious  Opposite: calm What can we learn about personality from a Furby? • Kids like it because it is more human-like than any other toy Does Ferby have a personality? • 5 personalities: o Sassy diva o Cutie-pie o Valley girl o Crazy person (funny) o Evil burping guy • How does it display its personality? o What it says o How it says it o Movements o Eye expressions (most expressive part for everyone including humans and ferbies) o Certain bodily functions o Social interactions • Special feature: it is designed to be responsive to your actions • The fatal flaw: batteries only last about 10 days; when you take batteries out, it starts over at 0 • Koestner believes that Ferby fails test of having a personality because it has too many of them and it shifts too suddenly from one to next o It would be better if it had a more stable personality What can we learn about Personality from graphology (hand-writing analysis) • People often have relatively stable personality • Believed that if you’re from another heritage, you have to act like a chameleon o Act different at home than in school • All of us have some capacity to change our behavior but if there is too much change or too radical, makes you wonder what real personality is o Multicultural students worry over what their real personality was • In France, a lot of companies will analysis your handwriting when applying for jobs o Turns out that in Europe, hand-writing analysis is fairly popularly • Printing vs Cursive: o Printing: you are more careful and considerate o Cursive: more automatic and just let yourself go If your writing slants… • If slanted right – more open to world and like to socialize with others • If slanted left – like to work alone or behind the scene • If straight – tend to be logical and practical but guarded with your emotions The size of your letters… • Big letters – you have a big per
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