PSYC 332 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Cognitive Psychology, Trait Theory, Neuroticism

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20 Jul 2016
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21:06
Questions of the Day?
-Why take an Introduction to Personality course?????????
-What is the first trait we notice in other people?????????
Extroversion/Introversion.
The kind of questions:
How can I get a personality?
Am I stuck with this personality that I seem to have- is there any hope for
change?
Why do I have the personality that I have right now?
Why am I different from when I was a 10 year old?
Adolescence happened, certain life events.
Why is there such a difference between the person I think I really am and
the person I am able to present to others?
A useful definition of a “personality”:
Personality does not have anything to do with having an interesting
personality in psychology.
Refers to 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.
Personality psychology: The scientific study of the unique individual.
It is something that we use to identify the uniqueness of each individual.
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1/ What is the best way to conceptualize personality?
We all process information about others-Humans are social animals and we
process social information and spend a lot of time talking about other
people.
Many adjectives- 18,000 to describe other people, use them to talk about
other people.
-“The Big Five Trait Taxonomy”: A taxonomy of personality traits, which
organizes all the adjectives we use to describe other people into 5
dimensions.
1970s emerged.
Confirmed and validated in the 1980s.
Now it is accepted- useful.- Not covered in the 1970s personality course.
2/ What should I look for in making decisions about other people?
We often meet people, might to decide whether to work with someone as a
study partner or join a group, or make decisions about becoming friends,
relationship.
Important social decisions, involve making judgements about personality.
Probably have a sense of who you are and who you work well with, and you
implicitly make personality judgements and decisions.
3/ What is the role of family in personality development?
The big surprise here is your parents influence you in 2 ways.
Parenting style- large expectations, warm, harsh.
Genes they pass on to us as well.- In sorting out the genetic and social
influences is something that personality psychology has done very well.
4/ At what age does personality become settled?
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Tends to become fixed-settle.-
A lot of longitudinal research.
Meta- analysis of hundreds of studies about this.- to know about how people
change over the life course, and on what traits you can expect change.
Until about the age of 30, on the big five traits, it is still possible for change.
There is normative change, in socially desirable directions typically.
5/ What personality characteristics are key to getting along with people?
6/ What personality characteristics allow you to be successful in your
activities?
7/ How do personality characteristics change as we get older?
8/ How do life events impact on our personality?
Being successful in university, or becoming outstanding at some activity or
having a group of friends for the first time.
Four Big Questions in this course:
1/ What is the most useful and economical way to organize our personality
judgements?
Teach the big five trait system.- organize personality judgements according
to the big five. Very efficient, useful and helpful.
2/ What do we need to know about a person to know them well?
Even though the big five is the best, it is only a first level way of analyzing
personality.- at least two others we must consider to know another person
well.
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