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Personliaty, Temperament and Gender Identity.docx

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McMaster University
Richard B Day

May 30 , 2013 Psych 2AA3: Child Development Personality, Temperament and Gender Identity Defining Personality - The collection of relatively enduring patterns of reacting to, and interacting with, others and the environment that distinguishes each child and adult - Due to interaction of nature and nurture Temperament - Referred to only in the infant literature - Describes variations in children’s behaviour  Ex.: sleeping patterns, feeding patterns, etc. - Is temperament another word for personality? - Rothbart and Bates define temperament as:  “Individual differences in emotional, motor, and attentional reactivity and self-regulation” that children consistently display in all kinds of settings and situations” (1998)  Self- regulation and reactivity  Physiological aspects - Temperament  Is the emotional substrate of personality  May represent the basic pattern of personality  Setting up for a more complex adult personality Models of Temperament - Through observation - Chess and Thomas (1984) – 3 dimension scale  Observed infants in their normal environment  Highly reactive  Regularity  Easily soothed  Seems like a very subjective categorization but reflects upon the thoughts of parents  Difficult  Difficulties with change in routine and establishing a routine  Easy  Slow-to-warm-up  In between  May take longer to establish a routine or adjusting to changes but will eventually adjust - Buss and Plomin  Activity level  Children who are more active or more flaccid  Emotionality (primarily negative emotionality)  Emotionally reactive  Especially children who display negative reactions  Sociability  Children more inclined to make new friends - Jerome Kagan  Single dimension  Behavioural inhibition – shyness  Variations in terms of how behaviourally inhibited we are across situations  Low behavioural inhibition: more inclined to try new things, engage in new experiences, meet new people  More hesitant or more inhibited: less likely to approach strangers and make new friends - None of these are universally accepted 5 Key Dimensions (Rothbart) - As we get older there are more dimensions 1. Activity level – tendency to move often and vigorously, rather than to remain passive or immobile  Observed in utero and as infants 2. Approach/positive emotionality – tendency to move toward rather than away from new people, situations, or objects  Positive attitude towards new things 3. Inhibition and anxiety – tendency to respond to with dear or to withdraw from new people, situations, or objects  You can have an inclination to approach and anxiety in order to keep you from trying dangerous things  Withdraw from fear 4. Negative emotionality/irritability/anger – low threshold for frustration  Is a child cranky?  Two children encountering the same challenging problem will respond differently depending on their threshold for frustration 5. Effortful control/task persistence – ability to stay focused, to manage attention and effort  Desire to persevere and keep trying  Stay focus and manage their emotion - You can vary on each dimension which allows us to be so unique Psychoanalytic Explanations of Personality - The psychoanalytic argument  Early experiences will shape our future personality  Unconscious and conscious motives  Freud – libido, life-preserving and aggressive drives, and death  Erikson – cognitive drives, the drive for identity, fulfilling needs and the strive for adult identity  Interaction between the child’s inborn drives, needs and the responses of the key people in the child’s world  Each stage centered on a particular task (central conflict) or a particular basic need  Depends on the degree of success the child has in moving through the various stages Freud’s Psychosexual Stages - Oral: 0-1 years  Infant remains fixated  Overeat or smoke  Focus on putting things in their mouth  Taking in - Anal: 1-3 years  Toilet training - Phallic: 3-5 years - Latency: 5-12 years - Genital 12-18 and adulthood - Chapter 1, Table 2 Erikson’s Psychosexual Stages - Basic trust vs. mistrust: 0-1 years - Autonomy vs. shame/doubt: 2-3 years  Toilet training  Control and sense of autonomy - Initiative vs. guilt: 4-5 years  Trying things for themselves/being more grown up  Is the child allowed to have these abilities to test their own capabilities or does the child have guilt that they do not have initiative - Industry vs. inferiority: 6-12 years  Is the child able to complete task on their own, can he do for himself and for others? Can he contribute in an industrious way to his family?  Sense of inferiority when these tasks are not accomplished - Identity vs. role confusion: 13-18 years  Trying to identify where do I fit in the world? What kind of adult will I be?  Roles are tested - Intimacy vs. isolation: 19-25 years  Point in time in which we should be finding intimate partners and forming close friendships - Generativity vs. stagnation: 26-40 years  Period of time in which reproduction occurs or may be productive in their careers  Are you generating for the future? - Ego integrity vs. despair: 41 years and up  Integrating the previous stages of personality into a cohesive whole - Chapter 1, Table 2 Genetic and Biological Explanations of Personality - The biological argument  Genetics: twins/sibs  Measurable temperament and personality traits  Operate via physiological processes (reactivity/thresholds)  What differs between individuals  If we have genetically determined levels of reactivity and thresholds we are set to respond to the world in a certain way which is eventually influenced by our experiences  Persists through childhood and into adulthood  Interacts with environment  Whether they are good or bad has more to do with where we are  Goodness of fit  Child with difficult temperament is predisposed to more negative experiences in life  Does the parent have a personality that is prepared to deal with the child’s difficult temperament  Interplay that has to do with the goodness of fit with the child’s personality and the environment o Good fit = positive outcome o Bad fit = negative outcome - Minnesota study of twins reared apart  Data base of identical twins reared apart  Often the environments aren’t all that different but are different enough  Points to the similarities that we see in identical twins that are not seen in fraternal twins or siblings  A large part of personality and the choices we make are largely driven by our underlying genes Learning Explanations of Personality - Infants temperament alters the way others respond to them - Reinforcement  What behaviours and predispositions are reinforced by parents, teachers and peers - Modeling  A lot of what children do is modeled by parents  Learning values and attitudes  From reinforcement and modeling, children learn not only overt behaviour but also ideas, expectations, internal standards, and self- concepts  Bandura  Children learn self-efficacy through
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