Class Notes (837,484)
Canada (510,274)
Psychology (5,220)
PSYCH 2B03 (299)

The Trait Approach- Eynseck.pdf

7 Pages
Unlock Document

Jennifer Ostovich

Eysenck’s PEN Theory - precursor to modern trait theory - meaning and influential theory, which at its foundation is a trait theory - theory is hard to characterize: trait theory, but has aspects of type theory and also much of a learning theory as well (strong believer of importance of learning) - ideas are simple but sophisticated theory which combines different aspects Eysenck’s background - from Germany, moved to France as he was very opposed of the Nazis and didn’t want to join the SS  eventually ended up in UK, studied psychology though he wanted to go for physics - wrote a lot of stuff, one of the earliest critics of psychoanalysis - took on very controversial positions - valued scientific approach Eysenck’s beliefs - strong belief in scientific approach, that’s how he looked atpersonality o need to develop theory to test hypothesis from it o very different from psychodynamic approach where they take clinical data and; humanist also idiographic - believed that you cannot understand and adequately describe personality at one level o need to understand it at several levels of abstraction Eysenck’s model: 4 levels of personality - four levels for understanding, interpreting personality - at the most basic level of behaviour , atomic level: individual acts o physical behaviours such as walking, waving hand or individual cognitions/thoughts o they are not randomly distributed o certain acts are highly inter- correlated, whether cognitive or behavioural are habits - habits: patterns of behaviour and thinking o individual acts/behaviours grouped together into a common construct o habits are also not random, there are patterns of relatedness  certain habits tend to occur together with other habits  traits - traits: dimension along which we can order ourselves/correlated habits o if you look at a bunch of different traits which are consistedof correlated habits, of which consist of correlated acts  notice that traits areinter-related o certain traits/values tend to go together – i.e. high in A, high in B, low in C o values along trait dimension are correlated  these correlated trait values are factors - factors: correlated trait values o factor analysis: methodology for hypothesizing the underlying pieces of personality Genetics and Leaning - in terms of causality, work from bottom down - at highest level, these factors are largely genetically determined (underlying genetic basis for all aspects of personality) – position on traits is largely genetically determined*  therefore factors, which are just correlated traits are in fact genetically determined - once down to habits, acts, moving into realm of learning - we have genetically built in tendencies, correlated values on the trait dimensions (factors) and these tendencies lead us to put ourselves in certain situations and not others - e.g. genetically inclined towards extroversion  likely to put self (compared to someone with low extroversion) in place with high social interaction  leads you to learn things that an introvert is less likely to learn - genetic tendencies are shaping the situations in which you are going to learn things  as a result, learning shapes habits just as genetics do - habits and acts are learnt but the kind oflearning you involve is shaped by genetically determined tendencies/trait dimensions - learning then affect genes? Epi-genetics  what genes youhave in your genome are irrelevant, its important which genes are actually doing something. If you have it and its not activated, it doesn’t matter whether you have it or not o in addition to the genome, there’s an epi-genome: chemical notation system that sits on top of the genome  these chemical markers that turn on/off genes (a methylated gene does not get expressed) o in a way, always known it since we know there are stem cells  prototypical cells which can become anything. Share the same genome, but are different due toepi-genetics  become different cells due to genes which are turned on and off o important discovery inrecent years: the genes which are active/inactive can be determined by your experiences (in the womb, first two three years of life)  gene-environment interaction o in animal models, epi-genetic changes can be passed on (changes that occur in one person due to experiences can be passed to next generation)  e.g. anxiety: our response to stress as an adult is determined heavily by genes which are turned on/off by early experience (e.g. parenting)  these differences in our response can be passed on (e.g. if we are highly reactive, our kids can be highly reactive as well even though they did not get the same experiences) - identified two basic dimensions of personality (2 of the 3 factors in PEN theory) o involves correlated traits o all orthoagnal directions: uncorrelated with each other/independent  knowing your positions on one dimension tells you nothing about position on the other dimension 1. Extroversion and Introversion dimension (E) o it’s a factor which involves set of inter-correlated traits o traits correlated in extroversion: sociability, activity level, assertiveness, sensation- seeking (like to see out and experience new sensations, seek additional stimulation), dominance, venturesomeness, carefree-ness o these are opposite for those who are introverted o one of the trait theory, one of the most common ways of conceptualizing personality 2. Neuroticism stability dimension (N) o collection of correlated traits (i.e. factor) o emotional reactivity: the tendency to react strongly (esp negatively) to stimuli in the environment which does not necessarily elicit such a similar strong reaction in others o high in neuroticism: high in anxiousness, depression, low self-esteem, high in shyness, moody, tenseness, emotionality, irrationality (not using reason but gut) o stability: low in these factors - these two large scale factors was all that was in the model up to certain point  believed these two dimensions captured everything important about personality o tested in different individuals rd - then he moved on and did testing in criminals, discovered a3 factor 3. Psychoticism ego control (P) o arrow goes from outside of screen to inside (like a 3D graph) o most non-in prison individuals score close to 0 in this dimension o like the other two, it’s a factor o traits in this dimension: (for those high in psychoticism):  aggressiveness  coldness (ego-centricity: think everyone sees the world as they do and that their view is the only sensible and correct one)  antisocial: conducting acts against the interests of other people  which is why for the most part, they are in prison  unempathetic: hard to imagine/share feelings of others  tough mindedness  creativity - very into philosophy and fictional writings as well, interested in the constant re-appearance of personality types - any personality theory needs to be able to account for these types - if you look at the extremes of introverted neurotics, extroverted neurotics, introverted stable, extroverted stable  at each (extreme) corner, get description of hippocrates types (ignoring psychoticism, since it was not present in people who weren’t criminals) o stable extrovert: similar to sanguine individual (easy going, low in anger, sociable etc.) o neurotic extrovert: choleric individual (easy to anger, upsettable, acting out etc.) o stable introvert: phlegmatic (laid back, difficult to arouse/upset, not as outgoing etc.) o neurotic introvert: melancholic (moody, prone to depression, lower self esteem etc.) - took this as an indication that his theory is going somewhere Assessment tools: Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) - Measures onlyExtraversion, Neuroticism (which was the only two dimensions present at the point it was established) - 57 questions: (yes/no questions) o “Do you prefer to have few but special friends?” (introversion/extroversion question) o “Do other people think of you as very lively?” (introversion/extroversion question) o “Do you get attacks of shaking or trembling?” (neuroticism) Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) – mid 1970s, expanded version - Measures all factors - 90 items: o “Do you enjoy hurting people you love?” (psychoticism) o “Do you worry a lot about catching diseases?” (psychoticism) o “Would it upset you to see a child or animal suffer?” (psychoticism)  no for individuals with psychoticism, since they are low in empathy - That’s why most people score near to 0 in psychoticism - These two assessment tools mostly used as independent measure to see how people differ and how this relates to an individuals’ behaviour in a given circumstance o EPI more used since psychoticism not needed to be measured, EPI also shorter, therefore quicker Arousal and Efficiency - reductionist, finding basic elements of personality and wanted to link it to physiological functioning (brain functioning) why are people introverts vs. extroverts? What’s the underlying brain structure/function that determines where people fallon the two dimensions? - Developed a model of both (introversion/extroversion and neuroticism/stability) based on differences in brain functioning  proven to be a fruitful and influential view - In terms of introversion/extroversion, really looking at level of brain arousal: how active and aroused is the brain cortex in individuals who are introverted vs. extroverted? - One of the things that have been well-established in psychology is that in every aspect of life, there’s an optimal/best level of arousal o Below: don’t perform as well; as arousal increases, performance gets better up to a point (optimal/desiredlevel); beyond optimal point, performancedeclines - This can be applied to introverts/extroverts: optimal level of brain activity  what differentiates introverts/extroverts is where they fall on that arousal dimension - Introverts have a hyper/super aroused cortex  much more aroused than it should be to function optimally - Extroverts (at the extreme) have a chron
More Less

Related notes for PSYCH 2B03

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.