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Biological Bases of Personality (3).docx

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Judith Shedden

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November 19 , 2012 Psych 2B03: Theories of Personality Biological Bases of Personality (3) Thomas, Chess & Birch (1970) - level of motor activity - positive response to new object - regularity in biological functions - friendliness or good mood - adapts to changes in environment - usual degree of energy in responding - easy vs difficult infants - early indicators of the child’s temperament: general orientation to behaviour in the world, displays that it is biological as it is seen in children - have to show reliability, consistent across time - consistent pattern and set of tendencies that were apparent across the childhood lifespan, reason to believe it’s biologically based: showed very early in life, and is consistent through early childhood - of the difficult children, 70% of them at some time in their school career were referred to school psychologist for some kind of problem compared to 20% of the easy infants - temperament dimension is predictive of later behaviour patterns - preterm infants were assessed to have difficult temperament - shifts in categories but most remain the same - focus attention on those who shifted from difficult to easy: mothers of the children were more attentive, caring and supportive to their infants needs Easy Difficult Regular rhythms Irregular rhythms Good mood Poor mood Accepts novelty Dislike novelety Adapts well to change Adapts poorly to change Low to moderate levels of High levels of energy energy Plomin & Rowe (1979) - sociability of temperament - studied social development of male and female twin pairs, MZ and DZ - MZ should never be more than twice - In every case, the DZ correlations are much less than half the correlation of MZ - Contrast effect: more of a contrast between MZ and DZ - How can there be more similarity in MZ than DZ Buss & Plomin (1984) - developed survey to asses temperament for parents of kids - indicate the degree to which the child matches these assessments (20
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