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introduction to personality (3).docx

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McMaster University
Judith Shedden

September 12 , 2012 Psych 2B03: Theories of Personality Introduction to Personality (3) Hypothetical Constructs - metaphors not reality - is this particular theory useful? Does it help us make sense or understand the phenomena, personality? - Perspective: general set of answers to very big questions of personality, each approach answers these questions differently. Perspectives on Personality - type approach:  there is some small number of distinct personality types and each one of us have one of those personality types  limited number of distinct personality types  emphasis on biological bases of personality: genetics determine personality type, the influence of experience is minimal  oldest approach: the four humours  Hippocrates: why do people get sick, four humours The Four Humours - fluid or substance that make up the human body - blood, yellow bile, black bile, phlegm - ideal the four humours are in balance = good humour, to have all your humours balanced - popularized by Galen - the reason you get illnesses is that you have an imbalance - not only does the imbalance cause disease, but some people are born with an excess of these humours which colours their entire personality - four personality types - blood: sanguine personality, easy going - yellow bile: choleric personality, irritable - phlegm: slow, easy going - black bile: melancholy, easy put in to a negative mood - there are no modern, significant type theories - focus on biological basis, useless for therapy or counselling Perspectives on Personality - trait approach:  personality = internal characteristics and tendencies  emphasis on biological factors: personality is built in and much less affected by environment  say little about development - psychodynamic approach:  Sigmund Freud  Personality = action & interaction of psychic structures  They all see personality a
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