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introduction to personality (1).docx

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Judith Shedden

September 7 , 2012 PSYCH 2B03: Theories of Personality Introduction to Personality (1) Major Issues in Personality - nature vs. nurture - what is ‘human’ - how does personality develop - what motivates us - conscious vs unconscious - group vs individual  nomothetic  idiographic Personality vs Other Fields - more global and general - long history of interest - many large-scale theories - theories don’t guide research - theories generated/tested differently Theory Development & Testing - theorists clinicians, not scientists - influenced by theorist’s personality - little empirical support - non-scientific evaluation - theories difficult to test:  postdictive, not predictive  vague, abstract concepts What is Personality - whatever makes for consistency in our behaviour - whatever is responsible for individual differences in behaviour - personality is a hypothetical construct that we use in an attempt to understand two noticeable things about human behaviour  the first is that, within an individual, there is a consistency in behaviour from time to time and across situations  the second is that the pattern of consistency differs from person to person Hypothetical Constructs Perspectives on Personality - type approach: there are several general perspectives on personality within which specific theories of personality are generated. The oldest of these is the type approach, which argues that:  there are only a limited number of personality types  emphasis on biological bases of personality  oldest approach: the four humours - trait approach: sees personality as consisting of a set of internal characteristics, or traits, which are substantially determined by genes:  personality = internal characteristics and tendencies  emphasis on biological factors  says little about development of personality - psychodynamic approach: (modeled on Freud’s theory) sees personality as the action of internal structures of the mind (psyche), operating primarily outside consciousness. Overt behaviour results from the interaction of these internal s
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