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Lecture 2


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Queen's University
PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

WEEK 21 ONLINE LESSON: PERSONALITY Personality: a particular, unique pattern of behavior + thinking+interaction that is constant over time and situations; differentiates one person from the next -we are made of behaviors + mental processes; can be observed + measured  effected by both evolution and learning factors -personality is composed of multiple traits, all which lie on a continuum -temporary changes in behavior due to circumstances don’t change our opinion on someone’s behavior personality is a unique, consistent pattern of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that characterize each individual -4 different personality perspectives: trait, psychodynamic, humanistic, social-cognitive -all perspectives are multidimensional: spot on a sliding scale or bell curve A good personality/intelligence test: -standardization -reliability -validity OBJECTIVE TESTS -MMPI-2: asks people to answer a series of T/F Q about themselves -NEO: asks people to agree/disagree with a series of statements based on a sliding scale -NEO-PI-3: measures 5 factors; based on the 5-factor model DIAGNOSTIC TESTS -Rorschach: best-know projective test; a series of inkblots is presented and the person describes what they see in the blot  projective test b/c people may project their own personality into what they see  Reliability of the scoring system is questionable; mostly used for diagnosing psychosis, not personality LESSER USED TESTS -MBTI: by Carl Jung; identified personality + cognitive styles, but its limited in reliability + validity -TAT: projective test where people make up stories about a series of ambiguous characters presented on cards  person projects their personality into the story  no formal scoring; more for understanding personality rather than objectively measuring it TRAIT PERSPECTIVE -classical, traditional approach to psychological study of personality -classifies + describes psychological traits by which people differ consistently b/w situations + time -goal: to find a small set of meaningful characteristics that can effectively describe the personality of any individual -Cattell used factor analysis to determine 16 core personality traits out of thousands factor analysis: analysing the correlation b/w many factors to determine which ones are highly correlated w/ each other -researcher collects data from a large sample, and then compiles it into one file -examines all correlations b/w data and determines if any of them group together -groups called factors; examines factors to see if a common theme exists -eg. “I don’t like being alone”, “I’m the life of the party”, and “I’m always hanging out with friends” are in one factor group that is under the common theme of “extroversion” -finds clusters of groups of related answers to simple questions about the self, indicating a common underlying factor/trait -Cattel’s 16 factors can describe all possible personalities: -Cattel used a 16 PF questionnaire w/ multiple choice to measure the 16 normal adult personality dimensions -some find that Cattel used too many redundant personality traits and that his questionnaire is too complex; uses fewer distinct personality traits FIVE-FACTOR MODEL (O.C.E.A.N.) -most widely used+current model used for personality measurement+study -5 personality traits best captures all personality types: 1. Openness to Experience -degree of flexibility when it comes to changes in direction in life; openness to differences -scoring high: more likely to change career paths, more likely to play instruments -less racial prejudice -interested in travel + lots of different hobbies -foodie; have friends who share these interests for exploration and experiencing different things -willing to leave comfort zone 2. Conscientiousness -degree of how conscious you are of the morality of your choices -scoring high: more sexually faithful, higher job performance ratings, better grades, stays out of trouble, makes the right choices in life to be safe, smart, healthy, and nice -good leadership skills -long-term plans, organized support network -faithful + reliable -2 possible components: methodical planning + organizing/perseverance, achievement, and goals 3. Extraversion -degree of socialness -scoring high: extroverted, lots of interactions w/ people, popular, leaders -good social skills, lots of relationships, lots of participating in community -finds interaction + socializing + working w/ others fulfilling 4. Agreeableness -degree of co-operation w/ others -scoring high: less likely to be arrested, more willing to lend money -higher grades -less behavioral problems as children -more co-operative -more forgiving -tends to be pushover; doesn’t enjoy confrontation 5. Neuroticism -level of anxiety/worry -scoring high: lots of worry, anxious, full of guilt, perfectionist, pessimist -more prone to stress -less easily satisfied -more prone to depression + anxiety -oriented towards negativity while processing information -uses the NEO Personality Inventory questionnaire (N=neuroticism, E=extraversion, O=open to experience; original 3 traits that were validated) -most current version is NEO-PI-3 -statements which people agree/disagree with on a scale of 5 -“Big 5” reliably + significantly predicts behaviors: it is valid traits influence behavior, which is predictable everyone has at least a tiny bit of each trait -Personality tests correlate well w/ behavior of the person -personality becomes more stable w/ age; the older you are, the less likely you’ll change -changes in personality may occur because of: 1. Major life events 2. Environmental changes 3. Some forms of learning -personality affected by environ + genetics -although we have a constant, our personality is influenced by social norms + environ cues -temperament acts on the environment: someone w/ a low level of agreeableness could promote a more hostile, aggressive environment -trait perspective theories + big 5 describes people + predicts actions, but doesn’t explain WHY people act/are the way they are PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORY + SIGMUND FREUD -believed that traumatic events were due to supressed childhood memories -mind consists of unconscious forces + desires; behavior is the result of people negotiating buried instincts + desires (sex, aggression, etc) -Psychoanalytic theory: describes personality based on conflict b/w the conscious + unconscious mind; developmental stages tied to various bodily f’ns parts of our mind influence our behavior: 1. ID: completely unconscious psyche; holds deeply instinctual needs (sex, aggression) -based on pleasure principle + immediate gratification 2. EGO: largely conscious; mediator of id, superego, and reality -strives to fulfill id in a realistic, appropriate way -based on reality principle 3. SUPEREGO: partly conscious + unconscious -strives to abide by internalized ideas + desires to follow the rules + guidelines that society has placed on us -superego punishes ego by creating feelings of guilt + shame -interactions of the (un)conscious mind can conflict w/ each other superego and id are often opposing each other (moral boundaries trying to suppress socially unacceptable desires) PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT -personality develops through a series of childhood stages -pleasure-seeking energies of the id become directed to certain zones on the body -each stage is a challenge to conquer: if all are conquered, the person develops a healthy personality -fixation: maladaptive part of personality that develops if certain issues/conflicts aren’t resolved at the appropriate stage a lingering focus on a pleasure-seeking activity at an earlier psychosexual stage eg. Fixated @ oral stage: likes sucking on cigarettes, drinking, eating, chewing gum as an adult -defense mechanism: how people handled fixations + unwanted sexual desires and thoughts helped hide these elements from the ego becomes active when id comes into conflict w/ superego suppression of anxiety-producing desires + thoughts from our conscious awareness influences our personality mixed evidence: no evidence for supressing childhood events, but evidence for supressing unwanted feelings that are anxiety-provoking IMMATURE DEFENSES: distort reality the most; leads to the most ineffective behavior -eg. Projection, regression, displacement -like hiding; not dealing w/ anxieties well INTERMEDIATE DEFENSES: less distortion of reality; leads to somewhat more effective behavior -eg. Repression, reaction formation, sublimation -not actively hiding, but not a clear outlook MATURE DEFENSES: least reality distortion; associated w/ the most adaptive coping -eg. Humour, suppression -eg. Suppression: negative info is available to the conscious mind but doesn’t take over; person can control their anxiety and think freely of their anxiety -calming being able to confront, cope, and accept their anxieties and handle them without cracking under pressure -richer, more harmonious relationships + generally more happy PSYCHOANALYSIS -assessing the unconscious to see what’s hidden in a person’s mind -free association: patient says whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or embarrassing spontaneous thoughts clues to unconscious motivators -dream analysis: thought dreams were gateways to the unconscious mind; glimpse into mind’s true nature -projective personality tests: giving patient ambiguous stimuli to try and tr
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