PSYC 3530 Lecture Notes - Deep Structure And Surface Structure, Personality Psychology

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Divisions amongst phenomena of psychological domains, personality psychology acknowledges all of the
phenomena coexist inside a person, personality researcher has a goal to provide coherent view of the
person of how these attributes are organized within a person, differing person from person
Delay of gratification refers to the ability to forgo an immediate reward, in favour of a larger reward later
Certain ways in which everyone shows delaying gratification, all of us show it, and all the rewards differ,
the longer we have to wait, the less we care about it, but the larger the reward is, the longer we want to
wait for it
People differ in their ability to look away from something immediate and rewarding now, for something
better later on
We are constantly in this civilization where we are asked or required to delay gratification (kindergarten
teacher asking student to settle down)
Jack and jean are a pair of researchers who met at Berkeley and married in the 1950s and early 60s,
became professors and decided to study personality the long way; take three-year olds and study them
their entire careers (from the San Francisco area) assessments every year, then particular
developmental milestones
The goal was to show that there is a deep structure to personality, underlying continuity (temper tantrums
at age 5, doesn’t predict the same tantrums at age 30, but it may reflect impulse control or mood
regulation that expresses itself differently in later years)àslide 4
People develop broad, individual generalized differences, vary widely
There is a belief that surface behaviours change from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, but there is
an underlying behaviour that can be studied and observed, self-reported dated from parents and
teachers and behavioural performance data
Jack and jean had the idea of two dimensional levels of personality, called ego-control and ego-resiliency,
the second qualifies the first
The first of these is called ego-control and is how you typically regulate your impulses, are you impulsive
or are you more controlled person, two extremes, the under controller who typically act on their
impulses and the other end of the continuum is the over controller, they are inhibited, the control their
Ego control is about typical behaviour (sort of like a trait)
Ego resiliency is about what you are able to do, not what you do typically, but what you are ABLE to do,
your ability as a capacity of an individual to modify your typical level of ego-control because the
situation may demand it (a controlled person, can you relax at some point, let loose at a party?, if you
are an under controller, when you have an exam approaching can you exercise your impulses, get your
act together)
Ego resiliency is when you shift your ego-control to specific situations, an ego-vulnerable person cannot
do this, they resist change, the perseverate, they fail to adapt from one situation to another
You can be an under controller who cant change, or an over controller that cant change
In one aspect of this research they were interested I how ego-control and ego resiliency was related to
delaying gratification, what are the personality factors that show the ability to delay gratification
Gift delay situation, the kid is brought in, and the experimenter says they found a gift and they put it aside,
and they say you can have the gift after the kid finishes the puzzle, then experimenter leaves, and the
question is how long can the kid wait before he grabs the reward, the time until the child reaches forth
and take the present, the length of time you wait displays the résistance
Resistance to temptation, a room full of toys, the toys don’t belong to you, you cant play, so the kid is told
not to touch them until the experimenter comes back with permission, they are bearing levels of
display over their approach behaviour of the toys
Across ages and genders, ego control is systematically related to delay of gratification
Ego resiliency also contributes
Delay of gratification is a function of what you typically do and to what you are able to do
Mischel brought kids around 4 or 5 years old and showed them tow different levles of rewards, one
marshmallow or two marshmallows, on a table and a bell, after being asked about which reward they
prefer, the inspector says he will leave the room, and if you can wait until he comes back, he can have
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