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Psyc 305 Chapter Notes.docx

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 305
Sunaina Assanand

Psyc 305 Chapter Notes CHAPTER ONE WHAT IS PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGYDEFINING PERSONALITY Personality in everyday speech tends to focus on the specific personalities of specific persons psychologists are more likely to focus on personality as an abstraction When psychologists use the word personality they usually are referring to a conception of what everyones personality consists of WHY USE PERSONALITY AS A CONCEPT People use the word personality to convey a sense of consistency or continuity about a person There is consistency across time and across situationsyou can tell it is the same person in these cases because they act in consistent ways from time to time and from setting to setting People also use the word personality to convey a sense that whatever the person is doing originates from within The term personality conveys the sense of a causal force within the person influencing how they act Personality is also used to convey the sense that a few qualities can summarize what a person is like because theyre so prominent in that persons behaviour Personality conveys a sense of consistency internal causality and distinctiveness A WORKING DEFINITION Personality a dynamic organization inside the person of psychophysical systems that create the persons characteristic patterns of behavior thoughts and feelings Personality is organized has a process is a psychological concept that is tied to the physical body is a causal force that helps determine how the person related to the world shows up in individualized patterns TWO FUNDAMENTAL THEMES IN PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY without Individual differences there would be no central features that differ from one person to another A complete account of personality addresses where differences come from and why they matter Intrapersonal functioning the process within the person called a dynamic organization of systems A complete account of personality should say something about processes underlying personality and how and why they work WHAT DO THEORIES DO A theory is a set of ideas about how to think about that class of event Theories are used for 2 purposed 1 To explain phenomena it addresses Every theory provides an account of at least some phenomena 2 Suggest possibilities you dont yet know for sure are true A theory should allow you to predict new information EVALUATING THEORIES THE ROLE OF RESEARCH Theories should be testableThe cycle of prediction testing revision and additional prediction can be virtually never ending WHAT ELSE MAKES A THEORY GOOD The breadth of information behind the theorysome are criticized because they rely too heavily on animal research or observations made in their therapy sessions A theory should have the quality of parsimony it should include as few assumptions as possible PERSPECTIVES TO BE EXAMINED HERE Trait perspective the idea that people have fairly stable qualities traits that are displayed across many settings but are deeply embedded in the personThe big issues are what traits are the important ones in personality and how trait differences are expressed in behaviour Motive perspective the key element in human experience is the motive forces that underlie behaviour People differ in their patterns of underlying strengths of different motivesThese differences in the balance of motives are seen as the core of personalityInheritance and evolution perspectives humans are creatures that evolved and that human nature is deeply rooted in our genesPersonality is genetically based Dispositions are inherited Biological process perspective personalityworkings of the body and brain that runs the body Nervous system and hormones influence peoples behaviour and how differences in those functions influence the kind of person you are Psychoanalytic perspective personalityset of internal forces that competeFocus on dynamic of forces and their influence on behaviourHuman natureset of pressures inside the person that compete
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