CHAPTER 14 Lecture note - Personality.doc

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11 Apr 2012
-----------------------------------------------(SECTION 14.1)-------------------------------------------------
Trait Theories of Personality:
Personality –A particular pattern of behavior and thinking prevailing across time and situations
that and situations that differentiates one person from another.
-Psychologists study the causes of personality
Personality Types and Traits:
-Hippocrates, Greek, First to identify personality Humoral Theory
-Body has 4 types of fluid/Humor: Black/Yellow Bile, Phlegm and Blood
-Choleric people -(Excess Yellow bile) tempered and irritable
-Melancholic –(Ex. Black) gloomy and pessimistic
-Phlegmatic – (Ex. Phlegm) Sluggish and calm
-Sanguine – (Ex. Blood/“sanguis”) Passionate + cheerful
-Theory discredited
Personality TypesDifferent categories into which personality characteristics can be assigned
based on factors such as developmental experiences or physical characteristics.
-Can knowing an individual’s behavior be useful in predicting actions?
-No, people cannot be sorted into categories
Toby and Cosmides personality cannot be genetic b/c of genetic crossover in fertilization
-Instead of categorizing people, we measure the degree of how close one is to a category/ p.trait
Personality Trait –An enduring personal characteristic that reveals itself in a particular patter of
behavior in a variety of situations.
(E.g. Tall or short analogy – Are you tall or short? Highly variable, most are in between)
-Similar for personality
-Personality IS NOT BEHAVIOR, but they are responsible for them
-Personality is subject to change through learning
Identification of Personality Traits:
-Trait theorist + personality psychologist try to link a specific personality to a specific behavior.
Allport’s Search for Traits:
-Gordon Allport
-First, examined all dictionary words that describe personality (18 000 entries)
-Grouped these words into stable personality characteristics
-Temporary states (E.g. flustered or admirable) were eliminated
Why? –Believed that the use of these words in English shows the importance of traits in how
people measure themselves and others.
-One good trait theory could explain much of human functioning
-Believed traits were neuropsychological properties that influence behaviors
-Which is why personality in a person is very consistent even after years
-Defined 3 types of traits:
(1) Cardinal Traits –Traits with the most influence on behavior
-Are rare, people with them are noticeable (E.g. Hitler’s cruelty or Mother Teresa’s altruism)
(2) Central Traits –Less influence, but still make one individual distinguishable from another
(3) Secondary Traits –Have minor influence on behavior (E.g. someone who switches jobs a lot
because their personality is inconsistent therefore behavior is inconsistent.
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Cattell: 16 Personality Factors
-Raymond Cattell (!!!!!!!!! FIG 14.3 Pg. 453!!!!!!!!!)
-Took Allport’s 18 000 words -> Down to 171 -> Factor analyzed into 16 factors
-Called them source traits (not personality, but were the foundation for personality)
Eysenck: Three Factors
-Hans Eysenck
-Used factor analysis and came up with 3 factors: Extroversion, Neuroticism + Psychoticism
-Each has an opposite trait
(1) Extroversion –The tendency to seek the company of other people, to be spontaneous, and
engage in conversation and other social behaviors with them.
Introversion –The tendency to avoid the company of other people to be inhibited and cautious;
(2) Neuroticism –The tendency to be anxious, worried and full of guilt.
Emotional Stability –The tendency to be relaxed and at peace with one’s self
(3) Psychoticism –The tendency to be aggressive, egocentric and antisocial.
-Different from the definition of clinical psychologist. DOES NOT MEAN mental illness
Self-Control –The tendency to be kind, considerate and obedient of laws and rules.
(!!!!!!!!! TAB 14.1 Pg. 455!!!!!!!!!)
(!!!!!!!!! FIG 14.4 Pg. 455!!!!!!!!!)
-Believed personality stems from brain -> brain is biological
-Believes (E.g. introverts have high brain arousal levels, extroverts have low -> So extroverts seek
external stimulation from being social.
The Five-Factor Model:
Five-Factor ModelA theory stating that personality is composed of five primary dimensions:
Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. Developed using
factor analysis of ratings of the words people use to describe personality characteristics.
(NEO-PI-R)[Neuroticism, Extroversion, and Openness personality Inventory] The instrument
used to measure the elements described in the five-factor model.
-R stands for revised
-Composed of 240 items of evaluating personality
-Can be done by the individual or a close person (e.g. Wife or brother)
-The person tested marks on a scale of 1 to 5 (strong disagree to strong agree)
-To a personality question (E.g. “I really like most people I meet”)
-Research suggests that these 5 factors are genetic
-The test can predict: mental well-being, leadership type job success (extroversion) and job
classification (conscientiousness)
-----------------------------------------------(SECTION 14.2)-------------------------------------------------
Psychobiological Approaches:
Heritability of Personality Traits:
-Cattell and Eysenck Personality has strong genetic influence
-Studies with identical twins show high correlation in personality (suggesting it is heritable)
-Higher (double) for identical twins (b/c genetically identical) than fraternal
-Same personality correlation even if separated at birth
-Therefore there is little influence by environment on the variables measured
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