PSYa02 - CH 14 - NOTES.docx

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19 Apr 2012
CH 14: Personality PSYA02 1
Trait Theories of Personality
Personality is a particular pattern of behavior and thinking and determines how we act
or react in a variety of situations.
Humoural Theory (by Galen): earliest theory to explain individual differences in
personality. (Body contains 4 humours)
o Choleric ppl excess yellow bad tempered/irritable.
o Melancholic ppl excess black gloomy/pessimistic.
o Phlegmatic ppl excess phlegm- sluggish/calm/unexcitable.
o Sanguine ppl excess blood passionate/cheerful
Personality types different categories into which personality characteristics can be
assigned based on factors (developmental exp for eg)
o This is an obviously rejected theory, today we conceive of individual differences
personality as being in degree, not kind.
Personality trait enduring personal characteristic that reveals itself in a particular
pattern of behavior in different situations.
o Ppl vary in the extent to which they are one or the other (analogous to a
personality trait)
o Traits have both biological and learning outside of body.
Allport (Important in Personality Traits)
o Believed that people react the same in
all situations
Cardinal Traits rare, but strong unifying influence on person’s behavior.
(eg. Hitler)
Central Traits less singular than cardinal (eg. Honest, warm) used to
distinguish from others.
Secondary Traits minor influence in behavior (eg. freq to change jobs)
He believes “we only know how to explain a person’s personality
once we can describe it!”
Dynamic organization integrated and unified
whole, we have a sense of having a unified
organization occurs within the individual.
Exists in terms of psychophysical systems
These systems determine(implying cause and
Personality has causal impact on our behaviour
knowing somebody’s personality has an
EXPLANATORY power to it.
Personality helps us makes adaptations to
world around us.
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CH 14: Personality PSYA02 2
Cattell (16 Personality factors)
o Used Allports information to bring Allports 18 000 trait words into 171 adjectives
(using factor analysis)
o He referred his 16 PF as source traits, to which personality was built.
Eysenck (3 Factors) of bipolar dimensions. (ENP)
o Extroversion outgoing nature (opp to introversion) requires more external
stimulation than introvert to maintain optimum arousal.
Introversion shy, reserved, careful (opp to extroversion) requires little
to maintain his lower arousal lvl.
o Neuroticism always tense, worrying, moody and unstable (opp to emotional
o Psychoticism aggressive, anti social, egocentric (opp of self control)
5 Factor Model (P is composed of 5 primary dimensions)
o the original 3 were Neuro,Extra(big two) and Openness.
o Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness.
o They are measured by the NEO-PI-R (Neuroticism, Extraversion and Openness
Personality Inventory) R standing for revised.
Reliability: alphas from .87 to .92, N = 1,539.
Validity: self-peer r’s from .36 to .53, N = 250.
Consists of 240 items to describe a person.
McCrae, Costa, and Busch performed Factor Analysis on a list of
adjectives contained in a test called the California Q-Set resulting in the
same 5 factors.
Identical twins correlate more than fraternal twins in terms of personality measures.
Heredity is responsible for b/w 50-70 % of variability in these 3 personality traits. The
remaining % is caused by diff in environment.
Identical twins were much more likely to have experienced similar family environments.
Heredity plays a large role in determining the nature of environment
P458 to p460 needs reading again.
Social Learning Approach
Social Learning Theory personality is determined by consequences of behavior and the beliefs
of those consequences. Skinner believed that personality was determined by consequences.
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CH 14: Personality PSYA02 3
Expectancy specific action leads to a specific consequence. Yet consequences can change
depending on when the action is dealt. (aggressiveness to get a toy, but do this in front of your
parents and you get into trouble).
Observational Learning a derivative to expectancy - allows ppl to learn actions vicariously
(not directly re-inforced). For eg. watching your mom put on deodorant, and then mimicking
*More complex behaviours = more times it needs to be observed/executed = more practice =
learn it well.
Reciprocal Determinism idea that personal variables (cognitive, expectations etc), behavior
and environment interact with each other in determining one’s personality.
Self-Efficacy how well you can perform a task related to optimism and pessimism
optimists have better chances of performing a task even when the circumstances don’t look too
Person Variables favoured by Mischel 5 of them
1) Competancies reinforced skills + behaviours will be likely engaged in future.
2) Encoding Strats and Personal Construct we process info differently than others
therefore we perceive situations differently than others.
3) Expectancies one action to one expectancy of our behavior
4) Subjective Values degree to which we value certain reinforcers (seek most value)
5) Self-Regulatory Systems and Plans to achieve our goals we monitor ourselves by
reinforcement and punishment.
Locus of Control belief that consequences are controlled by person variables
External Locus = events in life are determined by envi variables.
Internal Locus = events in life determined by their own variables.
The I-E Scale measures locus of control (0-23) Low score=Internal, High Score=External
Evaluating Scientific Issues
Mischel’s beliefs – situations, not traits, best predict behavior.
Eg. comparing introversion/extroversion when events are party vs. funeral.
Many disagreed some situations are weak to determine ppl’s behavior
CAPS Approach (Cognitive-Affective Processing System) look at powerpoint
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