Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (650,000)
UTSC (30,000)
Psychology (9,000)
PSYB30H3 (500)

Week 1

Course Code
Marc A Fournier

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Week 1 Lecture:
Overview of Week 1 Lectures
Part I. Introduction
Part II. Scientific Theories
Part III. Freud
Part I. Introduction
The Origin Theories
The scientific study of the person
Human Evolution
We are products of the evolutionary process
Gender, Society, & Culture
We are products of contemporary socialization processes
-Personality psychology is the scientific study of the individual and individual
-Goal of personality psych is to bring all the various aspects from the sub disciplines
of psychology into a singular view of the individual
-Personality is at the heart of the discipline; it relays the findings and theories from
one subfield of psych to another
Level I. Personality Traits/Dispositions Sketching the Outline
General, internal, and comparative dispositions accounting for the consistencies we
perceive or expect in behavior across situations and time
Person-Situation Controversy
Heredity-Environment Controversy
Continuity vs. Change of Traits over Time
-The various theories of personality can be understood as answering 3 separate
questions about people
-Each of these questions/levels speaks to the question of what is it we know when we
know a person
-Various theories of personality speaks more or less to each of these various levels
-Personality Traits
oTell us about people at first acquaintance
oPersonality traits are therefore the psych of strangers
oThey are extremely consequential

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oThey are an outline, sketch of the individual
-At the next level, we try to fill in the blanks of the sketch that is drawn out by the
personality traits
Level II. Characteristic Adaptations Filling in the Details
Adaptations to the motivational, cognitive, and developmental challenges that people
confront across the life span
Goals & Strivings
The Self & Social Cognition
Stages of Life-Span Development
-What it is beyond personality traits is it that we need to know to fully understand a
-We are going to need to know whats on their mind, what they are concerned about,
what they are motivated to achieve
Level III. Life Stories Integrating a Life
Internalized and evolving narratives of the self that integrate past, present, and
future to provide life with a sense of unity and purpose
Imagery, Theme, Character
Standards of Good Life-Story Form
Psychotherapy as Revision of the Life Story
-Even knowing their traits and characteristic adaptations, there are still more to
know about a person
-What is missing is what we know about a person when we know them best
-Beyond all that, we are all in the process in crafting a life story, summarizing past
and organizing the future into a coherent whole
-Role of psychotherapy as revisiting and constructing a life story to make a better
sense out of the events that has happened to us and to look to the future with a
unified sense and purpose
Overview of Part II
Constructs, Theories, & Testable Hypotheses
Desiderata for a Theory of Personality
The Legacy of Sigmund Freud
Scientific Theories
Explicitly defined CONSTRUCTS
Linked by correspondence RULES

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Specifying testable HYPOTHESES
-Scientific theories are a set of interrelated statements about some phenomenon in
the world
-All scientific theorizing starts with unsystematic observations
-You come up with generalized ideas
-These ideas we use to classify things in the world are called constructs
-Constructs are explanatory variables we use to make sense of things in the world
-Often constructs are not observable (ex: intelligence)
-The theories are important in that they take constructs and link them together;
these links are called correspondence rules
-Correspondence rules are important because they generate testable hypothesis
-Hypothesis are testable predictions about the relationships between constructs
c.f. Non-Scientific Theories
Palmistry (hand-reading)
Astrology set of beliefs about how the positions of the celestial bodies are related to
personality differences
- the failure of astrology is that it doesnt lend itself to falsify ability
-Palmistry art of trying to Define the future by reading the lines of the palm
- There are no explanation of how these characteristics are meant to relate to the
-Theories about people are implicit personality theories we dont formalize them or
test them
-The goal of personality psych is to take all causal observations and put them to the
test, formalize them, state them explicitly and to gather data to determine whether
they hold up
Our implicit personality theories
Formalizing an Informal Theory:
Dependency is Unhealthy
Formally defying these constructs (dependency & personal health), we can know relate
them with formal correspondence rule
-Ex: Dependency as a construct is meaningfully related to personal health; therefore
people with more dependency will have a lower health status
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