PSYB30H3 Lecture Notes - Jerome Kagan, Absolute Continuity, George Bonanno

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20 Mar 2013
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Chapter 6
The Continuity of Traits
Psychologists expect personality trait scales to show high test-retest reliability in the short run
Two Kinds of Continuity
Absolute continuity
o Caspi defines it as “constancy in the quantity or amount of an attribute over time”
o Usually applied in group averages; not on a single individual
Differential Continuity
o “the consistency of individual differences within a sample of individuals differences
within a sample of individuals over time, to the retention of an individual’s relative
placement in a group
o A matter of individuals’ relative standing to one another on a given dimension
o Low differential continuity: people’s relative positions on the given dimension change
unpredictably over time.
suggests that people change relative to one another over time on a given
dimension but does not tell us in what direction people change
Absolute continuity refers to the consistency of the average score on a given trait over time
while differential continuity refers to the stability of individual differences in scores.
Childhood Precursors: From Temperament to Traits
Thomas, Chess, and Birch (1970):
o Easy babies: consistently positive mood, low-to-moderate intensity of emotional
reactions, regular sleeping and eating
o Difficult babies: consistently negative moods, intense emotional reactions, irregular
sleeping and eating
o Slow-to-warm-up babies: combination of the two previous forms, relatively negative
moods, low intensity of emotional reactions, tend to withdraw from ne events at first
but then approach them later
Rothbart (1986):
o Six temperament dimensions observed in infants in the first year of life: Activity level,
smiling and laughter, fearfulness, distress to limitations, “soothability”, and vocal
activity
o Effortful Control: the child’s active and voluntary capacity to withhold a dominant
response in order to enact a subordinate response given situational demands
Jerome Kagan (1989):
o Behavioural inhibition: extremely inhibited young children show great timidity in new
events and people
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The Logic of Twin and Adoption Studies
Heritability quotient: A heritability quotient estimates the proportion of variability in a given
characteristic that can be attributed to genetic differences between people
Nonshared Environment
Rowe (1999) six categories of nonshared family effects:
o Perinatal trauma: injuries/damage sustained by the fetus before birth
o Accidentlal events: chance happenings and lucky breaks (physical injuries, winning raffle
prize)
o Family constellation: birth order and birth spacing between siblings
o Sibling mutual interaction: forming alliances of varios sorts, competing and cooperating,
adopting a wide range of social roles
o Unequal parental treatment
o Influences outside the family: teachers, peers
How Genes shape Environemtns:
Scarr and McCartney:
o Evocative influence: people respond to a child according to his or her genotype
o Passive influence: the child’s biological parents provide an envinronment for the child
that is compatible with their own genotypes (parents who like to read buy more books)
o Active influence: direct selection of and search for environments that fit one’s genotype
(athletic girl joining the softball team)
Boyce and Ellis: Stress reactivity
Patterns of Traits over time
Block; two central dimensions of personality that organize many different apects of human
functioning:
o Ego control: the extent to which a person typically modifies the expression of impulses
o Ego resiliency: the capacity to modify one’s typical level of ego control in either direction
to adapt to the demands of a given situation
Chapter 7
The Psychoanalytic View
Freud: Psychoanalysis
o Determinism: forces over which we have little control, determine all human behaviour
and experience
o Drive: these powerful forces exist within us
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o Conflict: the forces that determine all our behaviour and experience are in perpetual
conflict with one another, which causes us anxiety
o Unconscious: the most important determinants of an d conflicts in our lives are outside
of our consciousness
Repression and Repressors
Hansen and Hansen
o “the architecture of repression”
George Bonanno
o In periods of extreme stress, repressive coping styles can lead to resilience (the ability to
overcome difficult obstacles in life and to thrive amidst adversity)
The Ego’s Defenses
Id: instinctual impulses of sex and aggression and their derivative wishes, fantasies, and
inclinations
o Provides all the instinctual energy for mental life
o Knows no inhibitions; obeys no logical or moral constraints
o Completely out of touch with the outside world of reality
o Pleasure principle: pleasure derives from the reduction of tension in the immediate
gratification of impulses
Ego: works to mediate between the blind demands of the id and the constraints imposed by
logic and the external world
o Reality principle: enables to suspend immediate instinctual gratification until either an
appropriate object or environmental condition arises that will satisfy the instinct
Superego: tells the person what they should or should not be doing
The Humanistic View
Carl Roger’s Theory
o Client-centered therapy
o Phenonmenal field: the entire panorama of a person’s experience, the person’s
subjective apprehension of reality
o Fully functioning person: person able to fulfill their potential
Organismic valuing process
Unconditional positive regard: they have been loved and accepted by others in
an uncritical and noncontingent manner
Abraham Maslow
o Self-actualization: same view as Roger’s that humans strive to actualize their inner
potential
o 4 other kinds of needs forming a hierarchy from bottom to top:
Physiological needs
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Document Summary

Psychologists expect personality trait scales to show high test-retest reliability in the short run. Absolute continuity: caspi defines it as constancy in the quantity or amount of an attribute over time , usually applied in group averages; not on a single individual. Absolute continuity refers to the consistency of the average score on a given trait over time while differential continuity refers to the stability of individual differences in scores. Jerome kagan (1989): behavioural inhibition: extremely inhibited young children show great timidity in new events and people. Heritability quotient: a heritability quotient estimates the proportion of variability in a given characteristic that can be attributed to genetic differences between people. Hansen and hansen: the architecture of repression . In periods of extreme stress, repressive coping styles can lead to resilience (the ability to overcome difficult obstacles in life and to thrive amidst adversity) Superego: tells the person what they should or should not be doing.

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