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Lecture 12

PSYB30H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Neuroticism, Motivation, Adaptation

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Marc A Fournier

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Lecture 12 – Review
An individual unique variation on the general evolutionary design for human nature, expressed as a
developing pattern of dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations and integrative liefstories
complexity and differentially situated in culture
Components of Scientific Personality Theory
oExplicitly Defined Constructs: construct used to define natural phenomena around the world
oCorrespondence Rules: How variables and construct relate to each other
oTestable hypothesis: must be falsifiable
Desiderata for Scientific Personality Theory
oCoherent: tying theories together
oTestable, Empirically Valid: has evidence to support theory. Theory is useless w/o evidence
oComprehensive: detailed, has many variables, more explanations of what the variables are and
how they relate to each other. Problem: too cumbersome
oParsimonious: simplistic theories, easy to understand, less variables, less explanations
oUseful: application of theory to the real world
oGenerative: produces debate, discussion, controversy
Evolutionary traits
oVariables: different attributes across population
oSelection: some trait differences help people survive better than those who don’t have that trait.
Those with more suited traits pass onto the next generation more likely (e.g. giraffe situation)
oSpandrels: traits only there b/c it is near by an adaptive trait (by-product)
oRandom Effects: random variation that are neutral to the survival and no adaptive significance
Evolution in Personality
o“Getting Along”  a communal trait – most problems are amongst our own species
o“Getting Ahead”  agentic trait – you want to be the one who has the most resources as well as
high in the hierarchy (0 sum problem b/c if one person wins, other loses)
In childhood, girls tend to play with girls, boys tend to play with boys. In each group, they express
different traits
The Socialization Process

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oFemininity – Nurturance & Cooperation
“Tea Parties”  express caring, helping for each other
Perpetuated by home-maker roles
oMasculinity – Dominance & Competition
“War Games”? Express competition, winning/losing
Perpetuated by wage earner-roles
In the cultural and evolutionary framework, we see agentic/communal themes
oAllport: strongly believed in idiographic ideology
Nomothetic: trait laws that govern all people
Idiographic: trait laws that govern individual
oCattell: founder for factor analysis
Surface traits: superficial/outside traits. For surveys w/ participants, results are only
Source traits: inner/underlying trait only revealed through factor analysis
oSituationists: behavior is function due to situations, not personality – implying there is no
oAggregationists: believe in averaging the averages, building reliable measure
oInteractionists: how behavior changes from one situation to the next
oIncreases w/ age  children less stable than adults, old adults more stable than young adults
oDecreases with time interval  if you test a person 7 years from now, there are more changes to
occur b/c more time means more opportunity for you to change
oUse test-retest correlation. As you become older, traits solidify
oError = 20%, Genetics = 40%
oEnvironment = 40%
Shared = 5%, Non-Shared = 35% (e.g. birth order)
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