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Roshan Singh 031108 Mr.Fournier PSYA02H3 Chapter 14 Notes Personality A particular pattern of behaviour and thinking prevailing across time and situations that differentiates one person from another. Psychologists get their assessment of personality from results of special tests designed to identify particular personality characteristics. Their goal is to discover the causes of individual differences in behaviour. Research on human personality requires 2 kinds of effort: identifying personality characteristics and determining the variables that produce and control them. Trait theorists use the term personality as a set of personal characteristics that determines the different ways we act and react in a variety of situations. th Humoural theory was proposed by the Greek physician Hippocrates in the 4 century B.C. and is the earliest known explanation for individual differences in personality. The body was thought to contain four humours or fluids: yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood. People were classified based on the predominance of one of these humours in their systems. - Choleric people had an excess of yellow bile and were usually bad tempered and irritable. - Melancholic people had an excess of black bile and were usually gloomy and pessimistic. - Phlegmatic people had an excess of phlegm and were usually sluggish, calm and unexcitable. - Sanguine people had an excess of blood and were usually cheerful and passionate. Personality types Different categories into which personality characteristics can be assigned based on factors such as developmental experiences or physical characteristics. Biological investigations disregarded the humoral theory. Personality types are useful in formulating hypotheses because when a theorist is thinking about personality variables, extreme cases are easily brought to mind. The idea that people can be assigned to categories is rejected today by most investigators and they generally conceive that individual differences in personality as being in degree instead of kind. Personality trait An enduring personal characteristic that reveals itself in a particular pattern of behaviour in a variety of situations. Example: height such as it is not tall or short it is a degree where you can fall anywhere between the 2. Personality traits are not simply patterns of behaviour, they are factors that underlie these patterns and are responsible for them. Once our personality traits are developed, they reside in our brains. Gordon Allport was one of the first psychologists to search systematically for a basic core of personality traits. In his dictionary test, words that represented temporary states such as flustered or evaluations such as admirable were eliminated. www.notesolution.comRoshan Singh 031108 Mr.Fournier PSYA02H3 Chapter 14 Notes According to Allport, not all traits have equal influence on their possessors. The most powerful of all are those he termed cardinal units. Cardinal traits characterize a strong unifying influence on a persons behaviour. He believed that these traits were rare, but that people characterized by them clearly stand out from the crowd. Example: Hitler, Mandela and Mother Teresa. Central traits are less singular in their influence than cardinal traits, but capture important characteristics of an individual. Example: Someone is warm and honest in comparison to others. Secondary traits include characteristics that have minor influence on consistency of behaviour. Example: constant change of jobs. Modern trait theorists maintain that only when we know how to describe an individuals personality will we be able to explain it. Cattell narrowed down Allports list to 16 and he referred to them as source traits because Cattell believed that they were the cornerstones upon which personality is built. Hans Eysenck also used factor analysis to devise a theory of personality. His research identified 3 important factors: Extroversion The tendency to seek the company of other people, to be spontaneous, and to engage in conversation and other social behaviours with them. Introversion The tendency to avoid the company of other people, to be inhibited and cautious; shyness. Neuroticism The tendency to be anxious, worried and full of guilt. Emotional Stability The tendency to be relaxed and at peace with oneself. Psychoticism The tendency to be aggressive, egocentric and antisocial. Self-control The tendency to be kind, considerable and obedient of laws and rules. Eysenck emphasized on the biological nature of personality. He believes that the functioning of a neural system located in the brains stem produces different levels of arousal of the cerebral cortex. Introverts have relatively high levels of cortical excitation while extroverts have relatively low levels. Most trait theorists accept the existence of his 3 factors because they have emerged in factor analyses performed by many different researchers. Five-factor Model A theory stating that personality is composed of five primary dimensions: neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. This theory was developed using factor analyses of ratings of the words people use to describe personality characteristics. Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) The instrument used to measure the elements described in the five factor model (neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness).
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