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CHAPTER 14 Lecture note - Personality.doc

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Steve Joordens

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CHAPTER 14 PERSONALITYSECTION 141Trait Theories of PersonalityPersonality A particular pattern of behavior and thinking prevailing across time and situations that and situations that differentiates one person from anotherPsychologists study the causes of personalityPersonality Types and TraitsHippocrates Greek First to identify personalityHumoral TheoryBody has 4 types of fluidHumor BlackYellow Bile Phlegm and BloodCholeric peopleExcess Yellow bile tempered and irritableMelancholic Ex Black gloomy and pessimisticPhlegmaticEx Phlegm Sluggish and calmSanguineEx Bloodsanguis PassionatecheerfulTheory discreditedPersonality Types Different categories into which personality characteristics can be assigned based on factors such as developmental experiences or physical characteristicsCan knowing an individuals behavior be useful in predicting actionsNo people cannot be sorted into categoriesToby and Cosmidespersonality cannot be genetic bc of genetic crossover in fertilizationInstead of categorizing people we measure the degree of how close one is to a category ptraitPersonality Trait An enduring personal characteristic that reveals itself in a particular patter of behavior in a variety of situationsEg Tall or short analogyAre you tall or short Highly variable most are in betweenSimilar for personalityPersonality IS NOT BEHAVIOR but they are responsible for themPersonality is subject to change through learningIdentification of Personality TraitsTrait theoristpersonality psychologist try to link a specific personality to a specific behaviorAllports Search for TraitsGordon AllportFirst examined all dictionary words that describe personality 18 000 entriesGrouped these words into stable personality characteristicsTemporary states Eg flustered or admirable were eliminatedWhy Believed that the use of these words in English shows the importance of traits in how people measure themselves and othersOne good trait theory could explain much of human functioningBelieved traits were neuropsychological properties that influence behaviorsWhich is why personality in a person is very consistent even after yearsDefined 3 types of traits1 Cardinal Traits Traits with the most influence on behaviorAre rare people with them are noticeable Eg Hitlers cruelty or Mother Teresas altruism2 Central Traits Less influence but still make one individual distinguishable from another3 Secondary Traits Have minor influence on behavior Eg someone who switches jobs a lot because their personality is inconsistent therefore behavior is inconsistent
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