PSYB30 – Lecture 1 Purple Text – Prof’s Speech
Common ways of thinking about personality
- “good” personality – fun, nice person, easy to get along with, but don’t really know what
o Global quality
o Often contrasted with attractiveness; i.e. opposite of attractive
i.e. used to a blind date when some visual elements might not be so
- energy or levelness
o person has “personality” or “a lot of personality”
o also has a global quality
o means they’re fun, sort of the party animal, extraverted, great to be around
3 Things to remember
- personality as a global quality – usually means that the person is good
o scientifically, personality is not thought of as a global quality but as having many
components; more complex than just saying someone has a good personality
- categories people use to describe types of people are mostly made up – they are more
nuanced than the dichotomous categories that “Grumpy Cat” uses
- pig personality test – no empirical evidence to support this test
not very validated
o but there are other tests that are validated empirically
An organized and relatively enduring set of psychological traits and mechanisms that
influences a person’s interactions with, and adaptations to, the environment.
o Organized – have traits and mechanisms that work in relation to each other and
are organized in some way that allows them to work together as one unit
o Relatively enduring – over time, a person is going to exhibit these particular
qualities and also over different situations
o Traits and mechanisms – mechanisms include the way the person interacts with
the environment, how particular things impact a person to create an effect
o Interactions with adaptations to environment – what we consider as someone’s
personality is only going to be evident when that person is interacting in his/her
- the person’s personality affects the way they interact with the
environment and the way they adapt to the environment; influences the
changes that they make or how they respond to the pressures the
environment is putting on them
Main Issues of Interest
What is basic nature of people? Addressing things common to all people
Is human beh. internally or externally determined?
Are the things driving human behavior internal to the person – i.e. do they have to
do with what the person is like, do they have to do with what is going on in the
person’s unconscious mind, the way the person thinks or are they largely
determined by situation
Specifically interested in interaction between internal and external influences in
creating certain behaviours
How consistent is personality?
Under what conditions would someone exhibit traits inconsistent with personality
In which situations would pervasive personality traits change?
Which traits will likely stay the same and which will change
Do we have control over internal states and behaviour?
What mechanisms can be affected by volitional control?
Is present and future behaviour determined by past behavior?
Is it predictive?
Powers of past behaviours: to what extent can things we’ve done in the past
predict present and future behaviour?
How adaptive (positive) are certain aspects of personality?
Are they particular traits or mechanisms that help someone overcome difficulties?
How do our personalities help us to adjust to the environment?
Areas of Interest and Research