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Lecture

Lecture 01 - PSYB30.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB30H3
Professor
Connie Boudens
Semester
Summer

Description
Lecture 01 Personality Psychology – Introduction PSYB30 May 6, 2013 Common ways of thinking about personality - ―Good personality‖ o Global quality (fun, nice person, sometimes: opposite of attractive) o Often contrasted with attractiveness  Blind dates: lacks visual attractiveness (―They are NICE) - Energy of liveliness o Person has ―personality‖ or ―a lot of personality‖  (Fun to be around) Take the Pig Personality Test - Get out a piece of paper and draw a pig! - There are no rules – just draw whatever you like - Don’t look at the next slide until you’re finished drawing your pig What does your drawing say about you? - Toward the top of the paper, you are positive and optimistic - Toward the middle, you are a realist - Toward the bottom, you are pessimistic, and have a tendency to behave negatively - Facing left, you believe in tradition, are friendly, and remember dates (birthdays, etc.) - Facing right, you are innovative and active, but don’t have a strong sense of family, nor do you remember dates - Facing front (looking at you), you are direct, enjoy playing devil’s advocate and neither fear nor avoid discussions - With many details, you are analytical, cautious, and distrustful - With few details, you are emotional and naïve, you care little for details and are a risk- taker - With less than 4 legs showing, you are insecure or are living through a period of major change - With 4 legs showing, you are secure, stubborn, and stick to your ideals - The size of the ears indicates how good of a listener you are - The bigger the better - The length of the tail indicates the quality of your romantic life - The more the better Personality Defined - 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  Allows them to work together in one unit o Relatively enduring  Over time/situations, a person will exhibit these qualities o Trait AND mechanisms  The way the person interacts with the environment  How particular things impact the person to create an effect o Interactions with, adaptations to environment  What we consider someone’s personality will only be evident when they are interacting in their environment  Personality influence changes they make/pressure environment is putting on them/influences how they adapt to environment Main issues of interest - What is the basic nature of people? o The need to belong/how we adapt to pressure being put on us o Need for affiliation o Addressing things that are common to all people  How it varies from one person to another person - Is human internally of externally determined? o Are they determined by a person’s unconscious mind? o What causes them to behave in a certain way? Internal or external o Situation has a large impact on behavior - How consistent is personality? o Consistency over time/development (what are the traits likely to change or stay the same?) - Can we control internal states and behavior? o Whether or not we can control our internal states or behavior o Is it affected by gender/age - Is present and future behavior determined by past behavior? o To what extent can past behavior affect present and future behavior? - How adaptive (positive) are certain aspects of personality? o How those personality traits help us adapt to certain situations o Overcome difficulties o Can they be fostered in people or encouraged? o Are there any aspects that are innate? o Can it be learned? - How do our personalities help us to adjust to the environment? o How does certain personality traits help us adapt to change? Areas of interest and research - Originally, psychologists sought to understand the whole of personality (see ―grand theories of personality‖) o Grand theories of personality: Explain everything about someone’s personality o Sigmund Freud – theories of how people function/human development  Try to use one overarching system of human functioning - Modern work within one of a number of subareas or domains ―Building blocks‖ of personality - Trait/dispositional - Biological - Self and identity - Intrapsychic - Regulatory and motivational - Cognitive-experiential - Social and cultural - Adjustment Trait/Dispositional - Ways in which individuals differ - Casually talking about personality (i.e. nice, introverted, extroverted) - Focus on # and nature of fundamental traits o Essentially trying to look for the basic traits, best for describing people - Goals of work in area: o Identify and measure most important ways individuals differ  Psychometrics – designing tests to measure human nature/functioning o Origin and development of individuals differences  How they develop over time, and where the traits came from (inmates? Early childhood/adulthood)  Or if traits do not change over a persons lifetime o In
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