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PSYB30 - Chapter 1

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School
University of Toronto Scarborough
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB30H3
Professor
Janelle Leboutillier
Semester
Summer

Description
Who Am I? Understanding the Building Blocks of Personality ● requirements for understanding personality ○ understand what a person is like ○ understand our genetics/physiology ○ consider the hidden parts of a person ● two early personality psychologists ○ universal aspects of personality shared by all ○ aspects of personality unique to each individual ● human universals impact human personality (result in universal aspects of personality) ○ are born into socials groups ○ have a genetic makeup/brain/nervous system (mechanisms) ○ desire for actualization ■ e.g. to be who we were meant to be ■ e.g. to develop and express our individual identity What is Personality Psychology? ● personality psychology ○ scientific study of what makes us who we are ○ through the scientific method of investigation ■ study of individual differences ● identifying ways people are similar/differ ● explaining how people became the way they are ● personality ○ part of it involves identifying/studying the building blocks ■ raw materials that make us think/act the way we do ○ more than the sum of separate parts ■ parts/how the parts fit vary The Building Blocks of Personality ● forces impacting personality ○ social (e.g. sense of self) ○ environmental (e.g. culture and society) Traits ● traits ○ a person’s typical way of thinking, feeling, and acting ■ in various situations at different times ● development of characteristics ○ certain physiologies ■ more likely to develop certain characteristics ○ socialization (w/ parents/peers/teachers/society) ○ personal EXP Genetics ● genetics ○ study of how genes/environment affect personality/behaviour ● personality variables ○ genetic/environmental component (nature/nurture) ■ inherit specific characteristics ■ inherit potentialities expressed depending on the environment Neuroscience ● study of how our brain/nervous system affect personality/behaviour through the study of bodily responses/brain structure/brain activity/biochemical activity ● extroversion, neuroticism, impulsivity ○ research suggests a link to physiological/neurological differences ■ present at birth/develop after birth ○ environment/personal EXPs can affect the development ○ current evidence suggests our neurology builds it in Intrapsychic Foundations of Personality ● intrapsychic ○ within selves (intra) ○ conscious/unconscious thoughts/feelings (psychic) ● Freud ○ contribution ■ physical disorders could have (often unconscious) psychological causes ○ claimed that early EXPs unconsciously influenced adult personalities ○ first to suggest that personality could be changed ■ originated a method of psychotherapy ● complete understandings of personality (modern) include ○ unconscious motivations ○ defence mechanisms ○ important attachments Regulation and Motivation: Self­Determination Theory ● regulation and motivation ○ building block ○ how people adjust responses to environment consciously/unconsciously ● Freud ○ believed unconscious forces controlled people ● modern theory of motivation ○ people can/do consciously/unconsciously regulate selves ● self­determination theory ○ people will be motivated/self­directed for the task at hand if people ■ feel free to choose ■ are competent at what they do ■ are connected to people around them ○ people differ in extent to which they feel self­determined/regulate own motivation Cognitive Foundations ● cognitive foundation ○ how people perceive/think about info about selves/world ● people differ in how they process info ○ esp. about causes/impacts of events in their lives ○ esp. about expectations for the future ● people differ in ○ locus of control ○ learned helplessness, learned helplessness, optimism­pessimism Putting It All Together: Integration ● integration ○ combine building blocks into a whole person ● personality ○ whole is greater than the sum of the parts ● some of the most interesting aspects of the human EXP ○ can only be understood by seeing how the blocks interact/build on each other Organization of This Book ● seven blocks of personality discussed in five parts How Do Psychologists Study Personality? ● research ○ allows for the formulation/testing of Qs about human behaviour ■ design accurate methods to answer Qs ■ test competing explanations against each other ○ conducted through sound methods ○ scientists can generalize beyond own findings ■ add to collective knowledge about a phenomenon ■ apply results to aid others ○ rests on the philosophy of empiricism ■ using direct EXP to draw conclusions about the world The Scientific Method ● scientific method ○ describes how to make/test observations about the world in order to draw conclusions while minimizing error/bias ● steps of the scientific method ○ 1. begins w/ ID­ing basic facts about the world ○ 2. build theories using collection of facts ○ 3. make/test predictions based on theories using controlled methods ○ 4. make results public to seek out independent verification from other researchers ● theories help scientists ask new Qs ○ suggest where to look for answers ○ suggest what kind of answers might be found ● experimental method ○ prior to the last decade, not often used in personality ● science progresses along a continuum from casual observations ○ inspire ideas about human behaviour which lead to controlled experimentation ■ scientists attempt to falsify theories ● theories prevail when supported by research evidence ○ becomes a law w/ more research (until alt. theories better explain the evidence) Observational Studies and Personality Questionnaires ● methods used by researchers depend on the type of Qs ○ e.g. “Do some people talk more than others at a party?” (observational study) ● observational study ○ observe what people do to understand certain phenomena ● generate a hypothesis (educated guess) based on observations to explain findings ● personality questionnaires ○ tests in which people answer Qs about selves ■ tests ID certain aspects of their personality Correlational and Experimental Designs ● correlation coefficient ○ indicated by the symbol “r” ○ measures the co­relation ( relationship) b/t two variables ● correlations ○ positive/negative (depends on the relationship b/t the two variables) ■ positive: both variables increase/decrease at the same time ■ negative: variable increases as the other decreases at the same time /v/v ○ considered high/medium/low (depends on how big they are) ■ size doesn’t reveal if a relationship is statistically significant ○ not the same as causation ● three possible reasons for the relation b/t two variables ○ 1. first variable causes the second ○ 2. second variables causes the first ○ 3. some third variable causes both variables ● can’t be sure what is causing the relationship b/t two variables ○ knowing that two variables are similar doesn’t reveal why the relationship exists ● true experiments ○ tests theories that one variable causes another variable ■ manipulate variables ○ b/c of practical/ethical reasons, may not be conducted ■ in such cases, use correlational studies ● correlational studies ○ measure two variables to see how they are related ○ e.g. study how a person w/ a certain personality behaves ■ measure both personality/behaviour ○ nearly as good as true experiments in ID­ing the causes of outcomes ■ if well 
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