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Lecture 11

Psychology 46-330 Lecture 11: Lectures 11-13 on Trait Psychology, Allport, Cattell, and Eysenck

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Ken Cramer

Lecture 11-13 on Trait Psychology, Allport, Cattell, and Eysenck  Labelling people by types  Problems: o We can only fit one type like zodiac signs o Everyone in the box is alike o People cannot be alike with people outside of the box  So they changed it to the degree to which people portrait a characteristic, unlike a absolute yes/no if people fit in a trait Assumption that trait is stable over time and across situation  Advantages of the Trait Model  Focused more on a group of people rather than one person's behaviour  Less emphasis on explanation but more emphasis on descriptions  Can make comparisons across people Comparison of Perspective Psychoanalytic Trait Needs a trained therapist Projective tests for person to explore Mathematical, statistical measures Views behaviour as irrational, always Behaviour is rational (no one knows you better changing, unconscious other than yourself) Behaviour is not stable nor consistent Traits are stable and consistent Gordon Allport  He's not talking about a general theory for everyone; focused on individuals  One of the first people to study prejudice, but key focus on traits  He redefined personality  He changed "unique adjustments to the environment" to "characteristic behaviour and thought"  Thus, his definition of personality  "a dynamic organization within the individual of psychophysical systems that determine characteristic behaviour and thought"  Dynamic organization  always changing, like a river always flowing within the individual  He defined traits as  SLIDE 9  A trait typically DO NOT change  Function of a trait  similar characteristics  Cardinal traits  the dominant trait; it is in everything they do  Central traits  important to us (ex. sociability)  Secondary traits  preferences, not always consistent Idiographic approach  Unique to science because they want to know universal theories and general statement that suits everyone; but Allport looks for function of one individual  Nomothetic looks at universal laws of personality; science wants universal laws unlike Allport's theory Allport's Self Theory  The self is what makes us  Even though siblings have same genes and same environment, they can be very different people  Proprium  what is appropriate for us; the self that suits us  Aspects of personality that makes inward unity o Right from birth, we understand our limits o Bodily self  the core of you, the things that you make; once it's out of your body, it is not yours/or yourself anymore o Self-identity  children get confused if their self isn't consistent o Self-extension  we extend to the world; we extend ourselves into things (ex. you put down something, you put down me) o Self-image  a proper way for a boy/girl to act; they're learning the rules (the must and the ought)  we choose how to act based on our perceptions of right and wrong o Self as a rational coper  cope with problems rationally, not emtional o Propriate strivings  move us away from animal activities and towards higher goals o Self as knower  someone who sits back and look over this list Theory of Motivation  We have to look at motives beyond psychology  There is a chance for several motives exist at once  The important of individual cognitive process  Everyone is different with different perception; thus motivation is unique and cannot be generalized  Functional Autonomy  tensions that we want something; it might not be the tension that we have a motive because we want to succeed in something; we can learn something just because we are interested in it (you will choose freely) Allport's two types of functional autonomies  Perseverative  only has one purpose; we only do it to achieve something  Propriate  interest in value; we enjoy it and do it at will o You have an expression, you want to get the energy out of your system o Suits the self that you are Mature/healthy Personality  **mature/healthy person is qualitatively different  Maturity extends outside the self  Relatedness to others  You learn to forgive yourself  Realistic perception; what is the right way  We know that we influence the outside world  We find our centre, our purpose, meaning of life (Allport said it doesn't have to be from religion or spirituals, but it can) o There's external religion (going to church) and internal religion (God's work in your life)  if religion is the way, it has to be internal Critical Evaluation  Comprehensiveness  there are elements from other theories (Allport focused on healthy and mature but it is not complete, we're not always healthy)  P/T  vague concepts  Parsimony  overly simplistic, too few concepts  EV  P/T lack thus difficult to test his hypotheses  HV  bad score  AP  only the self theory Galen's Sense of Humour  The person lives in the biology (personality is solely biological) Raymond Cattell (chemistry point of view)  Spearman developed the General (G) factor (you score high in G, you do well in vocabs and math)  Cattell's 3 problems with psychology o Two variables, one correlation  cattell said why stop there? o We need more precise measurements, we need numbers; get away from inkblots o Analysis of human nature should be data-driven (how many traits are there?)  Theory-driven begins with a hypothesis and then prove it to be right or wrong  Let the data tell you what the answer is, don’t start with a theory  Research Goals o Discover the basic building blocks/elements of personality (how many elements do I need to describe you?) o Determine the number of traits o Trying not to overlap with something similar (ex. sociable and outgoing) Factor Analysis  Will have a massive amount of data and break it down into families  The computer will sort the similar traits to avoid redundancy, but the researchers have to label the categories  Traits are alike in the family  Similar traits will automatically go together and become a category  But sometimes, some members might be in two categories (problem for facto
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