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Lecture Notes- Psychology 2550A.docx

72 Pages

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Psychology 2550A/B
David Vollick

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Chapter 1: Orientation to Personality 10/09/2012 12:28:00 PM Personality: how I see myself, how do you see me, how do I think you see me, how is my self-esteem and self-efficacy, who I really am not who Im presented as Models/Theories - Advantages: guide data collection & interpretation; common language within same model; guide future research; explain & predict - Disadvantages: too rigid- limits our thinking; uncommon language between models Defining personality: - Many definitions, but no single meaning is accepted universally (a) A unique and dynamic organization of unique characteristics of an individual that influences behaviour and responses to the environment of that person; NOT character (morals) or temperament (emotional) - Ones personality should: show continuity, consistency and stability; be expressed in many situations and many ways; be organized (disorganization is a sign of disturbance); influence how the individual related to the social world (positively); link with physical and biological characteristics Stable, Coherent Individual Differences - Behaviour that changes frequently may not be indicative of ones personality Predicting and Understanding - Identifying consistent and stable individual differences is an important goal - It makes it possible to both describe people and to try and predict future behaviour- very hard to predict suicide, violence Theory and Levels of Analysis in Personality Psychology - Early Big Picture Theory: Early theories such as Hippocrates (basic human temperaments), Aristotles (the brain to be the seat of the rational mind) and Freuds (founded a controversial, comprehensive theory of personality- not scientifically testable) all stimulated many different types of research; personality psychologyare several alternative theoretical approaches - The Trait-Dispositional Level: to identify consistencies in the basic expressions of personality= stable personality characteristics; in what general ways are people different from each other? - The Biological Level: explores the biological bases of personality, including the role of heredity (identical twins), the brain, genetic contribution and evolution - The Psychodynamic- Motivational Level: probes the motivations, conflicts, irrational fears and anxiety, and defenses- often unconscious- that may underlie diverse aspects of personality - The Behavioural- Conditioning Level: analyzes specific behaviour patterns that characterize individuals, and identifies the conditions that regulate their occurrence; behaviour is caused by the situation, either by classical conditioning (Pavlovs dogs), developing phobias, operant conditioning; how is what a person does linked to what happens to him/her when he/she does it? example speeding down 401 and gets pulled over by cops, next time it wont likely happen; how are important behaviour patterns learned? - The Phenomenological- Humanistic Level: focuses on the inner experiences- ones way of seeing and interpreting the world; who am I really? who do I want to become?; what do I feel about myself when I dont meet my parents expectations? - The Social Cognitive Level: focuses on the distinctive patterns of thoughts, expectations, beliefs, goals, values, emotional reactions and self-regulatory efforts characterizing the person; how does what I know, think and feel about myself influence what I do and become?; how much of who and what I am and do is automatic? how much is open to willpower and self- regulation? - Integration of Levels: The Person as a Whole: each level provides concepts and strategies for seeking information about people and for constructively changing maladaptive behaviour; an increasingly comprehensive view of the person is emerging that incorporates each level of analysis; boundaries are being crossed between personality psychology and other related fields (e.g. cognitive neuroscience and behavioural genetics) Practical Applications: Coping and Personal Adaptation - Personality theories are often applied to address diverse human problems, such as depression, anxiety, impulse control and poor health= applied science - Practical research has helped to develop psychotherapy, drugs, physical treatments, and various special learning programs permitting people to develop to their full potential Chapter 2: Data, Methods and Tools 10/09/2012 12:28:00 PM Why a Science of Personality? - To predict future behaviour - To find out how individuals understand themselves - To understand the causes of behaviour - To test the accuracy of predictions The Range of Personality- Relevant Measures - Psychologists obtain information about people from many sources, through a wide range of strategies (interviews, questionnaires, observations, etc.) - To be truly scientific, a conceptualization must be testable (a) Interviews: oldest method for studying personality, and most favoured by psychodynamic and phenomenological clinicians; can be expensive and time-consumingquick self-reports are often preferred; have become more easily scored and coded (b) Tests and Self-Reports: a test is any standardized measure of behaviour, including verbal behaviour; self-reports are tests that include statements people make about themselves; some tests involve performance measures- make good inter-cultural tests (c) Objective Measures: questions and responses are clearly defined- e.g., MMPI-II- mostly Freudian (d) Projective Measures: client presented with ambiguous stimuli/questions that have no right or wrong answers; example tell me what you see while showing an inkblot- Rorschach; psychodynamic-motivational use these (e) Naturalistic Observation and Behaviour Sampling: observe behaviour as it naturally occurs; advantages- real world behaviours, good external validity (is it actually measuring what we want to measure); disadvantages- loss of control- extraneous variables, observer biases, poor internal validity * look at Illustrative Methods for Remote Behavioural Sampling Daily Life Experiences in book* Physiological Functioning and Brain Imaging - Some practical methods to assess emotional reactions physiologically include: polygraph, EKG, plethysmograph, Galvanic skin response (GSR), EEG, PET scan, fMRI Conceptual and Methodological Tools
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