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Chapter 12.docx

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Mindi Foster

Chapter 12 - Personality CHAPTER 12: Personality  Throughout time people have been intuitively aware of individual difference  That they like some people and not others  Theophrastus wrote about different characters to try to describe individual differences  Attempting to characterize people, their personalities  Personality o Distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that characterize a person’s response to situations  Comes from the word persona- actors mask  How do we measure personality o Ask them o Ask others o Results of a test o Observe them o Physiological measures o Behavioral assessment Personality Assessment  Interviews o Structured set of standardized questions o Note other behaviours – appearance, speech patterns etc.  Drawbacks o Characteristics of interviewer can affect answers o Dependence on co-operation, honesty of interviewee  Behavioural assessment o Need explicit coding system o Aim is not solely to describe behaviour  Specific behaviour, frequency, specific situations, under what conditions o Interjudge reliability  High level of agreement among observers  Personality scales o Objective measures  Use standard questions and agreed upon scoring key  Advantage o Collect large amount of data  Disadvantage o Validity of answers (truthfully answered?) o Validity scales  Personality scales items  Trait theories o Based on theoretical conception of trait o Concern – have to identify what are the underlying traits that describe people Traits – the big issues  Identifying the number of traits  Are they stable over time and situation?  Are they the product of genetics? Environment?  Answers by trait theorists o Number of traits measured varies by test o Are they stable – somewhat, sometimes o Some genetic component, some environmental o Differences across people come from within the person Trait theories  Cattell was first - 16 traits with opposing labels o Happy-go-lucky vs. sober o Cattell gave way to more modern tests which have fewer traits  Modern Tests o NEO-PI-R (costa and McCrae)  Big 5 personality traits  Extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness  Eysenck, had the fewest traits – 2 o Introversion/extraversion and neuroticism/stability The BIG modern personality test assessment  Empirical devised tests o Hierarchically arranged o Items were answered differently by differing groups  Based on responses by normal and psychiatric patients o Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI); revised = MMPI-2 Some behavioural background  Environment impacts on you – you respond  Stimulus response  Consistency in people = stable responses to environment Behavioural – cognitive approach  Differences = product of what comes from without (environment)  Behaviourism plus  Add cognitive variable – competencies, encoding strategies, beliefs and expectancies Psychodynamic  What people can of and say are the top of the iceberg  Motives and desires that lie buried beneath the surface  Dynamic because the forces are pitted against each other  Freud o Humanity = “seething cauldron” of pleasure seeking o Strive for gratification o Tamed by civilization  Childhood – time of taming o Starts external – parents o Becomes internal o Reassertion taming throughout life Freud and the psychoanalytic approach  How much of your activities and thoughts do you control? How much is automatic?  Freud’s theory was very controversial as he proposed the following processes: o Much id due to unconscious processes o Sexuality is a primary drive o Children Freud’s assumptions  Unconscious motivation o Our thoughts, feelings, behaviours, are motivated by things we are not aware of  Childhood personality o Personality is entrenched by 4/5 years old o There is no change or development as you grow older  Sex/aggression o We are ruled by our desires for sex and aggression o Recently: Terror Management: all of afraid of death Structure of personality  Look at the analogy of an iceberg o An iceberg can do damage without us even seeing it  the things hidden in our mind can do a lot of damage to our personality and ourselves  Level of consciousness o Conscious  we are aware of o Preconscious  not part of our current thought but easily brought to mind o Unconscious  primitive, instinctual motives  Sex, aggression, anxiety-laden memories o There is a constant struggle for these feelings and thoughts to come to life  Element
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