- A hypothetical construct used to explain:
- Consistent or stable tendencies across situations
- Individual differences
- Grand theories gave way to a focus on narrower and specific aspects of personality
- Personality can help us predict things such as who will fit what sort of job
- Personality refers to an individual’s unique constellation of consistent behavioral traits.
- Cattell: Factor analysis: measuring people’s responses to questionnaires
- Had computers to look at correlations among variables
- Hidden factor
Biological Perspectives: (Pg 573)
- Eysenck’s Theory:
o Personality had a lot of hidden factors
o Biologically derived traits
o Introverts or extroverts – some children are born to be really reactive to the
environment. Children that are not reactive to the environment need stimulations.
o Scoring high on personality tests makes you an extrovert.
o The energy of extraverts is outward, towards people and things. They need a lot of stimulation and often express
emotions. They get their motivation from other people. Their often want to change the world (rather than think about it).
Extraverts like variety, action and achievement. They do well at school but may find University more difficult. Their attitude is
often relaxed and confident. They are understandable and accessible. They tend to act first and think later. At work, they seek
variety and action and like working with other people. They prefer work that has breadth rather than depth. Introverts may see
them as being shallow and pushy.
o The energy of introverts is inward toward concepts and ideas. They need little external stimulation and in fact they
can easily be overstimulated. It is possible that they focus more on their inner worlds because they suffer from sensory overload
if they spend too much time outside and focusing on other people. They thus bottle up their own emotions, which can explode if
pushed too far. Rather than trying to change the world, they just want to understand it. They think deeply about things and often
do better at University than they did at school. Their attitude is reserved and questioning and they can seem subtle and
impenetrable. They tend to think before they act.
At work they like to work alone and often seek quiet for concentration. The Five Factor Mode: The Big Five
- Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness to experience, Extraversion (positive
emotionality) and Neuroticism (negative emotionality)
- Not a theoretical approach and not observational. Job positions can be determined.
Evolutionary Psychology (Buss, 1995) pg. 576
Emotional Stability: Neuroticism
- Extraversion: the ability to bond with others
- Agreeableness: the willingness to collaborate
- Conscientiousness: the tendency to be reliable and ethical
- Openness to experience: the capacity to be an innovative problem solver
- Emotional stability: the ability to handle stress
Big Five Cross culturally (pg 582-584)
- Big five factors seem to emerge
- Within each nation and culture, we have icons and people we imitate and emulate. Our
stereotypes don’t hold out.
- In Western society, children are trained to be individuals.
- Individualistic vs. interdependent (collectivistic)
- Japanese saying: “The nail that stands out, gets pounded on”
- Westerners are not straight up in saying something when you screw up.
Big Five over Life Span: (Srivastava, 2003)
- Using the internet. 130,000 people to fill out questionnaire. Aged 21-60.
- On average, people started getting better dealing with the ups and downs of life.
- 20-30 (married get a job) develop a consciousness
- 30-40 (biggest gain. Most likely with work)
- Women become less neurotic but more emotionally stable. - Openness goes down with age. Old people are happier with old stuff.
- Cole, Fields and Giles: took a look at job resumes. Items on job resumes correlated
according to the Big Five.
- No insight into the causes or development of personality.
Four different types of approaches to personality
1) Psychodynamic Perspective:
- Freud: Born in 1856 and Jewish. Vienna, Australia. Victorian Era.
- Enslaving the rest of the world. Ignored stuff like repression, slavery, genocide. People
had a lot of problems because they didn’t talk about things that were bothering them.
Golden age of Repression.
- Young children developed personalities and took control.
- Not master of own mind. Talked about sexual urges. People made fun of him.
Structure of Personality: Biological
- Id: part of the brain that senses thirst and hunger. Motivates actions (primary process
thinking). Operates on pleasure principles. Not intellectual but desires.
- Ego: takes in data sand services the needs of the ID. Takes into account reality.
(Secondary process thinking).
- Superego: the moral component that determines what’s right and wrong. Ego listens to
the superego. Storehouse of data.
- The Id and the superego determine your personality.
Levels of Awareness:
- At the unconscious level, there are hidden desires and fear. Three levels of awareness.
Conscious, preconscious, unconscious.
Sex and Aggression:
- Messages about sex and aggression are mixed. Confusing because of repression.
- Sex and aggression are subject to more complex and ambiguous social controls and
inconsistent messages than other basic motives
- These drives are thwarted more regularly than other biological urges.
Anxiety and Defence Mechanism
- Id getting out of control - Superego getting out of control
- Internal tension played out in unconscious
Sublimation: Occurs when unconscious, unacceptable impulses are channelled into socially
acceptable, perhaps even admirable, behaviours. E.g.: A young man’s longing for intimacy is
channelled into his creative artwork.
Development: Psychosexual stages
- Pleasurable. Go through different stages.
- Oral: sucking (milk for babies). Fixated if not good or too good.
- Anal: toilet training. Gain control over yourself.
- Phallic: around age 5, switch from anus to genitals.
- They get aroused erotically. Competition between father and son for mother and
daughter for affection of the other parent.
- Latency: Starts around age 6. Child starts getting horny. Redirection of sexual feelings
- Genital: Start getting ideas about sexuality. Ego is established. Jung’s Analytical Psychology:
- Non- Jewish supporter of Freud
- Different kinds of leaders in society
- Broke with Freud because too much focus on sex and aggressive drives and little focus
on social-cultural factors.
- Also focused on unconscious determinants of personality bit looked at both personal and
collective unconscious (part of the unconscious mind, expressed in humanity and all
life forms with nervous systems, and describes how the structure of the psyche
autonomously organizes experience. Jung distinguished the collective unconscious from
the personal unconscious, in that the personal unconscious is a personal reservoir of
experience unique to each individual, while the collective unconscious collects and
organizes those personal experiences in a similar way with each member of a particular
- Archetypes are emotio