PSYC 331 Lecture 1: Intro to Personalily

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8 Feb 2017

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I. What is the personality from the perspective of psychology?
A. What is personality
1. Everyday meaning
a) How we describe specific people and their personalities
b) Trying to portray the essence of who the person is
c) Crystallizing something from the things you know about a person
(1) Reflect partly in what people do and say
(2) Matter of how they do what they do
(a) The style that puts a unique stamp on their action
d) More applied to an individual person instead of a whole
2. Formal Meaning
a) Abstract construct - meant to be broadly applicable to many
(1) When psychologist use the word “personality”, they usually
refer to a conception of what everyone’s personality is like
(2) Formal Meaning: What is Personality
(a) Shorthand way of conveying a great deal of
information about someone
(b) Expresses both the uniqueness of an individual and
their similarities to others
II. Personality Characteristics
A. What is Personality
1. Study of personality psychology focuses on finding ways to understand,
measure individual differences
2. Intrapersonal functioning
a) Psychological processes with the personality
(1) Needs, motivational states, etc that influences personality
or behavior
B. Why is the concept useful
1. Description
a) simplifies a great deal of information in summary fashion
b) economical, efficient
c) descriptive labels summarize
d) portrays commonalities (how you are like others)
e) expresses differences (how you are uniquely you)
(1) Examples
(a) Extraverted/Introverted
(b) Optimistic/Pessimistic
(c) Assertive/Passive
(d) Easy-going/uptight
(e) Laid-Back/high strung • Impulsive/Planful
(f) Orderly/Disorganized
2. Prediction
a) develop expectations, reduce uncertainty
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