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Lecture 1

01:830:338 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Social Learning Theory, Humanistic Psychology, Unconscious Mind

Course Code
Professor Lyra Stein

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L1 - Intro
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
1:45 PM
Personality = an individual's characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior, combined
w/ psych mechanisms behind those patterns
o An individual's unique and relatively consistent patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving =
Psychological Triad
What Personality Psychologists Study:
o The psych triad and the conflicts arising b/w the three
o Overlaps w/ clinical psych
o Study the whole person, not just parts of a person
Ways to study personality:
o Basic Approach = a systematic, self-imposed limitation to study only a few observations,
patterns, and ways of thinking at a time
o Trait Approach = the focus of efforts on the ways ppl differ psychologically & how these
diffs might be conceptualized, measured, and followed over time
study personality traits and DIFFERENCES among individuals
o Biological Approach = focus on understanding the mind in terms of the body
o Psychoanalytic Approach = focused on the unconscious mind and the nature and resolution
of internal mental conflict
o Phenomenological Approach = focus is on ppl's CONSCIOUS experience of the world
2 directions of research:
Humanistic psychology = pursues how conscious awareness can produce
uniquely human attributes like existential anxiety, creativity, free will --> human
desire to understand meaning of life and basis of happiness
Cross-cultural psychology = the degree to which psychology and the very
experience of reality might be different in different cultures
o Learning / Cognitive Approaches = focus on behaviorism (overt behavior and how it is
affected by rewards and punishments), social learning theory, & cognitive personality psych
Subset of behaviorism is social learning theory = inferencing about ways that mental
process like observation and self-evaluation determine which behaviors are learned,
how they are performed
o Each approach COMPLEMENTS each other in addressing human psychology
3 levels of Personality Analysis:
o Human Nature:
How are we "like all others"? The way we look, basic needs, emotional characteristics
o Individual and Group Diffs
o Individual Uniqueness
Goal of Personality Psych
o Explain the whole person --> multiple theories needed by combining subfields into an
integrated whole
o Basic Approaches: trait, biological, psychoanalytic, phenomenological, learning & cognitive
Are they competitors or complements?
There is no One Big Theory that explains everything
Advantages & Disadvantages of Personality Psych:
find more resources at
find more resources at
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