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Chapter 8 Notes

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University of Miami
PSY 260

Ch. 8 Personality Structure: the relatively long term, distinct major areas of the personality system, and their interrelations and interconnections – these different areas of personality can be distinguished according to their different contents, functions, or other characteristics • Contrasted to personality dynamics – relatively rapid, active process and change within the personality system – interactions among personality areas • Many structural models of personality have been offered – they are quite diverse which is usually the case with structures of complex systems – it is possible to divide them in different ways for different purposes • Ex. maps of the US may emphasize geographical contours/political points/time zones/state boundaries – multiple valid maps are possible for complex systems – different maps provide opportunities to emphasize different attributes about the system – not all such divisions are equally good, use criterion to help separate useful personality divisions from less useful ones • Comprehensiveness: divisions should cover the most important parts of personality • Distinctiveness: each division should be unique from the rest ex. motivation/emotion/cognition • Adequate Empirical Basis: each division should be scientifically defensible – recognized as occurring in every healthy personality ex. not paranormal • Appropriateness of the Size of the Set: a desirable # of divisions is between 3 and 10, less than 3 will lack sufficient detail, greater than 10 will blend into individual parts of personality • Utility: the divisions should help with some scientific project Hierarchical Structures of Traits: a structural theory about traits in which there are said to be big traits or super traits that can be divided into a larger number of lower-level specific traits (anxiety, emotional sensitivity, moodiness) Big/Super Traits: these are very general, broad, thematic expressions of mental life that are relatively consistent within the individual, and that can be subdivided into more specific traits (neuroticism, extraversion) – can be divided into tree trait structures (extraversion – sociability, sensation-seeking, liveliness – do you like…? Big 2 Supertraits: Eysenck’s hierarchical model of traits – extraversion-introversion and neuroticism-stability – divisible into more specific traits, collectively the two traits and their subdivisions are sad to describe much of personality Big 3 Supertraits: Eysenck’s hierarchical model of traits: added psychoticism-tender mindedness (being solitary, uncaring, troublesome, insensitivity, cruelty, paranoia) Big 5 Model: most popular – neuroticism-stability, extraversion-introversion, openness- closedness, agreeableness-disagreeableness, conscientiousness-carelessness • Lexical Hypothesis: the most important personality traits are those than can be found in the language people use to describe one another (different to 2 other models that were created by the researchers themselves) o Allport and Odbert listed 4,500 personality traits, Cattell used factor analysis to narrow this to 35, Fiske narrowed it to 5 o Limited to 30 or so traits, excluded: verbal intelligence, internal-external locus-of-control, emotional intelligence, Machiavellianism, etc. • Western philosophy is based partly on the belief that if one doesn’t have food self-knowledge and doesn’t know the limits of one’s own self awareness, one may be more likely to engage in bad behavior o Post-hypnotic suggestion: physician hypnotized a patient and suggested he perform a way before awakening, after awakening the patient performed the act with no recollection of the suggestion Consciousness: a subjective experience of attention and awareness and the capacity to reflect on that awareness Declarative Memory: includes all the information that could be consciously retrieved if necessary - activation (level of mental energy) when it rises over a threshold a concept is retrieved Preconscious: Freud’s definition of declarative memory Unconscious: a part of the mind that cannot or does not readily enter awareness No-Access Unconsciousness/Unconscious Proper: portions of neural activity that take place with no connection to consciousness, such as the firing of individual nerve pathways or the elementary processing of psychological information – unconscious functions, we have no idea how it works or that it is happening Implicit/Automatic Unconscious: a type of mental process that can be determined from experimental measures of memory but of which the person is unaware False Fame Effect: an effect in which familiarity with a name leads a person to falsely believe the name of a person is a famous person Unnoticed Unconscious: a type of mental process that consists of influences that could be known if the person paid attention or if the person was taught about the influence, but that goes unnoticed for many or most people o Ken Bowers’ study on unconscious influences – participants shown pairs of portraits and landscapes, researcher smiled and said good after they selected landscapes – participants failed to recognize that they were unconsciously being reinforced to choose landscapes and argued it was their true preference Dynamic Unconscious: material that is made unconscious through the redirection of attention, because the material is too painful or unpleasant to think about or feel Dynamic Mechanisms: mental processes that divert attention from painful things to think about – keep material dynamically unconscious Functional Models: divisions of personality based on the idea that different parts of the system carry out different forms of work ex. meeting the organisms needs (motivation) vs. solving complex problems (cognition) o Freud’s Topological Model: consciousness (internal eye), preconscious (things that can become conscious), unconscious (unknown matters) o Many human motives are unconscious, either there is no access (primary
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