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Eysenck, Traits and Biological Basis

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Richard B Day

EYSENCK: Eysenck’s theory blends trait, type and behaviorist methods but not cognitive elements.  Does not include motivational concepts (like Bandura and Mischel)  Believes learning and experience play a significant role (like Bandura and Mischel)  Does not believe that self-development was of central importance (unlike Rogers and Maslow) Levels of Eysenck’s Theory: 1. Single occurring acts (thoughts or behaviours) 2. Habitual acts (frequent) 3. Significant inter-correlations between habitual behaviours 4. Higher-order factors/dimension of personality (based on learning) Extravert vs. Introvert:  Differentiation based on amount of electrical stimulation (nerve impulses) sent to cortex from the RAS o Extraverts have fewer signals (therefore under-aroused)  Lower levels of RAS arousal, cortical arousal and control  Slower responsiveness  Seek additional arousal stimulation o Introverts have more signals (therefore over-aroused)  Higher levels of RAS arousal, cortical arousal, and control  Faster responsiveness  Avoid additional arousal stimulation  More likely to suffer from anxiety disorders as they learn the association between external stimuli and negative emotions  More likely to suffer from phobias  Better learner Eysenck and Galen’s humors:  Extraverted-stable (sanguine): sociable, lively, carefree  Extraverted-neurotic (choleric): touchy, restless, aggressive, optimistic  Introverted-stable (phlegmatic): passive, careful, thoughtful, calm  Introverted-neurotic (melancholic): moody, anxious, quiet, pessimistic Neurotic vs. Stable:  Neurotic individuals have ANS more sensitive to stimulation and are therefore more prone to physiological reactions to fear/anxiety (i.e. sweating and increased heart rate)  Stable individuals are less easily emotionally aroused by external stimuli Psychoticism:  People who show psychotic episodes tend to have increased testosterone levels and lower MAO levels o More egocentric, aggressive, impulsive, and lack empathy TRAITS: Factor Analysis  “natural” way people describe personality  originally developed by Charles Spearman  Does not name/identify underlying factors that it reveals  Can be analyzed in several different ways  Cannot test the existence of hypothetical constructs  Reveals underlying patterns of relatedness in groups of dependent measures  Ways to perform Factor Analysis: o Orthogonal (unrelated factors) o Non-Orthogonal (related factors) – more predominant  Exploratory factor analysis: o Mathematics unconstrained o No preconceptions of factors  Confirmatory factor analysis: o Mathematically constrained o Confirmation of exploratory factors (predetermined) Big-Five Model: 1. Extraversion/Introversion – assertiveness, sociability, positive emotion 2. Agreeableness/Friendliness – conformity, likeability 3. Conscientiousness-Will – dependability, superego strength, prudence 4. Neuroticism/Emotional Stability – emotional control, adjustment 5. Intellect/Openness A combination of 2 and 3 represents Eysenck’s psychoticism The original NEO-PI only measured 1, 4 and 5 NOT 2, 3 Zuckerman Alternate Five: 1. Sociability 2. Neuroticism-Anxiety 3. Impulsive S
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