Chapter 13.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Jamie Donaldson

Chapter 12: Personality Personality: An individual’s characteristic style of behaving, thinking and feeling. Personality: What it is and How It is Measured:  Explanations of personality differences are concerned with: o Prior events that can shape an individuals’ personality o Anticipated events that might motivate the person to reveal particular personality characteristics  The anticipated events emphasize that person’s own perspective and are intimate and personal in the reflection of the person’s inner life.  Personality psychologists study questions of how our personalities are determined by the forces in our mind, in our hereditary and in our environment and by the goals we seek. Measuring Personality: Personality Inventories:  The most popular technique to obtain objective data on personality is by using a popular technique called self-report: a series of answers to a questionnaire that ask people to indicate the extent to which sets of statement or adjectives accurately describe their own behaviour or mental state. (T/F)  The research combines these answers to gain a gene real sense of the individual’s personality.  How is the report created? o You collect sets of self-descriptive statements that indicate different degrees of personality characteristics. Then you add up the number of statement that endorses that trait subtracted by the endorse that doesn’t indicate.  Good self-report scales can be constructed without attention to the specific content of items.  This actuarial method is used to measure personality even when the self-report items are not clearly related in content to the characteristic being measured  The “actuarial method” is on basis of Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory: a well-researched, clinical questionnaire used to access personality and psychological problems  The MMPI-2 measures tendencies towards clinical problems and unconventional ideas or bizarre thoughts and beliefs, along with general personality characteristics, as well as degree of masculine and feminine gender role identification, sociability versus social inhabitation and impulsivity  MMP1-2 is easy to administer (paper and pencil), limited biases.  Response style (don’t always agree or agree or always disagrees): how accurate reading of personality will occur if people provide honest responses, that may be unflattering  The validity scale cannot make these problems go away, but they detect them well enough to make these inventories effective. Protective Techniques:  another tool evaluation personality is projective techniques: a standard series of ambiguous stimuli designed to elicit unique responses that reveal inner aspects of an individual’s personality.  The developers assumed that the people will project personality factor out of awareness onto ambiguous stimuli and will not censor these responses.  The best technique is Rorschah Inkbot Test, a projective personality test in which individual interpretation of the meaning of a set of instructed inkblots are analyzed to identify a respondent’s inner feeling and interpret his or her personality structure  Someone who is unable to see the obvious item when they respond to a blot may be having difficulty perceiving the world as other do.  Rorschah captures some of the more complex and private aspects of personality  Thematic Apperception: is a projective personality test in which respondents reveal underlining motives, concerns, and the way they see the social world through the stories they make about ambiguous pictures of people.  Many of the TAT drawings end to elicit a consistent set of themes. These test are open to subjective interpretation and theoretic biases of the examiner.  These projective tests area way of getting to know someone personally and intuitively but is not a reliable or valid in predicting behaviour.  New personality methods are moving beyond personality inventories and projective tests- e.g. wireless communication, real-time computer analysis etc. The Trait Approach: identifying Patterns of Behaviour:  The trait approach to personality uses trait terms to characterize differences among individuals.  Trait theorist face two challenges: narrowing down the most infinite set of adjectives and answering the more basic questions of why people have particular traits (biological/hereditary) Traits as Behavioural Disposition and Motives:  Gordon allport: believed that people could be described in terms of traits  Traits: relatively stable disposition to behave in a particular and consistent way.  There are two basic ways in which a trait might serve as an explanation: the trait may be pre-existing disposition of the person that causes the person`s behaviour , or it may be a motivation that guides the person`s behaviour  Henry Murray: suggest that traits reflect motives  Researchers examining traits as causes have used personality inventories to measure them, whereas those examining traits as motives have more often used projective test  What type of personality traits have been studies o The right-wing authorities, the tendency towards political conservatism, obedience to authority and conformity. The Search for Core Traits: Classification Using Language:  Psychologist propose that core traits could be discerned by finding the main themes in all adjectives use to describe personality  “Factor analysis” sorts trait terms or self-descriptions into a small number of underlying dimensions or factors, based on how people use the traits to rate themselves.  Hans Eysenck simplified things with a model of personality with only two major traits- o One dimensions that distinguished people who are sociable and active from those who are more introspective and quiet. His second dimensions ranges from being neurotic or emotionally unstable to being emotionally stable. (extroverts vs. introverts) The Big Five Dimensions of Personality:  Big Five: the traits of the five-factor model, conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness to experience and extraversion  The big five is preferred because of 5 reasons: o The techniques confirm that this set of five factors strike the right balance between accounting variation in personality without overlapping traits o These traits are common among people that describe themselves and in interviewer checklists and behavioural observations o The basic five-factor shows up across a wide range of participants, including children, adults and in other cultures.  Research has shown that the Big Five are associated with predicable patterns of behaviour and social outcomes  The big five has shown that people’s personality tend to remain stable through their life Traits as Biological Building Blocks:  immutable brain and biological process reduce the remarkable stability of traits over the life span  Allport viewed traits as a characteristic of the brain that influence the way the people respond to the environment.  Presences of brain pathologies tend to have a severe change in personality-along with change in brain chemistry. Genes Traits and Personality:  The most important biological factors in personality come from the behavioural genes  More genes you have in common with someone, the more similar your personalities are likely to be  Simply growing up in the same family does not make people very similar.  The biological factor may then shape the person’s believe about a range of social issues (fear, punishment) Do Animals Have personalities?  Another source of evidence for the biological basis of human personality comes from the study of nonhuman animals.  In all animals studies, researches identified particular behaviours that they felt reflected each trait based on their observation of the animal’s normal repertoire activities  Since different observers seem to agree on where an animal falls on a dimension, the findings do not simply reflect a particular observer’s imagination tendency to anthroporomophize (to attribute human characteristics to non human animals)  Differences in personality reflect alternative adaptations that species have evolved to deal with the challenges of survival and reproduction.  Through the process of natural selection, those characteristics have shown the success of the evolutionary struggle for survival. The Traits In the Brain:  Eysench said that extraversion and introversion arises from individual differences in alertness  He argued that differences in level of cortical arousal underline differences between extraverts and introverts.  Extraverts pursue stimulation because their reticular formation (reflates arouse/alertness) is not easily stimulated, this they seek for attention  While the introverts have a cortex that is easily stimulated  Jeffery Gray: he proposed that the dimension of extra/introversion and neuroticism reflect 2 basic brain systems.  Behavioural activation system, essentially “a go system, activates the approach behaviour in anticipation of a reward (Extrovert have high BAS)  The behavioural inhibition system, a “stop” system, inhibits in response to stimuli signalling punishment (emotionally unstable person has high BIS) The Psychodynamic Approach: Forces that lie beneath Awareness  Freud: looked for personality in the details-the meanings and insights revealed by carefully analysis  Psychoanalysis: refers to his theory of personality and method of treating patients  Psychodynamic approach: an approach that regards personality as formed y need, striving and desires largely operating outside of awareness-motives that can also produce emotional disorders.  Dynamic unconscious: an active system encompassing a lifetime of hidden memories, the person’s deepest instincts and desires and the person’s inner struggle to control these forces.  The power of the unconscious comes from experiences that shaped the mind before a person could put any thoughts and feelings into words The Structure of the Mind:  Id: is the part of the mind containing the drives present at birth, it is the source of out bodily needs, wants, desires and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive desires  Id operates on the pleasure principle: force that motivates the tendency to seek immediate gratification of nay impulse  Ego: is the component of personality, developed through contact with the external world. That enables us to deal with life’s piratical demands  Ego operates on the reality principle: regulating mechanism that enables the individual to delay gratifying immediate needs and function effectively in the real world  Superego: the mental system that reflects the internalization of cultural rules, mainly learns as parent exercise their authority  The superego consists of guidelines, internal standards, and other codes of conducts that regulate and contrail behaviours, thoughts and fantasies.  The id forces personal needs. Superego forces of social pressure to quell those needs, and the ego forces of reality demands together. Dealing with inner conflict:  Id, ego, superego are governed by anxiety, unpleasant feeling that arise. This occurs when the id seeks a gratification that the ego thinks will lead to real-world danger or the superego sees as eliciting punishment.  The ego will receive an “alert signal” and will launch into “defensive position”. It will first try “repression”-mental process that remove painful experiences and unacceptable impulses from the conscious mind->motivated forgetting  When the material surfaces, the ego undergoes a defense mechanism: unconscious coping mechanisms that reduce anxiety generated by threats and unacceptable impulses. Such mechanisms include o Rationalization: defense mechanism that involves supplying a reasonable- sounding explanation for acceptance feelings and behaviour to conceal one’s underlining motives or feelings o Reaction formation: is a defense mechanism that involves unconsciously replacing threatening inner wishes and fantasies with an exaggerated version of their opposites (e.g. homophobia) o Projection: defense mechanism that involves attributing one’s own threatening feelings, motives or impulses to another person or group. o Protection: defense mechanism that involves attributing one’s own threatening feelings, motives or impulses to another person or group o Regression: defense mechanism in which the ego deals with internal conflict and perceived threat by reverting t an immature behaviour or earlier stage of development o Displacement: defense mechanism that involves shifting unacceptable wishes or drives to a neutral or less threatening alternative o Identification: defense mechanism that helps deal with feelings of threat and anxiety by enabling us unconsciously to take on the characteristic of another person who seems more powerful or better able to cope o sublimation: defense mechanism that involves channeling unacceptable sexual or aggressive drives into socially acceptable and
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