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PSYB30 ~ Textbook Notes.doc

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PSYB30 ~ Textbook Notes Chapter 1: Who Am I? Understanding the Building Blocks of Personality (1-17) WHAT IS PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY? • personality psychology: scientific study of what makes us who we are THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF PERSONALITY • most psychologists agree to understand human personality we need to understand traits, genetics, neuroscience, self and identity, intrapsychic aspects, regulation and motivation, and cognition • social and environmental forces impact personality at all these levels • impact of social environment felt at multiple levels TRAITS • traits: person’s typical way of thinking feeling, and acting, in various situations at different times • may be born with certain physiology making us more likely to develop certain characteristics; many other characteristics we can develop from our socialization, and from our personal experiences • traits will be consistent across our lives and will be expressed in all sorts of ways GENETICS • genetics: study of how genes and environment affect personality and behaviour • though many personality variables have genetic component, all of them have an environmental component as well • we may inherit specific personality characteristics, we also inherit potentialities that may be expressed in our personalities depending on environment NEUROSCIENCE • neuroscience: study of how our brain and nervous system affect personality and behaviour through study of bodily responses, brain structure, brain activity, and biochemical activity • some research suggests extroversion, neuroticism, and impulsivity are related to physiological and neurological differences which may be present at birth, or develop soon thereafter SELF AND IDENTITY • self and identity: encompasses our own sense of who we are including our self-concept, self-esteem, and social identity • self-concept: sense of who we are; hallmark of being human • self-esteem: opinion about self-concept • social identity: presenting ourselves in certain way to others, or embracing what others think about us INTRAPSYCHIC FOUNDATIONS OF PERSONALITY • intrapsychic: looking within self at own conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings that make up our personality • one of Freud’s biggest contributions to psychology was realization that physical disorders could have psychological causes, which were often unconscious  also claimed our early experiences left indelible, but unconscious imprint on our adult personalities • Freud one of first to suggest personality could be changed, and originated method of psychotherapy to do so REGULATION AND MOTIVATION: SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY • modern theory of motivation suggests people can, and do, regulate themselves consciously and unconsciously • self-determination theory: when people feel free to choose, are competent at what they do, and are connected to people around them, they will be motivated and self-directed for task at hand • people differ in extent to which they feel self-determined and regulate their own motivation • regulation and motivation: concerned with how people adjust their response to the environment, both consciously and unconsciously COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS • people differ in how they process information, especially about causes and impacts of events in their lives, and expectations for what may happen in future • individual differences in locus of control, learned helplessness, learned hopelessness and optimism-pessimism • cognitive foundation: how people perceive and think about information about themselves and the world PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: INTEGRATION • integration: combine building blocks of personality into a whole person • genetics and neurology interact with cognitions, attachments, and motivations, to determine our sexual orientation HOW DO PSYCHOLOGISTS STUDY PERSONALITY? • by conducting research using sound methods, scientists able to generalize beyond own findings and add to collective knowledge about given phenomenon and apply results THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD • scientific method: how to make and test observations about the world in order to draw conclusions while minimizing error or bias  starts with identification of basic facts about world  using this collection of facts, scientists build theories  using these facts as a basis, can reason what other ideas are likely to be true  scientists make predictions and test predictions based on their theories using controlled methods  make results public by publishing them in journals, on Internet, or by presenting at conferences → do this to seek independent verification from other researchers • science progresses along continuum from casual observations which may inspire a hunch or guess about human behaviour, to controlled experimentation, in which researchers attempt to prove a theory false • as long as research evidence supports a theory, theory will prevail and with more research will reach status of a law until it’s overthrown by alternative theory that explains evidence even better • for most part, personality psychology has many theories, but very few actual laws of human behaviour OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES AND PERSONALITY QUESTIONNAIRES • observational study: observe what people do, to understand a certain phenomenon • hypothesis: educated guess to explain findings • personality questionnaires: tests in which people answer questions about themselves that identify certain aspects of their personality CORRELATION AND EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS • Freud built much of his theory on case studies of his patients • correlation coefficient: indicated by r; measures relationship between 2 variables; positive or negative  positive correlation: 2 variables increase or decrease at same time  negative correlation: if one variable increases as other decreases, or vice versa • size of correlation doesn’t tell us if relationship is statistically significant, and not merely a fluke • researchers generally report significance level of any correlations they calculate • when 2 variables related, always at least 3 possible explanations for findings  first variable cause second  second variable causes first  some third variable causes both variables • correlation not same as causation • correlational studies: researchers generally don’t manipulate variables but instead measure 2 variables to see how they’re related  when well designed, replicated, and combined with other kinds of evidence, nearly as good as true experiment in identifying causes of outcomes RESEARCH METHODS ILLUSTRATED: A TRUE EXPERIMENT • experiment: placing people in carefully controlled situation and measuring their responses • experimental condition: participants experience one treatment • control condition: participants experience a different treatment or no treatment at all • random assignment: every participant in experiment has equal change of experiencing each of the conditions • experimental control: all aspects of experiment same except for variable being studied, random assignment  researchers can conclude difference in reactions of participants due to manipulated variable • true experiment: allows researchers to conclude that what they manipulated caused a difference in outcome they measured • independent variable: variable that’s manipulated • dependent variable: variable that’s measured • neuroticism: personality trait that describes how anxious and vulnerable to negative emotions person is TYPES OF DATA AND PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT • self-report data: ex. questionnaires, interviews • observation data: from friends or trained observers • test data: ex. how they behave in controlled situation like in laboratory • life data: ex. how many times a person’s photo appeared in his or her yearbook THEN AND NOW: THE ETHICS OF RESEARCH WITH PEOPLE • Belmont Report: research with humans must adhere to 3 principles:  respect for persons: principle including allowing people to choose for themselves whether they wish to participate or not, by giving informed consent → informed consent: being informed about procedures and possible risks of study  beneficence: researchers should do no harm to their patients  justice: benefits and burdens of research participants must be shared equitably among potential research population • Common Rule: institutions that conduct research must establish and maintain institutional review board (IRB) to review all research to ensure that it upholds these standards  IRB must include researchers, ethicist, members of community who discuss all research proposals  establishes procedures for obtaining informed consent from potential research participants and for explaining all experimental procedures Chapter 2: Personality Traits: A Good Theory (22-43) • behavioural residue: physical traces left behind by everyday actions that are hints or cues to the personality of the occupant WHAT IS A PERSONALITY TRAIT? • traits: describe a person’s typical style of thinking, feeling, and acting in different kinds of situations and at different times; measured over a continuum • temporary states, attitudes, and physical attributes not considered personality traits • traits can’t be measured directly, so psychologists think of them as hypothetical concepts • other psychologists see traits as internal, cal properties and view a trait as a capacity that’s present even when trait’s not being directly expressed TWO APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF PERSONALITY TRAITS • ideographic approach: goal is to understand personality of a single individual with all of their quirks or idiosyncrasies and characteristics that make them unique  psychologist stats with what a single individual thinks is important to know about them and seeks to answer what unique combo of traits best describes this person • nomothetic approach: goal to discover universals- concepts that can apply to everyone- by identifying traits that can describe all people or can be applied to any person • Eysenck realized one could study both general (nomothetic) and specific (ideographic) within a single person and develop theory of personality from there  hypothesized human personality organized in hierarchy categorizing human personality from most general at top to most specific level at bottom → general means trait universal, specific means trait more unique to single individual  at very bottom level of pyramid are specific behaviours including responses, acts, cognitions, or reactions to everyday life  if specific level response occurs many time, can say it’s a habit or typical way of responding  if certain habits occur over time and across situation, can say person’s exhibiting personality trait  if certain traits tend to occur together in people then can say we’ve identified a personality type  type level > trait level > habitual response level > specific response level WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT PERSONALITY FROM THE IDEOGRAPHIC APPROACH STUDYING INDIVIDUAL PERSONALITIES: THE IDIOGRAPHIC APPROACH • Allport identified 3 different kinds of traits  central traits: traits that are of major importance in understanding the person  secondary traits: traits of lesser importance, less consistently displayed or seldom displayed  cardinal traits: single traits that completely dominate a personality; uncommon THE IDEOGRAPHIC APPROACH APPLIED: THE CASE OF JENNY • Jenny Gove Masterson was pseudonym for woman who wrote detailed letters to 2 friends over 10 years • Allport edited and published these letters with psychological commentary • Jenny born in Ireland in 1868, as young woman moved to US with husband; husband died soon after they had a baby (Ross) • Ross became centre of Jenny’s world, caused tension between them when Ross was an adult • Jenny wrote to Ross’ college roommate and his wife some 10 years after Ross’ college years, ab
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