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Psychology 2550A/B Midterm: 2550A/B - Midterm 1 Notes Personality Psych (Chapters 1 - 6)

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Psychology 2550A/B
David Vollick

Chapter 1: Orientation to Personality ModelsTheories Advantages: o Guide data collection interpretation o Common language within same language o Guide future research o Explain predict Disadvantages: o Too ridged (keep open mind, pros cons, other options) o Uncommon language between models Defining personality Many definitions, but no single meaning is accepted universally (but prof likes this one): o A unique, dynamic, organization of unique characteristics of an individual that influences behaviour responses to the environment of that person o NOT character (like moralsvalues) or temperament (emotional) Personality construct has 5 aspects: o Show continuity, consistency, stability o Be expressed in many ways (physically, verbally, emotionally, low key) o Be organized (disorganization is a sign of disturbance) o Influences how the individual relates to the social world (i.e., introvert, extrovert) o Link with physical and biological characteristics (i.e., height, weight, attractiveness, genes) Stable, Coherent, Individual Differences Behaviour that changes frequently, may not be indicative of ones personality Predicting Understanding Identifying consistent, stable individual differences is an important goal o It makes it possible both to describe people to try to predict their future behaviour Theory and Levels of Analysis in Personality Psychology Hippocrates: basic human temperaments, and their associated traits (guided by biology of his time) Aristotle: brain as the seat of the rational mind Descartes: dualist, mind decides, body acts out decision Freud: reason as secondary, unconscious as primary. Early theories were not scientifically testable, but they stimulated many types of research Personality psychology: are several, alternative theoretical approaches Levels of Analysis The TraitDispositional Level To identify consistencies in the basic expressions of personality = stable personality characteristics (anything else is considered noise) In what general ways are people different from each other? The Biological Level Explores the biological bases of personality, including the role of heredity (identical twins), the brain, genetic contribution, evolution Psychodynamicmotivational level (Freud others) (Science wants to disconfirm notions; how do you disconfirm Freud?) Probes motivations, conflicts, irrational fears and anxiety, defenses often unconscious that may underlie diverse aspects of personality Behavioral conditioning level Analyzes specific behaviour patterns that characterize individuals, identifies the conditions that regulate their occurrence o How is what a person does linked to what happens to them, when they do it? o How are important behaviour patterns learned?
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