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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 The Study of The Person - Textbook Notes

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McMaster University
Richard B Day

Psych 2B03 Jasmyn Lee Chapter 1: The Study of The Person  Psychology is about the precise manipulation of independent variables for the furtherance of compelling theoretical accounts of well-specified phenomena o Eg/ how many milliseconds does it take to find a circle in a field of squares  Psychological Triad – the combination of how people think, feel and behave  Personality psychology and clinical psychology – different but overlap o Many personality psychologists had clinical training and treated patients o When patterns of personality are extreme, unusual and cause problems – two subfields come together in the study of personality disorders o Share the obligation to try to understand whole persons, not just parts of persons, one individual at a time The Goals of Personality Psychology  Personality – an individuals characteristic patterns of thought, emotion and behaviour, together with the psychological mechanisms (hidden or not) behind those patterns Mission: Impossible  The mission to understand everything about a person at once is impossible  Choose to limit what you’re looking at – search for specific patterns, way of tying together different kinds of observations, certain kinds of patterns and certain ways of thinking about these patterns  Basic Approach – systematic, self-imposed limitation  Trait Approach – focus on the ways that people differ psychologically and how these differences might be conceptualized and measured  Biological Approach – understand the mind in terms of the body; address biological mechanisms (such as anatomy, physiology, genetics, evolution) and their relevance for personality  Psychoanalytic Approach – concerned primarily with the unconscious mind, and the nature and resolution of internal mental conflict  Phenomenological Approach – peoples conscious experience of the world their phenomenology o In research, emphasis on awareness and experience can lead to one of two directions  Humanistic Psychology – pursues how conscious awareness can produce such uniquely human attributes
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