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PSYCH 2B03 (108)
Chapter 1

personalityChapter 1.docx

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Richard B Day

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Chapter 1 The study of the person  Personality psychology addresses how people feel, think, and behave (three parts of the psychological triad)  More interesting in combination and in conflict  Inconsistencies between feelings, thoughts, and behaviours are common enough to make us suspect the mind is not a simple place  Personality psychology draws heavily from social, cognitive, developmental, clinical, and biological psychology The goals of personality psychology  Personality refers to an individual’s characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behaviour, together with the psychological mechanisms behind those patterns  Goal is to explain whole persons Mission: Impossible  This mission is the source of personality psych’s biggest difficulty  If you try to understand everything about a person at once you will be overwhelmed  Certain ways of thinking abour specific patterns: basic approach o Trait approach: conceptualization of individual differences, measurement of individual differences, personality traits o Biological approach: anatomy, physiology, genetics, evolution o Psychoanalytic approach: unconscious mind, internal mental conflict o Phenomenological approach: conscious awareness and experience, humanistic psychology (how conscious awareness can produce such uniquely human attributes as existential anxiety, creativity, and free will), cross-cultural psychology o Learning and cognitive approach: behaviourism (rewards, punishments), social learning theory, cognitive personality psychology  Classic behavioursists focus on overt behaviour and the ways it can be affected by rewards and punishments  Social learning theory draws inferences about the ways that mental processes such as observation and self-evaluation determine which behaviours are learned and how they are performed Competitors or complement
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