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Chapter 12

Personality - CHAPTER 12.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2740
Andrew Robinson

CHAPTER 12PersonalityHealth Sensory Deprivation Experiments 1950s and 1960s o Participants isolated in dark soundproof rooms up to 2 weeks but 13 could only last 2 days or immersed in water tanks 10 hour limit o Interested in examining how people adapted and coped in general in adverse and challenging situations o Hallucinations and delusions were common inability to concentrate due to decreased brainwave activity o Quickly apparent individual differences o Became known as the WalkIn Inkblot as a result of different responses people had to the situationCoping with Sensory Deprivation and Sensation Seeking Extroverts do much better in sensory deprivation situations they are physiologically underaroused and the desire for extra stimulation keeps them goingZuckermans sensory deprivation experiments led to his seminal research on sensation seeking o Each person has an optimal level of stimulation or arousal o Created the Sensation Seeking Scale to distinguish high and low sensation seekersHigh sensation seekers engaged in various forms of thrill and adventure seekingApplied Perspective 121Sensation Seeking and the Prevention of Risky Health Behaviours Sensation seeking is predictor of engaging in risky sexual behaviours and number of sexual partners o Established with Zuckermans general measure of sensation seekingNewly created scale Sexual Sensation Seeking Scale o Zuckermans contains culturally outdated items and does not tap themes involving sexuality general o Sexual Sensation Seekingthe propensity to seek out ultimate levels of sexual experience and engage in novel sexual experiences o Input from 5 gay men described as being culturally diverse o 10item sensation seeking measure o Accompanied by a 10item measure of nonsexual sensation seeking and separate subscale assessing sexual compulsivity o Personality and Coping Styles One of the key differences in the cognitive appraisal of stressors is whether a stressful situation is appraised as a threat or a challenge o People high in neuroticism and prone to experience anxiety likely perceive obvious stressors as threatsPrimary Appraisals vs Secondary AppraisalsLazarusFolkman 1984Primary Appraisalsassessing whether the event is a threat or a challengeSecondary Appraisalsa personal evaluation of whether the person feels that he or she has the ability to cope with the eventA personality factor may be associated with secondary appraisals and not primary appraisals or vice versaEmpirical research that neuroticism is linked with stressinducing cognitive appraisals o Examsneuroticism was linked with threat appraisals while extroversion was a positive factor linked with challenge appraisals o Neuroticism is associated with a negative processing bias when events occur while extroversion is associated with a positive processing biasBias was assessed with the Processing Bias Questionnaireindicate when an event occurs to what extent they think about positive features and negative featuresPosttraumatic stress o Some people come to see a highly traumatic experience as beneficial because it provided an opportunity for personal growth o PostTraumatic Growth Inventory assesses perceived personal growth using 5 subscales new possibilities relating to others personal strength appreciation of life and spiritual changeBenefit findingmay also play a role in recovery from illnessCognitive appraisals are important as they determine the way that people respond to stressful situations
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