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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Units of Personality; Types vs. Traits

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PSYC 2740
Stephen Lewis

Chapter 2 Units of Personality Types versus TraitsType approach a method of categorization into discrete groups Trait approach characterizing someone as a little bit of something optimist but can sometimes be something else pessimistPersonality typesPersonality types discrete categories that differ qualitatively in kind rather than in degree Personality types are categories that can involve a constellation of personality characteristics that are present in an allornone fashionBenefit of the categorical approach is that types usually consist of multiple personality characteristics that cluster together and the combination of characteristics predicts certain outcomesDimensional trait perspectives often focus on specific traits in isolation and dont consider how multiple personality factors combine with the same person to create a qualitatively distinct type that predicts behavioural outcomesCould result in substantial heterogeneity among people categorized as the same typeSheldons Somatotype Theory o Link between body types and personality temperaments type theory o Excessively thin medium and somewhat muscular or overweight o Somatotypes body types that involve endomorphy ectomorphy and memomorphy Constitutional psychology the link between personality and physical attributes as coined by Sheldon o Studied by taking nude photographs of university students and studying their temperament o Reported strong empirical support of his study critics say he may have been biased in his personality judgments because he conducted the study alone o Child did a follow up study using a selfreport survey and found some evidence to support Sheldons theory o If you are high in selfmonitoring you tend to be very attentive to situational cues and adjust your behaviour in a chameleon like way according to changes in the situation o Low selfmonitors are relatively unchanging and are much less sensitive to external cues o Gangestad and Snyders data analyses supported their contention that selfmonitoring is a class variable that reflects a personality typeSomatotype Characteristic Characteristics Ectomorph Cerebrotonia sociallyDoes not withstand pain easily and willingly restrained need forIs not characterized by amiability and goodwill toward everyone heshe meets privacyLacks real desire for strenuous physical exerciseDoes not like to swim nudePrefers to have a few very intimate friends to having many friendsDoes not like to participate in strenuous or dangerous physical adventure Mesomorph Somatotonia physicalWithstands pain easily and willingly assertion and highIn talking with another person looks at himher right in the eye activity levelHas real desire for strenuous physical exerciseLikes cold showersLikes to participate in strenuous or dangerous physical adventure Endomorph Viscerotonia love ofGets to sleep easily relaxation and comfortIs not easily awakened in the middle on the nightIs inclined to eat more than is really needed to maintain weight and growthTends to be apprehensive insecure or worriedTends to be compliant about himselfherself and hisher relations with the worldIs characterized by amiability or goodwill toward everybody heshe knows or meetsTaxometrics the complete statistical approach used to test for personality types or discrete categories in generalTaxon an identified category in taxometrics coming from the Greek word meaning arrangement or orderingGoal is to establish taxons that really do exist in natureMost personality research focuses on traits rather than typesJungs theory felt initially that we are extroverts or introverts but changed his thinking when he realized most of us are ambiverts Ambiverts people who are both introverted and extroverted and have moderate scores on this dimension They are comfortable with being with others or being by themselvesEysencks call for an empirical approachBarrett and Eysenck examined responses in different nations to the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire extroversionintroversion neuroticism psychoticism o Nigeria Israel India high in extroversion China and Iran high in introversion Egypt Japan Russia high in neuroticism US higher extroversion than CanadaLynn and Martin examined possible gender differences
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