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Chapter 14

Chapter 14

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Oren Amitay

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Chapter 14 Notes – Personality
a particular pattern of behaviour and thinking that prevails across time and
situations and differentiates one person from another
The goal is to discover the causes of individual differences in behaviour
Research on human personality requires two kinds of effort: identifying personality
characteristics and determining the variables that produce and control them
Personality Types
different categories into which personality characteristics can be assigned
based on factors such as developmental experiences or personal characteristics
Personality Trait
an enduring personal characteristic that reveals itself in a particular pattern
of behaviour in a variety of situations
Rather than focusing on types, many current investigators prefer to measure the degree to
which an individual expresses a particular personality trait
E.g. we would classify two different types: tall people and short people. Note that this is
an either/or categorization. We all recognize that height is best conceived as a trait – a
dimension on which people differ along a wide range of values. If we measure the
heights of a large sample of people, we will find instances along the distribution, from
very short to very tall, with most people falling in between the extremes. It is not that
people are only either tall or short (analogous to personality types), but that people vary
in extent to which they show tallness or shortness (analogous to personality traits)
Personality traits are not simply patterns of behaviour; they are factors that underlie these
patterns and are responsible for them
Once our personality traits are developed, they reside in our brain
Gordon Allport began his work by identifying all words in an unabridged dictionary of the English
language that described aspects of personality, with approximately 18,000 such entries
He then conducted analysis that identified those words that described only stable
personality characteristics
He believed that the considerable extent to which trait labels appear in English shows
the importance of traits in how people think about themselves and others
He believed that traits were neuropsychological properties that led to behavioural
consistency over timeand contexts by producing functional similarity in the way a given
person interprets and experiences events
i.e. people with a particular trait react similarly across situations because they
experience a unique sense of similarity across those situations that guides their
feelings, thoughts, and behaviour
Not all traits have equal influence; the most powerful of them are cardinal traits
Cardinal Traits
characterize a strong unifying influence on a person’s
Central Traits
less singular in their influence than cardinal traits, but capture
important characteristics of an individual
Secondary traits
includes characteristics that have minor influence on
consistency of behaviour
Raymond Cattel used Allport’s list of 18,000 trait words and narrowed it down to 171 adjectives
that he believed made up the relatively complete set of distinct surface traits (observable
He used factor analysis to identify clusters of these traits
Cattell analyzed questionnaire responses from thousands of people and eventually
identified 16 personality factors
He referred to these 16 traits as source traits, because in his view, they were the
cornerstones upon which personality is built
Hans Eysenck used factor analysis to devise a theory that identified three important factors:
Extroversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism
These factors are bipolar dimensions; extroversion is the opposite of introversion,
neuroticism is the opposite of emotional stability, and psychoticism is the opposite of
the tendency to seek the company of other people, to be spontaneous,
and to engage in conversation and other social behaviours with them
the tendency to avoid the company of other people, to be
inhibited and cautious; shyness
the tendency to be anxious, worried, and full of guilt
Emotional Stability
the tendency to be relaxed and at peace with oneself
the tendency to be aggressive, egocentric, and anti-social; not a mental
the tendency to be kind, considerate, and obedient of laws and
The original 2 factors he originally devised were only Extroversion Vs
Introversion, and Neuroticism Vs Emotional Stability
Eysenck argued that the most important aspects of a person’s temperament are determined by
a combination of the three dimensions
Eysenck emphasized the biological nature of personality, believing that the functioning of a
neural system located in the brain stem produces different levels of arousal of the cerebral
E.g. consider the introversion-extroversion dimension, which is based on an optimum
arousal level of the brain
Introverts have relatively high levels of cortical excitation, while extroverts have
relatively low levels
Thus, in order to maintain the optimum arousal level, the extrovert requires
more external stimulation than does the introvert
Five Factor Model
a theory stating that personality is composed of five primary dimensions:
neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness (OCEAN). This
theory was developed using factor analyses of ratings of the words people use to describe
personality characteristics
Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R)
the instrument
used to measure the elements described in the five-factor model
The NEO-PI-R consists of 240 items that can potentially be used to describe the person
being evaluated
Self-ratings on the NEO-PI-R agree closely with the ratings by family members
Also it predicts other aspects that seem related to personality, like subjective well-being
Jackson argued that a six-factor model may be more appropriate; he argued that the
conscientiousness factor in the traditional five-factor model actually represents two distinct
reflects planfulness and a need for orderliness
characterized by perseverance and achievement orientation
The Dark Triad
Machiavellianism, Psychopathy, Narcissism
a trait characterized by skill at manipulating others socially
a trait describing a lack of empathy for others and a high degree of
a trait characterized by grandiosity and feelings of superiority
The dark triad is considered distinct from the five factors
Males tend to score higher on tests that measure dark triad traits, although the inter-
correlations between the traits are similar across the sexes
As its extreme, the dark triad personality seems to epitomize the notion of a cold, calculating,
domineering and remorseless criminal
Can cultures also differ according to what they believe about personality and the different traits
they may adhere?
Implicit trait theories describe whether people ascribed differences in personality to
stable traits, or instead, to the immediate context or situation of an individual
Cattell and Eysenck have asserted that a person’s genetic history has a strong influence on their
Many studies have found that identical twins are more similar to each other than are fraternal
twins on a variety of personality measures, which indicates that these characteristics are
Bouchard found that the correlations for identical twins’ personality traits were
approximately double those of fraternal twins
Zuckerman compiled the results of 11 studies using various tests of Eysenck’s factor of
extroversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism
Every study found that identical twins were more similar than fraternal twins
Zuckerman estimated the heritability of these three traits are extroversion – 70%,
psychoticism – 59%, neuroticism 48%
It appeared as though the remaining 30-50% were caused by differences in environment
If family environment has a significant effect on personality characteristics, then identical twins
raised together should be more similar than those raised apart, but these studies found no
Childhood shyness seems to be related to two personality dimensions: low level of extroversion
and high level of neuroticism.
Zuckerman believes that extroversion is caused by sensitive reinforcement system,
neuroticism is caused by a sensitive punishment system and psychoticism is caused by
the combination of a deficient punishment system
Heredity and environment can interact; the most major source of the interaction comes from
the effect that people’s heredity has on their family environments
i.e. people’s genetic endowment plays an important role in determining how family
members interact with them
One caution about this interpretation is that studies don’t investigate the effects of the
full range of cultural differences in family lives
i.e. when comparisons have been made between twins raised together and
those raised apart, almost all have involved family environments within the
same culture; it is possible that cultural differences in family environments
could be even more important than the differences produced by a person’s
People tend to learn some important social attitudes from their family environments

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Chapter 14 Notes Personality N Personalitya particular pattern of behavoi ur and thinkig that prevails acrosstime and situations and differenttes one person from another o The goal is to disver the causes of indiidual differences in behaviour o Research on human pers onality requires two kindsof effort: identifyingpersonality characteristics and etermining the variables that prduce and controlthem N Personality Typesdifferent categories into whichpersonality characteristciscanbeassigned basedon factors suchas developmental experiencesor personal chara cteristics N Personality Traitan enduring personal chara cteristic that veals itself in a patricular pattern of behaviour in a vriety of situations N Rather than focusingon types, many cure rnt investigators prfer to measurethe degree to which an individual xpresses a particular personality trait o E.g. we would classifytwo different type: tall peopleand short people. ote that this is an eitheror cateorization.We all recognize thatheight is bestconceived as a trit a dimension on which pe ople differ al ng a wide rangeof values. Ifwe measure the heights of a large mple of people, we willfind instances along the distrution, from very short to vey tall, with mosteople falling in bt een the extrem es. It is not that people are only eithertall or short (anl gous to personalitytypes), but thateople vary in extent to whichthey show tallness or shortness(analogous to personality tras) N Personality traits arenot simply ptterns of behavi ur; they are fat rs that undelie these patterns and are responsible for thm o Once our personaliyt traits are veloped, they reside in our brain N Gordon Allport beg an his work by identifing all wordsin an unabrided dictionary of the Enlish language that described aspectsof personality,with approximatey l 18,000 such entries o He then conductedanalysis that iden tified those words that descred only stabel personality characteristics o He believed that theconsiderable extentto which traitlabels appear in English shows the importanceof traits in how peoplethink about thems elves and others o He believed that tratis were neuropychological properties that ledt behavioural consistency over timeand contexts b y producing functional similarityin the waya given person interpretsand experiences events i.e. people with a partilar trait react similarcross situations ecause they experience a unique sense of similarity across the situations that gies their feelings, thoughts, andbehaviour o Not all traits haveequal influence; the most poerful of themare cardinal traits Cardinal Traitscharacterize a strong unifying fluenceon a persons behaviour Central Traitsless singular in their influe than cardinal traits, but ture important characteristics of an ini idual Secondary traitsincludes characteristics that hve minor influenceon consistency of behavoiur N Raymond Cattel used A llports list of18,000 traitwords and narrowed it down to 171 adjectes that he believedmadeup the relatv i ely complete st of distinct surfe traits (observable behaviours) o He used factor analysisto identify clters of these tits www.notesolution.com o Cattell analyzed questionnaire resonses from thousa nds of people and eentually identified 16 pesonality factors o He referred to these 16 traits aource traits, beause in his vw, they were the cornerstones uponwhich personaliy t is built N HansEysenckusedfactor analysiso t devise a theoy that identified ree important factors: Extroversion, neuroticism, andpsychoticism o These factors are biolar dimensions;extroversion isthe oppositeof introversion, neuroticism is theopposite of emotoi nal stabilityd psychoticism is the opposite of self-control o Extroversionthe tendency to seekthe company of o therpeople, tobe spontaneous, and to engage in conversation and other ocial behaviours wtih them Introversionthe tendency to avoidthe company ofother people, to be inhibited and cautiou;shyness o Neuroticismthe tendency to be anxious, w orried, and full of guilt Emotional Stabiilty the tendency to be relaxed andat peace wtih oneself o Psychoticismthe tendency to be aggressv ie, egocentric, d anti-socia;l not a mental illness Self-Controlthe tendency to be kind, considerate, andobedient of laws and rules N The original 2 fatrs he originally devised were onlyExtroversion Vs Introversion, and euroticism VsEmotional Stabliity N Eysenck argued that the most i portant aspecst of a persons mperament aredetermined by a combination of thethree dimensoi ns N Eysenckemphasizedthe biological n ature of personaltiy, believing thate functioning of a neural systemol cated in the brainstem produces different levelsof arousal of thecerebral cortex o E.g. consider the inrversion-extroversion dimensoi n,which is basedon an optimum arousal level of the brain Introverts have relaiely highlevels of cortical exctiation, whitroverts have relatively low vels Thus, in order tomaintain the optimum arousal level,t e extrovert requires more external stmi ulation thandoes the introvert N Five Factor Modela theory stating that personaltiy is composed of ie primarydimensions: neuroticism, extrversion, openness,agreeableness,and conscien tiousness(OCEAN). This theory was deveol ped using factoranalyses of tings of the words people useot describe personality charcteristics N Neuroticism, Extaversion, andOpenness Personaltiy Inventory (NE O-PI-R)the instrument used to measure theelements described inthe five-factor model o TheNEO-PI-Rconsiss t of 240 items tt can potentially be used to descie the person being evaluated o Self-ratings on the NO-PI-Ragreeclo sely with the rtings by family members o Also it predicts oer aspects thatseem relatedto personality, likesubjective well-being N Jackson argued thata six-factor modelmay be moreappropriate; he arguedthat the conscientiousness fator in the traditionalie-factor model actually reesents two distict dimensions o Methodicalnessreflectsplanfulness and a needo fr orderliness o Industriousnesscharacterized by perseveran ce andachievement orienta tion www.notesolution.com
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