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Chapter 12

PSYA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Reticular Formation, Bertram Forer, Prefrontal Cortex

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Dwayne Pare

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Chapter 12 - Personality
12.1- Contemporary Approaches to Personality
-personality: a characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving that is unique to each
individual and remains relatively consistent over time and situations
-two approaches to personality measurement: the idiographic and nomothetic approach
-idiographic approach: focusing on creating detailed descriptions of a specific person’s unique
personality characteristics
-nomothetic approach: examine personality in large groups of people with the aim of making
generalizations about personality structure
-psychologist try to understand the factors that predict certain behaviours
-a personality trait: describes a person’s habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving
-the Barnum effect began in the 1940s when psychologist Bertram Forer gave research
participants a personality test and then generated a description of subjects’ personalities
which they believed were based off themselves. Astonishingly every participant was given the
same personality description
-factor analysis: used to group items that people respond to similarly; for instance, the terms
friendly, warm and kind have similar meanings and can be grouped in a cluster referred to as
a factor
-psychologist Raymond Cattell narrowed the list of key personality traits to 16
-The five factor model: created by McCrae and Costa, a trait-based theory of personality
based on the finding that personality can be described using five major dimensions
-openness: individuals high in openness are the dreamers and creatives; tend to be more
“open” to new things ideas, opinions and perspectives that differ from theirs // also likely to
think more abstractly and to be more sensitively aware of their emotions
-low in openness; defenders of the system, preferring the conventional and the tried and true//
pride themselves in being practical
-conscientiousness: high C’s are the organizers, achievement orientation
-low C’s easy going, fun and disorganized
-Extraversion: extraverts are the socializers and sensation seekers.
-Introverts: quiet and tend to be overwhelmed by high levels of stimulation preferred by
-Agreeableness: warm and friendly people are easy to like, easy to be friends with and easy to
be apart of a group
-low A’s are the type who put themselves first
-neuroticism: difficult to deal with as their emotional volatility and general tendency to
experience negative emotions making them to be unfun to be around
-low N’s are mentally healthy people, secure and confident and let go of negative emotions
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-Early research by Theodore Adorno suggested that a key personality type the authoritarian
personality. Authoritarians were theorized to be rigid and dogmatic in their thinking, to
separate their social world into strict categories of Us and Them
-honesty-humility: Michael Ashton developed the HEXACO model of personality: a six factor
theory that generally replicates the five factors of the FFM and adds one additional factor;
-the dark triad: refers to the three traits Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism that
describe a person who is socially destructive, aggressive, dishonest and likely to commit
harm in general
-Machiavellianism is a tendency to use people and to be manipulative and deceitful
-Psychopathy is the general tendency toward having shallow emotional responses. veer
toward highly stimulating activities and tend to feel little empathy for others
-narcissism reflects an egotistical preoccupation with self-image and an excessive focus on
-right-wing authoritarianism identified as a highly problematic set of personality characteristics
that involve three key tendencies:
-1. obeying orders and deferring to the established authorities in a society
-2. supporting aggression against those who dissent or differ from the established social
order and
-3. believing strongly in maintaining the existing social order
-high RWA likely to be seething with prejudice // problematic roles as citizens of a society
-3 main temperaments
-well-adjusted: capable of self-control, confident, not overly upset by new people or
-under-controlled: impulsive, restless, distractible, emotionally volatile
-inhibited: socially uncomfortable, fearful, easily upset by strangers
-under-controlled children become much more likely to engage in externalizing bheaviour
(fighting, bullying, lying and disobeying)and somewhat internalizing behaviours (worrying,
fussy and crying easily)
-inhibited children had also developed strong internalizing behaviour patters
-by age 18 their emerging adult personalities were reflections of their temperaments at age 3
-age 21, formerly under-controlled children were showing serious relationship difficulties
-peoples personalities are much more liable when we are young and tend to become more
fixed as we age
-young adults tend to experience fewer negative emotions than adolescents, reflecting
decrease in neuroticism
-overtime our environments change as well as the roles we play in those environments
-state: is a temporary physical or psychological engagement that influences behaviour
-influences on behaviour:
-1. location (being at work, school or home)
-2. association (being with friends, alone or with family)
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-3. activities (awake, rushed, studying)
-4. subjective states (mad, sick, drunk, happy)
-Albert Bandura advanced a social cognitive theory of personality in order to emphasize the
role of beliefs and the reciprocal relationships between people and their environments
-environmental stimuli, such as reward or punishment, inform individuals beliefs about the
world and how their beliefs about what consequences are likely to follow from certain
-Reciprocal determinism: behaviour, internal (personal) factors, and external (situational)
factors interact to determine one another, and that our personalities are based on interactions
among these three aspects
-personality is not something inside the person, but rather exists between the person and th
-according to Bandura, peopl’e personalities and their environment are interdependent in
many different ways, linked together in feedback loops that connect their perceptions,
cognitions, emotions, behaviours, the ways they structure their environments and the ways
that their environment structures them
12.2 - Cultural and Biological Approaches to Personality
-WEIRD [Western Educated Industrialized Rich and Democratic
-96% of psychological studies are conducted on about 12% of the population, therefore we do
not have all the data
-Five factor model of personality:
-neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness
-possible these only account for the WEIRD population
-basic systems of human personality are deeper than culture
-when test administered in Chinese, they found 26 new personality traits in total
-instead of Big Five they found four
-dependability, social potency, individualism, and interpersonal relatedness
-IR is a combination of characteristics concerning social harmony, tradition and an
emphasis on one’s social relationships.
-is it possible that people from different cultures have different response styles?
-characteristic ways of responding to questions; these response styles can be strongly
influenced by cultural norms
Highest Lowest
Extraversion Serbia, Croatia Bangladesh, France
Openness Chile, Belgium Hong Kong, Japan
Neuroticism Jordan, Democratic Republic of
Japan, Lithuania
Agreeableness Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Japan, South Korea
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