Chapter 5.docx

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17 Mar 2012
Chapter 5 5 Basic Traits In the Brain and in Behaviour
E: Extraversion
- Broad and continuum, “extraversion to introversion”
Social Behaviour and Cognitive Performance
- i.e. outgoing, shy, inhibited, withdrawn, taciturn, quiet
- Carl Jung wrote that extraverts direct psychological energy outward to social word
- Hans Eysenck made same distinction extravert: outgoing, sociable, enthusiastic, more socially dominant;
introverts are quiet withdraw, contemplative and less likely to made bad risks
Developed and validated 1st self-report scales to assess individ. Difference in E
E - talk more, make more eye contact, firmer handshakes, study in place for opportunities for social interaction,
More sexually active, do more gambling, do well in occupations dealing w/ other people
I Like to be secluded, prefer solitary pursuits,
E- better on tasks requiring divided attention, resistance to distance, resistance to interference, focus on speed
I Better on tasks requiring vigilance and careful attention to detail, focus on accuracy
Feeling Good
- E (+) associated w/ reports of feeling good about one’s life, greater positive affect
Well being tap 2 indp. Features: positive affect and negative affect
- Why do E have more (+) than I? Less responsive to punishment, more likely to continue responding in the face of
i.e. Pearce-McCall and Newman betting situation. Extraverts and introverts did not differ in their betting
behaviour following the reward pretreatment but did differ markedly following punishment, with extraverts
making significantly higher wages
- E don’t pause after punishments impsulively seeking out rewards, better able to regulate their moods
- Mood Regulation Ability to maintain a positive ratio of good to bad feelings in life, keep a positive mod going for
as long as possible
- The tendency to recall the past in more (+) terms contribute to (+) and upbeat emotional life that extraverts
tend to experience
- Brandstatter: E are more assertive in social situations more social competence and effectiveness, (+) emotional
state = direction function of socializing (PATH ANALYSIS- Enables the researcher to sort out statistically both direct
and indirect effects of variables on one another)
- How strong and consistent is the relation b/w E and (+) emotions?
Some say relationship b/w E and (+) are so consistent, E should be called “Positive Emotionality:/”Positive
Some say (+) emotion is central to trait of extraversion E reported greater happiness when engaging in (+)
experiences w/ other people
Some suggest that while (+) affect and E are correlated, they are not the same things (+) emotions are only 1/6
facets of E
- People high in extraversion tend to report more positive emotion and happiness
- People need to belong in social life, sensitive to social rewards
N: Neuroticism
-Character who isn’t neurotic in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s greatest novel “The Brothers Kamazov” Dmitri: His
mother dead and father drunk, raised by family servant Grigory-selflessly devoted to boy, Dmitri grow to by unruly
w/ violent passions, drops out of high school enlists in military and lives crazy life. Wants his father’s property and
Believes his father owes him, when father is murdered, he becomes the prime suspect. Suffers curse of
Karamazovs, the curse is a proclivity for obsessing over the tiniest trifles and his emotional life is out of control
Feature 5.A: Extreme Sports and the Sensation Seeking Traits- 164-65
- Sensation seeking: Need for varied, novel and complex sensation and experiences and the willingness to take
physical and social risks for th sake of such experiences
1. Thrill and adventure seeking interest in activities involving physical risk
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2. Exp. Seeking/ desire for new experiences through music, art, travel, meeting unusual people, mood-altering
3. Disinhibition/pursuit of pleasure through parties, social drinking, sex w/ various partners, gambling
4. Boredom susceptibility/restlessness in unchanging environments and dislike of dull people
The Many Ways to Feed Bad
- Neuroticism: Measures of chronic anxiety, depression, excessive emotionality, nervousness moodiness,
hostility, vulnerability, self-consciousness and hypochondriasis, CONTINUUM FROM EMOTIONAL
- Individ. Differences in N are linked to difference in experience of (-) emotional states
- N associated w/ unpleasant mood, higher tension levels, (-) emotional experiences, lonelier, less satisfied in
interpersonal relationships, tend to be linked w/ affective disorders, higher levels of homesickness
- N report more BAD feelings
- Individ. High in N are more likely to see problems for “middle age crisis”, show connections to life-threatening
illness such as hear disease
- Why is N so strongly linked w/ bad things? High-N individs. More distressed, N exposes people to greater # of
stressful daily events, and respondents’ reactivity to stressful events, also distress was also unrelated to stressful
event- overly (-) rxns to bad things
- Suls and Marin neurotic cascade 5 different processes reinforce each other in neuroticism to cause
build-up and strong release of (-) emotion in daily life
1. Hyperactivity more sensitive to signals of punishment and (-) effect
2. Differential Exposure: Experience more (-) events, they are more sensitive to (-) stimuli to begin with
3. Differential Appraisal: See world as dark glass-interpret kinds of events in negative light
4. (-) regular experience results in mood spillover
5. Sting of familiar problem -Failure to cope well w/ old problems
- N associated w/ inappropriate and awkward behaviour, difficult to adjust their social behaviour to meet
situational demands/oblivious to social cues
Stressing and Coping
- N is consistently related to stress symptoms
- High level of N associated w/ illness and somatic relationships, everyday functioning-more prone to carelessness
and everyday errors in thinking
- N stress in form of anger, irritation, anxiety and lack of confidence
- High N = Sexual problems, high in certain types of criminals (b/s they feel socially inadequate, using drugs)
- Longitudinal studies examine causal relations b/w N and clinical depression N is strong predictor
- How do people high in N cope with them? Not very well just see everything really (-), may need to adopt
“emotion-focused” or avoidant coping strategies- focus their efforts on soothing their fears and calming their
nervousness, seek to escape whole problem
Feature 5.B: Are We Living in the Age of Anxiety-170
Extraversion and Neuroticism in the Brain
Eyseneck and the Theory of Arousal
- Pavlov and dog experiment Pavlov increase stimulation in increases in response to the point where increases in
stimulation lead decreases in respond-threshold of transmarginal inhibition
- Eysenck argued that roots in E lie in underlying biological processes borrowed concepts w=from Pavlov
- Eysenck analogized extraverts to gods w/ strong NS and introverts to dogs w/ weak NS- Each individual prefers
an optimal level of arousal
i.e. if extraverts start out @ extremely low levels “hungry” for greater levels of stimulation to kick arousal levels
- Brain’s reticular activating system/RAS: Partly responsible for individual differences in arousal-
differences in E
RAS network of nerve fiber form SC-thalamus, considered primitive part of brain, responsible for general
arousal, regulating patterns of wakefulness and attention
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