Textbook Notes (280,000)
CA (160,000)
UTSC (20,000)
Psychology (10,000)
PSYB30H3 (500)
Chapter 1-3

PSYB30H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1-3: The Selfish Gene, Inclusive Fitness, Richard Dawkins

Course Code
Marc A Fournier

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Chapter 1
personality traits: general, internal and comparative disposition that
we attribute
to people in our initial eorts to sort individuals
into meaningful
categories and to account for consistencies we
perceive or
expect in behavior from one situation to the
big "ve trait categories: Openness to experience,
Conscientiousness, Extraversion,
Agreeableness and Neuroticism
characteristic adaptations: contextualized facets of psychological
that speak to motivational, cognitive
and developmental
concerns in personality
Theories in Personality Psychology
theories of human motivation: question of what people
fundamentally want in
their life or desire ie Sigmund freud
and repression
theories of cognition and personality: role of cognitive factors like
values, beliefs,
schemas, etc in human individuality ie
George Kelley
personal construct theory
developmental theory: evolution of the self and its relationships
with others from
birth to old age ie Erik Erikson
Three Levels of Personality
dispositional traits: broad dimensions of personality that describe
internal, global and stable individual
dierences in behavior,
thought and feeling. Traits account for
consistency in
individual functioning across dierent
situations and over time
characteristic adaptations: de+nition above
life stories: internalized and evolving narratives of the self that
people construct to
integrate past, present and future and provide life with

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some sense of
unity, purpose and meaning. They address problems of
identity and
integration in personality.
> post modern view: people are storytellers who make
themselves anew
with each new conversation
they have
Science and the Person
Step 1: Unsystematic Observation
- observe phenomenon of interest over a long period of time
- active attempt to discern and describe organization, pattern, design
or structure in the phenomenon that initially seems to be unorganized
and without design
context of discovery: seeks to discover new ways of seeing reality,
formulating in a
highly subjective manner
induction: moves from concrete and particular events that are
discerned to the
more abstract and general representation of those
case study: in-depth investigation of an individual, sometimes over a
period of time
Step 2: Building Theories
- no consensus in scienti+c community about the best way building a
theory: set of interrelated statement proposed to explain certain
observations of
- provides 4 dierent tools that scientist can use to increase
1) an abstract model 2) conceptual terminology 3) set of
correspondence rules
4) hypotheses
- how theories may be judged:
comprehensiveness: wider the scope of a theory’s explanatory
abilities, the better
parsimony: explain the maximum number of observations with
minimum number
of explanatory concepts
coherence: logical and internally consistent
testability: derive hypotheses that can be readily tested through
empirical research
empirical validity: empirical evidence should support theorys major

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usefulness: able to solve humanly signi+cant problems
generativity: generate new research and new theorizing
Step 3: Evaluating Propositions
context of justi"cation: justify or evaluate the truth of a given
statement proposed
by a given theory
- theory should be falsi+able –prove statement can be false
- scienti+c hypotheses should be grounded in theories
variable: any quality that can assume two or more values
- quantify (operationalize) the data
correlational design: empirical studies that assess the extent to
which two
dierent variables relate to each other
- increase in both variables = positive correlation
- increase in one variable and decrease in another = negative
- two variables not related to each other = no correlation
correlational coe+cient: numerical way of expressing the degree of
between two variables
- correlation does not imply causation (third variable)
experimental design: cause-and-eect relationships between
dierent variables
-scientist manipulates or alters one variable of interest in order to
observe its impact on another variable of interest
independent variable: variable that is manipulated or altered
dependent variable: individuals response to the experimental
alteration (eect)
- statistical signi+cance = variations in the experimentally manipulated
independent variable caused variations in the dependent variable
History of Personality Psychology
personality psychology was born in university psychology
departments in the 1930s
nomothetic approach: aimed to discover and test general principles
or laws of
idiographic approach: ignore general laws to discern speci+c and
patternings of particular lives
- three periods:
1) 1930-1950’s  developing general systems and grand theories of
2) 1950-1970’s  re+ning measurement techniques and elaborating
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