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PSYB30H3 (500)
Chapter 1-6

PSYB30H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1-6: Monoamine Oxidase A, Midlife Crisis, Conduct Disorder

Course Code
Lisa Fiksenbaum

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Introduction 01/09/2016
Trait-descriptive adjectives: adjectives that can be used to describe
characteristics of people
Personality: set of psychological traits and mechanisms within the
individual that is organized and relatively enduring and that
influences his or her interactions with, and adaptations to, the
intrapsychic, physical, and social environment
Psychological traits: characteristics that describe ways in which
people are different/similar from each other
oDescribe average tendencies
(4) questions asked?
oHow many traits are there
oHow are they organized
oWhat are the origins
oWhat are the correlations/ consequences
(3) why traits are useful:
psychological mechanisms: like traits, except the term
mechanisms refers more to the processes of personality
may make people more sensitive to certain kinds of
information from the environment (inputs), may make
them more likely to think about specific options
(decision rules), may guide their behavior towards
certain categories of action (outputs)
otraits are activated under particular conditions
Within the individual:
opersonality is something a person carries with him or herself
over time and from one situation to the next
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odefinition stresses personality is somewhat stable/consistent
Organized & enduring:
oorganized: psychological traits and mechanisms for a given
person are not simply a random collection of elements
linked to one another
oenduring: particularly in adulthood and are somewhat
consistent over situations
And that influence:
oinfluential forces: personality traits and mechanisms can
affect our lives; how we think, act and feel
His or her interactions with:
operson-environment interactions: include perceptions
(how we see or interpret environment), selections (manner
we choose situations to enter), evocations (reactions we
produce in others) and manipulations (way we intentionally
attempt to influence others)
Adaption :
oconveys notion that a central feature of personality concerns
adaptive functioning
oaccomplishing goals, coping, adjusting, dealing with
challenges in life
The environment:
ophysical: Extremes of temperatures pose the problem of
maintaining thermal homeostasis
osocial: an individual desires emotional closeness with others
but does not know how to achieve closeness
ointrapsychic: an individual’s self-esteem may depend on his
assessment of the degree to which he is succeeding in
attaining his goals
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1) Human Nature (like all others)
oTraits and mechanisms of personality that are typical of our
species and possessed by nearly everyone
oEX: need to belong, spoken language
2) Individual & Group Differences (like some others)
oindividual differences refer to ways in which each person is
like some other people (e.g., extraverts, sensations-seekers,
high self-esteem persons)
o Group differences refer to ways in which the people of one
group differ from people in another group (e.g., cultural
differences, age differences)
3) Individual Uniqueness (Like no other)
oIndividual uniqueness refers to the fact that every individual
has personal and unique qualities not shared by any other
person in the world
oIndividuals can be studied nomothetically or ideographically
Nomothetic research involves statistical comparisons
of individuals or groups, requiring samples of
participants on which to conduct research; applied to
identify and learn more about universal human
characteristics or dimensions of individual or group
Ideographic research focuses on a single person, to
identify general principles that are manifest in a single
life over time; often results in case studies or
psychological biography of a single person
when doing research, most focus on individual & group differences
Gap within personality psychology has not yet been successfully
bridged—the gap between the human nature level of analysis, and
the analysis of individual and group differences
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