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Chapter 12

PSYB30H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Reticular Formation, Psychoticism, Factor Analysis


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB30H3
Professor
Marc A Fournier
Chapter
12

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Chapter 12 Biological Traits
Eysenck tried for a model of personality that can be tested
Advocated biosocial approach that included genetics and environment
Constructing a Model of Personality
Pointed out that the study of human behaviour must use scientific methods
Insisted a scientific model of personality with two aspects
o Description of personality from factor analytic studies
o Causal analysis based on experimental tests
A model of personality must reflect individual differences interacting with normalities of human
behaviour
Was commited to the hypothetical-deductive methods in which one begins with a tentative
hypothesis which can be deduced into predictions that can be tested
Believed psychology must understand individual differences in order to distinguish which
responses in an experiment are due to manipulation of independant variable and which are due
to differences
His theory was frequently discounted, but this meant that it was scientific because it was subject
to error
o He constantly revised his theories
The Identification of Superfactors
Cattell used factor analysis and drew conclusions from the clusters, Eysenck started with a
hypothesis THEN did factor analysis
The Hierarchal Model of Personality
At the bottom are specific responses behaviours that we can observe
Next is habitual responses clusters of behaviours that occur in similar situations
o Example buying groceries
Next is traits clusters of related habitual responses such as source traits
At the top is a broad general dimension such as extraversion
Two fundamental personality dimensions or superfactors:
o Extraversion versus introversion
Degree to which person is outgoing and sociable
o Emotionality versus stability
Degree to which person has adjustment to environment and stability of
behaviour over time
The degree to which one is neurotic
A last dimension is psychotism inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality

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o Is not a dimension with an opposite pole, it is one that occurs in varying degrees in the
individual
Believed these dimensions are primarily genetic
Comparisons with Cattell and the Big Five
Cattell emphasized traits, eynsenck super traits
Eysenck believed cattell put too much emphasis on factor analysis
Cattell’s personality factors were oblique – they were correlated with each others
Eysenck’s were orthogonal – they did not correlate with each other
Low measures of agreeableness and concientousness are similar to psychotism
Tried to go beyond cattell’s descriptive theory and create a testable theory of individual
differences
Measurement of Traits
Eysenck was active in developing appropriate measures to quantify his concepts
Personality inventory questionnaires were flawed due to lying and not knowing the truth about
themselves
There was also no criterion against to make measurements
Eysenck improved personality inventory questionnaires through criterion analysis - began with
a hypothesis about an underlying variable, identified two criterion groups (that were and were
not clear examples of the criterion)
Criterion analysis showed how sensitive a question is to a particular variable, and allowed to
develop questionnaires that distinguished between the two groups
Looking For Causal Agents of Behaviour
Eysenck’s Hypothetical Causal Explanations
Individuals with weak excitatory and strong inhibitory potentials are likely to be extraverted
o Less sensitive and aroused, so they continually look for outside stimuli
o Are insensitive to low stimulation because their strong inhibitory supressions
Individuals with strong excitatory and weak inhibitory potentials are introverted
o The more aroused introvert needs to withdraw so that they are not overwhelmed
Hull’s drive theory states that as drives intensify, it leads to inhibition of the original drive
o Thus introverts who have higher drives (excitatory processes) will be inhibited easier
Reticular activating system if related to introversion extraversion
o Is an area responsible for arousal
o Introverts may have higher RAS activity that extrovers
Visceral brain (hypothalamus and amygala) is related to stability neuroticism
o Individuals with a low threshold in the VB are more likely to be readily viscerally aroused
and be emotional or neurotic
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