Textbook Notes (381,165)
CA (168,383)
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PSYB30H3 (495)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1

12 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB30H3
Professor
Marc A Fournier

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Chapter 1: Personality An Introduction
Henry Murray states that trait psychology minimizes the importance of physiological
occurrences, irrational impulses and beliefs, infantile experiences, unconscious and inhibited
drives as well as environmental (sociological factors)
It stops short precisely at the point where a psychology is needed, the point at which it begins
to be difficult to understand what is going on
Ozer states that arguments over personality have obscured the reasons why studying
personality in the first place was important because it matters
Most people an interested in personality because they are aware of the big differences
between people
Students are interested because they can find out more about themselves and other people
Type A drivers are characterized by speed, impatience, and aggressive tendencies
Type B drivers are less impatient and tend to be more co-operative
Hence, type A people have been described ashard-driving
In India and in U.S., Type A drivers had more accidents than Type B drivers
In ratings of movies, there is substantial variability among reviewers
Some reviewers give consistently good reviews (ie. Robert Ebert 71%), while others give
favourable reviews less often (only 45% for Rick Groen)
The personality field is enormous and continually evolving
Goals of Chapter 1
First goal is to define personality and discuss ways it is measured
Second goal is to outline goals and purposes of personality research
Third purpose is to outline key themes in the book
What is personality?
Personality refers to relatively stable individual differences that are present early in life &
involves characteristics that generalize across time & across situations
We usually discuss personality in terms of dispositioned factors & associated behaviours that
www.notesolution.com
distinguish us & makes us diff from other people, but some personality characteristics are
similar across individuals
Personality is derived from the ancient Greek word meaning persona, which refers to the
masks that Greek actors would wear according to which character they were portraying
Thus, although much of our personality is inside of us and we carry it with us, the term
personality actually refers to the external styles of expressions that are on display for other
people to see
Kluckhohn and Murray emphasized diff levels of analysis and inquiry by noting that
Everyone is in certain respects like all other men, like some other men, like no other man
Runyan noted that scope of personality research includes things that apply to all people,
things that apply to defined groups of people and things that apply to specific people
Universal theories include psychodynamic theories, social learning principles,
phenomenological processes, and cognitive developmental stages
Salient group differences can come in the form of demographic factors (sex, race, social class),
or cultural differences and historical differences
Anyone can be studied when the focus is on particular individuals
To have an interest in the study of personality is the same as having an abiding interest in
study of people
A person interested in the study of personality is called a personologist have a great
interest in finding out how people differ and why they differ
The Goals of Personality Research
Three main goals of personality research are: description, explanation, and prediction
First goal is to describe personality differences as completely as possible
Second goal is to explain personality differences. This desire to explain personality
differences is the main reason why we have personality theories
Third goal is to make predictions in the future based on what is currently known about
personality, which reflects our need to reduce uncertainty about the future
Wiggins discussed the important role that personality assessment plays in prediction, stating
that personality assessment has aim of generating predictions about behaviour that will
contribute to decisions concerning disposition or treatment of individuals
Personality measures are used in many parts of the world to make decisions about people
www.notesolution.com
based on expectations about their future behaviours
Theories are used because they provide us with explanation
Rotter argued importance to consider theory when developing measure to assess a new
personality variable
He suggested that it is also important to have formulated a theory of behaviour, including a
theory of test-taking behaviours of people who will ultimately take the personality test
designed to tap this new variable
Doug Jackson also argued for the need for personality assessment measures to be derived
from theory. He said that personality measures will have broad import and substantial
construct validity only if they are derived from explicitly formulated, theoretically based
definition of a trait
When a clinician encounters someone with a personality disorder, goal is not simply to
describe symptoms, but to understand the disorders developmental origins, and the disorders
underlying causes must be accurately understood and fully addressed
Personality Goals from an Idiographic versus a Nomothetic Perspective
When it comes to the goals of description, explanation, and prediction, the focus can be on a
group of people or on a specific individual
Gordon Allport made in important distinction in 1937 between the idiographic and
nomothetic approach to studying personality
Much of personality research is focused on a nomothetic approach
The nomothetic approach involves gathering a small amount of data from a relatively large
sample in the hopes of identifying general laws or principles
This approach can be regarded as a variable-centred approach that may tell us whether one
variable relates to another. It looks a personality from a normative perspective
In contrast, the idiographic approach involves gathering a large amount of data from one
person or only a few people (ie a case study method)
Idiographic approach can be regarded as a person-centred approach because the ultimate
goal is to understand the entire person (their traits, life goals, values, personal experience)
Allport later suggested replacing the term idiographic with morphogenic to reflect a
greater focus on the pattern or structure that exists within the individual
Allport made an important plea for personologists to get to know the entire person
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Description
Chapter 1: Personality An Introduction Henry Murray states that trait psychology minimizes the importance of physiological occurrences, irrational impulses and beliefs, infantile experiences, unconscious and inhibited drives as well as environmental (sociological factors) It stops short precisely at the point where a psychology is needed, the point at which it begins to be difficult to understand what is going on Ozer states that arguments over personality have obscured the reasons why studying personality in the first place was important because it matters Most people an interested in personality because they are aware of the big differences between people Students are interested because they can find out more about themselves and other people Type A drivers are characterized by speed, impatience, and aggressive tendencies Type B drivers are less impatient and tend to be more co-operative Hence, type A people have been described as hard-driving In India and in U.S., Type A drivers had more accidents than Type B drivers In ratings of movies, there is substantial variability among reviewers Some reviewers give consistently good reviews (ie. Robert Ebert 71%), while others give favourable reviews less often (only 45% for Rick Groen) The personality field is enormous and continually evolving Goals of Chapter 1 First goal is to define personality and discuss ways it is measured Second goal is to outline goals and purposes of personality research Third purpose is to outline key themes in the book What is personality? Personality refers to relatively stable individual differences that are present early in life & involves characteristics that generalize across time & across situations We usually discuss personality in terms of dispositioned factors & associated behaviours that www.notesolution.com distinguish us & makes us diff from other people, but some personality characteristics are similar across individuals Personality is derived from the ancient Greek word meaning persona, which refers to the masks that Greek actors would wear according to which character they were portraying Thus, although much of our personality is inside of us and we carry it with us, the term personality actually refers to the external styles of expressions that are on display for other people to see Kluckhohn and Murray emphasized diff levels of analysis and inquiry by noting that Everyone is in certain respects like all other men, like some other men, like no other man Runyan noted that scope of personality research includes things that apply to all people, things that apply to defined groups of people and things that apply to specific people Universal theories include psychodynamic theories, social learning principles, phenomenological processes, and cognitive developmental stages Salient group differences can come in the form of demographic factors (sex, race, social class), or cultural differences and historical differences Anyone can be studied when the focus is on particular individuals To have an interest in the study of personality is the same as having an abiding interest in study of people A person interested in the study of personality is called a personologist have a great interest in finding out how people differ and why they differ The Goals of Personality Research Three main goals of personality research are: description, explanation, and prediction First goal is to describe personality differences as completely as possible Second goal is to explain personality differences. This desire to explain personality differences is the main reason why we have personality theories Third goal is to make predictions in the future based on what is currently known about personality, which reflects our need to reduce uncertainty about the future Wiggins discussed the important role that personality assessment plays in prediction, stating that personality assessment has aim of generating predictions about behaviour that will contribute to decisions concerning disposition or treatment of individuals Personality measures are used in many parts of the world to make decisions about people www.notesolution.com
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