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PSYB30H3 (492)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2

22 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB30H3
Professor
Marc A Fournier

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Chapter 2: Units of Personality Types versus Traits
Bowers stated that traits are inventions, and there is no reason for believing that they should
account for all of the person variance. Revelle said that it is easy to forget that when
considering human behaviour, how similar we are to each other
Type approach to personality categorizes someone as either a pessimist or an optimist, or
as an extrovert or introvert
Trait approach is dimensional, such as characterizing someone as somewhat optimistic or
as being a little bit extroverted or a lot extroverted
Personality Types
Personality types are discrete categories that differ qualitatively in kind rather than in
degree. Personality types are categories that can involve a constellation of personality
characteristics that are present in an all-or-none fashion
One benefit of the categorical approach is that types usually consist of multiple personality
characteristics that cluster together and the combination of characteristics predicts certain
outcomes (eg. Risk of violence, aggression, abuse)
Studies that examine personality traits from a dimensional trait perspective often focus on
specific traits in isolation and do not consider how multiple personality factors combine
within the same person to create a qualitatively distinct type that predicts behaviours
However, use of discrete types may obscure important differences among people in same
category there may be substantial heterogeneity among people with the same type
Sheldons Somatotype Theory
Sheldon posited a link between body types and personality temperaments, build on the
observations of Greek physicians (Hippocrates and Galen) about the link between
temperament and balance of four bodily humors (blood, black bile, yellow bile, phlegm)
According to Galen, too much blood results in passionate and fiery temperament
Too much black bile results in a melancholic, sad temperament
Too much yellow bile contributes to choleric, angry temperament
Excess phlegm contributes to a lethargic, easygoing temperament
www.notesolution.com
Sheldon studied three main body types (Somatotypes) and associated personality
characteristics. Three body types are excessively thin (ectomorph), medium and muscular
(mesomorph), or overweight (endomorph)
People characterized by ectomorphy were hypothesized to be high in cerebrotonia, which
involves being socially restrained and high in the need for privacy
Mesomorphs were hypothesized to be high in somatotonia, which included an emphasis on
physical assertation and high activity level
Larger size of endomorphy was believed to be associated with viscerotonia, which is a love of
relaxation and comfort
Sheldon coined term constitutional psychology to reflect link between personality and
physical attributes
Sheldon reported strong empirical support of his theory, but he may have been biased in his
ratings as he conducted all the research and interpretations himself
Child administered a follow-up study at Yale to more than 400 students, he found some
evidence to support Sheldons theory but the associations were less robust than those found
by Sheldon
Somatotype Characteristi
c
Characteristics
Ectomorph CerebrotoniaDoes not withstand pain easily and willingly
Is not characterized by amiability and goodwill toward everyone
Lacks real desire for strenuous exercise, does not like to swim nude
Prefers to have a few very intimate friends instead of many
Mesomorph SomatotoniaWithstands pain easily
In talking with another person, looks at them right in the eye
Has real desire for strenuous physical exercise, likes cold showers
Endomorph ViscerotoniaGets to sleep easily, not easily awakened in middle of night
Tends to be apprehensive, insecure, or worried
Tends to be complacent about themselves and their relations with
the world
Is characterized by amiability or goodwill to everyone
Subsequent studies provided at best only very limited support for Sheldons theory
The process of classifying people into discrete type groups has been described ascarving
nature by its joints theory and research to account for differences
Gangstad and Snyder examined whether the construct of self-monitoring fits the criteria for
being a personality type
www.notesolution.com
High self-monitors are very attentive to situational cues and adjust behaviour in a
chameleon-like way to changes in the situation. In contrast, low self-monitors are relatively
unchanging and less sensitive to external cues, their focus is on internal cues and thoughts
Gangstad and Snyders data analyses supported their contention that self-monitoring is a
class variable that reflects a personality type; evidence of heterogeneity was also obtained in
that not one, but two subgroups of self-monitors were identified
Taxometrics is a complex statistical approach used to test for personality types or discrete
categories in general. A taxon is an identified category
Meehl emphasized that taxons are natural types rather than arbitrary classes or arbitrary
distinctions that do not correspond to a meaningful and observable difference
In reality, most personality research focuses on traits rather than types
Jung had initially made personality type as either extrovert (outgoing and sociable) or
introverts (reserved and not outgoing). However, Jung changed his thinking when he found
that the majority of people are ambiverts, with characteristics of both introversion and
extroversion, most adaptive because they are able to change their behaviour
Anthropologists have attempted to examine the personalities of entire societies of people
International Focus: Cultures as Personality Types the Antropological View
Antrhopologists recognized that there were differences across cultures that were reflected in
the societys overall personality
Benedict categorized several cultures and the personality characteristics that accompanied
these cultures. Four personality types were Apollonian, Dionysian, Paranoid, and
Megalomaniac
Apollonian type was a culture that was calm and reserved
Dionysian type was impulsive and expressive culture that engaged in excess
Paranoid type had preoccupation with possible betrayals and attacks
Megalomaniac type had overemphasis on wealth, social prestige, glory, superiority
Benedict has been criticized for ignoring developmental aspects of personality, and for
demonstrating a limited understanding of individual psychology
Cora Du Bois introduced the notion of modal personality and suggested that various
cultures could be contrasted in terms of the modal personality
Mode is the number that occurs the most time. She also recognized the important of
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 2: Units of Personality Types versus Traits Bowers stated that traits are inventions, and there is no reason for believing that they should account for all of the person variance. Revelle said that it is easy to forget that when considering human behaviour, how similar we are to each other Type approach to personality categorizes someone as either a pessimist or an optimist, or as an extrovert or introvert Trait approach is dimensional, such as characterizing someone as somewhat optimistic or as being a little bit extroverted or a lot extroverted Personality Types Personality types are discrete categories that differ qualitatively in kind rather than in degree. Personality types are categories that can involve a constellation of personality characteristics that are present in an all-or-none fashion One benefit of the categorical approach is that types usually consist of multiple personality characteristics that cluster together and the combination of characteristics predicts certain outcomes (eg. Risk of violence, aggression, abuse) Studies that examine personality traits from a dimensional trait perspective often focus on specific traits in isolation and do not consider how multiple personality factors combine within the same person to create a qualitatively distinct type that predicts behaviours However, use of discrete types may obscure important differences among people in same category there may be substantial heterogeneity among people with the same type Sheldons Somatotype Theory Sheldon posited a link between body types and personality temperaments, build on the observations of Greek physicians (Hippocrates and Galen) about the link between temperament and balance of four bodily humors (blood, black bile, yellow bile, phlegm) According to Galen, too much blood results in passionate and fiery temperament Too much black bile results in a melancholic, sad temperament Too much yellow bile contributes to choleric, angry temperament Excess phlegm contributes to a lethargic, easygoing temperament www.notesolution.com Sheldon studied three main body types (Somatotypes) and associated personality characteristics. Three body types are excessively thin (ectomorph), medium and muscular (mesomorph), or overweight (endomorph) People characterized by ectomorphy were hypothesized to be high in cerebrotonia, which involves being socially restrained and high in the need for privacy Mesomorphs were hypothesized to be high in somatotonia, which included an emphasis on physical assertation and high activity level Larger size of endomorphy was believed to be associated with viscerotonia, which is a love of relaxation and comfort Sheldon coined term constitutional psychology to reflect link between personality and physical attributes Sheldon reported strong empirical support of his theory, but he may have been biased in his ratings as he conducted all the research and interpretations himself Child administered a follow-up study at Yale to more than 400 students, he found some evidence to support Sheldons theory but the associations were less robust than those found by Sheldon Somatotype Characteristi Characteristics c Ectomorph Cerebrotonia Does not withstand pain easily and willingly Is not characterized by amiability and goodwill toward everyone Lacks real desire for strenuous exercise, does not like to swim nude Prefers to have a few very intimate friends instead of many Mesomorph Somatotonia Withstands pain easily In talking with another person, looks at them right in the eye Has real desire for strenuous physical exercise, likes cold showers Endomorph Viscerotonia Gets to sleep easily, not easily awakened in middle of night Tends to be apprehensive, insecure, or worried Tends to be complacent about themselves and their relations with the world Is characterized by amiability or goodwill to everyone Subsequent studies provided at best only very limited support for Sheldons theory The process of classifying people into discrete type groups has been described as carving nature by its joints theory and research to account for differences Gangstad and Snyder examined whether the construct of self-monitoring fits the criteria for being a personality type www.notesolution.com High self-monitors are very attentive to situational cues and adjust behaviour in a chameleon-like way to changes in the situation. In contrast, low self-monitors are relatively unchanging and less sensitive to external cues, their focus is on internal cues and thoughts Gangstad and Snyders data analyses supported their contention that self-monitoring is a class variable that reflects a personality type; evidence of heterogeneity was also obtained in that not one, but two subgroups of self-monitors were identified Taxometrics is a complex statistical approach used to test for personality types or discrete categories in general. A taxon is an identified category Meehl emphasized that taxons are natural types rather than arbitrary classes or arbitrary distinctions that do not correspond to a meaningful and observable difference In reality, most personality research focuses on traits rather than types Jung had initially made personality type as either extrovert (outgoing and sociable) or introverts (reserved and not outgoing). However, Jung changed his thinking when he found that the majority of people are ambiverts, with characteristics of both introversion and extroversion, most adaptive because they are able to change their behaviour Anthropologists have attempted to examine the personalities of entire societies of people International Focus: Cultures as Personality Types the Antropological View Antrhopologists recognized that there were differences across cultures that were reflected in the societys overall personality Benedict categorized several cultures and the personality characteristics that accompanied these cultures. Four personality types were Apollonian, Dionysian, Paranoid, and Megalomaniac Apollonian type was a culture that was calm and reserved Dionysian type was impulsive and expressive culture that engaged in excess Paranoid type had preoccupation with possible betrayals and attacks Megalomaniac type had overemphasis on wealth, social prestige, glory, superiority Benedict has been criticized for ignoring developmental aspects of personality, and for demonstrating a limited understanding of individual psychology Cora Du Bois introduced the notion of modal personality and suggested that various cultures could be contrasted in terms of the modal personality Mode is the number that occurs the most time. She also recognized the important of www.notesolution.com individual differences in her analysis of autobiographies Margaret Mead suggested that personality types could be represented graphically as if they were the north, south, east, and west points of a compass She described paternal, male personality as a possessive, Northern personality. Maternal personality was the Southern personality and involved responsiveness to possession Eastern position was associated with avoidance and detachment, while Western position was associated with engagement and acting pro-socially in a conservative, traditional way The war led anthropologists to study national character or personality of countries Benedict observed that to the anthropologist, the study of national character is the study of learned cultural behaviour, emphasis is on the common personality aspects of citizens However, Klineberg felt that we need to move beyond generalities to fully understand how nations and cultures have an impact on the individual Wallace argued that the proper way to characterize differences is to compare cultures by various individual differences within the culture In general, personality theorists were quite critical of the national character analyses Anthropologists have been criticized for their lack of supporting data, heavy focus on psychoanalytical concepts, and limited use of personality theories Eysencks call for an empirical approach is being addressed many years later by an increasing number of researchers who are examining personality from a cross-national perspective Esysenck examined responses to Esyenck Personality Questionnaires for 24 nations, another 13 nations were also studied, which reported levels of extroversion-introversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism for 37 nations in total The highest scoring countries for extroversion were Nigeria, Israel, and India, and the lowest scoring countries were China and Iran. U.S. was higher, Canada was lower As for neuroticism (low trait emotional stability), highest levels of neuroticism were found in Egypt, Japan, and Russia, while lowest levels were found in Israel, Nigeria, Norway, and Netherlands Lynn and
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