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PSYA02H3 (961)
Chapter 14


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Steve Joordens

CHAPTER 14: Personality - Personality: a partic pattern of behav and thinking that prevails across time and situations and differentiates one person from another goal of psychs is to discover the causes of individ diff in behav use diff tests, or identify events (bio and enviro) that cause ppl to behave the way they do - Research on human personality requires two kinds of effort: identifying personality charac and determining the variables that prod and ctrl them must avoid nominal fallacy; false belief that the causes of an event are explained by simply naming and identifying them 1. Trait Theories of Personality - First categorizations of personality was based on concept of personality traits - Personality theorists think of personality in everyday life; those that determine the ways we act and react in diff situations PERSONALITY TYPES AND TRAITS - Earliest known explanation for diff in personality first proposed by Hippocrates in cent BCE then nd refined by successor, Galen in 2 cent CE theory based on common medical beliefs that originated w/ ancient Greeks - Body was thought to contain 4 fluids 1) yellow bile- choleric; violent and aggressive temperament; irritable 2) black bile- melancholic; gloomy and pessimistic 3) phlegm- phlegmatic; sluggish, relaxed, and dull 4) blood- sanguine; outgoing, passionate, fun-loving human theory discredited - Personality types: diff categ into which personality charac can be assigned based on factors such as developmental exp or phys charac after identifying and defining personality types, theorists must determine whether these types actually exist and if knowing a persons personality type can lead to valid predictions about the persons behav in diff situations - most investigators today reject the assignment of discrete categ generally conceive individ diff in personality as differences in degree, not kind degree to which an individ expresses a partic personality trait - personality trait: an enduring personal charac that reveals itself in a partic pattern of behav in a variety of situations factors that underlie patterns of behav and are responsible for them personality traits reside in our brain IDENTIFICATION OF PERSONALITY TRAITS Allports Search for Traits - first psyschs to search systematically for a basic core of personality traits - began his work by looking for all the words in a dictionary used to describe personality found approx 18000 entries - then conducted analyses that identified those words that described only stable personality charac some rep temporary states like flustered, or evaluations such as admirable; ELIMINATED FROM LIST - believed that the considerable extent to which trait labels appear in English attests to the imp of traits in how ppl think about themselves and other large number of trait terms helped confirm his belief that a well developed trait theory could have value in understanding human functioning believed that traits were neuropsychological properties that led to behavioural consistency over time and contexts by prod functional similarity across those situations that guides their feelings, thoughts, and behav - not all traits have equal influence on people most powerful ones are cardinal traits; characterize a strong unifying influence on a persons behav these traits were rare, but those characterized by them stood out - central traits are less singular in their influence than cardinal traits but capture imp charac of an individ - secondary traits include charac that have minor influence on the consistency of behav - his research stimulated other psychs to think about personality in terms of traits or dispositions - modern trait theorists maintain that only when we know how to describe an individs personality, will we be able to explain it Cattell: Sixteen Personality Factors - used Allports 18000 words to start his theory of central traits - broke it down to 171 adj that he believed made up a relatively complete set of distinct surface traits (observable behav) - then used factor analysis to identify clusters of these traits that he believed rep underlying traits analyzed questionnaire responses and came up w/ 16 personality factors - referred to them as source traits cuz they were cornerstones upon which personality is built Eysenck: Three Factors - also used factor analysis to devise a theory of personality - research came up w/ 3 imp factors; bipolar dimensions 1) extroversion: (opposite of introversion) the tendency to seek the company of other ppl, to be spontaneous, and to engage in convo and other social behav w/ them introversion: the tendency to avoid the company of other ppl, to be inhibited and cautious; shyness 2) neuroticism: (opposite of emotional stability) the tendency to be anxious, worried, and full of guilt; moody and unstable emotional stability: the tendency to be relaxed and at peace w/ oneself; even-tempered 3) psychoticism: (opposite of self-ctrl) the tendency to be aggressive, egocentric, and anti-social self-ctrl: the tendency to be kind, considerate, and obedient of laws and rules psychoticism refers to anti-social tendencies, not mental illnesses - argued that the most imp aspects of a persons temperament are determined by a combo of these 3 factors; like colours are prod by combo of hue, saturation, and brightness - emphasizes biological nature of personality functioning of a neural system located in the brain stem produces diff levels of arousal of the cerebral cortex; e.g. introvert-extrovert = optimum arousal level of brain extrovert = low level, requires more stim introvert = high levels The Five-Factor Model - languages reflect observations of a culture; ppl invent words to describe distinctions they notice analysis of these distinctions by Tupes and Christal were replicated by Norman and led to the five factor model - five factor model: a theory stating that personality is composed of five primary dimensions: neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness (OCEAN) theory developed using factor analyses of ratings of the words ppl use to describe personality charac - Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R): the instrument used to measure the elements described in the five factor model R stands for revised consists of 240 items that can potentially describe the person being evaluated answered by the participant or someone they know well asked simple questions and the person rates the accuracy of the statement as it applies to them on a scale of 1-5 sums of the answers to diff sets of items represent scores on each of the five factors - Regarded as a robust model of personality started off w/ catell and then incorporated aspects of eysencks traits considerable cross-cultural applicability self-ratings of the NEO-PI-R are close to those done by family members - Can be sued to predict other aspects that seem to be related to personality DeNeve and Cooper showed that the 5 factors can be used to predict subjective well being Vollrath found moderate predictability for responses to daily hassles exp by college students barrack, mount and judge reported a meta-analysis of studies measuring job performance relative to the 5 factors extroversion seems to predict success in jobs that require leadership or jobs that demand improvisation in order to meet goals conscientiousness predicts success across job classifications - Biological basis for five factors is a strong degree of heritability higher correlations b/w monozygotic and dizygotic twins - Jackson argues that a 6 factor model is better conscientiousness actually rep 2 distinct dimensions methodicalness, reflects planfulness and a nedd for order industriousness is characterized by perseverance and achievement orientation The Dark Triad - Machiavellianism: a trait charac by skill at manipulating others socially habitual criminals sometimes have this and show very little regret in their offensive actions - Psychopathy: a trait describing a lack of empathy for others and a high degree of impulsivity - Narcissism: a trait characterized by grandiosity and feeling of superiority - The dark triad is considered distinct from the five factors; tend to deal w/ socially offensive personalities mostly exhibited by males; intercorrelations among traits is the same across sexes - At its extreme, the dark triad personality seems to epitomize the notion of a cold, calculating, domineering, and remorseless criminal - The increasing social isolation of the modern world may reward many of the milder aspects of the triad Traits Across Cultures - Any comprehensive theory of personality must encompass all cultures, countries, and languages if not, then the theory is culture-specific and limited to a number of cultures - Problems in demonstrating universality lie in taxonomy Boele de Raad suggest that the best one can do is to find acceptable counterparts of the five factors in all cultures first 3 factors (neuroticism, extroversion, openness) can be found across all cultures, but the last 2 are hard to validate - McCrae and terracciano asked
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