Textbook Notes (362,842)
Canada (158,078)
Psychology (9,549)
PSYA02H3 (931)
John Bassili (149)
Chapter 14

ch.14 detailed textbook notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
John Bassili

Chapter 14 up to p464Striking cases of identical twins reunited in adulthood suggest that heredity plays an important role in shaping personalityNeeds to be backed up by scientific evidence cant just rely on anecdotesPeople differ so muchhave different styles of thinking of relating to others of working which relfect differences in personalityDifferences crucial to defining us as individualsTo psychologists the definition of personality is narrowa particular pattern of behaviour and thinking that prevails across time and situations and differentiates one person from anotherPsychologists assess personality from results of special tests designed to identify particular personality characteristicsGoal is to discover the causes of individual differences in behaviourResearch on human personality requires two kinds of effortidentifying personality characteristics and determining the variables that produce and control themIdentifying and describing a personality characteristic is not the same as explaining itTrait Theories of PersonalityTrait theorists use the term personality in the way we often think of personality in everyday lie a set of personal characteristics that determines the different ways we act and react in a variety of situationsPersonality Types and TraitsHumoural theoryearliest known explanation for individual differences in personalityBody was thought to contain four humoursliquids yellow bile black bile phlegm and bloodpeople classified according to the disposition produced by the predominance of one of these humours in their systemCholeric people yellow bile bad tempered and irritableMelancholic people black bile hadgloomy and pessimistic temperamentsPhlegmatic people phlegm were sluggish calm an unexcitableSanguine people blood were cheerful and passionateNotion that people could be divided into different personality types different categories into which personality characteristics can be assigned based on factors like developmental experiencespersisted laterIdea that people can be assigned to discrete categories is rejected today by most investigatorsThey generally conceive of individual differences in personality as being in degree not kindTooby and Cosmidesthe nature of human reproduction makes evolution of specific personality types unlikelysex produces a reshuffling of the genes in each generation making it unlikely that a single unified set of genes related to personality type would be passed from one generation to the nextMost behavioural scientists agree that personality differences must be traced to impact of environmental factorsPreference to measure degree to which an individual expresses a particular personality traitenduring personal characteristic that reveals itself in a particular pattern of behaviour in different situationsTypes vs traitsex type tall short eitherorHeight is best conceived of as a traita dimension on which people differ along a wide range of valuesPeople fall between the extremesIts not that people are either one type of personality or the other but people vary in extent to which they are one or the other trait of personalityPersonality traits arent simply patterns of behaviour they are factors that underlie these patterns and are responsible for them We carry our personality traits in our brains and personality traits are changed by learningIdentification of Personality TraitsGoal is to explain what determines peoples behaviourAllports Search for TraitsOne of first to search systematically for basic core of personality traits
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