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PSYA02H3 (961)
Chapter 12

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Steve Joordens

Chapter 12  PERSONALTY – an individual’s characteristic style of behaving, thinking and feeling o Develops naturally as we travel through life  You describe people as generally having the same qualities, but you are described many different ways  SELF REPORT – a series of answers to a questionnaire that asks people to indicate the extent to which sets of statements or adjectives accurately describe their own behaviour or mental state o Self descriptive statements that indicate different degrees of a personality characteristic – multiple variations of the same questions to get valid answers o Can use answers to predict membership of a identifiable group (convicts) o Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) – a well- researched clinical questionnaire used to assess personality and psychological problems  500 descriptive statements  Measures tendencies towards clinical problems – depression, hypochondria, anxiety, paranoia and unconventional ideas  General personality chars – masculine and feminine gender role identification, sociability vs social inhibition, and impulsivity  PROJECTIVE TECHNIQUES - a standard series of ambiguous stimuli designed to elicit unique responses that reveal inner aspects of an individuals personality – you project personality factors that are out of awareness onto ambiguous things that will not censor these responses  RORSCHACH INKBLOT TEST – a projective personality test in which individual interpretations of the meaning of a set of unrestricted inkblots are analyzed to identify a respondents inner feelings and interpret his or her personality structure o Open to subjective interpretation and biases of the examiner  THEMATIC APPERCEPTION TEST – a projective personality test in which respondents reveal underlying motives, concerns, and the way they see the social world through the stories they make up about ambiguous people around them (TAT – Henry Murray) o Have a consistent set of basic themes  Results still based on examiner interpretation  In psychology, personality refers to a person’s characteristic style of behaving, thinking, and feeling.  Personality psychologists attempt to find the best ways to describe personality, to explain how personalities come about, and to measure personality.  Two general classes of personality tests are personality inventories, such as the MMPI-2, and projective techniques, such as the Rorschach Inkblot Test and the TAT.  Personality is a combination of traits – Allport o People could be described in terms of traits just as an object could be described for it properties o TRAIT – a relatively stable disposition to behave in a particular and consistent way  Traits don’t explain why a person acts a certain way  Trait may be a pre-existing disposition that causes their behaviour  Motivation that guides the behaviour  Murray – traits reflect motives  Authoritarianism – tendency towards political conservatism, obedience to authority, and conformity  Factor Analysis – sorts trait terms or self-descriptions into a small number of underlying dimensions or factors, based on how people use the traits to rate themselves o People rate themselves on adjectives indicating how each one accurately describes their personality and then the researcher calculates the patterns to determine similarities in the raters usage – links and similarities  Eysenck – 2 factor analysis – extraverts and introverts and emotionally stable vs neurotic  Big 5 - CANOE o Conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness to experience and extraversion o Strikes right balance between accounting for as much variation in personality as possible while avoiding overlapping traits o These 5 factors have emerged in a large number of studies using different types data o Big 5 seems to be universal – it predicts behaviour and social outcome saccurately?  Allport – traits as a char of the brain that influences the way people respond to their environment  Eysenck – connection between his trait dimensions and specific individual differences in the working brain  Identical twins a lot more similar in personality than fraternal twins o More genetically similar=likely more similar personalities  Genetic component of personality .4-.6 o Are twins more similar due to a shared environment? – nope still happens if the twins are raised apart  Simply growing up in the same family does not make people similar – people chalk it up to genetics  Many sets of genes interacting may produce a specific physiological char such as a strong fear reaction in anticipation of punishment, which may then shape the persons belief about a range of social issues  Do animals have personalities? –findings cant tell because people have different opinions – they anthropomorphize differently due to different imaginations  Eysenck – extraversion and introversion might arise from individual levels in alertness o They each seek out what will give them full mental stimulation o Extraverts pursue stimulation because their reticular formation – part of brain that regulates arousal or alertness – is not easily stimulated  Proved with extraverts reaction to intense stimuli, introverts acted more strongly to them  Gray – 2 brain systems that reflect extra/intra and neuroticism o Behavioural activation system (BAS) - a go system activates approach behaviour in response to the anticipation of reward  Extravert has a highly reactive BAS – on the “go” o Behavioural inhibition system (BIS) a stop system, inhibits behaviour in response to stimuli signalling punishment  Emotionally unstable will focus on negative outcomes  The trait approach tries to identify personality dimensions that can be used to characterize an individual’s behavior. Researchers have attempted to boil down the potentially huge array of things people do, think, and feel into some core personality dimensions.  Many personality psychologists currently focus on the Big Five personality factors: conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness to experience, and extraversion.  To address the question of why traits arise, trait theorists often adopt a biological perspective, seeing personality largely as the result of genetic influences on brain mechanisms.  Psychoanalysis – Freud  PSYCHODYNAMIC APPRAOCH – personality is formed by needs, strivings, and desires largely operating outside awareness – motives that can produce emotional disorders o DYNAMIC UNCONSCIOUS – an active system encompassing a lifetime of hidden memories, the person’s deepest instincts and desires and the person’s inner struggle to control these forces  Unconscious comes from when you were very young and kind of shapes your actions  ID – the part of the mind containing the drives present at birth; source of bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives – operates according to the pleasure principle: o Pleasure principle – seek immediate gratification of any impulse o All the id can do is wish  EGO – the component of personality, developed through contact with the external world, that enables us to deal with life’s practical demands – reality principle o Allows us to delay gratification to function effectively in the real world  SUPEREGO – mental system that reflects the internalization of cultural rules, mainly learned as parent exercise authority. o Guideline, internal standards and other codes of conduct that regulate and control our behaviours thoughts and fantasies – out conscience  The ego tries repression to try and ward off the anxiety brought upon by unpleasant thought or when it senses real world danger, or when the superego senses punishment?  DEFENSE MECHANISMS – unconscious coping mechanisms that greatly reduce anxiety generated by threats from unacceptable impulses o Rationalization – involves supplying a reasonable sounding explanation for unacceptable feelings and behaviour to conceal ones underlying motives or feelings (mostly from yourself) o Reaction formation – unconsciously replacing threatening inner wishes and fantasies with an exaggerated version of their opposite  Homophobes being turned on by gay shit o Projection – attributing one’s own threatening feelings, motives or impulses to another person or group o Regression – ego deals with internal conflict and perceived threat by reverting to an immature behaviour or earlier stage of development o Displacement – involves shifting unacceptable wishes or drives to a neutral or less threatening alternative o Identification – helps deal with feelings of threat and anxiety by enabling us unconsciously to take on the characteristics of another persons who seems more powerful or better able to cope – parent bullies child, who then bullies others\ o Sublimation – channelling unacceptable sexual or aggressive drives into acceptable and culturally enhancing activities  PSYCHOSEXUAL STAGES – distinct early life stages through which personality is forme
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