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Chapter 14


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Ch14 PersonalityPersonalitya particular pattern of behaviour and thinking prevailing across time and situations that differentiates one person from anotherPsychologists assessment of personality derived from results of special tests designed to identify particular personality characteristicsgoal is to discover causes of individual differences in behaviourresearch on human personality requires 2 kinds of effortoidentifying personality characteristics odetermining variable that produce and control themmust avoid nominal fallacyfalse belief that causes of even are explained by simply namingidentifying themTRAIT THEORIES OF PERSONALITYPersonality Types and Traitsancient Greeks had earliest explanation for individual differences in personalityohumoural theory body contains yellow bile black bile phlegm and bloodoYellowbad tempered irritableoBlackgloomy pessimisticoPhlegmsluggish calmoBloodcheerful passionatePersonality Typesdifferent categories into which personality characteristics can be assigned based on factors such as developmental experiences or physical characteristicspeople being assigned to discrete categories is rejected today by most investigatorsgenerally conceive individual differences in personality as being in degree not kindHuman reproduction reshuffles genes in each generation making unlikely that specific set of genes related to personality type would be passed onMost behavioural scientists agree personality differences relate to impact of environmental factorsPersonality Trait an enduring personal characteristic that reveals itself in a particular pattern of behaviour in a variety of situationsPeople differ along a wide range of valuesOnce personality traits developed they reside in brainif personality traits changed through learning those changes must have neurological basis in brainIdentification of Personality TraitsAllports Search for Traits18 000 words from dictionary narrowed down to those that describe stable characteristicsbelieved that traits were neuropsychological properties that led to behavioural consistency over time and contexts by producing functional similarity in way a given person interprets and experiences events1people with particular trait react similarly across situations bc they experience unique sense of similarity across those situations that guide their feelings thoughts and behaviournot all traits have equal influence on their possessorsCardinal traitsstrong unifying influence on persons behaviour rare these people stand outie Hitlers oppressive power Mandelas commitment to justiceCentral traitsless singular than cardinal traits but capture important characteristics of individual ie honest warmSecondary traitscharacteristics that have minor influence on consistency of behaviour ie persons tendency to frequently change jobsCattell16 Personality Factorstook Allports 18 000 words and narrowed down to 171 adjectives that made relatively complete set of distinct surface traits observable behavioursused factor analysis to identify clusters of traits he believed to represent underlying traitseventually identified 16 personality factorssource traitsEysenck 3 Factorsextroversion neuroticism and psychoticismbipolar dimensionsopposites introversion emotional stability selfcontrolExtroversionthe tendency to seek the company of other people to be spontaneous and to engage in conversations and other social behaviours with themIntroversionthe tendency to avoid the company of other people to be inhibited and cautious shynessNeuroticismthe tendency to be anxious worried and full of guiltEmotional stabilitytendency to be relaxed and at peace woneselfPsychoticismtendency to be aggressive egocentric and antisocialSelfControlthe tendency to be kind considerate and obedient of laws and rulesEysenck argued that most important aspects of persons temperament determined by combo extroversion neuroticism and psychoticismEmphasized functioning of neural system located in brain stem produces different levels of arousal of cerebral cortexie introverts have high levels of cortical excitation while extroverts have low levelsneed external stimulation interact wothers to maintain optimum arousal levelThe 5 Factor ModelFive Factor Modela theory stating that personality is composed of 5 primary dimensions neuroticism extroversion openness agreeableness and conscientiousnessThis theory was developed using factor analyses of ratings of words people use to describe personality characteristicsNeuroticism Extraversion and Openness Personality Inventory NEOPIRthe instrument used to measure the elements described in the 5 factor model neuroticism extroversion openness agreeableness and conscientiousnessNEOPIR consists of 240 items that can potentially be used to describe person being evaluatedtest items can be answered by participant or by someone heshe knows wellie I really like most people I meet She has a very active imaginationthese are rated on scale of 1 to 5 strong disagreement to strong agreement2
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