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Psychology (9,699)
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John Bassili (149)
Chapter 14

ch.14 detailed textbook notes

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John Bassili

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-1Chapter 14 (up to p.464) Striking cases of identical twins reunited in adulthood suggest that heredity plays an important role in shaping personality Needs to be backed up by scientific evidence; cant just rely on anecdotes People differ so much - have different styles of thinking, of relating to others, of working, which relfect differences in personality Differences crucial to defining us as individuals To psychologists, the definition of personality is narrow - a particular pattern of behaviour and thinking that prevails across time and situations and differentiates one person from another Psychologists assess personality from results of special tests designed to identify particular personality characteristics Goal is to discover the causes of individual differences in behaviour Research on human personality requires two kinds of effort - identifying personality characteristics and determining the variables that produce and control them Identifying and describing a personality characteristic is not the same as explaining it Trait Theories of Personality Trait 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 situations Personality Types and Traits Humoural theory - earliest known explanation for individual differences in personality Body was thought to contain four humoursliquids: yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood people classified according to the disposition produced by the predominance of one of these humours in their system Choleric people (yellow bile) bad tempered and irritable Melancholic people (black bile) had gloomy and pessimistic temperaments Phlegmatic people (phlegm) were sluggish, calm, an unexcitable Sanguine people (blood) were cheerful and passionate Notion that people could be divided into different personality types - different categories into which personality characteristics can be assigned based on factors like developmental experiences - persisted later Idea that people can be assigned to discrete categories is rejected today by most investigators They generally conceive of individual differences in personality as being in degree, not kind Tooby and Cosmides - the nature of human reproduction makes evolution of specific personality types unlikely - sex 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 next Most behavioural scientists agree that personality differences must be traced to impact of environmental factors Preference to measure degree to which an individual expresses a particular personality trait - enduring personal characteristic that reveals itself in a particular pattern of behaviour in different situations Types vs. traits - ex. type: tall, short (either-or) Height is best conceived of as a trait - a dimension on which people differ along a wide range of values People fall between the extremes Its 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 personality Personality 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 learning Identification of Personality Traits www.notesolution.com
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