PSYB30 Chapter 1: Who Am I? Understanding the Building Blocks of Personality
The ocean is a pretty good metaphor for personality. There is more to an ocean than water molecules. There are tides,
waves, inversions, salt, seaweed and marine life; it is vast and deep; and it changes regularly.
Personality: what is the person like? Extroverted vs. Introverted? Easy going? Open to new ideas? Responsible? Genetics/
physiology? What’s hidden under surface? Coping strategies with the storms of life?
There are aspects of personality that are universal to all ppl, that are shared by similar ppl and that are completely unique to
a single individual.
Desire for actualization (to develop and express individual identity)
What is Personality Psychology?
Study of individual differences—identifying ways in which ppl are both similar and different; and explaining how they
became that way.
o All elements come together to create a whole person in a way that is not reducible to its parts
o Individuals personality is more than the sum of his or her parts
Building Blocks of Personality – Integration of blocks build on each other & interact with each other
- A person’s typical way of thinking, feeling, and acting, in various situations, at different times.
- Characteristics more likely to develop due to certain physiology (born with)
- Characteristics due to socialization with parents, peers, teachers, society and from our personal experiences.
- Consistent across life and expressed in many ways.
- Evolutionary forces have selected behaviours that improve the survival of the species or individual
- Study of how genes and environment affect personality and behaviour
- Study of how brain & nervous system affect personality and behaviour through study of bodily responses, brain
structure, brain activity and biochemical activity
4. Self &