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Chapter 1

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB30H3
Professor
Connie Boudens
Semester
Winter

Description
Personality Psychology – Foundations and Findings Chapter 1 – Who Am I? Understanding the Building Blocks of Personality What Is Personality Psychology - The scientific study of what makes us who we are - The study of individual differences - Studying the building blocks/raw materials that make us think and ask as we do - The elements of personality come together to create a whole person in a way that is not reducible to its parts - The Building Blocks of Personality o Traits – a person’s typical way of thinking, feeling, and acting in various situations at different types  Can develop innately, through socialization, and from personal experiences  Consistent across our lives o Genetics – how genes and environment affect personality and behaviour  Every personality variable has both a genetic component and an environmental component; nature and nurture work together to make us who we are  We inherit specific personality characteristics and potentialities that may be expressed depending on the environment o Neuroscience – how our brain and nervous system affect personality and behaviour through the study of bodily responses, brain structure, brain activity, and biochemical activity  Research suggests – extroversion, neuroticism, and impulsivity are related to physiological and neurological differences; part of who we are is built into us by our neurology o Self and identity – our own sense of who we are (self-concept), our opinion about who we are (self-esteem), and the way we present ourselves to others or embrace what others think of us (social identity) o Intrapsychic foundations of personality – we can look within ourselves (intra) to our conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings (psychic) that make up our personality (intrapsychic)  Freud – physical disorders could have (often unconscious) psychological causes  Early experiences leave an indelible unconscious imprint on our adult personalities  Suggested that personality could be changed, originated psychotherapy o Regulation and motivation: Self-determination Theory – when people feel free to choose, are competent at what they do, and are connected to people around them, they will be motivated and self-directed for the task at hand  Building block: how people adjust responses to the environment consciously and unconsciously o Cognitive foundations – how people perceive and think about information about themselves and the world  Individual differences in locus of control, learned helplessness, learned hopelessness, and optimism-pessimism - Putting it All Together: Integration o Combining the building blocks of personality into a whole person o In personality, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts o Genetics and neurology interact with cognitions, attachments, and motivations to determine our sexual orientation How Do Psychologists Study Personality? - The Scientific Method o Research is based on empiricism – using direct experience to draw conclusions about the world o Psychology research relies on the scientific method o Starts with identification of basic facts about the world and building a theory o Make predictions and test them using controlled methods (i.e. an experiment) o Report results through publishing or presenting them to seek independent verification from other researchers o Science progresses along a continuum from casual observation to controlled experimentation (figure 1.1) o Theories reach the status of a law with more research until an alternative theory can explain the evidence better - Observational Studies and Personality Questionnaires o Observational stud
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