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Chapter 1

Personality Chapter 1.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Kira A Borden

Personality Chapter 1: Who am I? Understanding the building blocks of Personality Advertising Disclaimer o Ocean almost seem to have a personality o Ocean is made of water, tides, waves, inversions, salt, seaweed, its vast and deep and it changes regularly o To understand personality  We need to understand what a person is like  We need to understand genetics and physiology  We need to consider that there may be parts of the person hidden under the surface What is Personality Psychology? o Personality Psychology is the scientific study of what makes us who we are o Using Scientific study- it is the study of individual differences for identifying way in which people are both similar and different and for explaining how they became that way o Personality is identifying and studying the building blocks or raw materials that make us think and act as we do. o Individuals personality is more than the sum of his or her parts o The individuals parts vary among people but the way they fit together may vary as well  The building Blocks of personality o Most psychologist understand human personality by understanding traits, genetics, neuroscience, self and identity, intrapsychic aspects, regulation and motivation and cognition o There is also social and environmental forces that impact human personality  Environmental forces: culture, society, socialization by parents and peers  Social forces: from our sense of self and identity to the level of our genetics o Traits: Describing Human personality and identifying important personalities characteristics  A person’s typical way of thinking, feeling and acting in various situations at different times  We can be born with certain physiology - that develop certain characteristics  We can develop these characteristics by socialization o Genetics: personality starts with our genetics make up that we have inherited from each of our birth parents  Genetics is the study of how genes and environment affects personality and behaviour  Many personality variables have a genetics component every ONE OF THEM has an environmental component  We inherit specific personality characteristics we also inherit potentials that may expressed in our personalities depending on the environment o Neuroscience: our genes encode our physical bodies, including our brain and nervous system  Neuroscience is the study of how our brain and nervous system affect personality and behaviour through the study of bodily responses, brain structure, brain structure, brain activity and biochemical activity  The environmental and our personal experience can still impact how these characteristics develop o Self and Identity: encompasses our own sense of who we are including our self-concept, self-esteem, and social identity  One of the hallmarks of being human is the ability to reflect on ourselves  Self-concept- we have a sense of who we are  Self-esteem- we have an opinion about that  Social Identity- we may even try to present ourselves in a certain way to others or we may embrace what others think about us o Intrapsychic Foundation of personality: with this sense of self we can look within ourselves INTRA to our own conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings PSYCHIC that also make up our personality {INTRAPSYCHIC}  Sigmund Freud – entire theory of unconscious motivations  Contributed to psychology was the realization that physical disorder could have psychological causes which were often unconscious  Freud was the first one to suggest that personality could be changed and originated a method of psychotherapy o Regulation and Motivations: self –determination theory: a modern theory of motivation suggests that people can and do regulate themselves consciously and unconsciously  According to self-determination theory, people feel free to choose, are competent at what they do and connected to people around them  The building blocks of regulation and motivation is concerned with hoe people adjust their responses to the environment both consciously and unconsciously o Cognitive foundation: finally people differ in how they process information, especially about the cause and impacts of events in their lives and expectation on what will happen in the future  The cognitive foundation describes how people perceive and think about information about themselves and the world  Putting is all together o Integration – we combine the building blocks of personality into a whole person o When it comes to personality the whole is greater than the mere sum of the parts ✓ putting it all together integration ⁃ Integration we combine the building blocks of personality into a whole person o How do psychologist study personality  Research allows us to formulate and test questions about human behaviour and to design accurate methods to answer these questions and to test competing explanations against one another ✓ the scientific method - Research rests on the philosophy of empiricism ( practical approach ) o Psychological research relies on the scientific method which descries how to ma
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