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Chapter 1

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Zachariah Campbell

Chapter 1 PSYB30 Chapter 1 Understanding the Building Blocks of Personality What is Personality Psychology?  Personality Psychology: scientific study of what makes us who we are; study of individual differences o Identifies how people are similar or different  Different small elements make up personality The Building Blocks of Personality  Traits, genetics, neuroscience, self and identity, intrapsychic aspects, regulation and motivation, cognition, social and environmental factors all contribute understanding personality  Traits: a person’s typical way of thinking, feeling, and acting in various situations at different times o Develop from our socializations and our personal experiences o Consistent across our lives o Expressed in all sorts of ways  Genetics: study of how genes and environment affect personality and behavior o Starts our personality o Natural selection has selected behaviors important for survival o Nature and nurture work together to make us who we are  Neuroscience: study of how our brain and nervous system affect personality and behavior through the study of bodily responses, brain structure, brain activity and biochemical activity o Research suggests that extroversion, neuroticism and impulsivity are related to physiological and neurological differences which may be present at birth or develop after  Self and Identity: encompasses our own sense of who we are including our self – concept, self – esteem and social identity o Self – concept is a sense of who we are o Self – esteem is the opinion about our self – concept o We may try to present ourselves in a different way or accept what others think of us (social identity)  Intrapsychic Foundations of Personality: looking within ourselves (intra) to our own conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings (psychic) o Freud suggested that physiological problems could have psychological causes (often unconscious) o Also came up with psychotherapy to change personality  Regulation and Motivation: Self – Determination Theory: people can and do unconsciously and consciously regulate themselves o When people feel free to chose and are competent at what they do, they are more self – motivated o How people adjust their responses to the environment  Cognitive Foundations: describes how people perceive and think about information about themselves and the world Putting it All Together: Integration  Integration: combining the building blocks of personality into a whole person  We are equipped with a specific package of genes o Provide certain type of physiological reactivity and brain function o Life experiences along with genes have led us to develop certain character traits Chapter 1 PSYB30  Genetics and neurology interact with cognitions, attachments and motivations to determine our sexual orientation How Do Psychologists Study Personality The Scientific Method  Describes how to make and test observations about the world in order to draw conclusions wile minimizing error or bias  Starts with identification of basic facts about the world  Then using the facts, scientists build theories  Theories help ask new questions and suggest where to look for answers  Scientists then make predictions and test predictions based on their theories using controlled methods  Finally, scientists m
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