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Chapter 1

PSYB30 Chapter 1.odt

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Connie Boudens

CHAPTER 1: WHOAM I? UNDERSTANDING THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF PERSONALITY -two early personality psychologists mused that there are aspects of personality that are universal to all ppl and that there are completely unique to a single individual -knowing tht ppl do vary, personality psychologists attempt to study both the ways ppl are similar and the ways ppl are diff from each other What is Personality Psychology? -personality psychology: the scientific study of what makes us who we are—using the scientific method of investigation, it is the study of individual differences: for identifying ways in which ppl are similar and different -altho we can study the indi. Elements that make up the human personality, the elements come together to create a while person in a way that is not reducible to its parts The Building Blocks of Personality -most psychologists agree that to understand personality we need to understand traits, genetics, neuroscience, self & identity, intrapsychic aspects, regulation and motivation, and cognition: Traits: a person's typical way of thinking, feeling, and acting in various situations, at different times— these traits will be consistent across our lives and will be expressed in all sorts of ways Genetics: the study of how genes and environment affect personality and behaviour—we know that even tho personality variables have a genetic component, everyone of them has an environmental component as well Neuroscience: is the study of bodily responses, brain structure, brain activity, and biochemical activity —some of this research suggests that extroversion, neuroticism, and impulsivity are related to physiological and neurological differences which maybe present at birth or develop soon thereafter Self and Identity: encompasses our own sense of who we are. One of the hallmarks of being human is the ability to reflect on ourselves. We have a sense of who we are: our self-concept; we have an opinion about that: self-esteem; we may even try to present ourselves in a certain way to others, or we may embrace what others think about us, taking on a social identity Intrapsychic Foundations of Personality: w/ this sense of self, we can look w/in ourselves (intra) to our own conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings (psychics) that also make up our personality (intrapsychic)--today, a complete understanding of personality must also taking into account our unconscious motivations, including our mechanisms and imp attachments, starting w our caregivers and continuing w our intimate relationships Regulation and Motivation: Self-Determination Theory: modern theory of motivation suggests that ppl can—and do-- regulate themselves consciously and unconsciously –accordign to this theory, when ppl feel free to choose, are competent at what they do, and are connected to ppl around them, they will be motivated and self-directed for the task at hand >the building block of regulation and motivation is concerned with how ppl adjust their responses to the env., both consciously and unconsciously Cognitive Foundations: there are ind. Differences in locus of control, learned helplessness, learned hopelessness, and optimism-pessimism—the cognitive foundation describes how ppl perceive & think about information about themselves and the world Putting itAll Together: Integration -in integration, the building blocks of personality are combined into a whole person—when it comes to personality, the whole is greater than the mere sum of the parts -all of these topics stand alone, that is, we can understand any one of them w/o thinking a whole lot about the others -however, some of the most interesting aspects of human experience can be understood only by seeing how these blocks build on each other & interact –for example, when it comes to understanding whom we are attracted to, genetics and neurology interact w/ cognitions, attachments, and motivations, to determine our sexual orientation How Do Pyschologists Study Personality? -research allows us to formulate and test questions about human behaviour, to design accurate methods to answer these questions, and to test competing explanations against one another The Scientific Method -empiricism: using direct experience to draw conclusions about the world -scientific method: psychological research relies on this method which describes how to make and test observations about the world in order to draw conclusions while minimizing error or bias >starts w identifying basic facts abt world, then using these facts, scientists build theories—theories help scientists ask new questions and suggest where to look for answers and what kinds of answers they might find—then they make predictions and test predictions based on their theories using controlled methods—finally, they make their results public by publishing them (they do this to seek our independent verification from other researchers) -science progresses along a continuum from casual observations, which may inspire a hunch or guess about human behaviour, to controlled experimentation, in which researchers attempt to prove a theory false Observational Studies and Personality Questionnaires -methods researchers use depend on the kinds of questions being asked -i.e., researchers might use an observational study, where they observe what ppl do, to understand a certain phenomenon such as: Do some ppl talk more than others at a party?--then, based on these observations, researchers might
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