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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: The Background: Persons, Human Nature, and Culture

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Marc A Fournier

Sanchika Kanagalingam 1142012 PersonalityChapter 1 Chapter 1 The Background Persons Human Nature and CultureIntroduction y Personality psychology is the scientific study of the whole person y Psychology in general is about many things perception and attention cognition and memory neurons and brain circuitry abnormal behavior social behavior therapy and etc y Personal psychologist study individual differences in people y They develop ways to classify categorize and organize the diversity of psychological individuality and look for biological and environmental factors that that explain the differences Level 1 Sketching an outline Dispositional Traits y A dispositional trait o You begin to organize what you think about a person into some general statements concerning her characteristic patterns of behavior thoughts and feelings o Though it is not sufficient to give your complete confidence in your initial attributions y Personality traits o Those general internal and comparative dispositions that we attribute to people in our initial efforts to sort individuals into meaningful behavioral categories and to account for consistencies we perceive or expect in behavior from one situation to the next and over timey These kinds of trait attributions might guide you in your future interactions with this person and give you clues on what to expect from the person y Personality psychologists make good use of the concept of trait in their efforts to sketch an overall outline of a persons individuality y Good trait measures are useful in predicting behavior over time and across situation o They also have been employed in efforts to discern the biological bases of human behavior y Many years ago scientist have found more than 18000 words that refer to psychological states traits and evaluations in the Englishlanguage dictionary o Today personality psychologists have grouped them into five categoriesOpenness to experienceConscientiousnessExtraversionAgreeablenessNeuroticism y The big five traits OCEAN sketch the outline of the person Level 2Filling in the Details Characteristic Adaptations y Trait attributions are useful because they tell us about trends in behavior over time and across different situations settings and context
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