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Psychology (9,565)
PSYB30H3 (478)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Studying The Person - chapter notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Marc A Fournier

Chapter 1 Studying The PersonDispositional Traits y The goal of personality psychology is to construct a scientific account of psychological individualityHow that person is similar to and different from other persons y Personality psychologists study individual differences in people attempt to classify categorize and organize individuality and look for biological and environmental forces and factors that explain those differences y Attempt to formalize and systematize the general human effort to know persons y In describing a person we are sketching a personality portrait and begin to characterize her patterns of behaviour thought and feeling y Traits are those general internal and comparative dispositions that we attribute to people to sort them to find behavioural categories and to account for consistencies and expected behaviour from one situation to the next y These traits are called dispositional traits y Psychologist use selfreport questionnaires to help quantify differences in dispositional traitsPeople have a good basic understanding of their basic traits Theories by Eysenck and Cattell have been built around the concept of personality trait y Good trait measures are useful in predicting behaviour over time and across situations y From 18000 words that referred to states traits and evaluations it was boiled down to the Big Five trait categories y Openness to Experience Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness and Neuroticism OCEAN y The big five shows the basic variability in human qualities that are implicated in social behaviour y If you want to fill in more details we need to go beyond the dispositional traits y Beyond the dispositional traits we look for ways to organize the detailsCharacteristic Adaptations y Consider her pattern of interests and values y Trait attributions are useful they tell us about trends in behaviour and across situations settings and contexts y We contextualize the traits in time place andor role this is called characteristic adaptations y Theories that address characteristic adaptations 1 Human Motivation what people fundamentally want or desire in life a Sigmund Freud and deep urges with sexuality and aggression b Carl Rogers and other humanist psychologist and importance of selfactualization and growth promoting human tendencies c Murrays list of 20 basic psychological needs or motives d McClelland studied three of the 20 achievement power and affiliationintimacy 2 Theories of cognition and personality the role of cognitive factors values beliefs expectancies schemas plans personal constructs cognitive styles in human individuality a Most famous George Kellys personal construct theory 3 Developmental theory focuses on evolution of the self and its relationship with others from birth to old age a Erikson theory of psychosocial development b Jane Loevingers theory of ego development y By entering either theory of characteristic adaptations we move from knowing personality structure to one that emphasizes personality dynamics process and changeIntegrative Life Narratives y What were missing is what that persons life meansWhat does their life overall meant to them y These sorts of questions about a person are questions of identify
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