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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

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Marc A Fournier

Chapter 1: Personality An Introduction Henry Murray states that trait psychology minimizes the importance of physiological occurrences, irrational impulses and beliefs, infantile experiences, unconscious and inhibited drives as well as environmental (sociological factors) It stops short precisely at the point where a psychology is needed, the point at which it begins to be difficult to understand what is going on Ozer states that arguments over personality have obscured the reasons why studying personality in the first place was important because it matters Most people an interested in personality because they are aware of the big differences between people Students are interested because they can find out more about themselves and other people Type A drivers are characterized by speed, impatience, and aggressive tendencies Type B drivers are less impatient and tend to be more co-operative Hence, type A people have been described as hard-driving In India and in U.S., Type A drivers had more accidents than Type B drivers In ratings of movies, there is substantial variability among reviewers Some reviewers give consistently good reviews (ie. Robert Ebert 71%), while others give favourable reviews less often (only 45% for Rick Groen) The personality field is enormous and continually evolving Goals of Chapter 1 First goal is to define personality and discuss ways it is measured Second goal is to outline goals and purposes of personality research Third purpose is to outline key themes in the book What is personality? Personality refers to relatively stable individual differences that are present early in life & involves characteristics that generalize across time & across situations We usually discuss personality in terms of dispositioned factors & associated behaviours that www.notesolution.com distinguish us & makes us diff from other people, but some personality characteristics are similar across individuals Personality is derived from the ancient Greek word meaning persona, which refers to the masks that Greek actors would wear according to which character they were portraying Thus, although much of our personality is inside of us and we carry it with us, the term personality actually refers to the external styles of expressions that are on display for other people to see Kluckhohn and Murray emphasized diff levels of analysis and inquiry by noting that Everyone is in certain respects like all other men, like some other men, like no other man Runyan noted that scope of personality research includes things that apply to all people, things that apply to defined groups of people and things that apply to specific people Universal theories include psychodynamic theories, social learning principles, phenomenological processes, and cognitive developmental stages Salient group differences can come in the form of demographic factors (sex, race, social class), or cultural differences and historical differences Anyone can be studied when the focus is on particular individuals To have an interest in the study of personality is the same as having an abiding interest in study of people A person interested in the study of personality is called a personologist have a great interest in finding out how people differ and why they differ The Goals of Personality Research Three main goals of personality research are: description, explanation, and prediction First goal is to describe personality differences as completely as possible Second goal is to explain personality differences. This desire to explain personality differences is the main reason why we have personality theories Third goal is to make predictions in the future based on what is currently known about personality, which reflects our need to reduce uncertainty about the future Wiggins discussed the important role that personality assessment plays in prediction, stating that personality assessment has aim of generating predictions about behaviour that will contribute to decisions concerning disposition or treatment of individuals Personality measures are used in many parts of the world to make decisions about people www.notesolution.com
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