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Psychology (9,545)
PSYB30H3 (478)
Chapter 3

Chapter 3

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Marc A Fournier

Chapter 3: The Development of Personality Impostor phenomenon is when a person feels out of place, as if they do not belong in such a good group (i.e. medical school). One explanation may be that these people were raised in family that encouraged them to act in ways that are not consistent with their true selves Joan Harvey also posited that people are also likely to feel like impostors if they compare themselves with perfectionist standards, or maybe they have been raised in a cultural milieu where modesty is norm Personality development reflects multiple influences that operate not only in childhood, but also throughout the lifespan Personality Differences in Children Some individual differences can be detected shortly after babies are born. If these differences have a genetic origin, then differences go back to the moments when children are first conceived Birth circumstances and experiences may even come into play, British study showed that babies born very pre-term (<33 weeks gestation time) have relatively high neuroticism scores and low extroversion scores on Eysenck Personality Questionnaire as adults Research on Type A behaviour in children suggests that personality differences can be detected among 3 and 4 year olds. Early presence follows with the definition that personality traits are stable and long-lasting personality differences that can be detected very early in the lives of individuals Supertraits in Children: The Five-Factor Model Five personality traits of the Five-Factor model are extroversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness to experience Digman found the existence of personality features of 2,500 students in six diff samples between 1959 and 1967 in Hawaii that supported the five-factor model, also detected in a sample of Russian children Follow-up analyses of data by Goldberg showed that all five factors were evident in every sample The youngest participants were in Grade 1 and Grade 2, so the five factors are detectable among 6-year olds. Mervielde also found that the five factors can be detected in children beginning elementary school. John refers to the Little Five as the test of the five-factor model in young people www.notesolution.com John gave the California Child-Q-Set to mothers of 12 and 13 year olds, and found the existence of the 5 factors and 2 other factors (irritability and activity temperament) Lamb gave the California Child-Q-Set to mothers to describe toddlers who averaged 2.3 years of age, and reassessed them as 15 year olds Lamb concluded that extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism were incoherent (not clearly distinguishable). Thus, these aspects of personality are either not well-defined in early childhood or do not become readily apparent to parents until later Additional evidence suggested that the openness to experience factor was not a meaningful dimension until children reached adolescence However, results of another study cast doubt on the existence of openness dimension during adolescence. Markey found that openness was not identified as a meaningful dimension in adolescents In Belgium, students from Grade 3 to 6 rated their peers on 25 items that represented the five factor model. Analyses of data yielded three factors: (1) agreeableness factor, (2) a combined extroversion and neuroticism factor, (3) combined conscientiousness and the intellectual aspect of openness Perhaps the peer nomination data did not yield the five-factor model because cognitive abilities of children to assess their peers had not fully developed Scholte posited that the peer nomination data were biased in that the peer nomination approach is heavily influenced by global evaluations of the group reputations of each adolescent being described Mervielde reported that about 30% of parents spontaneously described their children (in Belgium, China, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, U.S.) in ways that touched all five factors, and almost 70% of parents touched on all four factors The use of four categories was the most common outcome, at least three categories were used by almost all the parents. Another comparative study of parents free descriptions found evidence of the five factors, but salience of trait dimensions varied by culture Zhang found that 86% of statements provided by Chinese parents touched on all five personality dimensions vs. 77% for the Dutch parents in free descriptions One particularly salient group difference also emerged, Chinese parents spontaneously generated more descriptions that reflected the conscientiousness category Chinese parents give more positive descriptions of conscientiousness (7.1% vs. 4.3%) and more negative descriptions (12.1% vs. 2.4%), with the overall evaluative tone being much more negative www.notesolution.com The top three categories for Chinese parents were extroversion (27.2% of all statements), conscientiousness (19.4%), and agreeableness (17.4%) Top category for Dutch parents were also extroversion (28.5% of all statements), but the next two most commonly mentioned categories were agreeableness (18.9%) and intellect/openness (12.2%) These data suggest cross-cultural differences in salience or importance of certain personality dimensions Eysencks Big Three in Children Eysencks three dimensions are neuroticism, extroversion, and psychoticism Research has been conducted with the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Junior, the EPQ- J assesses these three dimensions and includes a lie scale In contrast to the research on the five-factor model in children, most research with the EPQ-J assesses childs self-report instead of ratings by parents or teachers Collectively, research with the EPQ-J has attested to the presence of reliable individual differences in extroversion, neuroticism, and psychoticsm Research has been conducted with children in Britain, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Iran Caruso summarized data from 23 studies with 44 samples of children, general use of the scale was supported, but psychoticism dimension has low reliability, and the scales psychometric properties seemed to vary as a function of gender composition and age Assessment and conceptualization of psychoticism in children may require modification Cross-cultural research has shown that children from Hong Kong, relative to children from Britain, have lower levels of extroversion and neuroticism, but higher lie scores. Children from Iran also have significantly lower levels of extroversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism than children from Britain Also, boys score higher on psychoticism, but lower in neuroticism and extroversion Overall, data suggest that there are individual differences among children in neuroticism & extroversion In summary, existing data suggest that the five-factor model has received limited support when evaluated in children because the openness factor is not clearly evident However, by the time children reach elementary school, individual differences exist in agreeableness, extroversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness www.notesolution.com Personality Stability: Plaster, Plastic, or Both? William James was among the first to question whether personality is stable or changing He discussed the issue in terms of whether it is plastic and changing (plasticity hypothesis) or is like plaster and enduring (plaster hypothesis) James defined plasticity as the possession of a structure weak enough to yield an influence, but strong enough not to yield at once. He felt that plasticity in personality is reflected by gradual, evolving change The plaster hypothesis reflects James notion that the habits associated with character take hold and become permanent. James favoured the plaster hypothesis and suggested that it is well for the world that in most of us, by age 30, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again He said most of us to leave room for individual differences among people. James went on to suggest that the period between 20 and 30 is critical for developing the intellectual and professional habits that will be reflected from age 30 and older. The period before the age of 20 is the time for formation of personal habits McCrae and Costa are among the most vocal proponents of the plaster hypothesis, analyzed data and concluded that personality is pretty much fixed by age of 30 However, there is still the possibility that people may learn more adaptive ways of interacting with their environment, including the people in their lives Factors that Promote Personality Stability One possibility is the continuing influence of genetic factors Caspi and Bem outline three other ways that personality stability may result First, people are proactive, they actively seek out situations and life experiences that are in keeping with their personalities Second, people are characteristically reactive, people tend to act in unique but predictable ways to environmental stimulation, and these styles of
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