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Textbook Notes – Week 5.docx

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

PSY 100 Textbook Notes – Week 5 Ch. 12: pp. 554 – 547, (forming impressions) Ch. 13: pp. 583 – 593, (models of personality) Ch. 13: pp. 614 – 617, and pp. 622 – 625, (self-concept, cultural differences) Ch. 16: pp. 734 – 740, (culture & the mind) Ch. 12: pp. 554 – 547, (forming impressions) How Do We Form Our Impressions of Others?  As social animals, we live in groups. Groups provide security, mating oppurtunities, and assistance in hunting and gathering.  We have evolved mechanisms for discerning group members from non- group members, detecting dangers from within the group, (such as deception, coercion and infidelity). We must constantly make judgments about whether others are friends or foes, potential mates, potential challengers, honest or dishonest, trustworthy or unreliable, etc  We tend to automatically group people into social categories NONVERBAL ACTIONS AND EXPRESSIONS AFFECT OUR IMPRESSIONS  How you initially feel about a person will be largely determined by nonverbal behaviours  Nonverbal behaviour: the facial expressions, gestures, mannerisms, and movements by which one communicates with others. o Facial Expressions:  The face is usually the first thing we notice about another person. When babies are less than an hour old, they prefer to look at and will track a picture of a human face rather than a blank outline of a head.  The face communicates a great deal: emotional state, interest, distrust  Culture impacts our perception of facial expressions. Eye contact can be viewed as a signal of trustworthiness in some cultures and viewed as disrespectful in other cultures o Body Language:  People can usually make relatively accurate judgments based on only a few seconds of observation, called “thin slices of behaviour”  How someone walks, (their gait), is one important nonverbal cue  Gait provides information about affective state, (whether someone is mad, sad, hostile, etc.) PSY 100  People can reliably guess someone’s sexual orientation based on a 10-second video of someone’s gait WE MAKE ATTRIBUTIONS ABOUT OTHERS  Attributions: People’s causal explanations for why events or actions occur, including explanations of other people’s behaviour  Good habits are usually personal, stable, and controllable, whereas weather is situational, unstable, and uncontrollable  Depressed people will attribute their failures to their own inadequacies, which they believe to be permanent. Non-depressed people will self- servingly attribute their failures to situational, unstable, or uncontrollable attributed, such as failing a test because of a lack of sleep.  Non-depressed individuals will attribute failures to uncontrollable and unstable factors, and attribute success to personal, permanent factors such as intelligence  In any situation, there are dozens of plausible explanations for specific outcomes. Fritz Heider drew a distinction between personal attributions and situational attributions: o Personal Attributions:  Also known as internal or dispositional attributions  Explanations that refer to internal characteristics, such as abilities, traits, moods, and effort o Situational Attributions:  Explanations that refer to external events, such as the weather, luck, accidents, or the actions of other people  Sometimes referred to as external attributions  Attributional Bias o Fundamental attribution error: The tendency to overemphasize personal factors and underestimate situational factors in explaining behaviour o People will often fail to take into account that other people are influenced by social circumstances and tend to make self-serving attributions consistent with their pre-existing beliefs. o When people make attributions about themselves, they tend to focus on situations rather than on their personal dispositions, which leads to the actor/observer discrepancy:  People tend to attribute their own lateness to external factors, such as traffic, but tend to attribute other people’s lateness to personal characteristics such as laziness or disorganization  Most common with negative events. Positive events are attributed to our dispositions and negative events to outside forces  People from eastern cultures tend to take in more information when making attributions than people in western cultures. PSY 100 Thus they are more likely to believe human behaviour is the outcome of personal and situational factors Ch. 13: pp. 583 – 593, (models of personality)  Personality: The characteristic thoughts, emotional responses, and behaviours that are relatively stable in a individual over time and across circumstances.  Personality Trait: A characteristic; a dispositional tendency to act in a certain way over time and across circumstances How Have Psychologists Studied Personality? Different psychological scientists approach personality in different ways, often depending on their theoretical approaches. Some emphasize biological and genetic factors; others emphasize culture, patterns of reinforcement, or mental and unconscious processes. Personality is not just a list of traits, but rather a coherent whole. Furthermore, its dynamic in the sense that is it goal seeking, sensitive to context, and adaptive to environment. PSYCHODYNAMIC THEORIES EMPHASIZE UNCONSCIOUS AND DYNAMIC PROCESSES:  Psychodynamic Theory: Freudian theory that unconscious forces, such as wishes and motives, influence behaviour  Freud referred to these psychic forces as instincts, defining them as mental representations arising out of biological or physical need  He proposed that people attempt to satisfy the life instinct by following the pleasure principle, which directs people to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. The energy that drives the pleasure principle is the libido.  The Topographical Model of Mind: o Freud believed that most of the conflict between psychological forces occurs below the level of conscious awareness. o Proposed the mind is divided into three zones of mental awareness: 1. The CONSCIOUS level a. People are aware of their thoughts 2. The PRECONSCIOUS level a. Consists of content that is not currently in awareness but that could be brought to awareness b. Roughly analogous to long term memory PSY 100 3. The UNCONSCIOUS level a. Contains material the mind cannot easily retrieve b. Contains wishes, desires, and motive, and they are associated with conflict, anxiety, or pain c. To protect the person from distress, they are not accessible d. Sometimes, information from the unconscious leaks into consciousness, such as a Freudian slip, in which a person accidentally reveals a hidden motive  Development of Sexual Instincts: o Early childhood experiences have a major impact on the development of personality. o Freud believed that children go through developmental stages corresponding to their pursuit of satisfaction of libidinal urges, each called a psychosexual stage. o You can become fixated at a certain psychosexual stage if they receive excessive parental restriction or indulgence o At each psychosexual stage, libido is focused on one of the erogenous zones: the mouth, the anus, or the genitals. o Oral stage: a) Lasts from birth to approximately 18 months, during which time pleasure is sought through the mouth. b) Hungry infants experience relief when they breastfeed and thus associate pleasure with sucking c) Fixation at the oral stage results in an oral personality; they continue to seek pleasure through the mouth, such as smoking, and are excessively needy o Anal stage: a) From age 2 to age 3, toilet training leads to focus on the anus. b) Learning to control the bowels is part of this stage c) Fixation at the anal stage leads to anal-retentive personalities; being stubborn and highly regulating. Fixation may arise from overly strict toilet training or excessively rule-based child rearing o Phallic stage: a) From age 3 to age 5, children enter the phallic stage and libidinal energies are focused toward the genitals b) Children will often discover the pleasure of rubbing their genitals during this time, although they have no sexual intent, per se. c) This led to the development of the Oedipus complex I. Children desire an exclusive relationship with the opposite-sex parent. The same-sex parent is thus considered a rival, and children develop hostility toward that parent. PSY 100 II. Freud proposed that children develop unconscious wishes to kill the one parent in order to claim the other and that they resolve this conflict through identification with the same-sex parent, taking on many of that parent's values and beliefs. III. This theory is normally only applied to boys. Freud believed even wilder shit when it came to girls o Latency stage: a) Follows the phallic stage, during which libidinal urges are suppressed or channeled into doing schoolwork or building friendships o Genital stage: a) Adolescents and adults attain mature attitudes about sexuality and adulthood. b) Libidinal urges are centered on the capacity to reproduce and contribute to society  Structural Model of Personality: o Freud proposed an integrated model of how the mind is organized, consisting of three theoretical structures that vary in degree of consciousness. o The id: a) The most basic level and completely submerged in the unconscious b) Operates according to the pleasure principle, acting on impulses and desires c) Driven by the innate forces of sex and aggression o The superego: a) Acts as a brake on the id b) The internalization of parental and societal standards of conduct c) Developed during the phallic phase d) A rigid structure of morality, or conscience. o The ego: a) Mediates between the superego and the id b) Tries to satisfy the wishes of the id while being responsive to the dictates of the superego c) The ego operates according to the reality principle, which involves rational thought and problem solving o Conflicts between the id and the superego lead to anxiety, which the ego copes with through various defense mechanisms – unconscious mental strategies the mind uses to protect itself from conflict and distress  For instance, people often rationalize their behaviour by blaming situational factors over which they have little control, PSY 100 as when you tell your parents you did not call them because you were too busy studying for an exam  Finding good excuses keeps people from feeling bad and can also prevent others from getting mad at them  Freud’s daughter, Anna Freud, did most of the work on defense mechanisms  Reaction formation: when a person wards off an uncomfortable thought about the self by embracing the opposite thought. For example, someone who has homosexual thoughts may express outwardly very homophobic sentiments  Psychodynamic Theory Since Freud: o Neo-freudians include: Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, and Karen Horney o Adler and Horney strongly criticized Freud’s view of women, finding many of his theories misogynistic o Most reject Freud’s emphasis on sexual forces and instead focus on social interactions, especially a child’s emotional attachment to their parents o Object relations theory: The object of attachment is another person, such as a parent or spouse o Some emphasize the importance of culture, which Freud viewed monolithically as “civilization” o Most of what Freud said has been totally abandoned because it cannot be examined through accepted scientific methods HUMANISTIC APPROACHES EMPHASIZE INTEGRATED PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:  Humanistic approaches: Approaches to studying personality that emphasize personal experience and belief systems; they propose that people seek personal growth to fulfill their human potential  The process is referred to as self-actualization  Focuses on subjective human experience, or phenomenology, and views each person as inherently good  Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation: the desire to become self- actualized is the ultimate and most important human motive  Most prominent humanist psychologist was Carl Rogers, whose person- centered approach to personality emphasizes people’s personal understandings, or phenomenology o Rogers suggested a therapeutic technique in which the therapist would create a supportive and accepting environment and would deal with clients’ problems and concerns as clients understood them o Highlights the importance of how parents show affection for their children and how parental treatment affects personality development PSY 100 o Speculated that most parents provide love and support that is conditional: the parents love their children as long as the children do what the parents want them to do o Parents who disapprove of their children’s behaviour may withhold their love; as a result, children quickly abandon their true feelings, dreams, and desires and accept only those parts of themselves that elicit parental love and support o Thus people lose touch with their true selves in their pursuit of positive regard from others o To counteract this, Rogers encouraged parents to raise their children with unconditional positive regard, in which the children are accepted, love, and prized no matter how they behave o Parents may express disapproval of bad behaviour, but in a context that ensures the children feel loved o A child raised in this manner will develop a healthy sense of self- esteem and will become a fully functioning person  Positive Psychology Movement: o Attempts to use the methods of science to study humanity’s positive aspects, unlike other humanistic psychology that wasn’t really concerned with the scientific study of personality o Launched by Martin Seligman, encouraged the scientific study of qualities such as faith, values, creativity, courage, and hope o Broaden-and-build theory: positive emotions prompt people to consider novel solutions to their problems, and thus resilient people tend to draw on their positive emotions in dealing with setbacks or negative life experiences TYPE AND TRAIT APPROACHES DESCRIBE BEHAVIOURAL DISPOSITIONS: Psychodynamic and humanistic approaches seek to explain the mental process that shape personality. The same underlying processes likely occur in everyone, but individuals differ because they experience different conflicts, are treated differently by their parents, and so on. Other approaches to personality focus more on description than explanation.  Personality Types: Discrete categories based on global personality characteristics o We fill in gaps in our knowledge about individuals with our beliefs about the behaviours and disposition associated with these types o Implicit personality theory: A tendency to assume that certain personality characteristics go together, and therefore to make predictions about people based on minimal evidence. For example, we might think that introverts dislike parties, like books, and are sensitive  Many psychologists are concerned with traits in addition to types. PSY 100  Traits exist on a continuum – most people fall toward the middle and relatively few at the extremes  Trait Approach: An approach to studying personality that focuses on the extent to which individuals differ in personality dispositions  EYSENCK’S HIERARCHICAL MODEL: o The basic structure of this model begins at the specific response level, which consists of observed behaviours. For instance, a person may buy an item because it is on sale and then repeat the behaviour on different occasions; these behaviours are at the habitual response level o If a person is observed to behave the same way on many occasions, the person is characterized as possessing a trait. o Traits such as impulsiveness and sociability can be viewed as components of superordinate traits, of which Eysneck porposed three: 1. Introversion/Extroversion a. Coined by Carl Jung, refers to the extent to which people are shy, reserved, and quiet versus sociable, outgoing, and bold b. Eysneck believed that this dimension reflects differences in biological functioning 2. Emotional Stability a. The extent to which people’s moods and emotions change; those low in emotional stability, neurotic
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