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Chapter 12

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PSYC 1010
Ravi Naimpally

Chapter 12 Personality Theory Research and Assessment 547589The Nature of personalityDefining Personality Consistency and DistinctivenessOptimistic personality indicates that a person has a fairly consistent tendency to behave in a cheerful hopeful enthusiastic way looking at the bright side of things across a wide variety of situations The quality of consistency lies at the core of the concept of personality Distinctiveness is also central to the concept of personality Personality is used to explain why not everyone acts the same way in similar situations Various reactions to the same situation occur because each person has a different personalityThe concept of personality is used to explain 1 the stability in a persons behaviour over time and across situations and 2 the behavioural differences among people reacting to the same situation Personality refers to an individuals unique constellation of consistent behavioural traitsPersonality Traits dispositions and dimensionsA personality trait is a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situationsAdjectives such as honest dependable moody impulsive and suspicious anxious excitable and friendly describe dispositions that represent personality traits In factor analysis correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify closely related clusters of variableFactor analysis is used to identify these hidden factors In factor analysis of personality traits these hidden factors are viewed as very basic higherorder traits that determine less basic more specific traits The fivefactor model of personality traitsRobert McCrae and Paul Costa maintain that most personality traits are derived from just five higherorder traits that have come to be known as the big five extraversion neuroticism openness to experience agreeableness and conscientiousness 1Extraversion people who score high in extraversion are characterized as outgoing sociable upbeat friendly and assertive Referred to as positive emotionality in some trait models Extraversion tends to be happier than others And also have a more positive look on life 2Neuroticism people who score high in neuroticism are characterized as anxious hostile selfconscious insecure and vulnerableThey tend to overreact more in response to stress than others They also tend to exhibit more impulsiveness and emotional instability than others 3Openness to experience People who tend to score high in openness to experience tend to be tolerant of ambiguity and have less need for closure on issues than others Openness is associated with curiosity flexibility vivid fantasy imaginativeness and unconventional attitudes 4Agreeable people who score high in agreeableness tend to be sympathetic trusting cooperative modest and straightforward People who score at the positive end of this personality are characterized as suspicious antagonistic and aggressive Agreeableness is associated with constrictive approaches to conflict resolution making agreeable people less quarrelsome than others 5Conscientiousness people who score high in conscientiousness tend to be diligent disciplined wellorganized punctual and dependable Referred to as constraint in some trait models It is associated with strong selfdiscipline and the ability to regulate oneself effectively Psychodynamic PerspectivesPsychodynamic theories include all of the diverse theories descended from the work of Sigmund Freud which focus on unconscious mental forcesFreuds psychoanalytic TheoryPsychoanalytic theory attempts to explain personality motivation and psychological disorders by focusing on the influence of early childhood experiences on unconscious motives and conflicts and on the methods people use to cope with their sexual and aggressive urges Freuds contemporaries were uncomfortable with this theory for at least three reasons First in arguing that peoples behaviour is governed by unconscious factors of which they are unaware Freud made the disconcerting suggestion that individuals are not masters of their own minds Second in claiming the adult personality are shaped by childhood experiences and other factors beyond ones control he suggested that people are not masters of their own destinies Third by emphasizing the great importance of how people cope with their sexual urges Structure of personality Freud divided personality structures into three components the Id the ego and the superego The id is the primitive instinctive component of personality that operates according to the pleasure principle Freud referred to the id as the reservoir of psychic energy By this he meant that it houses the raw biological urges to eat sleep defecate copulate that energizes human behaviour
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