Textbook Notes (367,907)
Canada (161,488)
York University (12,779)
Psychology (3,584)
PSYC 2130 (185)
Chapter 7-9

Personality (PSYC 2130) Chapters 7-9, 11-13 Textbook Notes

53 Pages
Unlock Document

PSYC 2130
Frank Marchese

Chapter 7 Introduction to the Dispositional Strategy Disposition: an enduring, relatively stable personality characteristic According to the dispositional strategy, people differ in the way they are generally disposed to behave Box 7.1 involves a long ass exercise which seems pretty complex and not so important, so I’ll skip that. Check out box 7.1 though, it’s worth a peek. Gordon Allport (1937) was one of the first people to examine dispositional terms that we use (trait names) to describe others. He says that many are synonymous (mean the same thing), so the list can be reduced Most people use about 3-10 different adjectives to describe people People feel more comfortable describing someone they don’t know as well Also noticed that dispositions vary in the degree to which they pervade a particular personality. In terms of pervasiveness, people tend not to have dispositions that entirely take over their personality (ex. the “Almost Always” category). There could be a person with few dispositions that characterize them in many situations Dispositional labels serve as organizing concepts that may explain a person’s behaviour in a variety of situations. Early Dispositional Concepts Using dispositional concepts to find out how a certain person will behave under certain circumstances has been prominent for thousands of years Ancient Hebrew used dispositional concepts in order to divide people into two types of people, those who should fight, and those who should not Theory of the four temperaments is based off of the ancient Greek idea that the universe can be described with four basic elements: air, fire, water, earth. Hippocrates (a Greek physician) applied the idea to humans. He said that the body contains four humors (liquids in the body) that correspond to the elements. Galen (a Roman physician) said that an excess of certain humors can lead to a certain temperament or “personality type”: Sanguine (hopeful) Melancholic (sad) Choleric (hot-tempered) Phlegmatic (apathetic) Today, there are at least two different ingredients in personality, and they are extroversion and neuroticism Many people think they can identify a “criminal type” by physical appearance, for instance, by looking at someone’s eyes. People may associate skinny people with thick glasses with characteristics such as intelligence (judgement based on first appearance) Dispositional Terminology Theorists often apply different terms to the same concepts (trait and disposition are used interchangeably) For example, types, trait clusters, and factors may all be used in different ways by some theorists, yet other writers may make no discrimination among them Table 7.2 on p. 184 has a list of well defined terms of personality psychology so that theorists don’t get words mixed up, and here are the words Disposition: enduring characteristics on which individuals differ; often used like the term “traits” Domain: broad personality factor; sometimes called supertraits, domains each encompass a number (six in Costa and McCrae’s scheme) of narrower traits or facets Facet: narrow elemental personality features of which personality characteristics (dispositions or traits) are compromised Factor: broad domains or “supertraits” often identified through factor analysis Temperament: broad dimensions of personality that can be observed, measured, and used to classify people from infancy, and the three temperaments are emotionality, activity level, and sociability (these broad dimensions serve as the foundation for development of adult personality, including specific dispositions or traits Trait: used like “disposition”, but often used in combination with other terms to show somewhat different ideas or to convey the enduring nature of a characteristic that might appear to be a transient state (lasting only for a short while) to some people (ex. the trait “anxiety” is used to show the idea that in some people, proneness to anxiety is a stable feature of personality) Type: Cluster of characteristics (or dispositions or traits) that tend to occur together in some people; these can range from a small number (three to five) of characteristics to large groupings of distinguishable patterns of characteristics sometimes referred to as supertraits or personality factors Theoretical Assumptions of the Dispositional Strategy The first assumption is that personalities are stable over time Most dispositional psychologists conceptualize an individual’s enduring dispositions as permanent, inherent elements of personality and distinguish them from states (temporary conditions) Enduring dispositions and states are two different types of “dispositions” Let’s look at the difference between the two by using “anxiety” as a construct Spielberger says trait anxiety is “the disposition to respond with anxiety to situations that are perceived as threatening This is different from state anxiety, which is “a condition of the organism characterized by subjective feelings of apprehension and heightened autonomic nervous system activity note: trait anxiety is only a predisposition to be anxious (people high in it will not be anxious all the time, but will become anxious more often and readily than someone low in it Dispositional psychologists also point out that a disposition is a general mode of functioning. It can take different behavioural forms as the person matures Dispositions are not habits, but reflect an inner consistency Consistency and Generality of Dispositions The second assumption Dispositions have some consistency within a person Consistency here means the extent to which a disposition affects behaviour (ex. a person high in work ambition, is likely to be ambitious about other things such as recreational activity) No disposition is expected to appear in every situation where it may seem appropriate, because most people have several dispositions Still, some behaviour remains consistent throughout life, such as introversion and extroversion, which stays consistent through 45 years of life Individual Differences The third assumption Individual differences arise from differences in the strength and pervasiveness of particular dispositions Major dispositions -> bipolar dimensions that are normally distributed (people fall everywhere along a continuum from one extreme to the other, and it is in their specific location along these dimensions that people differ Dispositional Personality Research Major dimensions are assumed to be enduring, so focus is on personality characteristics that can be assessed over time and demonstrate intraindividual stability and interindividual variability between members of a species *A characteristic must remain somewhat stable (characterize some people) and at the same time, vary across different people so that it is meaningful Identifying Personality Dispositions We need to know what dimensions will meet the theoretical assumptions of the dispositional strategy Personality can be cast into a small set of primary, underlying dimensions from which all others can be derived Assumptions of consistency are not enough, the dimensions have to clearly distinguish one person from another (ex. if everyone were happy, then as a dimension, it could not be used as a psychological dimension, and could not be used to predict individual differences in people’s behaviour) Dispositional Personality Assessment Interviews, projective, and situational tests are used, but reporting is most important Dispositions are theoretical constructs, so we can’t measure them directly We have to uncover underlying dispositions by using self-report inventories or questionnaires A dispositional psychologist may explain the behaviour of someone by the values assigned to the person on dimensions considered relevant to the behaviour in question The psychologist might say the person is an authoritarian type of person because of hostility and deference of other people shown in their behaviour Or, the psychologist might predict someone’s success of being a business executive based off of scores of intelligence, aggressiveness, and sociability The use of multiple dimensions implies that the values obtained on them by people have implications for a fairly wide range of behaviour and that these dimensions exist independently of any single method of measurement, so more than one kind of test can be used for a specific dimension Dispositions are inferred; their definition rests on the convergence of a set of operations, not just one set of operations The strength of a disposition is assumed to be addition of various response tendencies Consider Minorin, a student who likes to meet strangers, easily approaches teachers to argue about grades, and is often outspoken in class discussions Consider Ami, a student who is all of that, but prefers not to take part in class discussion Minorin would be considered more extraverted (outgoing) than Ami Two criteria have been developed to measure the validity of a dispositional assessment procedure Convergent validity (measures of the same disposition should converge and correlate highly with each other Discriminant validity (tests designed to measure different dispositions should discriminate between them, and should not be highly correlated) *A single measure of a personality disposition has convergent validity to the degree that it is found to be positively correlated with other measures of the same disposition; it has discriminant validity to the extent that it is unrelated to measures of other constructs For an example, take the construct “gregarious” (sociable, fond of company) (honestly, I don’t know why the text had to go all lingo on my low vocabulary ass, and I tried to create an easier example, but I was too lazy) Anyways, suppose a questionnaire was used to test for gregariousness We would expect people who score high in it to be more willing to engage in social behaviours (convergent validity), and expect it not to be strongly associated with other constructs, like intelligence or conscientiousness (wanting to do what is right) Demonstrating the independence of measures of the construct of interest from measures of other distinct constructs contributes to discriminant validity A statistical technique called factor analysis has proven a very useful tool for dispositional psychologists It has allowed researchers to determine empirically what behavioral measures actually “go together”, suggesting a common underlying trait or disposition , as well as highlighting divergence among measures of different traits or dispositions Chapter 8 Evaluation of the Trait Concept The perspectives we’re about to look at in this chapter claim that traits are real Allport (founder of dispositional strategy), described this approach as heuristic realism “to find out or discover” in Greek and Latin The Search For Important Dispositions Dispositional psychologists try to find out the most important traits by using three broad approaches: Lexical Approach: assumes that the more often a disposition is used in casual conversations, the more important it is (lexical means dictionary) (ex. “aggressiveness” is an important disposition because we use it often to describe people) Theoretical Approach: use theory to see what is important, for example, psychoanalytic theory suggests that ego strength is a dimension on which people differ Statistical Approach: identifies basic factors that underlie the data set created from analyzing collections of data (factor analysis is popular among researchers who take the statistical approach) Allport’s Trait Approach His task was to find out “what the other person is like” Traits as the Units for Studying Personality He has eight theoretical assertions 1. Traits have more than nominal existence. They are not just summary labels of observed behaviour. Rather, traits are part of the person. 2. Traits are more generalized than habits. Brushing your teeth is not a trait, but an underlying trait such as cleanliness may account for it 3. Traits are dynamic, and they determine behaviour. Traits direct action, and don’t require energizing from some other source 4. Traits may be established empirically. Tradition of scientific psychology 5. Traits are only relatively independent of other traits. 6. Traits are not synonymous with moral or social judgements. 7. Traits may be viewed either in the light of the personality that contains them (ideographically) or in the light of their distribution in the population (nomothetically). 8. Acts, and even habits, that are inconsistent with a trait are not proof of the trait. For example, someone shows passive behaviour, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an assertive trait. Pervasiveness of Specific Traits note: pervasive means “spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people” pervade means “spread through and be perceived in every part of” Cardinal dispositions are the most pervasive traits, according to, which dominate a person They cannot be hidden, and pervade the person that possesses it Central dispositions are the small number of traits that tend to be highly characteristic of someone (about 3 to 10 words that people use to write a detailed description about someone) Secondary dispositions are characteristics that operate only in limited settings, and this includes characteristics that depend upon certain situations (ex. preferences for specific kinds of food, and specific attitudes) Allport says there are two ways from which we can look at psychological traits: - Think of traits as characteristics that allow comparison between one person and another - Think of traits as characteristics that are unique to a person and do not invite, or even permit comparison with other people This is the nomothetic-idiographic distinction Common Traits Trait comparisons across people presume that there are common traits When a job or role is fixed (ex. spouse, attorney, physician, etc.), someone must identify the personality or person that best fits it Allport found that common traits have a more even distribution among people in general “Patterned Individuality” nomothetic approach is comparing personalities along common dimensions idiographic approach is saying that people can be understood only by coming to grips with uniqueness of personality Allport says that everyone has their own unique inner organization of motives, traits, and personal style, and the result is patterened individuality that will never again be repeated exactly Personality psychologists taking the nomothetic approach argue that uniqueness only reflects the combination of common traits in varying strengths However, Allport says a person’s traits interact to form a unique pattern that can’t be explained by its separate parts He used the term individual traits to refer to those important characteristics of the individual that do not lend themselves to comparison across persons Twentieth Century Typologies People can be categorized by a small number of types There are two different kinds of typologies: People with certain body shapes, have different personalities accordingly People who have experienced heart attacks share some behavioural characteristics The Type A Behaviour Pattern People show excessive competitive drive and meeting deadlines (at work, for instance) People who are Type A are believed to be at risk for heart disease, coronary artery, and etc. Type A people produce serum cholesterol when under pressure, which contributes to coronary problems over time Type A people are known for denying their behaviour patterns when people notify them about it Type B behaviour is one that includes easy going and relaxed behaviour The Two Types of Type A Not all highly vigorous people are impatient and tense, and not all slow-paced people are calm and relaxed Questionnaires created to measure Type A behaviour pattern, wanted to look for two things, Achievement strivings, which look at students’ grades, but not how much they bitch about physical problems that occur due to things like constantly pulling all nighters to study Impatience-irritability, which looks at physical complaints, and not grades According to the two, having a tendency towards irritability and impatience leads to health risks Illness-prone Type A people are plagued by cynical hostility People going through cynical hostility are in the midst of deteriorating relationships because of certain brands of hostility towards others They also have a suspicious nature, and have a constant state of alertness because they think others are out to get them Type A Behaviour in Children And Adolescents MYTH (Matthews Youth Test for Health) is used to find Type A behaviours in children It’s kind of like some inventory log/questionnaire where teachers evaluate students from a scale of one to five for certain criteria They found out that Type A children show more early accomplishments than Type B children Type A children could be further divided down to ones that are competitive and achievement-oriented, and those who are aggressive, hostile, and impatient Cattell’s Trait Approach Cattell says that there are three sources of data required for analysis that aims to uncover all major dimensions of personality L-data is gathered from a person’s life records (ex. school and work history) Q-data is gathered from questionnaires and interviews, where people answer questions about themselves (ex. do you have trouble making and keeping friends?) T-data is gathered from objective testing situations (a subject is put into a small situation and does not know if he/she is being evaluated or not) Research can be either one of the following two Univariate: researchers keep on changing the independent variable, whilst examining the effect on dependent variables Multivariate: examine many variables at the same time (has an advantage over the previous because there is less controlling and manipulating) Factor Analysis as a Tool Cattell said that the trouble with measuring traits is that there are too many of them, so he introduced factor analysis, which is a tool that takes a highly mathematical approach (oh, shit…) to personality assessment He used some interesting example, and says that we can compare his view like a person looking down at a swamp, and seeing shadowy dark blobs. Are they three logs? Or maybe an alligator underneath the surface. If the blobs move together and disappear together, then they are a part of a single structure Now, we have to recall the correlation coefficient from chapter 2 Factor analysis reduces a large number of relationships (correlations) to smaller sets of relationships (the smaller group is a summary of the entire intercorrelation A Hypothetical Example of a Factor Analysis (step 1) The first thing to do is to gather subjects and some sort of measure (ex. a variety of personality tests) (step 2) The next step is to create a correlational matrix, which is a table that shows the exact relationship between each measure and every other measure The correlational matrix can show a positive or negative correlation and how strong each one is between each of the measures (see table 8.1 on p. 203 cause that table has no business being here for simplicity sake) Extracting Factors (step 3) Reduce data to small numbers of relatively homogenous dimensions called factors Factors are extracted from the data, and are called “common denominators” (compare the factors to the three primary colours from which we use to create a bunch of new colours with) (For our sake, thank goodness we don’t have to go into further mathematical details) Demonstrating Factor Loadings (step 4) The next step requires us to show what the relationship is between the measures of each factor (ex. aqua is more close to blue “factor” or the green “factor” in the colour spectrum) The correlation of a measure with a particular factor is its factor loading It is so because a variable is said to “load” onto a particular factor to the extent that it is correlated with that factor Naming the Factors (step 5) Let’s go back to that table 8.1 on p. 203 There are 7 measures which the text wants to say “a” is English, “b” is fine arts, “c” is history, “d” is French, “e” is math, “f” is physics, and “g” is engineering a, b, c, and d “go together”, and they are highly correlated with one another, but show little or no relationship The same applies for e, f, and g Now, we can say that two factors emerge from the seven measures We can label a, b ,c, and d as X, and label e, f, and g as Y Some people may label X as “humanities”, and Y as “quantitative” Some people might have other ways of classifying, as there are many ways Cattell’s 16-Factor Model In Table 8.2 on p. 205, there is a table with 16 traits that Cattell believes they are the factors that best represent the major dimensions of differences in human personality They include “low-score descriptions” and “high-score descriptions” Three Source Traits Derived from Factor Analysis Source traits are what Cattell calls his 16 traits, and that they are the building blocks of personality, and that they could only be found through factor analysis Consider factor A from the 16-Factor Model (I’m just going to call it 16-FM after this) If it is a source trait, we would expect the same kind of results to come from L-data and Q-data (if it were really an underlying dimension of personality, it should be reflected in all measures of personality) In table 8.3 on p. 205, it shows sample L-data and Q-data that load high on factor A (reserved for low-score and outgoing for high-score) Hierarchical Organization and Development of Traits Broad trait dimensions or domains reside at the top of the hierarchy, and below lie more specific traits Eysenck’s P-E-N Model Cattell’s model was criticized for having too many traits and no hierarchal structure Eysenck focused on a smaller number of basic personality types He says that types are not categories that a few people fit, but types are dimensions on which all people differ For Eysenck, types are at the top, and types are composed of traits, traits are composed of habitual responses At the bottom, habits are formed based on specific responses (look at figure 8.3 on p. 208, or the handout from class) He says that personality can be understood in the terms of three basic personality factors: Psychoticism Extraversion Neuroticism (back in chapter 2, we learnt that he acknowledged the response style factor of social desirability) Esynck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) For extroversion and neuroticism, each person can be positioned somewhere along the line between extreme introvert and extreme extravert, but most people will remain in the middle For psychoticism, Eysenck viewed it as a factor that is another broad dimension on which “normal” personality varied Let’s take a closer look at P, E, and N Psychoticism Includes a disposition towards psychosis (a mental disorder characterized by poor contact with reality and inability to perform routine tasks or activities of daily living) as well as sociopathy (characterized by absence of real loyalties to any person, group, or ethical or moral code) People high on psychoticism tend to be quite impulsive as well (doing things without thinking) We could consider this as the opposite of “superego strength” Eysenck says that there are 11 dispositions that can classify people who score high on psychoticism, and some of them include solitary (tend not to care about others), troublesome, cruel, insensitive, sensation seeking, hostility, eccentric, foolhardy (disregarding danger), socially rude, opposed to accepted social emotions, and avoidant of close personal interaction (preferring “impersonal” sex) It is found to be highest in male sex offenders (something we hear way too much about at school recently) The text says that some experiment was carried out to see what people would do with a remote control while watching TV People high in psychoticism tended to use it to control others (okay…), whilst those high in neuroticism used it to avoid content that they did not want to be exposed to People high in P (I’m just going to shorten psychoticism to this cause it’s getting tedious to type out) tend to partake in unsafe sex more, and they are found to be less religious Extraversion Carl Jung was the first person to offer a description of the Introversion-Extraversion dimension of personality He believed that extraverts focus their psychic energy outward, toward the world beyond themselves And introverts focus their energy inward in the forms of feelings, emotions, and fantasy Neuroticism A measure of emotional stability-instability, with high N being characterized by greater instability Anxiety, moodiness, irritability, aggressiveness, and restlessness are some behaviours that people high in N show People low in it are calm and even tempered Another theory used today is the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality structure Personality Factors of Adults: Costa and McCrae’s FFM Surgency (an exotic term for extraversion) Agreeableness Conscientiousness Emotional Stability Culture Five factors account for the domain level of dispositional terms adults use to rate personalities of others They labeled the factor of “culture” as Openness (O) because it has only small factor loadings with items referring to being intelligent or cultured, but loads heavily on ratings of originality, creativity, and independence The FFM holds that the common variance among almost all personality trait constructs can be summarized in terms of the five recurrent factors of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness FFM helps to recognize the similarities among apparently different constructs Avoidance of Evaluative Terms in Personality Inventories Costa and McCrae say that there are two classes of items used to describe one’s self Substantive descriptions, which can be verified by others in different ways Evaluative, which are matters of approval and disapproval (they involve value judgements) Since some of us have no idea what this means, the text has a simple example ex. “I am 19 years old” is substantive, while “I am youthful” is evaluative Personality test items are usually written to avoid evaluative descriptors ex. words like “great, fabulous, terrific” (words of high regard) or “sleazy, evil, stupid” (words of contempt/words that intend to make someone seem worthless) However, some other people have argued that evaluative descriptors should be included, and even further subdivide evaluative descriptors into two classes Positive Valence (PV) and Negative Valence (NV) items With all this, a new personality test was created, and factor analysis of this test used seven factors The new test included the five factors from FFM and adding these two new ones in The new measure is called the Inventory of Personality Characteristics 7 (IPC7), and it contains 161 items Some of the items on the NV are mental, while others are moral The mental items are associated with neuroticism, while the moral items are associated with the negative pole of Agreeableness (antagonism) PV items load heavily on Openness and Extraversion NV items are related positively to Neuroticism, and negatively to Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness Costa and McCrae think that PV and NV can be part of their original five factors, and that they don’t need to be additional factors The NEO Inventories The NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI) and its successors, the NEO-PI-R and the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), are personality inventories developed by Costa and McCrae Their basis for item selection was the lexical approach Recall Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (OCEAN) The five major domains of personality NEO scales assess those five factors FFM Facets Costa and McCrae took top-down approach in the development of their theories and the NEO inventories They included major domains at the top that could be grouped in different ways, and then had facets, which are lower level traits that correspond to groupings For faceting the domains of the FFM First, grouping of facets should be mutually exclusive (any given element in the domain is assigned to only one facet) Second, facets should be consistent in language and meaning with psychology lingo/vocabulary Third, facets should allow us to compare them with other things Lastly, the facets within a domain must show convergent validity, discriminant validity, facets in the same domain must be able to be told apart from each other (ex. “positive emotions” are a facet of E, and is a way better predictor of mood than the overall E domain Costa and McCrae say that the human trait structure is universal based off some test that had the FFM translated into different languages and used in other countries Relationship between FFM and P-E-N Models N and E scales of the EPQ-R and the NEO-PI overlap enough to be considered alternative measures of the same constructs From the view point of the FFM, psychoticism is a combination of low C and A accompanied by high O From the view of P-E-N model, psychoticism is a primary factor Eysenck’s P was closely related to the negative pole of the A factor (antagonism) Low P strongly overlapped with the FFM factor C Dispositional Personality Factors and Mental Disorders Assumption about mental disorders is that for them to exist, there has to be maladaptive extremes of the dimensions of normal personality DSM is the name of what is used to diagnose mental disorders, and it distinguishes two different classes of mental disorders A diagnoses has five axes: Axis I Clinical Disorders Axis II Personality Disorders Axis III General Medical Conditions Axis IV Psychosocial and Environmental Problems Axis V Global Assessment of Functioning Personality Disorders The DSM defines personality traits as “enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself, which are exhibited in a wide range of important social and personal contexts” They can be personality disorders if they are maladaptive Current DSM personality disorders are grouped into three clusters (refer to table 8.7 on p. 217) Cluster A includes paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders Cluster B includes antisocial, borderline, and narcissistic personality disorders Cluster C includes avoidant, dependent, obsessive compulsive, and passive aggressive personality disorders 9 of the 11 personality disorders in the DSM have high positive correlation with N Clinical Disorders FFM also relates to Axis I of the multiaxial diagnosis for mental disorders (clinical disorders, ex. depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse) Substance abuse disorders are associated with high O, low C, low E, and high N Anxiety disorders are associated with high O, low C, low E, and low A PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) are associated with low C, low E, low A, and high N Major depression is associated with high O, low C, low E, and high N From this, we can say that the triad of low C, low E, high N calls for risk of having a clinical disorder There is also a link between high O and substance abuse A number of other associations between personality factors and problem behaviours have been reported: OCD is associated with high C Hallucinogen abusers have high N and P (psychoticism) Alcoholics associate with high N and P Bulimic people associate with high N When looking at juvenile delinquents (adolescents that cause trouble), there are the terms Externalizing problems, which include aggression, stealing, lying, and impulsitivity Internalizing problems, which include anxiety, complaints of physical symptoms with no medical basis, and social withdrawl Externalizing problems are associated with low C, and low A Internalizing problems are associated with low E, and high N The Supertraits: Converging Evidence Six dispositions could be potential supertraits, and they are OCEAN (yes, the same five we’ve been looking at this whole time), and Intelligence Extraversion Sociability is thought of to be one of three stable personality temperaments present from infancy The tendency to be socially inhibited or uninhibited has been found to be a clear difference among children (in table 8.8 on p. 221, there is a pretty long list of what the simple differences between extravert Neuroticism In Cattell’s factor C (ego strength), corresponds closely with N, except emphasis is put on the stable part Emotionality has appeared as a heritable temperament People high in N tend to have few happy thoughts and memories, and tend to recall negative memories High N seems to be associated with lower self-reliance among both males and females Openness People high in O are original, imaginative, and daring They seek more challenging work experiences They’re more susceptible to hypnosis McCrae found that in Cattell’s 16 personality factors, the 16 could be grouped into three clusters, with Openness being one of them Openness is positively related to Intelligence Openness is a product of learning and socialization Agreeableness Agreeable people tend to be sympathetic, cooperative, trusting, and interpersonally supportive, but in an extreme form, people act dependently towards others The opposite pole is antagonism (setting oneself against others), and people tend to be mistrustful, skeptical, unsympathetic, uncooperative, stubborn, and rude Eysenck’s Psychoticism dimension can be linked with antagonism Behaviour of Type A people is similar to antagonistic behaviour In extreme forms, it affects political sentiments, for instance communists and facists tend to be “tough-minded” as opposed to “tender-minded” Agreeableness is a product of learning and socialization, as opposed to biological based Conscientiousness People are hardworking, ambitious, and energetic It is associated with physical fitness Students high in C tend to earn better grades and do extra credit assignments/work The opposite pole is “undirected”, where people are lazy Conscientiousness is a product of learning and socialization Intelligence This only appears in Cattell’s work as Factor B It is a supertrait because people differ in it heavily, and that it is a stable dimension There is some doubt about whether it should be thought of as a true personality trait or not People feel that it has more to do with scholarly functioning as opposed to interpersonal functioning Social intelligence is starting to become more of a mainstream personality dimension That’s the end of this chapter, now we’re going to look at biological basis Chapter 9 The Biological Approach Early Speculations About the Relationship Between Body and Mind Neurochemistry has an important role in the theorizing of biologically based approach to personality The argument is not that personality is inherited, but rather no feature of personality is devoid of hereditary influences Somatypes and Temperaments There was found to be a relationship between body types and psychiatric diagnoses Different taxonomies of physique and temperament were established There are three basic body types: endomorphic (fat, or if you don’t like that word, “plump”) mesomorhpic (muscular) ectomorphic (skinny) There are three basic temperaments types: viscerotonia somatotonia cerebrotonia People who are somatyped, are people who get ranked on the three physique types A study was carried out, and it showed that each body type was related to its own temperament type, and only one of them (endomorphic with viscerotonia, mesomorhpic with somatonia, and ectomorphic with cerebrotonia) The result of this lead to making people think that there are underlying biological factors Eventually, this kind of work became criticized on methodological grounds The Theory of Evolution and Human Behaviour If you took grade eleven biology, you probably know about Charles Darwin and his theory of natural selection Where he says that mutations occurring naturally may benefit a particular species, which increases breeding rate among the species (surviving longer in the environment allows for more time to mate) Stabilizing selection is as follows: Versatility of a species is enhanced by variability A species with great variability among them will be longer lasting, for instance, take a look at us humans, there are so many different kinds of us that can survive different environments around the world What Has Evolved? The Human Nervous System Central Nervous System (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) consists of all other nerves extending throughout the body (Peripheral Nervous System is composed of Autonomic Nervous System and Somatic Nervous System) Autonomic Nervous System sends and receives information from the heart, intestines, and other organs It controls most involuntary behaviours and responses like reflexes and ongoing metabolic functions (Autonomic Nervous System is composed of two subsystems) Sympathetic Nervous System activates the body for “fight or flight” by increasing heart rate and slowing the digestive system Parasympathetic Nervous System decreases heart rate and increases digestive rate, as well as conserving energy Somatic Nervous System conveys information up to the brain and input from the brain down to the muscles and glands of the body (voluntary behaviours are controlled through Somatic Nervous System) The nervous system is composed of neurons and glial cells Glial cells provide support, structure, and insulation for neurons Neurons receive and convey information through the system Synapse is the gap that separates neurons that are beside each other Communication between neurons is chemical Neurons release chemicals at the synapse to communicate with other neurons Neurochemistry Neurons convey electrical impulses down their length (axons) and release chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) at their end points into a space (synapse) between the receiving neuron and the communicating neuron Neurons synthesize neurotransmitters from precursor chemicals provided through the bloodstream Production of neurotransmitters can be increased or decreased based on a diet that is high or low in the precursor of a specific neurotransmitter The postsynaptic neuron is stimulated by the chemicals from the appropriate receptor Chemicals bind with appropriate receptor sites and then either excite or inhibit the postsynaptic neuron Stimulation in the form of excitation increases likelihood of an action potential Inhibition suppresses the triggering of an action potential Neurotransmitters are then either metabolize or get “recycled” through a process called reuptake Hormones are a second class of chemical messengers in the nervous system They can stimulate more neurons in a shorter period of time because it flows through our blood supply They are secreted through glands, and the most important gland is the pituitary gland Steroid or sex hormones are important, and they are estrogens (female hormones) and androgens (male hormones, usually testosterone) Intermediate between the short-range effects of neurotransmitters and the wide- reaching impact of hormones are chemicals called neuromodulators Interventions aimed at the biochemical level are now common and range from dietary restrictions or supplements to the entire field of psychopharmacolgy (drug treatment for the control of psychiatric symptomatolgy) Sociobiology It is the study of the evolutionary basis of social behaviour Focus was put on altruism (helping others when there is seen to be no benefit for yourself), and its potential adaptive advantage for survival of the group it is found that the more similar a person is to you, the more likely it is that you will help them, but then “moral sense” among humans came into play, and that distinguished us from animals Reciprocal altruism is the idea that if you help others, you believe that they will help you back in return It is found that biological evolution proceeds at a much slower pace than cultural evolution Cultural evolution has brought upon demands and rules that aren’t in tune with biological evolution For example, using force to have sex with someone may have been something adaptive a long time ago, but today that would be rape or something Also, we rarely need to find ourselves running from a predator, whereas a long time ago, it would be possible We often suppress the naturally evolved impulses Mating Strategies Darwin assumes “random mating”, but in today’s society, we all know that’s bullshit. People are picky. Assortative mating is more like it, where people choose their own mates Genetic Similarity Theory is where people mate with people similar to them to ensure the survival of their genes Members of each sex try to impress the other through “displays” (I just love how the text puts that word and quotes AND italicizes it) Men emphasize their strength (douches uploading pictures of themselves shirtless is definitely included) and success (this seems to include status, like having a nice home, car, and etc.) Women emphasize their physical appearance (including health and youthfulness) while deemphasizing unfitness They even play hard to get (something that makes guys’ life harder), which appears to have an adaptive basis in that men are more interested in women that are in high demand among other men Young male syndrome says that young males are most aggressive to each other when competing for mates Testosterone is high during this time (ages 15-25) Sperm Wars (Yes, it is actually called that) Only one sperm in a hundred is actually seeking out the ovum after ejaculation 80% of sperm are “killers”, which seek and destroy sperm that are from other guys that had sex with your girl previously 20% are somewhat old and tired, as sperm can only last from a matter of days to weeks Sperm competition refers to multiple matings in close succession, which permits the sperm of multiple males to mix and compete for the prize, which is fertilization of the ovum The Quest for Heritable Characteristics Behavioural genetics is the study of the genetic bases of behaviour Basic Human Genetics Inheritance was carried forth by discrete units of material, named genes Dominance refers to the degree to which a particular gene overrides the presence of other genes to produce a given characteristic Recessive genes will show only if paired with other recessive genes Phenotype is what actually shows Genotype is the actual genetic material, not what you see (includes recessive genes that don’t show) Human characteristics polygenic in the sense that they are influenced by more than a single pair of genes acting in combination Millions of human genes are located on strands of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) called chromosomes We have 23 pairs of chromosomes (one pair from each parent) The first 22 pairs of chromosomes are autosomal The 23 pair are the sex-linked chromosomes that determine gender (males have XY, females have XX) How Do We Know? Family Patterns Pedigree Analysis It can be applied to any line of research that tracks the incidence of a characteristic throughout a family line An index case is usually established to be in the centre of the family map, and then information about family members that display the same characteristic will be marked out (check out the map on p. 242) These types of studies have contributed enormously to the identification of genetic markers Twin Study Method Monozygotic twins (identical) starts off with one sperm, then one egg, and then the babies are in two different zygotes have the same chromosome Dizygotic twins (fraternal) starts off with two sperm, then two eggs, and then the babies are in two different zygotes with different chromosomes Greater concordance (mutual occurrence) among identical twins is taken to be evidence that the characteristic has a heritable component Adoptive Method This way, it is easier to check for environmental impact Heritability Index Heritability refers to the degree to which a particular characteristic is affected by genetic influences The index provides a mathematical measure of it Heritability scores can range from 0 to 1.0 Incidence data are rates of occurrence of a phenotype in a select group Accumulating Evidence for the Heritability of Complex Behaviour The Human Genome Project is underway, and it is an attempt to map the entire sequence of genes contained on the full complement of human chromosomes Many characteristics are polygenic, and many others multifactorial, resulting from critical combinations of genetic endowment interacting with environmental factors Psychopathology is the study of deviant behaviour It is found that identical twins are more like each other than fraternal twins are to each other (you don’t say) It is also found that adopted children show more characteristics similar to their biological parents Three Distinct Temperament Types They are measured very early in life and remain relatively consistent throughout life Temperaments are believed to be the “raw material out of which personality grows from” There are three of them, and they are sociability, emotionality, and activity level Sociability There are three levels Difficult, where children avoid social contact Easy, where children show unusual ease among people, and actively interact with just about anyone Slow to warm up, where children avoid at first, but then gradually move towards adapting, and begin interacting If a child is one of those three, they are expected to be the same way as adults In some study, it was found that shy boys tend to delay marriage, parenthood, and stable careers, and shy girls tend to follow a conventional pattern of marriage, childbearing, and homemaking Adopted infants tend to be more similar in sociability to their biological mothers than their adoptive mother This leads to believing that sociability is a largely a genetically determined trait Sociability seems to overlap with the adult personality of Extraversion Emotionality It is the tendency to become physiologically aroused in response to environmental stimuli Ease of arousal refers to the amount of stimulation required to trigger signs of arousal Intensity of arousal is measured by the vigor of the resulting response Activity Level It is the sheer amount of response output of a person It is divided into vigor (intensity of behaviour) and tempo (speed of activities) Biology and Broad Domains of Supertraits The next broad class of individual differences can be labelled domains, or supertraits Domains in this sense are patterns of behaviour with wide-ranging implications for interactions with others and with the environment Temperaments can be measured through basic observations, while measurement of domains requires self-report inventories and more complex descriptions The three domains here are Psychoticism, Extraversion, and Neuroticism Psychoticism Remember that this was proposed by Eysecnk, and Costa and McCrae said that it is associated with low A, low C, and high A Eysenck says that it is associated with psychosis It is considered that schizophrenia has a biological basis (the extreme opposite end of Psychoticism) Then, some theorists say that clinical disorders are just extreme opposite ends of normal personality dimensions Extraversion A twin study was carried out, and saw that Extraversion and Neuroticism were much more closely related among identical twins than fraternal twins, which shows that there is genetic influence Differences between the behaviour of introverts and extraverts reflects underlying biological processes It is believed that the differences can be traced to activity levels in a part in the brain This part would be the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS) The ARAS contributes to the regulation of stats of consciousness When it is functioning at a high level, a person feels sharp and alert, while at a low level, a person will feel drowsy Eysecnk says that extraverts are always at a low level of arousal, so they seek sensation (sensation seekers) Introverts are too easily aroused, so they shy away from stimulation Introverts are also more likely to avoid a behaviour if they know there is going to be punishment Introverts are more likely to experience anxiety Gray describes two distinct brain systems involved in sensitivity to environmental contingencies surrounding reward and punishment Behavioural Activation System (BAS) acts to motivate animals and people to seek out desired goals and rewards There is little concern of negative consequences People with active BAS tend to feel happier Behavioural Inhibition System (BIS) acts to alert the person to the possibility of danger or punishment, which decreases goal-seeking activity It is responsible for feelings of anxiety People with active BIS tend to be sad, frustrated, and feel fear Neuroticism Negative emotions are important to neuroticism At the opposite pole, people are emotionally stable and controlled High neuroticism puts a person at risk for depression, and they have more arousable autonomic nervous systems Being extremely high in neuroticism leads to instability Low neuroticism people find more meaning in life Being extremely low in neuroticism leads to being overly stable to the point where there is underreactivty of emotional systems Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness As for Agreeableness, heritability is less for than other personality domains, and shared environment does exert influence on it Biology and Specific Dispositions Aggressiveness and sensation seeking are two dispositions for which a good amount of evidence now supports a role for biological transmission and underlying mechanism Aggressiveness It can be direct or indirect, and it can also be physical and verbal Aggressiveness is believed to be a biologically based personality disposition because it is seen in all ages and both genders Steroid hormones (or sex hormones) Testosterone (an androgen) levels in men are highest during ages 15-25 Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that may also be involved in aggression or its expression Serotonin turnover is one measure of serotonin activity in the brain People with low turnover have violent behaviour A person has a harder time holding back from aggressive behaviour if the serotonin is low Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin Diets higher in tryptophan tend to be better As for rabies, it attacks the CNS by targeting temporal lobes, which contains the amygdale Rabies produce violent outbursts in its victims (if you take a
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 2130

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.