Chapter 1: What is personality?
Part 1: Exploring Personality
Three Big Questions:
1. Who am I?
2. How do people differ?
3. What is my future?
These three questions tie ancient philosophy to contemporary psych.
Who am I?
o Temple at Delphi… “know thyself”
o Socrates… interested only in self-knowledge
- Secondary Realization
o It is hard to know oneself!
o Unconscious influences
o Implicit personality theory
o Personality psychology
The Zoolander Questions – self-discovery is a natural stage in every individual’s life
How and Why People are Different?
o Characterology: the literary study of different personalities
Theophrastus (student of Plato and Aristotle) – “the flatterer is a
person who will say as he walks with another, do you observe how
others are looking at you? This happens to no man in Athens but
Theophrastus – the garrulous man is one that will sit down close
beside somebody he does not know and not stop talking
Quotes from the father of characterology Theophrastus
- time is the most valuable thing a man can spend
- the man of petty ambition if invited to dinner will be eager to be set next his host
- ah, yes superstition: it would appear to be cowardice in face of the supernatural
How and Why are People Different?
o Humoural theory: the attempt to find biological bases for individual
Developed by Hippocrates, Galen
• Sanguine (even-tempered, blood) - air
• Choleric (irritable, yellow bile) - fire
• Melancholic (depressed, black bile) – earth
• Phlegmatic (low energy, phlegm) – water Hans Eysenck Theory of Personality – changed theory a little by
adding characteristics of personality for each type
• Sanguine – between emotionally stable and extraverted
• Choleric – between emotionally unstable and extraverted
• Melancholic – between emotionally unstable and introverted
• Phlegmatic – between emotionally stable and introverted
o Assessment of personality
o Mental measurement
o The study of individual differences
- What Will my Future Be?