Chapter 1: What is Personality? - Personality is the system that organizes the many psychological parts of our mind- our perception, memories, and emotions What are the fundamental questions addressed by personality psychology? Psychology is the scientific discipline concerned with how people’s minds work. Personality psychoDon't forget about the age old question of leah mclean bio
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logy is a discipline within psychology that asks how our major mental systems work together as a whole and what that overall functioning means for the person’s life. - Personality psychologists take a big picture perspective when they view the individual, they provide a crucial connection between the science of psychology and the philosophical questions about who we are, and how we life. The THREE BIG QUESTIONS: - Who Am I - Why are my people different? - What is my future? Who Am I? - By the middle ages, an individual’s personality seemed driven by all sorts of mysterious forces- even at times by a spirit or devil. - Father Johann Gassner (1775) claimed that he could cure many illnesses by expelling the devil from people he believed to be possessed. - Anton Mesmer discovered “animal magnetism”- a means of influencing other people that today we refer to as hypnosis. - Philosopher Schopenhauer portrayed individuals as driven by blind instincts, and deluded by their own wills. The will blocks out what is unpleasant to it, and this may be responsible for mental illness - Freud created a theory of unconscious Implicit Personality Theory ( introduced by Bruner and Tagiuri 1954) - Describes our unstated assumptions and ideas about how people feel, think and behave. - Most people’s judgements are intuitive- a kind of casual collection of information drawn from personal experience, observation and the ideas of others. Ex: “ What questions do you sometimes ask yourself when meeting a new acquaintance?” The answer to that question- what you consider important to know about someone- may indicate what you think motivates others, or simply what you like and enjoy in others. How and why are people different? The ancient greek Theophrastus wondered: “ Why it is that while Greece lies under the same sky and all the Greeks are educated alike, it has befallen us to have characters variously constituted?” - Characterology- a literary endeavor to describe the different sorts of individuals who existed. o The flatterer, as Theophrastus defined him, was someone who engaged in a degrading form of companionship that might, however, bring him or her profit - Francis Bacon (1561-1626) o Suggested that some peoples’ minds would be better suited to certain occupations that others Humoural Theory of personality: - Temperament o Physiologically-based motivational and emotional styles people exhibit. o Galen developed a four-fold classification of personality Four Fold Classification of Personality - Choleric o Described as tall, thin, and easily irritated o Easily became enraged and tended to hold grudges o Too much yellow bile - Melancholic o Contemplative in a sad, resigned way; he or she lacked energy and expected the worst in everything o Too much black bile - Sanguine o Even-tempered individual was generally cheerful and hopeful and displayed a ruddy complexion o Assertive but not angry or vindictive o More blood than other types - Phlegmatic o Slept too much and was perceived to be dull, cowardly, sluggish and overweight o Excess amount of phlegm What will my future be? - Clarifications could be made to such measures, and, through statistical reasoning and techniques, future prediction became possible - Knowing the future remains relevant to psychology today, each time we predict from personality to life outcomes - Comments from parents, friends, and other lead us to build up a particular view of ourselves. Seeing ourselves as others see us is sometimes referred to as the looking glasse lf- we begin to see ourselves as others see us - David Funder found that observers arefairly accurate in perceiving readily noticeable traits such as how talkative, lively, and sociable a person is. Internal qualities such as intelligence are less accurate. Interest in Personality Psychological mindedness refers to an interest in understanding relationship among psychological processes and how they influence a person’s life. What is Personality? - Wilhelm Wundt founded the first psychological laboratory in Leipzig o Saw that smaller psychological systems- to which those questions were addressed- built into larger ones in hierarchy of complexity o The level of psychical personality was where the answers to the larger personal and social questions would be found Molecular-molar continuum is one that divides smaller objects of study from larger ones. - Molecular things are relatively small o Example: sensing the color orange, feeling a momentary pang of envy, or thinking that an apricot is a fruit - Molar psychological processes are larger and combine smaller process o Example: feeling envious of a friend who owns a beautiful painting of a bright orange apricot combines the smaller psychological processes just discussed into a larger whole. The larger whole is a molar relative to the individual parts - Wundt concluded that it was the study of personality that would best allow psychology to address the big questions about identity and how to live. - Basic psychological parts: sensation, perception, memory, emotion, cognition What is a system? - A set of any interrelated parts - (applied to psychology) the parts might be mental mechanisms such as short term memory, mental models including one’s view of oneself, or a trait such as whether one is sociable. o If you are social, you’ll learn things about yourself- that you’re talkative and like parties Ex: that differ from what you’d learn if you were introverted and preferred solitary activities Defining Personality: - Wundt’s definition of personality as a system that organized psychological systems - Individual differences definition emphasizes that the proper study of a personality is the analysis of how people differ from one another o Measure differences among people o Classify people according to these differences o Predict how these differences will influence a person’s behavior at a particular time Disadvantage: reduces personality psychology to a single focus- the study of individual difference. Personality is the organized, developing system within the individual that represents the collective action of that individual’s major psychological subsystems. Locating the personality System- The molecular-molar dimension - Wundt used the molecular-molar dimension to describe how personality was global system made up of smaller psychological subsystems o Lowest level: biological processes- neurons communicating, the function of brain areas and the like o Middle level: personality psychology- the study of larger psychological systems o Highest: sociological level (individual psychological process) – sensations, emotions, and cognitions - Personality’s location on the molecular-molar dimension tells us that it will be influenced by systems “underneath”, including the brain and influences on the brain. o Influenced by organizations “above” or “including” it- social systems such as the family and society The internal-external dimension - Personality system is internal to the person, inside the skin, with perhaps the innermost part of personality being consciousness itself - Personality’s location on the internal-external dimension means that a separate, private internal personality exists within the individual’s skin o Personality operates internally, but operates by expressing itself in the external, ongoing social situations in which it finds itself The Time Dimension - Third dimension is that time. Personality develops it changes over time, from infancy to childhood, from adulthood to maturity. - Personality is a global system of smaller psychological systems The Emergence of modern personality psychology: Sigmund Freud - Provided descriptions of the unconscious aspects of mental life, and integrated ideas of the unconscious both with brain functions and a sophisticated view of social and cultural influences Carl Rogers - Clinical psychologist - Emphasizing more positive aspects of personality and the potential to develop an authentic self Albert Bandura - Demonstrated how children learned aggressively with a life-size doll - Developed broader theories of social learning and motivation B.F Skinner - argued that people’s behaviors could be understood in the context of the patterns of reinforcement around them, and that it was unnecessary to delve into any inner workings of a person’s mind Gordon Allport - discussed how personality traits such as generosity, honesty, and aggression influenced human behavior - Karen Horney - follower of Freud’s - emphasized the critical nature of interpersonal relationships and interpersonal strategies to a person’s mental health - she introduced what she referred to as feminine psychology into the psychoanalytic establishment, criticizing earlier characterizations of women and constructing a new and more constructive view of women’s mental lives. Carl Jung - psychoanalytical psychology Alfred Adler - individual psychology - studies of sensation memory and other topics Abraham Roback - wrote psychology of character - conducted an exhaustive historical review of studies in character, temperament and mental Henry Murray - explorations in person - focused on motives- both conscious and unconscious - theory of needs Systems framework for personality psychology is a new outline for the field that focuses directly on the personality system itself 1. the identification and location of personality 2. the parts of the personality 3. personality organization 4. personality development Why study personality psychology? - Catalog, unify and organize information from the rest of psychology and to apply it to questions of individual uniqueness and human nature Who Am I? - Tools to analyze ourselves How and why are people different? - Personality assessment refers to sizing someone - Observation, interview and administering tests - Psychologists composes a narrative of description of personality under study, discussing personality’s parts, and development Different settings: 1. Legal setting- moral capacity 2. Clinical setting- why a person experiencing life diff. 3. Organizational setting- strengths that an individual can bring to a job What is my future? - Serves as a predictive or forecasting purpose - Learn about out traits or make statistical forecasts of what’s more likely for us relative to others. - Gain knowledge about ourselves Chapter 3: Perspectives on Personality What are Perspectives on Personality? Questions about personality often stem from a particular point of view-such as that personality is influenced by biology or by the social world. What isbecause of the situations they face the biological perspective? And the culture The idea that personality is closely connected to eh brain and other biological influences is known as the biological perspective What is the intrapsychic perspective? An intrapsychic perspective emphasizes how one psychological pt of personality influences another. Psychodynamic theorists are interests in how parts interact and often conflict with one another What is the sociocultural perspective? The idea that people are who they are because of the situations they face and the culture in which they are embedded What is development perspective? The development perspective takes the long view of an individual How can we deal with the multiple theories? The research hypotheses generated by such theories can be organized according to whether they address the parts, organization or development of the personality system What are perspectives on personality? - The personality systems framework divides personality into a description of the system, it’s parts, organization, and development - Psychologists draw on explanatory approaches to explain why people behave they do o Most general: global perspectives, such as that biological, intrapsychic, or social events cause behavior o Middle level: theory of human behavior; such as one stemming from evolutionary psychology or the psychodynamic theory formulated by Freud o Specific Level: micro theory which consists of a set of specific hypotheses - In theoretical terms, a perspective provides us with a particular view of personality in which some things can be seen well - Perspective involves” a place from which to view” certain parts of personality (def) personality perspective is based on a set of assumptions or beliefs about what the most important influences on personality are. o The major perspectives basically parallel personality and its surrounding systems: biological, psychological, and sociocultural, influences o Perspectives give us a hint as to where to look in understanding personality o Perspective provide a general way of looking at the field. o Identifies areas such as biology, psychology, sociology and time as common perspective on personality Personality Theories: (def) contains a set of statements or assumptions about how personality operates. It develops this series of assumptions into a picture of the individual. - A good theory will contain rules for relating those assumptions and definitions to real, observable, empirical events o The better the theory operates, the more weight it will be given o Specific assumptions, descriptions and explanations, that provide an explanation of how personality operates - Each theory makes predictions about people Micro-theories and Research: - Connect theories to actual research. They represent a more particular level of theorizing- a level that addresses specific, relatively narrow problems in personality rather than trying to explain the whole personality - Arose in the research lab. o Psychologists who conducted high quality research often formulated clearly stated but narrow theories that could be reasonably tested. - Each micro theory is empirically tested, and then results are obtained and interpreted o The briefest sketch of each perspective and its theories can be presented in a single book chapter. Biological Perspective The biological perspective emphasizes the influence of genetics, neurology, and the brain on an individual’s mental and social functioning - Most influential biological approaches are theories of: evolutionary psychology and bioppsychology - Evolutionary psychology emphasizes that much of the way an individual feel, thinks, and behaves is due to longstanding evolutionary processes o We have emotions and memories because they assisted our survival - Biopsychological perspective investigates the direct influences of the brain on mental life Evolutionary Psychology - Organisms that are with us today have changed gradually over time - Evolutionary theory helps explain why some organisms survive and reproduce and while others do not- Charles Darwin believed the evolution of species took place according to two process: natural selection and sexual selection Natural and Sexual Selection Natural selection describes how organisms with certain characteristics are better able to adapt to hostile forces of nature than others - Because they are better adapted, they are most apt to survive and to reproduce - Some adaptations evolve for the purpose of sexual selection Darwin proposed a modern evolutionary theory called “inclusive fitness theory” - An organism can benefit from helping a relative to survive and to mate - Psychoevolutionary theorists describe the existence of certain mental mechanisms such as preferences for helping relatives-as a consequence of natural and sexual selection A Micro theory about jealousy and evolution Evolutionary psychologists concluded that men and women evolved different mental mechanisms to monitor infidelity in a relationship - Men should have developed mechanisms for monitoring their partners’ other sexual liaisons - Women should have developed mechanisms aimed at preventing men from straying from their emotional commitment Limitation; it is sometimes difficult to prove that evolution is at work rather than other casual mechanisms such as cultural learning Biopsychology views the person - Approach to personality views the individual’s mental phenomena through the lensof how the nervous system and its surrounding biology influences a person’s mental life - System is divided into two parts o Peripheral nervous system o Brain Innermost part is called the reptilian brain Surrounding layer is the old or paleo mammalian brain because its central structures are found in all mammals Outside layer is called the neo-mammalian brain because it is found only in the most complex mammals, reaching its fullest development in human beings - Much or everything a person wants, feels, and thinks is a product of functioning of the central nervous system - What is the intrapsychic Perspective? Human beings are uniquely evolved to learn from and to modify their behavior depending upon the surrounding social environment - Intrapsychic perspectives examine in particular how the psychological parts and organization of the mental system create personality o Both biological and social systems influence what goes on inside the individual Joint action of biology and learning in much of the action of personality system o Trait psychologists examine the relatively consistent patters in inner personality and their expressions Defining feature of a persons behavior Trait theorists view personality as consisting of relatively consistent long term patters called traits ∙ Involve an individual’s most persistent styles of feeling, thinking, and responding to a situation o Psychodynamic psychologists look at the ever changing dynamics that take place in the context of personality structure Trait Psychology Gordon Allport believed some traits were innate- such as an infant’s love for his mother- and other traits were learned. - Example: a man who decorates his room in blue o Classical conditioning: blue o UCS: the mans mother o UCR: the positive emotion in response to her o CS: blue ( stimulus paired to mother) o CR: pleasure in response to the color blue - Operant conditioning emphasizes the consequences of behavior o Many behavior are learned and maintained because they are rewarded or punished at a certain intervals Traits are considered to be consistent over long periods of time. However, although a person’s trait may be consistent throughout his life, the particular expression of the trait is likely to change as the person develops. THE BIG 5: - Conscientiousness - Openness - Neuroticism - Agreeableness - Extraversion Psychodynamic Theory: - The trait approach is a highly rearded approach to understanding the internal parts of the mind and how the mind’s consistencies are expressed - Psychodynamic approach: the internal workids of personality in a way that is utterly different from that of examining traits o Focused on the tensions, conflicts, and interactions among personality parts - Sigmund Fruend developed the idea that many psychiatric symtoms were formed as a consequence of early conflicts between the individual and parents, who represented society, or through early traumas such as child sexual abuse or other traumatic events caused by uncontrolled social forces - Caught between a desire to satisfy basic biological yearning often sexual and social pressures to civilize those natural yearnings o A central part of the human condition is that people are animals o Weak in a sense where we would not survive without the protections and institutions of human civilization o Individuals must make compromises between their biological needs and the requirements of living in an organized society