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TCU / Psychology / PSYC 30443 / Who is martin seligman?

Who is martin seligman?

Who is martin seligman?


School: Texas Christian University
Department: Psychology
Course: Psyc of Personality
Professor: Cathleen cox
Term: Spring 2019
Cost: 50
Name: Psychology of Personality: Exam 3 Study Guide
Description: This study guide covers: PPT 1: Positive Psychology PPT 2: The Self PPT 3: Self-Esteem PPT 4: Attraction PPT 5: Culture PPT 6: Personality and Health PPT 7: Personality Disorders
Uploaded: 04/25/2019
56 Pages 169 Views 5 Unlocks

Psychology of Personality: Exam 3 Study Guide

Who is martin seligman?

PPT 1: Positive Psychology 

∙ A Starting Place

o Martin Seligman

 Optimism research with better well-being

 APA President 1996

∙ Noticed dissonance between academics  

and clinicians

∙ Hoped to bring science and practice  


∙ Learned Helplessness

o Figured out by Martin Seligman

o Condition resulting from the perception we have no  control over our environment

o Dog shock experiment

 Conditioned high pitch sound with a shock

 Put dog in box with 2 compartments

 Shock was only administered to 1 side after  hearing high pitched sound

What kind of condition is learned helplessness?

 Dog could escape the shock by jumping over  the barrier to the other side of the box

 Results

∙ Dog laid down and took the shock

∙ Didn’t try to escape

∙ Emphasis on surrendering to negativity of  

the situation because learned earlier that  

it couldn’t escape the shock

o Class anagram activity If you want to learn more check out What are the signs of strong acids?

 2 sets of anagrams

∙ One was easy

∙ One was hard/didn’t have anagrams

∙ Everyone had same last word

 Results

∙ Those who had the harder set didn’t even  

attempt the last word that was an  

How many americans consider themselves happy most of the time?


∙ Displayed learned helplessness

∙ Research Support

o Loud noise experiment

 People given loud noise in headphones that  they couldn’t escape

 Results

∙ When given the opportunity to move to a  

quiet place, they chose to stay in the  

environment with the loud  We also discuss several other topics like What is the location of the spratly islands?


∙ Shows that learned helplessness is seen in

both animals and humans

∙ Observation of helpless models such as those with depression

o Triggered by traumatic life event

o Passivity

o Difficult in learning response that bring relief ∙ Elderly patients in nursing home

o Either gave them plant to take care of or told them  that plant would be taken care of by the staf

o Results

 Those who took care of own plant and could  make choices in their living spaces/activities  

they did had greater happiness and well-being ∙ What is Positive Psychology?

o What strengthens what is positive and eliminates  what is negative

∙ Elements of Subjective Well-Being (SWB) o Happiness

 Emotional state

 How you feel about yourself and the world


 Can score high or low on it; individual  

diferences exist

o Satisfaction with life

 Global assessment

 Acceptance with life

 Cognitive assessment (“rightness” of people’s  lives)

 Judgment If you want to learn more check out What are the salient points of social darwinism?

 Assess with just 5 questions

o Emotional stability

 Low level of neuroticism

∙ Neurosis

o Poor ability to adapt to one’s  


o Inability to change one’s life patterns

o Inability to develop a richer, more  

complex, more satisfying personality

 Lack of serious personality flaws

∙ Last Element of SWB

o Subjective well-being-nobody can tell you how  happy you are

 Only you can gauge your own happiness

 Individual diferences exist

∙ Scales to Measure SWB

o Diener’s Life Satisfaction Scale (5 questions) o Subjective Happiness Scale

o PANAS Questionnaire (looks at adjectives)

o Meaning of Life Questionnaire

 Searching for meaning = low well-being

∙ Is SWB Stable Over Time?

o We all have mood swings

 Some days better than others

 Get good or bad news

 Possibility to change; is only temporary

o Csikszentmihalyi gave participants pagers  Developed idea of flow


 When pager beeps, have to enter mood and  activity into a journal or laptop Don't forget about the age old question of Is anger part of borderline personality disorder?

 Results

∙ Slight changes in SWB, but mostly stable We also discuss several other topics like What led to the establishment of microbiology?

o Positive traits have been found to be stable over 30  years

o We can study and manipulate SWB

∙ The Extent of Happiness

o What percent of U.S. adults consider themselves  happy most or all of the time?

 80% happy

 80% optimistic

∙ How Happy Are We?

o Time magazine poll (12/2004)

 Asked readers to answer questions

∙ Would you say so far that you have  


o The best possible life you could have

o A very good life

o A good life

o A fair life

o A poor life

 Results

∙ 83% said good/very good/best possible We also discuss several other topics like Which unit is used to measure wavelength?

∙ Level of happiness confirms other  

experimental results

∙ Some Cross-Sectional Findings

o Findings found by Carstenson

o Older adults are more positive than younger  adults

 As we grow older, undergo social pruning and  create an intimate network

 Parallel to those with terminal illnesses  

indicating it is function of time that matters


 Take into account cohort efects such as great  depression that make generations more or less  positive from one another

o Women are happier than men although this  flipped after 1990s

 Women are more vocal about emotions

 Married men live longer because women nag  them about health

 Women-invested in close relationships and  


 Men-invested in leisure, self-esteem, and  

mental control

o White Americans report higher happiness  than African-Americans

 Starting to go away after 2010

o Does location matter (California vs. New  York)?

 Yes!

∙ People prefer the West coast because it is  

warmer and causes them to be more  


o Cross-cultural diferences exist

o Need to do more research on these findings

o World Happiness Report

 Top 3 countries: Norway, Finland, and Denmark  U.S. is 19th 

∙ Money and SWB

o Money associated with greater well-being

 Can aford healthcare and resources

o Gazing at money causes lack of focus on other tasks in a lab setting

o Goals that are money focused result in lower well being

o SES differences (Kettner)

 Low SES-more generous, trusting, helpful


 High SES-make more unethical decisions such  as running traffic lights

o As income increases, there are no changes in  happiness

∙ Seriously, can money increase happiness? o Spending money on you vs. someone else  (Elizabeth Dunn)

 Gave participants $20 and told them to either  spend it on themselves or someone else

 Asked them what they bought and had them fill out a happiness questionnaire

 Results

∙ Spending money on others caused  

participants to be happier

o Spending money on experiences vs.  

materialistic goods

 Spending money on materialistic goods lowers  you level of happiness

 Extending your horizons causes you more  


o Psychological Needs

 Happiness depends on what you spend money  on

 Can you put a price on happiness?

∙ Tried to equate things to prices

o Healthcare > marriage > regularly  

talking to neighbors > doing sex once

a week

∙ Some other findings on SWB: Yearbook Pictures o Harker and Kettner (2001)

 Kettner was the psychologist consultant on  

Inside Out

 Compared college yearbook photos with SWB  30 years later

 Looked at smiles


∙ Duchenne smile (real) vs. Pan  

American smile (fake)

o Duchenne-did first studies on facial  

expressions in 1862 in France

∙ Type of smile is based on many features  

including muscles used

 Correlates of Duchenne smiles

∙ Greater enjoyment

∙ Broad smile that you can read in the eyes

∙ Creases around the eyes

∙ Smiles and SWB

o Women with Duchenne smiles in college yearbook  photos

o 30 years later (longitudinal study)

 Had happier marriages

 Reported more relationships satisfaction

 Felt less stress

 Had higher SWB scores

o Showed that SWB was stable over time (30 years) o Additional study with smiles

 Minor league baseball players

∙ Duchenne smile resulted in longer life  


∙ Earning Potential and SWB

o Diener and colleagues (2002)

 Pre-screened college students for SWB

 25 years later looked at happiness

∙ Those who were happier at time 1, at  

time 2…

o More satisfied with their job

o Less unemployment

o Made more money

 Again proved that SWB is stable over time (25  years)

∙ Aging with Grace


o David Snowdon

 Nuns wrote essays as they were entering the  convent including demographic information  

and reason they were interested in becoming a nun

∙ Looked at positivity in essays

o Context coded for high/low emotional  


o Had same health, food, living  

conditions, etc.

 60 years later (longitudinal study)

∙ Those who were more positive when wrote

essay, at time 2…

o Higher SWB

o Less Alzheimer’s and dementia

 Again proved that SWB is stable over time (60  years)

∙ Happiness is…

o Happy people tend to…

 Have higher self-esteem (in individualistic  


 Be optimistic, outgoing (extroverted), and  


 Have close friendships and satisfying marriage  Have work and leisure that engage their skills  Have an active religious faith

 Sleep well and exercise

o Most research is done in North America and Europe o Correlational research (could be bidirectional  relationships)

∙ Quick Question-Who is Happier: Lottery winner or  man paralyzed in car accident?

o Neither!

 Lottery winner will be happy initially

 Man paralyzed will be sad initially


 However, will eventually return to where  

baseline happiness was

∙ Sign Me Up! Can I Become Happier?

o Hedonic treadmill

 Individual events will make us happy or sad for  a while, but we will always return to baseline  


o Hard to change personality

o Go about becoming happier indirectly

o Laura King

 Setting realistic goals and achieving them  

gives you more happiness

∙ The How of Happiness

o 50% of happiness determined genetically

o 50% can be changed by either outside  

circumstances or your thoughts and actions

∙ Want to be happier?

o Realize enduring happiness doesn’t come from  financial success

o Focus beyond the self

o Seek work and leisure that engages your skills o Exercise and sleep well

o Move on quickly after failures

o Random acts of kindness

o Count your blessings; record your gratitude  Don’t make it burdensome by doing it all the  time

 At least once a week

 Video

∙ Had participants take happiness scale

∙ Wrote gratitude paragraph and then  

shared it with the people who they wrote  


∙ Took happiness scale again

∙ Results


o Those who shared gratitude with  

others were happier than when they  

came in

∙ Is there a dark side to happiness?

o Happiness and health

 People who are really happy might have worse  health

∙ Are optimistic and don't recognize when  

something might be wrong

o Happiness and cognitive processing

 Think less rationally

 Think more globally

o Happiness in college

 Overly happy leads to more socialization and  poorer grades

o Pay attention only to information presented at the  beginning

o Rely on stereotypes

o More selfish

 Sadness is needed to help with empathy

PPT 2: The Self 

∙ Who are you?

o Look at…

 Social roles

 Culture

 Major

 Physical characteristics

 Name

 Whether individualistic or collectivistic

o Self-concept-your understanding of yourself  All of the above are aspects of this

∙ The Self

o Self-concept-understanding of self; how you think  about yourself


o Self-esteem-how you feel about yourself

o Self-identity-how you present yourself to others ∙ Self-Concept: The Twenty Statement Test (TST) o Answer who am I? with 20 diferent answers o Did this in class

o Cultural differences

 U.S./Western countries-personality traits

 Others-social roles

o Go to measure for self-concept

∙ Self-Concept

o Takes time to develop it

∙ Self-Awareness

o Takes several years to develop

o Mirror self-recognition

o Lipstick test

 Put dot of lipstick on child’s forehead

 See if they reach to rub dot of of themselves  or of of reflection

 Results

∙ If rub of of self, shows evidence of self

awareness and recognize self as an object

∙ See in children age 18 months – 2 years

o Shopping cart test

 See if toddlers recognize that they are blocking shopping cart from moving on carpet

o Toy test

 Scale down toys and see if kids still try to play  with them

 Ex. try to sit in tiny chair

o Chimps, orangutans, dolphins, and elephants  have all been able to pass the lipstick test  Is a socially derived construct and species  

raised in isolation won’t pass the test

∙ Self-Concept

o Early childhood-self as part of the body; describe  with physical characteristics


o Middle/late childhood-more complex (internal  attributes); describe with personality traits

o Adolescence/adulthood-abstract psychological  terms

 Ex. I am an individual

∙ Self-Concept Clarity Scale

o Way to see if someone has a clear sense of self o Clear sense of self = better well being

∙ Self-Awareness Theory

o Assess how self-aware you are

o When aware of self, we compare ourselves to  society’s standards or to others

o How do we make ourselves self-aware?  Look in mirror

 Take picture

 Listen to voice recording

∙ Self-Awareness Theory Continued

o Trick-or-treat study

 Had candy bucket with mirror in front of it or  regular candy basket

 Instructed kids to take just one piece of candy  Measure how much candy each kid took

 Results

∙ Kids who were exposed to the candy  

bucket with a mirror were less likely to  

break the rule of only taking one piece of  


o 12% with mirror vs. 34% without  

(took more than one piece)

∙ Mirror created self-awareness and kids  

were more likely to abide by the rules

o Self-focus is associated with…

 Decrease in self-esteem

 Behaving in line with socially desirable  

standards; following the rules

 Elicits honesty


o People who have too much self-focus tend to turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to escape self-awareness ∙ Objectification Theory

o More applicable to women

o Internalize third-person view of their bodies

o Habitual body monitoring that places greater  emphasis on how women look

o Live up to “standards” of culture

 Negative behavior if don’t live up to these  


∙ Objectification Theory Continued

o Swimsuit study

 Brought women into the lab and had them  


∙ Try on a swimsuit in front of a mirror

∙ Try on a sweater in a dressing room

 Had them fill out a math test

 Results

∙ Women who tried on swimsuit did worse  

on math problems

∙ Results weren’t replicated with men

∙ Objectification Theory Continued

o Women in state of objectification have been  shown to…

 Experience greater feelings of shame and  


 Had reduced mindfulness of internal bodily  


 Experience decreased flow

 Have more eating disorders

 Have heightened negative feelings about the  body

 Have more depression

 Have less sex

o Body inversion hypothesis


 Picture of men shirtless vs. women in bikini

 Inverted these pictures

 Had participants try to identify picture as a  

person and recorded how quickly this occurred  Results

∙ Recognize women as object quicker  

despite orientation

∙ Harder to recognize men when their  

picture is inverted

∙ Cultural Conceptions of Self

o Independent self-giving priority to one’s own  goals over group goals; emphasizes uniqueness  Driven by self

 U.S. and Europe-more independent self;  

Westernized concept

 Personality traits on TST

o Interdependent/collectivistic self-giving priority  to goals of one’s groups (e.g. family); emphasizes  identity in relation to others

 Priority to group

 Social roles on TST

o Both selves co-exist in all individuals, but  

diferentially accessible

o Note: In general, not a lot of cross-cultural research in psychology

∙ Different Types of Self

o How does way of thinking self-motivate us?

o Can influence what we find attractive

o Think about different aspects of ourselves  Future self-what we want to become or are  afraid of becoming; what I want to be

 Lost possible self-what might have been

∙ What Might Have Been

o Asked people that had children with down  

syndrome, people that were divorced, and people  14

that were homosexual to imagine what their life  would have been like if this wasn’t how things were o In general, don’t dwell on failure or what might have been

o Focusing on what might have been = lower well  being

∙ Self-Discrepancy Theory

o Mismatch between how we see ourselves and how  we want to see ourselves

o Types of self

 Actual self-the attributes you currently have;  TST based on how you are right now

 Ideal self-attributes you ideally would like to  have; TST based on how you want to be

∙ Hopes, wishes, dreams, aspirations

 Ought self-attributes you believe you ought to have; TST based on how you should be

∙ Duties, obligations, responsibilities

∙ Self-Discrepancy Theory Continued

o See if things listed on TST for diferent selfs overlap  or are diferent

o Less similarity = discrepancy

 Discrepancy between actual self and ought self  anxiety and guilt

 Discrepancy between actual self and ideal self   sadness and depression

o Lots of replication and longevity

 See negative emotions 1-6 months later

o Individual diferences exist

PPT 3: Self-Esteem 

∙ Self-Evaluation

o Self-esteem-evaluation of ourselves

o Trait self-esteem-individual diferences;  

personality psychology


o State self-esteem-manipulate the situation; social psychology and only temporary

 Ex. give someone feedback that they are  

smart or dumb

o Implicit self-esteem

 Evaluated using the implicit association  task (IAT)

∙ Evaluates biases and implicit egoism

∙ Did this in class

o Look at number of words correctly  

classified into the categories

o See if categorize more words when  

self is associated with “good” or  


 Alphabet activity

∙ Will most likely rate letters that are your  

initials higher than all the other letters

o Take the averages

o Ex. for me, 3.7 (other letters) vs. 5  

(my initials)

∙ Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale

o Evaluates personality

o Most utilized measure of self-esteem

o 10 questions and then analyze results

∙ Why do we have a need for self-esteem? o We have a fundamental need for self-esteem  Self-actualization

 Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

o Leary and Baumeister (2000)

 People are inherently social animals

 Need for self-esteem is driven by primitive  

need to connect with others and gain their  


 Self-esteem is analogous to gas in car

o Greenberg, Solomon, and Pyszczynski (1997)  Terror management theory


o Value a boost to self-esteem more than food, sex,  and alcohol

∙ The Need for Self-Esteem

o Positive self-image-happy, healthy, productive,  successful; better well being

o Negative self-image-depressed, anxious,  

pessimistic, prone to failure; worse well being

o Look at how we evaluate ourselves

∙ Mechanisms of Self-Enhancement

o How we cope with faults and inadequacies

∙ Self-Enhancement Strategies

o Better than average effect-see ourselves as  better than others

 Ex. I did bad on a test, but others did worse

 Ex. I did well on a test and am way smarter  than others

o Self-handicapping

o Basking

∙ Implicit Self-Esteem/Implicit Egoism

o Protect self-worth (IAT)

o Anything associated with self is more valuable  Ex. cofee cup at garage sale bought for 25  cents and someone wanted to buy it for 25  

cents; insulted and raise price to $5

∙ Attached to object even though haven’t  

had it long

o Attracted to individuals with similar names to our  own

o Name-location effect

 Correlational study

 Live in state that is similar to our name

o Pick occupation that is similar to our name

 Ex. Laura is a lawyer

∙ Self-Handicapping

o Way to protect one’s self-esteem with behaviors  that create an excuse for later failure


o Ex. do bad on test because partying the night  before

o Use when situation creates uncertainty about one’s  competence

∙ Berglas and Jones’ (1978) study

o Cover story-study of drugs and intellectual  performance

o Assigned people to either secure success or  insecure success

 Secure success-majority of test questions  

were super easy

 Insecure success-majority of test questions  were impossible to solve

o Everyone given favorable feedback

 “You passed!”

 Those with the harder test were uncertain that  they actually did well

o Choice of drug

 Take another test

 Can pick a drug to take

∙ Actavil-facilitates intellectual  


∙ Pandocrin-inhibits intellectual  


o Results

 Same results seen regardless of gender

 Secure success-chose actavil

∙ Were confident would do well

 Insecure success-chose pandocrin

∙ Chose drug that would act as an excuse  

for failure

∙ “I took the drug and it made me do worse”

∙ Scale to measure self-handicapping

o Illustrates individual diferences

∙ Basking in glory of others


o We associate ourselves with those who are  

successful and disassociate ourselves from those  who fail

 Ex. sports teams and “fickle fans”

 Ex. college kids after a basketball win/loss

∙ Win-wear school colors

∙ Lose-wear anything but school colors

 Ex. language when team wins or loses

∙ Win- “we”

∙ Lose- “them”

∙ Are Positive Illusions Adaptive?

o Everyone uses defense mechanisms of self-esteem o “realistic” self-esteem vs. exaggerated self esteem

 Exaggerated-more likely to engage in defense mechanisms; related to narcissism

∙ Narcissism

o High self-esteem

o Extreme self-focus

o Feelings of entitlement

o Need for admiration

o Sense of being special

o Want fame, money, etc.

o Ex. Lockhart from Harry Potter

∙ When Big Egos Are Threatened

o Tested people for narcissism and self-esteem o Had people write an essay and then share with  other person in the room

o Either told them essay was garbage or that it was  amazing

o Participant then engaged in a game

o If they won the game, they could administer a noise blast to the person who evaluated their essay

o Results


 Narcissists with high self-esteem that  

received negative feedback-most  

aggressive when administering the noise blast ∙ Louder noise for longer amounts of time

 Have to have high self-esteem; don’t see  

efects when narcissists have low self-esteem

o Note: high self-esteem doesn’t make you a  narcissist

∙ Generation Me

o College students have shown an increase in  narcissism over time

 Did this study in universities outside of the U.S. (Europe) and saw similar trends

∙ Narcissism scale can be used

o Think they are more intelligent, likable, attractive,  etc.

o Associated with negativity

o Usually are aware and ok with being a narcissist o Can be dangerous

o Take more selfies and edit them more

o Have more afairs

o Make more of an efort to look attractive and have  high quality merchandise

 People were able to pick out narcissists from  pictures alone

∙ Fragile vs. secure self-esteem

o Fragile self-esteem

 Contingent self-esteem-self-worth is based  on conditions that we or others place on us

 Evaluate with contingent expectations scale ∙ Hopes Dashed and Dreams Fulfilled Study o Looked at high school students who were receiving  college admission results

o See how they respond to acceptance or rejection o Results


 High contingent self-esteem-rejection  

caused low self-esteem

 Low contingent self-esteem-have self

esteem based on self-worth and own qualities  and are fine even with rejections

∙ Fragile vs. secure self-esteem continued o Fragile self-esteem

 Contingent self-esteem-self-worth is based  on conditions that we or others place on us

o Secure self-esteem-unconditional acceptance of  an individual by another person or oneself

 Rogers/Maslow-unconditional positive regard  Self-acceptance-the healthiest form of self esteem

∙ Self-Presentation (Identity)

o The process by which we try to shape what others  think of us and what we think of ourselves

o Aspect of self we present to others

o Sub groups

 Self-verification

 Self-monitoring

∙ Self-Verification

o People prefer feedback that is consistent with their  self-concept

o Want to be seen as who we really are despite it  being positive or negative

o Ex. living spaces pictures

o Ex. getting a raise

 Feel like don’t deserve raise  quit job and are  unhappy

o Like people and things consistent with how we see  ourselves

∙ Self-Monitoring

o How a person behaves in diferent social contexts 21

o High self-monitor-someone who adapts their  behavior to match their surroundings; social  


o Low self-monitor-uses internal values and beliefs  to figure out how to behave

o Can measure this using self-monitor scale

o Looks at power of the situation

o Better to be a low self-monitor because benefit the  most from it and more secure in beliefs

∙ Closing

o Historically, the self has been viewed as an  enduring aspect of personality

 See it across time and situation

o But at least part of the self is malleable (social  influences)

 Molded by life experiences

 Biased in our own memories

 Varies from one situation to the next

o The self is complex and multifaceted

PPT 4: Attraction 

∙ What Causes Attraction?

o The proximity effect

 More attracted to who we are in close contact  with

 The more we interact with someone, the more  likely it is that said person will become our  


 Rate these people more positively

o Asked teens mingling at a social event what was  most important to them

 They said maintaining close relationships

∙ The Proximity Effect

o Looked at friendship formation in apartment  buildings


 65% had closest friends in same building even  though other buildings were nearby

 Randomly assigned to housing and were not  friends with these people prior to living in the  

same apartment

o Other findings

 More likely to be friends with next door  

neighbor and then neighbor 2 doors down

o Functional distance

 Some people will come into contact with each  other based on location in the building

∙ Ex. people who live by the stairs will have  

friends on the upper levels

∙ Ex. people who live by the mailboxes will  

have friends all over the apartment

∙ The Proximity Effect and Mere Exposure o Lecture hall study

 Had confederate come into the lecture hall 0,  5, 10, and 15 times

 Liked the confederate more the more times  

students were exposed to the person

 Doesn’t work if hate the person normally

o Mutual pain experience

 If both going to experience pain, like person  due to common experiences

o Chinese characters

 Like Chinese characters that they were  

previously exposed to

∙ Similarity

o We create relationships based on commonalities  with others

o Similarity fuels attraction rather than diferences  Mixed findings about this nowadays

∙ Attitude Similarity and Attraction

o Roommate study


 Examined random roommates at beginning  

and end of semester

 Individuals with similar beliefs and majors were more likely to be friends

o Homosexuality study

 Homosexual individuals are more attracted to  people who express similar views on high  


∙ Similarity and Appearance

o Twin studies

 Identical twins

∙ Romantic partners they choose are similar  

in appearance and personality

 Fraternal twins

∙ Romantic partners they choose are  

diferent in appearance and personality

o Morphing picture study

 Take your picture and morph it into the  

opposite sex

 Then present an array of pictures and ask  

which one is most attractive

 Results

∙ People will pick morphed picture of  

themselves as most attractive based on  


∙ Similarity Applications

o Dating websites such as Match.com

o Married at first sight TV show

∙ Some Additional Findings

o People in long-term relationships typically have  similar IQs, education, SES, and personality

o Couples grow to look similar to one another  over time

 Couple similarity study


∙ Asked people to identify couples as being  

married or not and match each person to  

their partner

∙ Results

o Better at matching couples who had  

been together for 25+ years because  

start to look similar to each other

∙ Similarity and Personality

o Administered Big 5 to married and dating couples o Completed measure on self and ideal partner o Results

 Preferred partners who had similar  


 Personality influences who we find attractive;  score high/low on same traits

∙ Why is Similarity Important?

o Shared interests facilitate conversation and  


o We tend to expect similar people to like us

o Social proof-people who are similar validate our  own characteristics and beliefs

o We make inferences about people based on  perceived familiarity

o We like people who are similar to us and expect  them to like us back

o We like people who are similar to us physically and  personality wise

∙ Reciprocal Liking

o Behavioral mimicry-we like people more when  they mimic us

o Just knowing that someone likes us fuels our  attraction to the person

o Self-fulfilling prophecy-if we believe someone  likes us, we will be more likeable in their presence,  this will lead to greater liking

o Self-esteem moderates liking


 Like people who share the same self-esteem  vibes as us whether that be negative or  

positive self-esteem

o Behavior study

 Followed confederate around campus in 2  


∙ Walked normally

∙ Marched like soldiers

 Then asked to do a task (crushing bugs  


 Results

∙ Those who marched crushed more bugs

o Subtle mimicry experiment

 Confederate mimicked participant during a  


∙ Crossing legs, touching face, etc.

 Chair task

∙ Closer you sit to where confederate’s stuf  

indicates liking

∙ Should like confederate more after they  

mimicked participant during a task

o This can overcome diferences such as gender ∙ Physical Attractiveness

o Plays an important role in liking

o Speed dating paradigm

 Had college students participate in speed  


 Asked them what was most important in a  


∙ Most answered physical attraction

o Murky on if this difers between genders

o More important when you are meeting someone  face to face than when you meet someone online  Married at first site clip


∙ Janie didn’t find Doug attractive when she  

first met him in person

∙ What is Attractive?

o People from diferent cultures perceive facial  attractiveness quite similarly

o What men find attractive in women

 Large eyes

 Small nose

 Small chin

 Prominent cheekbones

 Narrow cheeks

 High eyebrows

 Large pupils  

 Big smile

o Think about attractiveness subconsciously

o For females

 Hip to waist ratio should be 0.70 or less

 Younger women are “more attractive” because  have higher fertility to reproduce

∙ What is Attractive? Continued

o What women find attractive in men

 Large eyes

 Prominent cheekbones

 Large chin

 Big smile

 Tall

 Broad shoulders

∙ Sex differences in the importance of  


o Physical attractiveness

 Men rate attractiveness highly in long term  


 Women rate it desirable, but not crucial


o Men rate it higher because younger more attractive  women provide cues that they are fertile and able  to reproduce

∙ Other Factors Influencing Desirability: Status &  Resources

o Women > men prefer cues related to resource acquisition

 Financial prospects

 Status

 Ambition and industriousness

o Women rely on resource/financial cues

∙ Women place a greater emphasis on financial  prospects

∙ Do men prefer beauty? Do women prefer status? o Physical attractiveness seems to matter to both  men and women

o When both women and men have equal ability to  earn money, women tend to start to place more  emphasis on physical attractiveness

o Women who are higher in intelligence also place  less emphasis on status in potential partners

∙ Assumptions About Attractive People

o What is beautiful is good-people assume that  physical attractiveness is associated with other  desirable traits

∙ How Ubiquitious?

o In courtroom

 Attractive people less likely to be found guilty  and receive lighter sentences

o In jobs

 Attractive people are more likely to be hired

o With children

 Attractive children are…

∙ More popular

∙ Better liked by parents, teachers, and  



∙ Teachers give them more information,  

better evaluations, and more opportunities

to perform

 Do better in school because teachers spend  more time with them

o With infants

 6 month infants smile more at attractive  

photos of adults regardless of race

 Mom praises baby more when they are  


 Rating babies in the NICU

∙ Attractive babies spend less time in the  


∙ Healthier and happier

∙ Nurses spend more time with attractive  


o All of these are correlational studies

∙ Physical Attractiveness

o Learning-we are taught that what is beautiful is  good

 Through pop culture

∙ Ex. Wizard of Oz; Glinda the good witch is  

pretty and the evil witch is ugly and green

o Halo effect-we are attracted to the positive  characteristics

o Kernel of truth-attractive people have higher self concepts, better mental health, are more assertive,  and more confident

 React diferently to a person on the phone  

when told they are attractive (by research  


o Rewarded by association-if we are a physically  attractive person, we will be rewarded too


o Evolution-we are attracted to that which is related  to reproductive success and successful rearing of  children

∙ Evolutionary Differences

o Natural selection-traits are more or less common  in a population due to their efects on survival and  reproduction

o Adaptation-we need to adapt to our environment  in order to survive and reproduce

 Ex. moths adapted to blend in with trees that  had become dark colored because of soot

o Goal is to pass on genes and reproduce

∙ Evolution and Sexual Selection

o Sexual selection-the evolution of characteristics  for mating benefits rather than survival

 Ex. Peacock tail

o 2 types of sexual selection

 Intrasexual selection-members of the same  sex compete with each other; male competition ∙ Thought to only be seen in males, but not  

necessarily true

∙ Intrasexual Competition

o Dressing in the research lab study

 Had researcher dress in 1 of two ways

∙ Normal in jeans and a t-shirt

∙ Sexily in low cut top and short skirt

 Had participants rate researcher

 Results

∙ More likely to role eyes, make derogatory  

comments, and not like researcher when  

she was dressed sexily

∙ More likely to show these results when  

researcher was next to participant such as

living in the same community

∙ Intersexual Competition


o Intersexual competition-members of one sex  choose a mate based on qualities in a mate; female  choice

o Stripper study

 Looked at ovulatory cycle of stripper

 Noted how much tip money they received  

when at diferent places in the ovulatory cycle

 Results

∙ More tips earned when women were at the

peak of fertility/ovulating

∙ Intersexual Competition Continued

o Approach study

 Had confederates of the opposite gender  

approach someone

 Asked 1 of 3 questions

∙ Will you go on a date with me?

∙ Will you go back to my apartment with  


∙ Will you have sex with me?

 Results

∙ Women

o More likely to say yes to going on a  


o None said yes to having sex

∙ Men

o More likely to say yes to having sex

∙ Evolutionary Perspective: Sex Differences o Women and men have to solve diferent adaptive  problems

o Men

 Need to make sure that they invest in their  

children (paternity uncertainty)

 Are upset by raising children that are not theirs because their genes are not being passed on

 Express more sexual jealousy


o Women

 Need to find a mate who will provide resources  during pregnancy and after

 Express more emotional jealousy

o Results in gender specific relationship strategies  and desires

∙ Jealousy

o Jealousy-motives people adopt to make sure that  they are not being cheated on; an adaptive solution o Women-express more emotional jealousy

 Due to doing more internal fertilization

o Men-express more sexual jealousy

 Due to doing more external fertilization

∙ Jealousy Continued

o Visualization study

 Had people imagine that their partner cheated  on them

∙ Partner formed a deep emotional  

attachment to another person

∙ Partner enjoyed passionate sexual  

intercourse with another person

 Results

∙ Women-more upset by first scenario

∙ Men-more upset by second scenario

∙ Jealousy Continued

o Men-more upset by sexual jealousy

 Cue to paternity uncertainty

 Interrogate partner more about sexual infidelity  Relieved when partner says she didn’t have sex with the other person

o Women-more upset by emotional jealousy

 Cue to long term loss of commitment and  


 Interrogate partner more about emotional  



 Relieved when partner says he didn’t love the  other person

o Both sexes are upset by both forms of infidelity, but  weigh which one is worse diferently

o Can see these jealousy trends with physiological  indexes as well as self-reports

o Problems with these conclusions

 All studies are done based on imagining  


 Hard to replicate

∙ Don’t see results outside of the lab

∙ Can’t replicate with homosexual partners

 Men base self-esteem on sexual prowess and  this could be influencing results

∙ Scarcity

o Closing time phenomenon

 Had people in a bar rate the people around  

them on attractiveness

 Had them rate at 3 diferent times throughout  the night

 Results

∙ Rated people as more attractive the later  

it got

∙ As options dwindle, standards start to  

lower because fear of missing out on  

going home with someone

o Is anything influencing this?

 Study found that amount person was drinking  has no efect on the phenomenon

∙ Drunk and sober people both exhibited the


 Individual diferences could influence it such as self-esteem

 People in committed relationship don’t  

experience this phenomenon


∙ Personality

o We like people who are similar to us

o What do you desire in a mate? Study

 Asked 10,000 individuals across 35 countries  what they found most attractive in a mate

 There were gender diferences, but the top 4  traits were the same regardless of gender

 Results (Top 4 traits)

∙ Mutual attraction/love

∙ Conscientiousness/dependable

∙ Low neuroticism/low anxiety; emotionally  


∙ Agreeableness

o Personality influences who we find attractive and  how well we are going to get along with them

o Our personality and individual diferences are  important when it comes to attraction

PPT 5: Culture 

∙ What is Culture?

o Culture-a set of shared standards for many  behaviors

o Values and beliefs we share because of society born into or group we are a part of

o Ex. women are seen as sluts for sleeping around vs. men who are praised for sleeping around

∙ Why Study Culture?

o See if personality is consistent across cultures  Most of the Big 5 traits are seen across culture ∙ Exception is openness to experience

o See if there are diferences on the trait of happiness o See if hierarchy of traits (sub traits) exist in diferent cultures

o See if there are any universal features of personality  Ex. pride

∙ Approaches to Culture


o Three types of cultural influence

 Evoked culture

 Transmitted culture

 Cultural universals

∙ Evoked Culture

o We all evolved the same way, but culture difers  because of environment we are in

o Ex. we all have sweat glands

 People who live by equator-sweat more  

than average

 People who live by the poles-sweat less  

than average

o Other examples

 Father Absence

 Southern Culture of Honor

 Behavioral Immune System

∙ Father Absence

o Individuals in low SES are more likely to have a  father absence

 SES acts as proxy for father absence

o Young girl behavior study

 Looked at young girls who didn’t have dads

 Correlational research

 Results

∙ Have earlier periods

∙ Have sex earlier

∙ Have more teen pregnancies

∙ Have more sexual partners

 See same trend in other countries (New  


 Can prime girls to think about when dad was  absent

∙ Girls are more promiscuous when thinking  

about this scenario


o What other things could be influencing  this/explain this?

 Attachment

∙ Behavior shows insecure attachment  

which leads to more sexual partners

 Learning

∙ Parents don’t have a good relationship

∙ Girls think that it is impossible to have a  

good relationship resulting in multiple  

sexual partners

 Physiological

∙ Loss of dad creates a stressful  


∙ Added stress could cause period to occur  

earlier in life

∙ Culture of Honor

o Why are some cultures quick to aggression and not  others?

 Economy influences how aggressive people are ∙ North-crop economy (Arkansas,  


o Less aggressive because aren’t  

worried about people stealing their  


∙ South-cattle economy (Texas, Oklahoma)

o More aggressive because cattle can  

be stolen by other people

∙ Southern Culture of Honor

o More likely to endorse violence for the purpose of  protection and in response to insults

o Higher homicide rates; murder to defend their honor ∙ Culture of Honor Experimental Evidence o Study conducted among men only

o Pissed the participant of and saw how they  



o Results

 South

∙ Fill in word completion task with  

aggressive words

∙ Fear of coming of as less masculine and  

flex muscles more

∙ Produce more testosterone

∙ More likely to bump into other participants

on purpose

 North

∙ Fill in word completion task with less  

aggressive words

∙ Behavioral Immune System

o Psychological reaction to protect us from disease o Detect cues in the presence of infectious pathogens in the immediate environment

o Trigger disease-relevant emotional and cognitive  responses

o Facilitate behavioral avoidance of pathogen  infection

o Individual diferences exist

∙ Behavioral Immune System Experiment o Showed people neutral stimulus, pictures of  someone pointing a gun towards the camera, or  images of people who are sick

o Looked at white blood cell (WBC) numbers

o Results

 People who were exposed to images of  sick people-had the highest number of WBCs

∙ Xenophobia and Behavioral Immune System o Disease avoidant psychological processes have  been shown to contribute to prejudice against  people who are obese, disabled, or elderly (tagged  as unhealthy people)

o Increased feelings of ethnocentrism and xenophobia 37

∙ Scale to evaluate how you score on the behavioral immune system

∙ Evoked Culture

o Countries with higher levels of pathogens lower levels of extraversion and openness to  


 Protect self from getting disease

 Seen in collectivistic cultures such as Asian  


o Amount of disease influences Big 5 and type of  culture (individualistic vs. collectivistic)

∙ Transmitted Culture

o Ideas, values, and beliefs that are passed from one  generation to the next

o Creates cultural diferences in values, beliefs, and  self-concept

o There are some cultural universals

∙ Independent Self/Individualistic

o Focused on self

o Answer with personality traits on 20 statement test o Seen in North America and Europe (Western  cultures)

∙ Interdependent Self/Collectivistic

o Focused on how connected to a group

o Answer with social roles on 20 statement test o Seen in eastern cultures such as Asian cultures ∙ Cultural Differences in Personality

o Individualistic

 Focus on what you want

 Minimize role of others in self behaviors

 Use self-descriptive traits to describe the self  (e.g. smart, dependable)

o Collectivistic

 Emphasis on interconnectedness of group

 Goal is to fit in and promote group harmony


 Use interpersonal roles to describe self (e.g.  daughter, wife)

∙ Some Research Findings

o Usually research Asian cultures when looking at  collectivistic cultures

o Self-concept-20 statement test; American (traits)  vs. Chinese (social roles)

o Self-Esteem-Americans are 4x more likely than  Asian cultures to use positive words to describe  themselves  

 See this even when surveys are anonymous

o What about when people are from more than  one culture?

 Important to let go of past self

 Birth culture stronger for older generations

 Integrate into new culture or find pocket of old  culture to exist in

∙ Ex. finding a community of people in the  

U.S. that are exclusively from Belize

∙ Cultural Frame-Switching

o What is salient influences what culture you identify  with

o Bicultural experiment

 4 studies

 Enrolled Chinese-Americans from Hong Kong  and the U.S.

 Either showed them pictures of Chinese  

culture, U.S. culture, or neutral stimulus such  

as shapes

 Had them interpret ambiguous pictures after  looking at groups of pictures

 Results

∙ Looked at Chinese images-interpreted  

ambiguous pictures in a more collectivistic



∙ Looked at U.S. images-interpreted  

ambiguous pictures in a more  

individualistic way

∙ Can have diferent self-concepts, but what  

is made salient influences behavior and  


∙ Another Interesting Paper

o Looked at how ideals of colleges influences 1st generation/minority college students

o Asked colleges what they most valued; consensus  was independence

o Gave students an acceptance letter that either  emphasized that the university valued  

independence or collectivistic ideals

o Asked students to do cognitive tasks

o Results

 1st generation/minority students  

(collectivistic) given letter that  

emphasized independence-did worse than  

other students on cognitive tasks

 1st generation/minority students  

(collectivistic) given letter that  

emphasized collectivism-did same or better  as other students on cognitive tasks

∙ Criticisms

o Research has looked almost exclusively at North  American vs. Asian cultures

o Personality traits valued more in U.S./Western  cultures

o Need more cross-cultural research of other cultures o Individual diferences exist within cultures

 Older generation values one thing and younger generation values another thing

o Context matters

 Ex. collectivistic at work vs. individualistic at  home


∙ Cultural Universals

o Universal features of personality do exist in most or  all cultures

o Examples

 Practices and attitudes

 Emotions such as pride

 Personality factors

∙ Cultural Universal Practices and Attitudes o Incest avoidance

o Facial expression of emotions

o Division of labor by sex

o Revenge and retaliation

o Envy, sexual jealousy, and love

∙ Emotional Expressions

o Six emotions found cross culturally

 Anger

 Disgust

 Neutral

 Surprise

 Happiness

 Fear

 Sadness

o People can identify these emotions from pictures  and can also recreate them on their own face

∙ Personality Lacks Universality

o Personality is a westernized concept

o People do use trait terms around the world

 Ex. human afection, indulgent, harmonious

o Big 5 is cross-cultural

 Exception is openness to experience

 Trying to see if need to add 6th trait

∙ Humility/religion

PPT 6: Personality and Health 

∙ Introduction


o The leading cause of death is lifestyle choices such  as diet, exercise, smoking, etc.

∙ Personality and Health

o Health psychology-relationship between the mind and the body and how they respond to  

environmental changes

o Personality traits can be associated with health and  life expectancy

o Lifestyle factors contribute to more than half of  premature deaths (before 65) in the U.S.

∙ Stress

o Stress-negative feelings and beliefs that occur  when people feel that they can’t cope with the  demands of their environment

o Individual diferences exist

o Stress leads to illness

o Daily stress experiment

 Have people write about daily stressors (proxy  of stress)

 Exposed them to a cold virus

 Results

∙ People that had more stress-were  

more sick, sicker longer, and took longer  

to recover

o Manipulation of stress

 Have people complete difficult cognitive tasks  or prime them with social exclusion

 Results

∙ Have poorer immune function after being  


o 1990s video study

 Had people look at videos of accidents

 Either had them watch it normally or asked to  remove self and look only at the relationships  

between the people in the clip

 Results


∙ People that looked only at  

relationships-less stress and better  

immune response

o Stress questionnaire to evaluate stress

∙ Factors That Influence Stress

o Emotional inhibition-the ability to suppress one’s  emotions

o Film study

 Had people watch funny or sad films

 Had them either watch them normally or told  them to not express emotions as they watched  the film

 Results

∙ Repress emotions group-were able to  

keep from expressing emotions and  

maintain a flat face; physiologically  


o People that keep negative emotions to self  Repressed immune function

 Cancer recurrence

 Higher mortality

o King and colleagues

 Had individual’s express emotions over 3  


∙ High happiness and self-esteem

∙ Low anxiety and guilt

 Better health when you express emotions

∙ Factors That Influence Stress Continued o Perceived control-the belief that we can influence our environment; autonomy and self-control

o Nursing home experiment

 Gave some residents the opportunity to raise a  plant and rearrange their room

 Results


∙ Those given the opportunity-more  

autonomy, longer life expectancy, less  

negative emotions, and better immune  


o Positive illusions of mental control

 Believing you have control over illness creates  positive outcomes even if you don’t actually  

have control

∙ Ex. cancer patients, HIV

o Measure of perceived control for individual  


∙ Factors That Influence Stress Continued o Self-efficacy-how competent you feel

o People with high self-efficacy-more likely to stick to  a diet, exercise regularly, and quit smoking

o Smoking experiment

 Had 3 groups

∙ Told people they scored high on self

efficacy and gave them treatment

∙ Treatment only

∙ No treatment (control)

 Results

∙ High self-efficacy with treatment-68%  

quit smoking

∙ Treatment only-28% quit smoking

∙ No treatment (control)-6% quit smoking

o Measure of self-efficacy for individual diferences ∙ Factors That Influence Stress Continued o Locus of control-interpretation of responsibility for events

o Internal-fate is in your hands, responsible for  actions

o External-nothing I can do mentality

o High internal locus-better health


 More likely to seek safe places during natural  disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes

o High external locus-worse health

 Don’t take steps to help their health

∙ Factors That Influence Stress Continued o Learned helplessness-accepting a painful fate  without attempting to remove stimuli; give up

o Examples

 Dog in box experiment

 People with loud headphones experiment

 Anagram experiment

 Freshmen in college study

∙ Freshmen that are transitioning to college  

experience academic failure their first  


∙ When told that it is only a temporary  

thing, were able to perform well later on  

(reversal efects)

o Measure of learned helplessness for individual  diferences

∙ Personality Helps Cope with Stress

o Optimism-the expectation that good things will  happen in the future and bad things will be rare o Protective trait

o High optimism

 Self-reports

∙ High optimism = better health

 Ask doctors about health of patients  

independent of self-reports

∙ High optimism = seen as healthier by  


 Decreases stress

 Less likely to be diagnosed with severe  


 Less likely to come down with illness


 Less symptoms when sick

 Less cancer recurrence

 Recovery after surgery is quicker

 Longer life expectancy

∙ Men who are pessimistic are 2x more likely

to die of cancer

o Questionnaire of optimism

∙ Optimism

o Pessimistic people-die earlier because they  engage in dangerous activities to boost optimism  (more accidental deaths)

o Research on optimism is correlational and as a  result there is a problem of causality

 Is optimism causing better health or is better  health causing optimism?

o Experimental studies have shown that it is  optimism that causes better health

 Cancer study (longitudinal)

∙ Looked at levels of optimism in patients  

before cancer diagnosis, at diagnosis,  

before and after surgery, and 6 months’  


∙ Found that those who had more optimism  

recovered quicker from surgery

 Adjustment to college

∙ Looked at optimism levels in college  

freshmen and then reevaluated the  

participants when they were junior or  

seniors in college

∙ Students that had more pessimism as  

freshmen were more depressed as a junior

or senior

o Too much optimism can be a bad thing

 Don’t go to doctor because think threat to  

health is not a big deal


∙ Personality Helps Cope with Stress

o Cardiovascular disease

 Most common cause of death in the U.S.

 Risk factors include high blood pressure,  

smoking, obesity, family history, etc.

o In 1970s, doctors saw that people with  

cardiovascular disease had specific personality  traits

 Type A personality

∙ Competitive

∙ Energetic

∙ Aggressive

∙ Ambitious/driven

∙ Personality Types

o Type A

 Not a single trait, but rather a combination of  traits

 Time urgency-hate wasting time, multi-tasker ∙ Ex. putting on makeup at stoplight,  

driving with knees, cut in lines

 Competitiveness-at your best when  

competing against others

 Hostility-easily frustrated, quick to anger

 Independent predictor of heart disease/heart  attacks

∙ Better predictor than smoking or  

cholesterol levels

o Type B

 Chill

 Opposite of type A

∙ How do we measure personality type?

o Scales exist

 Not reliable or valid

 Act as a proxy

o Interview situations


 See how person acts during an interview

 Specifically watch for characteristics of  type A personality

∙ Frustration

∙ Cutting the interviewer of mid-sentence

∙ Getting angry

∙ Fidgeting/impatience

 Have interviewer slow down speech and  see how the person reacts

∙ Type A-shows frustration

∙ Type A Personality

o Combination of traits

o Anger/hostility is not good for your health  Prepares you for fight/flight response and  

constricts the arteries and raises your blood  


 Over time, the wear and tear on the arteries  can cause cholesterol to build up

o Frustration is worst trait of type A personality ∙ What other personality characteristics are  associated with health? (Big 5)

o Openness to experience

 Hard to correlate to health outcomes

o Agreeableness

 Somewhat unsure of exact correlation to health  Higher agreeableness does lead to better  


o Extraversion

 Related to high positive affect

∙ Positive affect-people who are high in  

positive emotion experience better  

psychological and physical health

o Less likely to get sick and have less  

symptoms when sick

 Longer life expectancy


∙ Live 2-3 years longer

o One of the findings concluded from  

the nun study

∙ Seen in cancer, HIV, and diabetes  


o Not seen when at terminal stage of  

illness because close to death

o Conscientiousness

 Related to impulse control and risky situations  High conscientiousness-longer life  

expectancy and better health

∙ Quicker recovery after surgery and heart  


 Low conscientiousness-risker activities,  

lower health, and worse well-being

 When comorbid with type A personality-the  person is willing to do things that will help  

improve health such as meditation

o Neuroticism

 Poorer health

 Poor immune function and more likely to get  sick

 Shorter life expectancy

 Don’t sleep well and always tired

 More likely to have major illnesses such as  

ulcers, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and  


∙ Cancer patients with high neuroticism are  

more likely to die sooner

∙ The link between personality and health o Mediation factors

 No direct path between personality and health  Something else going on

 Multiple responses to diferent things

 Ex. diferent ways to cope with cancer


 Ex. high conscientiousness  good habits 

good health

o Not a direct relationship between personality  and health

 Impacted by

∙ Stress

∙ Physiological reactivity

∙ Coping

∙ Social support

∙ Habits

o Brief cope scale-used to look at individual  diferences related to health research

∙ One Last Thing…Writing

o Need life stories (qualitative research) to get the full picture of how personality impacts health

 Thoughts

 Feelings

 Reactions

o Pennebaker’s research

 Had college students come into the lab

 Write about stressful event/traumatic event

 Asked them how they felt after writing about  experience

∙ Most showed lots of emotions and tears

 Looked at how often they visited the health  

center over the semester

 Results

∙ Greater physiological arousal while writing

about the event (high blood pressure and  

cortisol levels)

∙ Individuals that wrote about event  

had better health

o Visited the health center less

o Were not sick as often

o Got better quicker


o Concerns about research

 Worry that college students didn’t have enough experience to have super traumatic  


∙ Proved wrong by examples from the study

 Replication

∙ Has been replicated with lots of diferent  

populations besides college students

o See same health benefits even when people don’t  share what they wrote

o What explains this result?

 Could be catharsis

∙ However, not a good explanation

 Repression and individual differences

∙ Repression-causes worse health because

when people repress emotions they tend  

to have a strong physiological response  

that wears down the body

 Third-person perspective on own life

∙ Helps with coping and improves overall  


o Programs can analyze narratives and turn the  qualitative data into quantitative data

 Ex. look at how many times a type of word was used

PPT 7: Personality Disorders 

∙ Introduction

o Personality disorder-patterns of thought, feeling,  and behavior beyond the normal range of  

psychological variation

 Extreme manifestation of a normal personality  trait

 Ex. narcissistic personality disorder 

influences interactions with other people, can’t  51

hold down job, can’t have a good relationship,  etc.

 Ex. anxiously attached-clingy, can’t be  

separated from loved ones, can’t function  

without other person

∙ The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) o Includes criteria for the classification of mental  disorders

o Many versions

 1st edition-published in 1952

 DSM-V-published in 2013

o Way to classify disorders

 Includes primary indicators of disorders and  how many of these indicators need to be  

present to make a diagnosis (6 of the 8)

o Purpose

 Help in making an objective and consistent  


 Helps with medical insurance billing

∙ DSM-IV: Organization

o Kicked out in 2013

o Personality disorders used to have own  


o Axes

 Axis 1-severe psychopathologies

∙ Ex. depression and schizophrenia

 Axis 2-personality disorders

∙ Ex. borderline personality disorder,  

obsessive-compulsive disorder, narcissistic

personality disorder

 Axis 3-physical conditions

∙ Ex. HIV, cancer, traumatic brain injury,  

Alzheimer’s disease

 Axis 4-environmental stressors

∙ Ex. unemployment, divorce


 Axis 5-overall functioning

∙ Ex. job, relationship

∙ DSM-V: Organization

o Axis 1-pathologies

 Contains axis 1, 2, and 3 of DSM-IV

o Axis 2-stressors in the patient’s social life

o Axis 3-current ability to function self-sufficiently o Changed scoring criteria

 Yes or no  0, 1, 2

∙ 0 = none

∙ 1 = some

∙ 2 = severe symptoms

∙ DSM: Organization

o More personality disorders need to be added or  removed

 Is DID a real disorder?

o Personality disorders should be reorganized

 Should personality disorders have their own  axis again?

 How are personality disorders organized?

∙ Defining Personality Disorders

o Personality disorder-extreme manifestation of  normal personality trait

o How do we diagnose people?

 Problems in one or more of the following  areas

∙ Cognition-how do they think about things

o 2nd cluster (odd thinking)-have to  

do with hallucinations and strange  

thinking (schizophrenia)

∙ Emotion-range of emotion and the  

appropriateness of people’s emotion

o 1st cluster-anti-social personality  

disorder (Ted Bundy, terrorists)


∙ Interpersonal functioning-people that  

have relationships with people with  

personality disorders see problems, can’t  

maintain relationships

o Borderline personality disorder 

use emotions to manipulate other  

people; “I’m going to kill myself if you

break up with me.”

∙ Impulse control-extent to which they  

react on impulses; don’t care about  

consequences and only upset that they  

are caught

o Ex. abuse of spouses and family  


 Need to see problems across time and situation  Can’t diagnose anyone before 18, but still see  patterns of behavior at young age

∙ Ex. anti-social personality disorder

 Person sees disorder as normal aspect of  

personality, but people around them think  

something is wrong

∙ See it as part of normal self

∙ Hard to function on a normal basis

∙ Defining Personality Disorders Continued o Need to see problems across time and  


 Often begins in adolescence and childhood

o Not explained by another disorder or medical  condition

 Co-morbidity with anxiety and depression

 Not explained by alcohol or drug use

 Not explained by other diseases such as  


o Ego-syntanic-people who have them think nothing  is wrong


 Think other people are the problem

 See symptoms as normal

 Afects social relationships

∙ Defining Personality Disorders Continued o Need to think about

 Person’s cultural background

∙ Individualistic vs. collectivistic

 Age

∙ Can’t diagnose before 18 years old  

because still maturing and undergoing  


∙ Can still see aspect of behaviors before  

this age

 Life circumstances

∙ Ex. divorce, death, etc.

 Gender

∙ Women-focus in; anxiety and depression

∙ Men-focus out; aggression

∙ Etiology

o Multi-factorial

o Are moderately heritable (30-50%)

∙ Heritability

o Highest heritability-borderline personality  disorder

o Lowest heritability-paranoid personality disorder o Other factors besides heritability influence  

personality disorders

 Learning components, environmental  

components, etc.

∙ Cultural Influences

o Can’t ignore the situation

 Ex. dependent personality disorder and  

avoidant personality disorder are more  

prevalent in Norway than in Germany, UK, and  U.S.


∙ Parenting

o Parenting plays a role

 Emotionally cold or distant

 Extreme parenting styles

 Using guilt or shame to control kids

 Don’t express afection

 Child abuse

 Overly pamper child

∙ Ex. Toddlers in Tiaras

o Negative childhood experiences make personality  disorders more likely

∙ Personality Disorders

o Cluster A: The Weird (suspicious, odd)  Paranoid

 Schizoid

 Schizotypal

o Cluster B: The Wild (dramatic)

 Antisocial

 Borderline

 Histrionic

 Narcissistic

o Cluster C: The Worried (anxious)

 Avoidant

 Dependent

 Obsessive-compulsive

∙ Exam 3 Review

o Don’t need to know clusters or types of  personality disorders

o The reason we look at our possible selves is  because it gives us motivation

o Ways that people defend their self-esteem  Better than average efect

 Self-handicapping

 Basking

o Contingent self-esteem-base self-esteem on  things outside of yourself


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