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PSY 260 Chapter 3 notes

by: Carmen Caruso

PSY 260 Chapter 3 notes PSY 260

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Carmen Caruso

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These notes outline Chapter 3 of the Mayer book, Personality Psychology
Personality Psychology
Dr. Jill Kaplan
Class Notes
Psychology, personality
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carmen Caruso on Sunday April 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 260 at University of Miami taught by Dr. Jill Kaplan in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Personality Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Miami.


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Date Created: 04/24/16
Ch 3: Perspectives on Personality  Frameworks Perspectives and Theories  Field-Wide Framework = for a discipline that divides personality into topics of study  Personality systems framework divides into a description of the system, its parts, organization, and development  Personality Perspective = based on a set of assumptions or beliefs about what the most important influences on personality are o Biological o Psychological o Sociocultural o Developmental  Personality Theories  A Theory of Personality = contains a set of statements or assumptions about how personality operates  Develops series of assumptions into picture of individual  Each theory – predictions about people  Some talk about approaches not theories  Micro-Theories and Research  Micro theories connect theories to actual research  More particular level of theorizing  Addresses specific narrow problems in personality as opposed to trying to explain the whole personality  Arose in research labs  Clearly stated theories that could be reasonably tested  Some reframed, others tested new questions  Biological Perspective  Emphasizes the influence of genetics, neurology, and the brain on mental and social functioning  Biopsychology and evolutionary psych  Evolutionary Psych  Helps explain why some organisms survive and reproduce and others don’t  Charles Darwin = the first to propose theory  Natural Selection = how organisms with certain characteristics are better able to adapt to hostile forces of nature than others  Better adapted = most likely to survive and to reproduce  Ex = Giraffes  Some adapt for the purposes of sexual selection  Ex = peacock’s feathers  Modern evolutionary theories = inclusive fitness theory  Concerned not solely with the individual but also the broader picture/gene pool to which the individual belongs  Sometimes used to explain the mating and reproductive behavior of men and women  One of the central issues = certainty of parenthood  Women know if kid is theirs, men have some uncertainty  Evolutionary psychologists think men evolved mental mechanisms to make them wary of threats to sexual fidelity of their mates  Men guard mates’ sexual fidelity, women guard emotional fidelity  Problems with this approach = that its hard to prove it’s the causation as opposed to cultural learning  Biopsychology  Views the individual’s mental phenomena through the lens of how the nervous system and its surrounding biology influence a person’s mental life  The nervous system is in two parts : the peripheral nervous system and the brain  Brain = three levels o The innermost = the reptilian brain (shared w reptiles) o The surrounding = the paleo-mammalian brain (central structure found in most mammals) o Outside layer = neo-mammalian brain (found in only most complex mammals)  From the perspective of biopsychology – everything a person wants feels and thinks is a product of the functioning of the central nervous system  Table 3-2  The nervous system and brain influence mental experience and psychological action through four means: a person’s brain structure, neurotransmitters, hormones, and the immune system  MRI = an extremely sensitive technique that scans the brain for magnetic field surrounding the atoms of its tissues to create a view of the brain’s structure  Measures made w stuff like this add to evidence that brain size is related in some part to intelligence  Another way the brain influences personality is through neurochemistry o Neurons are information processing cells that operate according to principles of electrical and chemical transmission o The neuron is made up of branches (dendrites) that lead into the cell body o Axons lead away from the cell body toward the dendrites of other neurons o The axon ends at a synapse, where it meets the dendrite of the next neuron o The synaptic cleft = the space btwn the axon and the dendrite o Neurotransmitters are transmitted across the synapse o Neurotransmitters = chemicals that transmit neural impulses from one neuron to the next o Amount of chemicals is influenced by genetic and environmental factrs o Theres a small classical group of neurotransmitters and hormones: 1. Serotonin (stress reactions and depression) 2. Dopamine (attention and other cognitive functions) 3. Glutamate and Acetycholine (memory) 4. Endorphins (natural opiates that modulate pain) o Hormones act as neurotransmitters as well o Hormones are secreted by endocrine organs and from there enter the blood stream o Primarily influence specific target cells in certain organs o Main ones that influence personality = sex hormones (estrogen and androgen)  A microtheor That Traits are Inherited  Link btwn evolutionary psych and biopsychological perspective = study of genetics and its influence on behavior  Twin Study (monozygotic twins vs dizygotic twins)  Intraspychic Perspective  Examines in particular how the psychological parts and organization or the mental system create personality  Trait psychologists examine the relatively consistent patterns in inner personality and their expressions  Psychodynamic psychologists look at the ever changing dynamics that take place in the context of personality structure  Trait theorists view personality in terms of traits (consistent long term patterns)  Early advocate = Gordon Allport o Thought some traits were innate, while others were learned o Classical conditioning addresses how an organisms innate response to stimuli can become paired with other neutral stimuli o Operant conditioning is about the consequences of behavior (many behaviors are learned and maintained because they are rewarded or punished at certain intervals)  Traits are pretty consistent however the expression of the trait changes as the person develops  Hans Eysenk suggested super or big traits: The Big Five 1. O (openness) 2. C (contientousness) 3. E (extraversion) 4. A (agreeableness) 5. N (neuroticism)  Each factor can be divided into more specific subcomponents  Trait theory = how the mind’s consistencies are expressed  Psychodynamic Theory  Interested in the tensions, conflicts and the interactions among personality parts  Began w Freud  Idea that many psychiatric symptoms were formed as a consequence of early conflicts btwn the individual and parents (who rep society) or through traumas such as child abuse or other traumatic events  Desire to satisfy basic biological yearnings (often sexual) and social pressures to civilize those natural yearnings  Idea that people are animals  Suppress internal sexual and aggressive feelings when they violate social norms  Topographic Model = map of the mind divided into conscious, preconscious and unconscious o Consciousness = observing self, seat of rationality o Preconscious = exists out of awareness b/c of limits of consciousness but info can become conscious at a given point o Unconscious = seething cauldron of urges fantasies and memories associated  Influenced by evolutionary theory  Unconscious = animal desires  1902 Freud founded the Psychological Wednesday Society later became Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (from it emerged leading personality psych theorists)  Perspectives change dover time, new introduced many under “Object Relations Theory”  Thought Suppression = the attempt to stop thinking about something  Blocking out thoughts creates greater responsiveness to them later on  Morokoff (1985) studied sexual guilt among women  Avoidance of sexual thoughts led to more responsiveness to sexual desire in Wegners and to greater sexual arousal in Morokoffs  Freud came up with concept that people do not interact with others but actually with mental models of others  These models are often studied under social cognitive theory under name of schemas and prototypes  Sociocultural Perspective  Hgihlights how the environment shapes personality and its functioning  As they see it each of us is constantly adjusting to external situations around us  Developmental Perspective  Interested in the personality system over the lifespan  As individual grows he progresses through stages of life, dev stages are marked by social activities and rituals  Erick Erickson: 8 stages ex=trust vs mistrust, autonomy vs shame  Attachment models = early interaction btwn infant and parent  Humanistic and Positive Psychology Views of Personality  Humanistic views person as striving towards fulfillment  Self actualization = personality becomes everything it is capable of being  Humanistic – Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow  Positive Psychology mov distinguishes by emphasizing empirical research into positive traits, how those traits can be developed, and what those traits lead to  Rogers = one of first to openly engourage recording of psychotherapy sessions and conducted some of the first therapy outcome studies on client cenetered therapy  Importance of empathy on good outcomes from therapy  Which Theory is Right?  No easy answer  Most important theories---own form of therapy  Many of therapies work, many theories have merit  No One Big Theory  Complementary because each one addresses somewhat diff set of research questions


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