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Psych 3010-01

by: Stephanie Clark

Psych 3010-01 Psyc 3010-01

Stephanie Clark

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Lecture 1 notes
Intro to Personality
Dr. Damian Murray
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Stephanie Clark on Thursday September 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 3010-01 at Tulane University taught by Dr. Damian Murray in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Intro to Personality in Psychology (PSYC) at Tulane University.

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Date Created: 09/22/16
9/1/16 3010-01 Lecture 1 Personality 1) What is personality? 2) What are the levels of analysis in the study of personality? 3) How can knowledge be organized coherently in personality psychology? 4) What makes for a good theory in personality?  Things can feel intuitively correct in the absence of logic or fact  These beliefs easily become common sense, resistant to change  We’re all folk psychologists but our intuitions about human psychology and behavior are often at odds with logic and data  Personality o the set of psychological traits and mechanisms within the individual that is organized and relatively enduring and that influences his or her interactions with, and adaptations to, the intrapsychic, physical, and social environments  Psychological traits o Characteristics that describe the consistent ways in which people are similar to and different from each other o Average tendencies of a person across situations o 20k+ English trait adjectives o traits describe, distinguish, and predict a person’s behavior  psychological mechanisms o processes by which a person turns informational input into behavioral output o usually involves emotions or affective states  organized o not a random collection of traits (traits and mechanisms coordinated in a coherent manner) o decision rules are influenced by the situation  adaptations to: o big feature of personality concerns adaptive functioning: how we go about solving whatever problems or opportunities we encounter  being highly agreeable is a good way to solve the problem of living in large groups  3 levels of personality analysis o human nature o individual and group differences o individual uniqueness  human nature o how we are like everyone else (universals) o traits and mechanisms of personality that are typical of our species and possessed by nearly everyone on the planet  ie love, cooperation, aggression  individual and group differences o how we are like some others o individual differences refer to ways in which each person is like some other people o can observe systematic variation between groups o attempt to discover why these differences exist  individual uniqueness o how we are like no others o every person has unique and personal qualities that care not shared by others o uniqueness levels hardest to capture empirically o individuals can be studied using either large samples or case- study type methods  currently there’s a gap between the human nature levels of analysis and the analysis of individual and group differences  translates into a gap between grand theories of personality (human nature level analysis) and contemporary research in personality (individual and group differences levels of analysis) Grand theories of personality  attempt to provide universal account of fundamental human psychological traits and mechanisms  statements about the universal core of human nature lie at the center of grand theories of personality o freud’s psychoanalytic theory Contemporary research in personality  most current personality research addresses ways in which individuals and groups differ, not human universals o study of “individual differences”  personality psychologists tend to specialize in a very specific area  one way to make sense of the specialized research in personality is to appreciate that this research occurs within several key domains of knowledge o several areas where psychologists have focused on learning about specific and limited aspects of human nature  this specialization is reasonable, but need to strive to integrate diverse domains of knowledge to get the big picture of personality 6 Domains of Knowledge 1) dispositional a. deals with ways in which individuals differ from one another; cuts across all other domains b. focus on number and nature of fundamental dispositions i. trait theory of personality ii. usually statistically rather than theoretically driven c. goal is to identify and measure the most important ways in which individuals differ from one another d. also interested in the origin of individual differences and how they develop 2) biological a. core assumption is that humans are made up of biological systems and these systems provide building blocks for behavior, thought, and emotion b. behavioral genetics of personality c. physiology of personality d. evolutionary personality psychology e. bottom up approaches 3) intrapsychic domain a. deals with mental mechanisms of personality, many of which operate outside of conscious awareness b. classic and modern versions of Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis, including work on repression denial, projection and motives for power, achievement…. 4) Cognitive-experiential a. Focuses on cognition and subjective experience, such as conscious thoughts, feelings, beliefs and desires about oneself and others i. Sense of self ii. Goals we set iii. Emotional experiences, in general and over time 5) Social and cultural a. Assumption that personality affects and is affected by cultural and social contexts b. Much recent work on cultural differences between groups i. Less work on why cultural differences develop c. At human nature level of analysis, all humans have common set of concerns they struggle with in the social sphere 6) Adjustment domain a. Personality plays key role in how we cope, adapt, and adjust to events in daily life b. Personality linked with important health outcomes and problems in coping and adjustment


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