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Theories of Personality Lecture 9

by: Kennedy Finister

Theories of Personality Lecture 9 PSYC 3570

Marketplace > Auburn University > PSYC 3570 > Theories of Personality Lecture 9
Kennedy Finister
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Chapter Outline  Hans Eysenck’s theory of personality  Temperament  Evolutionary personality psychology  Application: Children’s temperaments and school  Assessment: Brain electrical ac...
Theories of Personality
Elissa Hack
Class Notes
Psychology, psyc3560, psych, Auburn University, Chapter, chapternotes, Lecture Notes, Lecture
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kennedy Finister on Friday October 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 3570 at Auburn University taught by Elissa Hack in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views.


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Date Created: 10/14/16
Chapter 9 Lecture Notes 16 The Biological Approach: Theory, Application, and Assessment Chapter Outline  Hans Eysenck’s theory of personality  Temperament  Evolutionary personality psychology  Application: Children’s temperaments and school  Chapter Outline  Assessment: Brain electrical activity and cerebral asymmetry  Strengths and criticisms of the biological approach Hans Eysenck’s Theory of Personality  Structure of personality  Eysenck employed factor analysis to identify supertraits  All traits can be subsumed within three basic personality dimensions  Extraversion–introversion  Neuroticism  Psychoticism  Figure 9.1 - Eysenck’s Hierarchical Model of Personality   specific response level  specific behaviors that we can learn thru observation learning  habitual response level  behaviors you see over and over again  Eysenck divided the elements of personality into units that can be arranged hierarchically  Basic structure - Specific response level Chapter 9 Lecture Notes 16  Initial factor analytic research yielded in two basic dimensions  Extraversion–introversion  Can be high or low  Neuroticism  Can be high or low  Personality dimensions are independent of one another  Figure 9.2 - Traits Associated with Eysenck’s Two Major Personality Dimensions   Extraverts are outgoing, impulsive, uninhibited, and sociable  Gain their energy by being around a lot of people  Introverts are quiet, introspective, reserved, and distant except to intimate friends  Gain energy from solitude being with themselves  People high on neuroticism are unstable or highly emotional, easily upset, and angered  High in intensity whether its good or bad  Individuals low on neuroticism are less prone to emotional swings  Psychoticism  Third supertrait found by Eysenck  People on the high end of psychoticism are egocentric, aggressive, and impersonal  Involved in deviant behavior, getting arrested, need therapy/intervention. etc Biological Basis for Personality  Eysenck’s arguments Chapter 9 Lecture Notes 16  Consistency of extraversion–introversion over time  Very stable trait, doesn’t change much over time  Cross-cultural researches indicate the three dimensions of personality  Cant be environmental because environments are different all over the world but people personalities fall into the same categories  Genetics play a vital role in determining a person’s placement on the personality dimensions  If you don’t have the genes to be an introvert the likelihood for you to be an introvert is slim to none. Physiological Differences: Stimulation Sensitivity and Behavioral Activation/ Inhibition Systems  Sensitivity to stimulation  Introverts and extraverts differ in how their brains respond to emotional stimuli  Different levels of cerebral cortex arousal  Extroverts are lower than introverts.  Affects behavior & sensitivity to stimulus arousal  Extroverts seek out more things to activate the area to the area. Seek out places to bombard it to reach the base line level of cortical activity  Loud bars, concerts, etc  Introverts are quickly aroused when exposed to external stimulation  Because they’re already at that base level or slightly above the level of cortical activity. If they’re too far above they get anxiety and have to engage in some kind of meditation to bring them back down to the ideal level of activity  Sensitivity to reinforcement  Reinforcement sensitivity theory  Human brain has a behavioral approach system (BAS) and a behavioral inhibition system (BIS)  Extroverts  BAS  Introverts  BIS  Individuals differ in the strength of these systems, and differences are stable over time  People with a high BAS seek out and achieve pleasurable goals Chapter 9 Lecture Notes 16  Experience more anger and frustration  Seem to be more activated  Motivated by opportunity to get an award  get pleasure out of rewards and anticipating those rewards  People with a high BIS are apprehensive and quick to retreat from problematic situations  Experience more anxiety  Motivated by punishment  Respond more to fear of punishment rather than seeking an award Temperament  General behavioral dispositions that can be expressed in different ways depending on an individual’s experiences  Development into stable personality traits depends on complex interplay of genetic predispositions and environment Temperament and Personality  Dimensions in temperament  Emotionality  Intensity of emotional reactions  Children high on emotionality frequently express anger  As adults, they are easily upset and have quick temper  Activity - Person’s general level of energy  Highly active children move around a lot and prefer games that require running and jumping  As grown-ups, they are always on the go and prefer high-energy activities  Sociability  General tendency to affiliate and interact with others  Sociable children seek out other children to play  As adults, they have a lot of friends and enjoy social gatherings  High in sociability  Gender differences in temperament  Girls exhibit a higher level of effortful control than boys  Effortful  Ability to focus, exercise restraint/control of their actions Chapter 9 Lecture Notes 16  Boys are identified with an increased level of surgency than girls  Surgency  Level of sociability/activity.  Tend to be more active than girls  Adult personalities are determined by both inherited temperament and the environment  Temperament influences the environment which in turn influences the way temperament develops into stable personality traits Inhibited and Uninhibited Children  Inhibited children: Controlled and gentle ones  Attached to their parents  Slow to explore new environments  Anxiety to novelty  Uninhibited children: Excited and rough ones  Quick to explore new environments  Inhibited and uninhibited styles represent inherited biological temperaments  Inhibited children run the risk of developing social anxiety disorder  Uninhibited children are likely to exhibit disruptive behavior disorders  Table 9.1 - Correlations Between Inhibition Measures at 21 Months and Behaviors at Age 5 1/2 Years  Evolutionary Personality Psychology  Inherited tendencies to become nervous and upset in certain situations that allows our species to survive  Evolution is not just physical its psychological as well  Evolution theory  We form human attachments for survival purposes; more likely to survive w/more skills Chapter 9 Lecture Notes 16  Natural selection - Inherited characteristics of a species that help them meet, survive and reproduce  Unfavorable characteristics fade out because they don’t help us survive  Responsible for psychological mechanisms  Anxiety and social exclusion  Anxiety - Unpleasant emotional state, a normally functioning person would avoid  There to let you know want others around you to help you realize others are struggling  Primary cause - Social exclusion  Primitive people avoided behaviors that lead to social exclusion in order to survive and reproduce  Fear of rejection  Stress Response = stress resilience (human connection; caring) Children’s Temperaments and School  Easy child  Eagerly approaches new situations, adaptive, and experiences a positive mood  Give least amount of trouble to teacher  Difficult child  Tough to adapt to new environments and are often in a negative mood  Don’t enjoy new situation temperament  Slow-to-warm-up child  Tend to withdraw from unfamiliar situations and are slow to adapt to new tasks and activities  Similar to inhibit temperament take awhile to get into things, hesitant about tasks **uninhibited  not long to warm up to new situations, easily get bored **inhibited  don’t explore new situation, not one to run in the room and start playing, calmer, stick to tasks  Temperament and academic performance  Children with either the difficult or slow-to-warm-up pattern perform poorly  Children with an easy temperament get higher grades  Children’s Temperaments and School  Studies indicate that temperament is not related to intelligence Chapter 9 Lecture Notes 16  Certain temperaments are compatible with the requirements of the classroom  Easy children better to complete assignments others get distracted. Has nothing to do with capabilities  Student’s behavior evokes responses from the teacher  Teachers prefer easy children, give them more attention, get higher grades  Teachers misinterpret temperamental differences in students  Easy children get positive reinforcement which is only they do better in school.  Difficult children don’t get that positive reinforcement or special attention so they feel they cant do the tasks at hand causing them to not do as well in school  Slow to warm children feel like they don’t know anything because it takes them longer to complete assignments so they don’t try as hard  Matching temperament and teaching  Cant change a child’s temperament but you can change the environment or assignment to fit their specific temperament  Goodness of fit model  Creation of environment and procedures conducive to learning based on the temperament of the student  Having different expectations for different temperaments so everyone can succeed. Tailor to their needs  Teachers who match teaching style with temperament:  Increase child’s chances of academic success  Contribute to the child’s feelings of self-worth Brain Electrical Activity and Cerebral Asymmetry  Measuring brain activity  Electroencephalograph (EEG) - Measures electrical activity in different parts of the human brain  Easy and does not harm the individual  Records brain activity in quick intervals  Alpha wave is useful for research on personality and emotion  Lower the waves the more activated the brain  Cerebral asymmetry  Difference in the activity level between the anterior region of a person’s right and left cerebral hemisphere Chapter 9 Lecture Notes 16  Different patterns are associated with differences in emotional experience  Higher activation in the:  Left hemisphere is associated with positive moods  Right hemisphere is indicative of negative moods  Individual differences in cerebral symmetry  Hemisphere which displays the higher activity level differs among people  Differences in cerebral asymmetry tend to be stable over time  Left hemisphere activity is related to movement toward the source of the emotion  Right hemisphere activity is related to movement away from the source of emotion  Anxiety sufferers have higher right side activation than nonanxious individuals  Measures of cerebral asymmetry are useful to predict bipolar disorder Strengths of the Biological Approach  Provides a bridge between the study of personality and discipline of biology  Identified realistic parameters for psychologists interested in behavior change  Researchers have generated empirical support for hypotheses advanced from this perspective Criticisms of the Biological Approach  Biologists face limits on their ability to test their ideas  Assumption that every human characteristic serves a survival function  Lack of an agreed-upon model on temperament  No schools of psychotherapy based on biological approach


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