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What is Personality? - Chapter 1 Lecture & Reading 3/28/16

by: Abby Kienle

What is Personality? - Chapter 1 Lecture & Reading 3/28/16 Psych 305

Marketplace > California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo > Psychlogy > Psych 305 > What is Personality Chapter 1 Lecture Reading 3 28 16
Abby Kienle
Cal Poly
GPA 3.5
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About this Document

These notes cover both the Lecture from the 28th and the reading of chapter one from the book!
Dr. Aaron Estrada
Class Notes
personality, Psychology




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Abby Kienle on Saturday April 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 305 at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo taught by Dr. Aaron Estrada in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 74 views. For similar materials see Personality in Psychlogy at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.


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Date Created: 04/02/16
Personality: What Is it? (Lecture 3/29/2016)  An external manifestation of what you believe yourself to be and your characteristics?  Physical and meta-physical components of the way you behave and think?  A discrepancy in the way you think about yourself and the way others may think of you? Definition: consistent behavior patterns and intrapersonal processes originating within the individual; consistency in affect, cognition, behavior -consistent way that people act, think, and feel; predominant ways in which people do these things -subjectivity What is the primary driver of the behavior? -Person or Situation? -Not either/or, but both- to what degree though? -How do we understand how people act differently in a shared situation? -Different personalities dictate why people may act differently to shared situations -Individual differences among people are a central focus of personality psychology -How does one inhabit the world, and why do they do the things they do? Varying Viewpoints 1. Biological Perspective: temperament & heritability; genetics, evolutionary psychology theory 2. Psychodynamic: unconscious drives, intrapsychic processes & developmental stages 3. Trait: descriptive characteristics; we all have traits, but differ in where we fall on a continuum or spectrum (no psycho-therapeutic intervention has stemmed from this theory) 4. Humanistic: uniquely human capacity for growth and achievement of potential; personal responsibility 5. Behaviorist / Social Learning: conditioning, consequences, observation & imitation, and cognitive processes 6. Cognitive: processing of information (predominant paradigm in our current era) Comparing Personality Theories -Free will vs. determinism -Behaviorists: behavior is not freely chosen -It is the result of environment and accumulated experiences -We are trained to behave in a certain way throughout life Psychoanalytic theorists: innate needs and unconscious mechanisms drive behavior Humanistic theorists: personal choice and responsibility as the basis of mental health and behavior -Are we being trained or do we have free will to choose the way that we act? Chapter 1: What is Personality? (reading)  The Person and the Situation o Is our behavior shaped by the situation we are in or the types of people that we are?  An agreed upon answer is both- not everyone behaves the same in an identical situation; we do not act the same in different situations  Both personality and situation play a role  This question can divide the fields of study in psychology  Social psychologists more concerned with what types of situations bring about what types of responses  Personality psychologists will focus on what makes you different than the person next to you; why do you react differently than that person to the same situation?  Defining Personality o There is singe consensus on this question, but the overarching definition is:  Consistent behavior patterns and intrapersonal processes originating within the individual  Consistency: we can identify these behavioral patterns across time and across situations they will be consistent  Intrapersonal processes: include all the emotional, motivational, and cognitive processes that go on inside an individual that affect how we act and feel  "within the individual" indicates that behavior is not merely a result of a situation, but originated from the individual themselves  Six approaches: o Psychoanalytic o Trait o Behavioral o Humanistic o Cognitive o Biological  (see notes from lecture for explanations of each)  The way that psychologists look at and interpret depression and aggression are two common examples of how all six approaches conclude very different but legitimate explanations of consistent (see page 10 of book) behavior  Personality and Culture o Culture plays an important role in understanding people's personalities o Most important distinction made is between individualistic cultures and collectivist cultures  Individualistic: place great emphasis on individual needs, accomplishments, and prosperity (most Northern European countries and the United States); people like to think of themselves as independent and unique  Collectivist: more concerned about belonging to a larger group, such as a family, tribe, or nation; these people are more interested in cooperation than competition (many Asian, African, Central & South American countries) o Because of this distinction, personality research can take on very different meanings based on what type of culture you are studying or are situated in  The meanings of certain behaviors can also have different meanings based on cultural perceptions  Ex: achievement behavior; success has different meanings in different cultures  The Study of Personality / Theory Development / Application o To develop a theory, one must address several critical questions about Human personality  Genetic vs. Environmental influence  Nature vs. nurture  How much of each do you think plays a role?  Conscious vs. Unconscious determinants of behavior  Psychoanalytic vs. behavioral perspective  Other perspectives fall more in the middle on this issue  Free Will vs. Determinism  Do we have free will to decide how we act or is it decided by forces outside of our control? o Application  Most common way to apply theories is through psychotherapy  Different methods of psychotherapy are used based on what perspective the psychologist takes  Assessment also takes different forms depending on the perspective used  Some psychologists use self-reporting techniques, while others use observation, or dream analysis  All 6 theories provide relevant research and are important to the field of psychology


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