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IAS1162. Human Personality and Team Building. What type of a person are you? Can you judge yourself? Do you handle any situations in only one way? How do you cope with stress?. What do you perceive yourself to be?.

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Human Personality and Team Building

What do you perceive yourself to be

What do you perceive yourself to be?

Person and situation

  • People behave because of a situation/events surrounding them or because the type of the person himself?

  • People do not act identically at the same place, the same time, the same situation, the same event

  • Psychologists study how people behave :: is it that situation influence our behavior or our behavior reflects us as an individual?

Person and Situation

No concrete answer

  • Psychologists are divided into several theorists and study human behavior through different angles

    • Social psychologist

      • Identify kinds of situations that increase of decrease some type of behavior (example, helping people)

    • Personality psychologist

      • Looking at why someone does something different from another person under the same circumstances

No concrete answer

Psychologist s viewpoint

  • The axiom: “There are few differences between people, but what differences there are, really matters”

    • What makes you different from the person next to you?

    • Why some people make friends easily, some don’t?

    • Why some people are prone to being depressed?

    • There are millions of questions to be answered

Psychologist’s viewpoint

Defining personality

  • Psychologists themselves are having trouble accepting a single definition of personality

    • A personality psychologist might have a never-ending discussion about how to describe personality and to which topic it belongs in the field of psychology, basically, what to study?

    • Other might think about learning histories, how people organize their thoughts

  • Loose definition: “Consistent behavior patterns and intrapersonal processes originating within the individual”

Defining Personality

The two parts of the definition

  • 1 single definition of personalityst part: concerned with the consistent patterns of behavior

    • Individual differences

    • Consistent personality

      • Patterns that we learnt about someone across time and across situations

      • “It’s just how he/she is” :: but people may change in a particular situation

The two parts of the definition

Cont d

  • 2 single definition of personalitynd part: concerns intrapersonal processes

    • Question: the difference between INTERpersonal and INTRApersonal?

    • Interpersonal: processes that take place between people

    • Intrapersonal: processes that take place within ourselves

      • Include the emotional, motivational, cognitive processes that go inside of us that affect how we act and feel

    • Leads to study of depression, information processing, happiness, denial, etc.

      • A group of people might react the same way in certain situations (fear of ghosts for instance), but how an individual deals with the situation play a role in determining the individual character


Does environment play a role in moldings personality

Does environment play a role in moldings personality?

Six approaches to personality

  • What are the sources of consistent behavior patterns and intrapersonal processes?

    • Again, no simple answer to that

    • Psychologists and researchers have answered this question in different ways/ approaches

      • Psychoanalytic approach

      • Trait approach

      • Biological approach

      • Humanistic approach

      • Behavioral / social learning approach

      • Cognitive approach

Six Approaches to Personality

Differences in the approaches

  • Psychoanalytic approach intrapersonal processes?: argues that people’s unconscious minds are largely responsible for differences in their behavior styles

  • Trait approach: identify where a person might lie along the continuum of various personality characteristics

  • Biological approach: points to inherited predispositions and physiological processes to explain individual differences in personality

  • Humanistic approach: identify personal responsibility and feelings of self-acceptance as the key causes of personality difference

  • Behavioral / social learning: explains consistent behavior patterns as the result of conditioning and expectations

  • Cognitive approach: look at differences in the way people process information to explain differences in behavior

Differences in the approaches

The 6 approaches to aggression

  • Psychoanalytic: unconscious death instinct; possess an unconscious desire to self-destruct

    • Self-destructive impulses may be unconsciously turned outward and expressed against others

    • Results when goals blocked

      • frustration

  • Trait: focus on individual differences and aggressive behavior stability

    • E.g. a researcher interviewed 8-year old aggressors and again when the 8-year olds become 30

      • Discovered aggressive children at elementary school are likely to become aggressive as adults :: abuse spouse and with violent criminal behavior

The 6 approaches to ‘aggression’

Cont d1

  • Biological: interested in stable patterns of aggressive behavior

    • Point to genetic predisposition as one reason

    • Inherit the behavior from upbringing

  • Humanistic: deny people are born aggressive

    • All people can become happy, non-violent adults IF allowed to grow and develop in enriching and encouraging environment

    • Problems develop when something interferes with natural growth process, e.g. homes in which basic needs are frustrated; children have poor self-image, thus strikes out at others


Cont d2

  • Behavioral / Social Learning: a complete contrast to humanistic

    • People learn to be aggressive the same way they learn other behaviors

    • To be an aggressor means to be rewarded

    • Continued to be aggressive from one situation to another different situations

    • If the aggression continually gets rewarded instead of punishment, the aggression will linger

    • People learn from models

      • Results of the fear that children get violent from watching too much violence on television


Cont d3

  • Cognitive: main focus is on the way aggressive people process information

    • What do you think if you’re walking alone in a park and someone behind you walk faster towards you? How do you react?

    • Psychologists holding on this approach argue that how you respond depends on how you interpret it

      • You will react if you interpret it as threatening, annoying, etc. before you either run away, prepare to fight etc.

    • Many school children think of everything as threatening, even simple innocent actions by other, e.g. an accidental bump on the corridor is taken as an attempt to start a fight


Personality culture

Personality & Culture

Types of culture

  • Individualistic personalities develop

    • Include most Northern European countries and the United States

    • Place a great emphasis on individual needs and accomplishments

    • They like to think of themselves as independent and unique

Types of culture

Cont d4

  • Collectivist personalities develop

    • More concerned about belonging to a larger group (family, tribe, nation)

    • More interested in cooperation than competition

    • Obtain satisfaction when the group does well rather from individual accomplishment

    • Mostly Asian, African, Central and South American

    • Individual success / personal recognition may even be frowned upon



  • How many approaches to Personality are there? personalities develop

  • What are they?

  • What does each approach study / research on?

  • How does humanistic approach explain aggression?

  • How many types of cultures are there?

  • How do these cultures differ from one another?

  • Can the study of personality in one culture be used in the other?


See you next week
See you next week? personalities develop