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Personality - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Personality. Who You Are. What is Personality. Personality: A consistent set of behavioral characteristics that people display over time and across situations. Is it caused by traits or situations? 1) Traits: A relatively consistent characteristic exhibited in different situations.

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Who You Are

What is personality
What is Personality

  • Personality: A consistent set of behavioral characteristics that people display over time and across situations.

  • Is it caused by traits or situations?

    1) Traits: A relatively consistent characteristic exhibited in different situations.

    But….are traits always consistent?

What is personality1
What is personality?

  • Bem and Allen, 1974: Everyone is consistent on some traits, but which trait is consistent varies (e.g. friendliness).

    • Gordon Allport:

What is personality2
What is personality?

2) Situationalism: Behavior is a function of

the situation.

  • We may create our own situations!

Personality what is it
Personality: What is it?

3) Interactionalism: Both traits and situations

affect thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

  • Cultural factors interact with personality traits!

    • Example is:

Personality different models
Personality: Different models.

Factors of personality:

1) The Big Five (Costa & McCrae): Five “superfactors,” or general traits.

a) Extraversion

b) Neuroticism

c) Agreeableness

d) Conscientiousness

e) Openness

Personality different models1
Personality: Different models.

2) Hans Eysenck: Three Superfactors

  • Extraversion

  • Neuroticism

  • Psychoticism

    *Combo. of big five agreeableness & conscientiousness; includes traits of social deviance & non-conformity.

Measuring personality
Measuring Personality

  • Most assessment focus on overt behavior.

    1) Interviews

    • Structured

      2) Observation

      3) Inventories

    • Personality: Pencil/Paper & true false

    • MMPI: 567 true/false

The mmpi 2 scales rest hands
The MMPI-2 Scales: rest hands….

  • Depression (D): Distress, depression

  • Hysteria (Hy): Physical symptoms w/ no cause

  • Psychopathic Deviate (Pd): Disregard for moral & social standards

  • Masculinity-Femininity (Mf): Having traditional male or female traits

The mmpi 2 scales
The MMPI-2 Scales

  • Paranoia (Pa): Fear of others & suspiciousness

  • Psychasthenia (Pt): Rigidity, tension, worry

  • Schizophrenia (Sc): bizarre & unusual thinking

  • Hypomania (Ma): Excitability, impulsiveness

  • Social Introversion (S): Modesty, Shyness

Mmpi 2 scales
MMPI-2 Scales

  • Cannot Say (?): Evasiveness

  • Lying (L): Lying in order to look good

  • Infrequency (F): Lying in order to look bad

  • Correction (K): Defensiveness in filling out the scale

Some problems with inventories
Some problems with inventories

  • Social Desirability: A bias in responding to make self “look good.”

    • MMPI-2 K scale

  • Literacy

  • Cultural considerations

Measuring personality1
Measuring Personality

  • Projectives: Involves asking a test taker to make sense of (or interpret) a set of inkblots.

    • The Rorschach Test:

    • The TAT: Thematic Apperception Test. 19 vague drawings. Describe what is happening in each.

Measuring personality2
Measuring Personality

  • Criticisms of the Rorschach:

    • Reliability and Validity

      • Exner System

  • Criticisms of the TAT

    • Clinicians rely on intuition (3% use scoring system)

    • How does a person think, feel, or behave vs. how they wish the did?

Why do assessment
Why do assessment?

  • Career decisions

  • Deciding on a diagnosis

  • Curiosity! – self-knowledge

  • Employment screenings

  • Forensic evaluations

A model of how personality develops
A model of how personality develops.

  • Eysenck’s theory: Discovered origin of variation in personality dimensions.

    • Used factor analysis

    • Then, conceived of a hierarchy

      • 1) Stimulus-response associations at the base

      • 2) Habit response level

      • 3) Personality traits (e.g. sociability, dominance)

      • 4) Type level (e.g.extraversion) – Superfactor

The brain explains personality differences a few
The Brain: Explains personality differences (a few)

  • Extraversion (sociable & high stimulation)

  • Introvert (shy, quiet, solitary). Five facts:

    • 1)

    • 2)

    • 3)

    • 4)

    • 5)

The brain
The Brain

  • Neuroticism: More easily and intensely emotionally aroused and are more easily “conditioned.”

    • Amygdala

  • Psychoticism: Autonomic and central nervous system underarousal. Also, low level of serotonin.

    • Seek risks

    • Raine et al (1990) Underarousal at age 15 predicted criminality at age 24 for 75% or cases!

The brain1
The Brain

  • Temperament: Natural tendencies to engage in a certain style of behavior.

    • Present at age 3; correlated with personality at age 18 (Caspi, 2000).

    • Linked to unsafe sex, alcohol dependence, violent crime, dangerous driving (Caspi, 1997).

      • Sensation seeking:

The brain dimensions of temperament
The Brain: Dimensions of Temperament

  • Buss and Plomin (1984):

    • Activity (vigor & tempo)

    • Sociability

    • Emotionality (distress/fear/anger)

    • Impulsivity


  • Lykken & Colleagues (1993)

    • Well-being is 44-80% heritable

    • Work and leisure interests are 50% heritable….

      • Must think in terms of temperament

  • Genes may determine (through physiology) how easily you are aroused.

    • But, how will genes be expressed?

  • Behavior genetics support that personality is determined by an interaction between genes and environment.

The person freud
The Person: Freud

  • Freud: The dynamic personality

    • Id: Pleasure principle

    • Ego: Balances demands

    • Superego: Internalized voice of society

  • Psychological determinism: All behavior has an underlying cause.

  • Two main drives: sex and aggression

Freud personality development avoiding arrest
Freud: Personality Development & Avoiding Arrest

  • Psychosexual stages: Based on erogenous zones.

    • Oral Stage (birth – 1)

    • Anal stage (1 to 3)

    • Phallic stage (3-6)

      • Oedipus complex

      • Castration anxiety

    • Latency (6-puberty)

    • Genital (adults)

      • Love & Work

The person freud1
The Person: Freud

  • Fixation: Did not get needs met at certain stage….energy still focused there….

    • Regression

  • Defense mechanisms: Unconscious psychological maneuvers to prevent unacceptable thoughts/urges from surfacing.

    • Denial

    • Rationalization

    • Repression

Critiquing freud
Critiquing Freud

  • Not empirically verifiable

  • Highlights the importance of attachment & past relationships.

  • Idea: Unconscious mental processes

Humanism personality
Humanism & personality

  • Carl Rogers: Humans have a need to self actualize. Needs not driving force of personality!

    • Self-concept

      • Unconditional positive regard needed for healthy self-concept.


  • Socializations produces “conditions of worth.”

  • People have freedom to choose.

    • Hard to test these concepts.

Cognitive view
Cognitive View

  • Expectations have a powerful influence on thought, feeling, and behavior.

  • Locus of Control: The source of your control.




Cognitive view1
Cognitive View

  • Self-efficacy: Sense of ability to follow through and produce specific behaviors.

    • You believe you can do it!

    • Is related to persistence

  • Self-regulation

  • Bandura’s reciprocal determinism

Just for fun
Just for fun!

  • Do you think being the youngest or oldest child in your family influenced your personality? How?