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. But….are traits always consistent?
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 personality? 2) Situationalism: Behavior is a function of the situation. • We may create our own situations!
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. 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 models. 2) Hans Eysenck: Three Superfactors • Extraversion • Neuroticism • Psychoticism *Combo. of big five agreeableness & conscientiousness; includes traits of social deviance & non-conformity.
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…. • 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 • 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 • 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 • Social Desirability: A bias in responding to make self “look good.” • MMPI-2 K scale • Literacy • Cultural considerations
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 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? • Career decisions • Deciding on a diagnosis • Curiosity! – self-knowledge • Employment screenings • Forensic evaluations
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) • Extraversion (sociable & high stimulation) • Introvert (shy, quiet, solitary). Five facts: • 1) • 2) • 3) • 4) • 5)
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 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 • Buss and Plomin (1984): • Activity (vigor & tempo) • Sociability • Emotionality (distress/fear/anger) • Impulsivity
Genes • 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 • 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 • 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: 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 • Not empirically verifiable • Highlights the importance of attachment & past relationships. • Idea: Unconscious mental processes
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.
Humanistic • Socializations produces “conditions of worth.” • People have freedom to choose. • Hard to test these concepts.
Cognitive View • Expectations have a powerful influence on thought, feeling, and behavior. • Locus of Control: The source of your control. 1) OR 2)
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! • Do you think being the youngest or oldest child in your family influenced your personality? How?