Psychology - Unit 1 Personality. What is Personality ? It is a complex hypothetical construct. It has various definitions, for psychology we focus on the definition below: an individual’s unique set of behavioral traits that remain constant across situtations
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Psychology - Unit 1 Personality
What is Personality?
It is a complex hypothetical construct. It has various definitions, for psychology we focus on the definition below:
an individual’s unique set of behavioral traits that remain constant across situtations
Personality Trait: a durable disposition to behave in a particular way in a variety of situations
Honest, Dependable, Moody, Impulsive, Suspicious, Anxious, Excitable, Domineering, Friendly
Factor Analysis: correlations among many variables are analyzed to identify closely related clusters of variables.
“What do you see?”
Critics argue that projective tests lack both reliability (consistency of results) & validity (predicting what it is supposed to).
1. Even trained raters evaluating the same patient can come up with different interpretations (reliability).
2. Projective tests may misdiagnose a normal person as having a disorder.
3. They are to subjective.
Can the way you eat an Oreo cookie tell you something about your personality?
Objective Personality Tests
Multiple choice(Locus of Control)
MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory)
Projective Personality Tests
TAT (Thematic Apperception Test)
TAT: The Thematic Apperception Test, a projective psychological test. Proponents of this technique assert that a person's responses reveal underlying motives, concerns, and the way they see the social world through the stories they make up about ambiguous pictures of people.
Historically, it has been among the most widely researched, taught, and used of such tests.
Are personality tests valuable tools in the selection of good employees?
How well do the tests predict behavior?
Are the tests an invasion of privacy?
How will tests be interpreted and used in the future?
Personality tests, like the Rorschach test, have been a staple in many industries. N.F.L. players now take the Player Assessment Tool.
While they found that Wonderlic scores play a large role in determining when QBs are selected in the draft -- the only equally important variables are height and the 40-yard dash -- the metric proved all but useless in predicting performance. The only correlation the researchers could find suggested that higher Wonderlic scores actually led to slightly worse QB performance, at least during rookie years.
The 4 to Focus On
1. Psychodynamic Perspective
2. Behavioral - Social Cognitive
PARADOX: Personality tests have a number of shortcomings and weaknesses, but they remain invaluable measurement instruments for both research and clinical work.
Trait - a tendency to respond in a certain way in many different kinds of situations.
Trait Theorists often ask:
What behaviors go together?
Which are similar?
What do the behaviors & traits mean?
Described personality in terms of fundamental traits, or characteristic patterns of behavior or dispositions to feel or act in a certain way. 3 Main traits:
Cardinal Trait- characteristic or feature so important that a person is identified by it
Ex, Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”
Central Trait - traits that make us predictable in most situations
Ex, He’s a flirt or She is shy
Secondary Trait - least important of the 3, but conveys our preferences to items like music or food.
Ex, Rap Music & Chinese food
16 Personality Factors (16PF) by Raymond Cattell
Using statistics (factor analysis) identified:
16 Personality Factors (16PF) that he believed made up the building blocks of each individual’s personality.
Everyone has the same 16 characteristics - to varying degrees.
Eysenck and Eysenck (EYE-SINK) (Hans & Sybil)
2 basic dimensions of personality, rated on a continuum
Extraversion vs. Introversion
Extraversion - sociable, outgoing, active, and lively person
Introversion - thoughtful, reserved, & quiet
Emotional Stability vs. Instability
Stability - easy-going, relaxed, well-adjusted and even-tempered
Instability - moody, anxious, and restless
Find how you rate on the big 5
Traits: Quantitative differences among people.
How much of each trait does the person have that unique combination makes up personality.
Types: Qualitative differences between people.
More like putting people into categories.
Evaluation of Trait Theory:
The Big Five - Set of slightly expanded factors and currently the best approximation of basic trait dimensions.
**remember this is on a continuum, not usually extremes - falls on scale**
1. Emotional Stability: Identifies individuals who experience things relatively easily without getting upset.
Opposite is neuroticism - being constantly angry or worried or complaining all the time. Tend to look for the bad rather than the good.
2. Extroversion: Associated with talkativeness, and being energetic
Opposite is introversion - being quiet, shy and cautious.
3. Agreeableness: Involves being sympathetic, cooperative, kind, trusting, and good-natured.
Opposite is antagonism - being abrasive, irritable, suspicious & jealous
4. Openness to experience: Describes people who are open-minded and willing to try intellectual experiences, new ideas, or creative experiences.
Opposite is resistance to new experience - being predictable, conforming and unimaginative.
5. Conscientiousness: Identifies individuals who are dutiful, dedicated to completing tasks, organized, and responsible.
Opposite is impulsiveness - includes tendencies such as carelessness, giving up easily and being irresponsible.
Explain the behavioralview of personality structure.
Discuss how Skinner’s principles of operantconditioning can be applied to the development of personality.
Discuss how Bandura’ssociallearningtheory can be applied to the development of personality.
Watson - 1913 began campaigning for the behavioral view.
Most prominent proponent of Behaviorism - Skinner.
Skinner - you can NOT observe what goes on inside people’s minds. So why try?
Instead measure their behaviors by tweaking their environment.
Importance of conscious thoughts and emotions
Approach derived from the principles of animal and human learning (behaviorism)
The social cognitive perspective of personality emphasizes the importance of observational learning, self-efficacy, situational influences and cognitive processes.
Albert Bandura: Emphasized the importance of social learning, or learning through observation.
His theory emphasized the role of conscious thoughts including self-efficacy, or our own beliefs in our abilities.
Self-Efficacy – The learned expectation of success. If we think we will succeed, we have a better chance of succeeding.
Reciprocal Determinism – Behavior, the external environment and personal factors interact to create our personality and define how we interact in the world.
Converting Observation into a Cognitive Rule
Reproduction: most difficult to accomplish.
Motivation: where Skinner’s Reinforcement comes into play.
YouTube: Bandura - Personality
Learning creates expectancies that guide behavior- Julian Rotter, 1982
Decision to engage in a behavior is determined by:
What the person expects to happen following the behavior.
The value the person places on the outcome.
Why buy an expensive suit for a job interview?
Internals vs. Externals:
“Locus of Control”
Do we see ourselves as controlling the outcome of events, or is it factors outside ourselves?
Personal dispositions: A person's inherent qualities of mind and character
Influence behavior only in relevant situations.
Can lead to behaviors that alter situations which promotes other behaviors.
People choose to be in situations that are in accord with them.
They are more important in some situations than in others.
Personality - Humanistic Perspective Experiment
By 1960s psychologists had become discontented with Freud’s negativity and mechanistic psychology of behaviorists.
Abraham Maslow &
Humanistic Theory: Emphasizes that individuals control their own behavior. View human nature in a more positive light - we are all good.
Very popular perspective in the 1960s - “Flower Power”
Rogers’ Self Theory Experiment
Believed in the inherent goodness of people and emphasized the importance of free will & psychological growth. He suggested that the actualizing tendency is the driving force behind human behavior.
Actualizing Tendency - Innate inclination toward growth that motivates people.
Importance of the Self
Self-Concept – how we think of ourselves
Role of Positive Regard
Conditions of Worth – feelings of being evaluated as a person, rather than actions
Personality shaped by:
Evaluations made by others
The humanistic perspective of personality focuses on psychological growth, free will and personal awareness. It takes a more positiveoutlook on human nature and is centered on how each person can achieve their individual potential.
The focus is on a human’s unique mental capabilities.
Behavior motivated mainly by an innate drive toward growth.
This drive helps us to understand how a person views the world.
Roots in existential philosophy of Kierkegaard and Sartre as well as the work of Gestalt Psychologists
Self-Actualization: not just a tendency, it is a NEED.
“Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”-- We move UP the hierarchy
Basic at Bottom ---- Self-Actualization at Top
YouTube: “Shatner of the Mount by Fall on your Sword” - Why is Captain Kirk climbing the mountain?
Where no man has gone before.
This may be the greatest video in the history of YouTube. Or not.
Maslow believed that we tried to reach the state of self-actualization to fulfil our potential.
He believed this desire exists in all people but it is often thwarted by one’s environment.
- accepts self unconditionally
- spontaneous and natural
- democratic in nature
- like privacy
- focus on problems outside of themselves
- strong ethical and moral sense
- close, yet limited number of friends
- very realistic
Carl Rogers Why is Captain Kirk climbing the mountain?
Believed in individuals personal growth tendencies. People are naturally good.
Central feature of personality = self-concept
Our perception of our abilities, behaviors and characteristics if self-concept is positive, we act in positive ways.
For an individual to grow, Rogers said must have:
1. Genuineness: being open with feelings and drop facades
2. Acceptance: Get rid of conditions of worth. Must have/offer unconditional positive regard
3. Empathy: Sharing and mirroring our feelings and reflecting meanings
Assessing the Self in Humanism According to Carl Rogers Why is Captain Kirk climbing the mountain?
In an effort to assess personality, Rogers asked people to describe themselves as they would like to be (ideal) and as they actually are (real).
If the 2 descriptions are close, the individual had a positive self-concept.
All our thoughts and feelings about ourselves, boils down to the answer of a single question:
“Who am I?”
Refers to self-concept
Consistent with how many people view themselves.
Inspired forms of psychotherapy.
Criticized for being naïve, romantic, and unrealistic.
Criticized for emphasizing culture, specific ideas about mental health: very individualistic.
1. Humanistic psychology had pervasive impact on counseling, education, child-rearing, and management.
2. Concepts in humanistic psychology are vague and subjective and lacked scientific basis.
3. Individualism can lead to self-indulgence, selfishness, and corruptions.
So need to be careful of emphasis.
What about the collective?