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Personality and Physical Activity. EPHE 348. What is Personality?. Basic definition - dimensions of individual differences in tendencies to show consistent patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions, is (McCrae et al., 1990)

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what is personality
What is Personality?
  • Basic definition - dimensions of individual differences in tendencies to show consistent patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions, is (McCrae et al., 1990)
  • Hypothesized to represent a biological influence towards culturally conditioned phenomena, behavior, and life events
  • Traits are place holders for yet to be discovered neurotransmitters and genes
  • The environment provides a means for the expression of personality
history of personality
History of Personality
  • Oldest history in psychology
  • Dated to 400 B.C. with Hippocrates suggesting that there were four basic types of people associated with bodily humors
    • melancholic (depressed) black bile
    • choleric type (irritable) yellow bile
    • sanguine (optimistic) blood
    • phlegmatic (calm) phlegm
history cont
History Cont...
  • Flash forward to the 20th century
  • Gordon Allport (1930-40)
    • one of the most influential trait theorists
    • believed that traits are basic building blocks of psychological organization integrating what would be otherwise dissimilar stimuli and responses
  • Personality was almost abandoned in the 1960’s & 1970’s
  • Mischel (1968) argued that all individual differences are socially learned
  • Personality has now seen a resurgence over the last 20 years from evidence of heritability, cross-cultural stability, and neuroscience
  • Twin studies are the most persuasive
  • Identical twin evidence is consistently stronger than fraternal twins
  • Explains about 50 % of personality
  • New research is at the level of genetic markers
  • Long way to go in this exciting area
temporal stability
Temporal Stability
  • Test-retest reliability / stability is identical from 2 weeks to 45 years
  • Appears to be continuity between temperaments and personality from childhood to adolescence
  • Traits are relatively enduring reaching peak consistency at 50-60
cross culture reliability
Cross-Culture Reliability
  • Identified similar personality structures and traits across all cultures
  • Attempts to understand personality with natural science
  • Extraversion and cortical arousal
  • Neuroticism and the nervous system
  • Still in the early stages of research
how do we sort out the number of personality traits
How do we sort out the number of personality traits?
  • Theorizing / hypothesizing (e.g., Hippocrates)
  • Lexical studies
    • English contains 18,000 words that refer to characteristics of a behavior
    • Factor analysis reduces them into similar groupings
    • Idea is that language has been at least partially developed to describe behavior
leading personality theories
Leading Personality Theories
  • One of the most famous and lasting pioneers in personality is Hans Eysenck
  • Identified two major dimensions:
    • 1) Extraversion-introversion
    • 2) Neuroticism-emotional stability
  • Third is Psychoticism - less researched
eysenck s model
Eysenck’ s Model
  • Extraversion = activity, sociability, assertiveness, expressiveness, ambition, dogmatism, and aggression
  • Neuroticism = inferiority, unhappiness, anxiety, dependence, hypochondria, guilt, and obsessiveness
  • Psychoticism = risk-taking, impulsiveness, irresponsibility, manipulativeness, sensation-seeking, tough-mindedness, and practicality
leading personality theories1
Leading Personality Theories
  • The most popular model of personality is the five-factor model (Costa & McCrae, 1992; Goldberg, 1990)
  • Proposes 5 key traits
    • Neuroticism
    • Extraversion
    • Openness to experience
    • Agreeableness
    • Conscientiousness
five factor model
Five-Factor Model
  • Neuroticism = anxiety, depression, self-consciousness, vulnerability, angry hostility, impulsiveness
  • Extraversion = warmth, gregariousness, assertiveness, activity, excitement seeking, positive emotions
  • Openness to experience = fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas, and values
  • Agreeableness = trust, straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty, and tender-mindedness
  • Conscientiousness = competence, order, dutifulness, achievement-striving, self-discipline, and deliberation
personality and health
Personality and Health
  • Personality influences health through two Routes:
    • 1) Psychophysical – effect of psychological events on physiological, neuroendocrine, and metabolic processes
    • 2) Behavioral – overt actions and inactions that influence exposure to pathogenic agents / disease
personality and physical activity1
Personality and Physical Activity
  • Rhodes and Smith (2006) meta-analysis of 35 studies
    • N,E,C are reliable correlates with a small ES
    • Linked to vigorous activities but not light activities
    • No gender difference
    • Potential cultural differences (Can/USA = E; UK = C)
Extraversion (Rhodes, Courneya, Jones, 2002; Rhodes & Courneya, 2003; Rhodes, Courneya & Jones, 2003; Rhodes, Courneya & Jones, 2004)
personality and the stages of change
Personality and the Stages of Change
  • Research suggests that personality may affect stage progression and regression (Rhodes et al., 2001; Lochbaum et al., submitted)
  • Significant difference in E, N, & C between Action/maintenance and contemplation /preparation
  • No difference in precontemplation - personality acts as a facilitator / inhibitor but not a decision maker for exercise?
personality as a moderator of intention behaviour
Personality as a Moderator of Intention-Behaviour
  • High C individuals follow through with their exercise intentions more than low C individuals (self-discipline, organization, competence) (Conner et al., 2007; Rhodes et al., 2002)
  • High E individuals follow through with their exercise intentions more than low E individuals (greater opportunity and environment for physical activity ) (Rhodes et al., 2002, 2003; Hagan et al., in press)
  • Low N individuals follow through with their exercise intentions more than High N individuals (Less distraction/interference from mood ) (Hagan et al., in press)
sub trait analyses
Sub-Trait Analyses?











moderators of intention behaviour
Moderators of Intention-Behaviour
  • Rhodes et al., 2005 –C Achievement Striving
  • Hagan et al. in press – N Anxiety