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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 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?
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

1st 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

2nd 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

External sources do influence personality

    • The way people are brought up
    • A pheasant would act differently compared to blue-blood
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: 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

Different experience in different cultures affect how personalities develop

  • Psychologists have come to see that people and their personalities exist within a cultural context
Personality & Culture
types of culture


    • 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


    • 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?

  • 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?