Personality: The Psychology of Individual Differences. How we understand Personality: Approaches (Humanistic/Phenomenological) How we view individuals: Freud vs. Maslow What we focus on: Types vs. Traits Measuring Personality: structured vs. unstructured tests. Personality:
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How we understand Personality:
How we view individuals: Freud vs. Maslow
What we focus on: Types vs. Traits
structured vs. unstructured tests
unique pattern of enduring (i.e., across time and contexts) psychological, behavioural and cognitive characteristics, that differentiate one person from another.
= self fulfillment, reaching your fullest potential, etc...
Love and belongingness needs
security, shelter etc...
Start here; we all have these needs: water, food etc...
The goal of personality psychologists is to understand the causes of individual differences in behaviour.
In order to do this one must
(a) identify personality characteristics, and
(b) determine the variables that produce and control them.
Traits: stable (permanent) internal tendencies that direct people’s actions, or characteristics that people display consistently over time and across situations, (e.g., friendly, caring, insensitive)
Personality was a reflection of the four humors (fluids) that make up our bodies:
If one of these fluids was dominate, the personality associated with that fluid would be observed
William Sheldon’s somatotypes relating physique to temperament:
Cattell (1905- ): 16-Factor theory: found 16 core personality traits using factor analysis
Eysenck (1916-1997): 3-Factor theory: Extroversion, Neuroticism, Pychoticism
Extroversion refers to an outgoing nature and the liking of a high level of activity (opposite is introversion).
Neuroticism refers to worry, guilt and anxiety (with the opposite being emotional stability which is characterized by a relaxed person at peace with themselves)
Pychoticism refers to an aggressive, egocentric and anti-social nature (the opposite being self-control which is characterized by kindness and obeying rules)
tools used by psychologists tend to fall into two general categories:
Structured (objective) tests:
paper and pencil type tests that directly ask a person to answer various questions about their personality
Unstructured (projective) tests:
exam personality in a much more indirect way, by assessing a person’s reaction to certain stimuli