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  1. Personality Chapter 12

  2. Personality …like all others Human nature level …like some others Individual/Group Differences …like no others Individual Uniqueness Level Every human being is… Happy Worriers Risk takers

  3. Personality • Person's general style of interaction with the world • People differ from one another in their style of behavior, in ways that are relatively consistent across time and situations • The study of personality focuses on differences between people • And consistencies within people

  4. Personality questionnaires • Why take personality tests? • Preferences with regard to personality • Learn about yourself • Be able to predict future behaviors • Based on belief that basic differences in behavior are related to how person perceives, judges, makes decisions, etc. • There is no “good” or “bad”– just different styles

  5. Answer the following… • Describe your perfect weekend. What would you do? • Describe a bowl of M&Ms. • You are in charge of a group, but you can only take ½ of them to finals. How do you resolve the situation? • Describe a plan for a two week trip. You can go anywhere, do anything, spend as much money as you want!

  6. Myers-Briggs Dichotomies • E/I: Extroversion/Introversion • How you get energy and where you focus your attention • Extroversion: energy from outside-world, action • Introversion: energy from inside-world, reflection • S/N: Sensing/Intuition • How do you take in information and find out about things • Sensing: precise and exact manner, trust concrete • Intuition: novel or abstract manner, trust abstract • T/F: Thinking/Feeling • How you make decisions • Thinking: general truths and objectivity, logical • Feeling: seek interpersonal harmony, empathic • J/P: Judging/Perceiving • How you live your life (lifestyle) • Judging: like closure and planning • Perceiving: open-ended and adapt to novelty

  7. Temperament preference • Describe your perfect weekend. What would you do? • Extroversion: more people involved • Introversion: quieter activities • Describe a bowl of M&Ms. • Sensing: technical description • Intuitive: more creative description • You are in charge of a group, but you can only take ½ of them to finals. How do you resolve the situation? • Thinking: more logical approach (merit) • Feeling: harder to come to decision, multiple sides • Describe a plan for a two week trip. You can go anywhere, do anything, spend as much money as you want! • Judging: list of activities/itinerary • Perceiving: rough plan, nothing detailed

  8. Personality tests • Self-report structured tests • Standardized questionnaires • Examples • Myers-Briggs • MMPI

  9. MMPI

  10. Personality tests • Projective personality tests • Interpretation of ambiguous information • Examples • Rorschach inkblot technique • Thematic Apperception Test

  11. Thematic Apperception Test • Provide a story for this picture.

  12. Why study personality psychology? • Why the person is the way he/she is? • To predict behavior • To summarize a person • Psychopathology • Career choice • Other uses? • Find romantic partner: • Sports (draft picks) • Understand learning style/improve study skills • Understand clients / employees

  13. Corporate personality test • Select the statement you most agree with and least agree with from options below. • Spend money to get power and control, or else save it. • If you think so, you can make things work out well. • Details frustrate me, I’d rather do other things. • Don’t speak unnecessarily, let others do the talking, but think as you like.

  14. American Express trainingWhat kind of job would each “type” have? Personal relationships important Expressive Amiable Not important to complete job Important to complete job Driver Analytic Personal relationships not important

  15. Pro/Con: Personality tests • Support for personality tests • Preference – not absolutes • Understand strengths/weaknesses • Self-report tests predict behavior (r=.30) • Problems/issues with personality tests • Types of questions • Personality dimensions • Past behavior predicts future behavior best! • Stability of traits • Barnum effect (selection bias)

  16. Personality theories Chapter 12

  17. Perspectives on personality • Trait theories • Psychodynamic theory • Humanistic approach • Social-cognitive approach

  18. Trait theories • Describe differences among individuals using a standard set of attributes • Traits: relatively stable predisposition to behave in a certain way • Factor-analytic approach • Grouping of questions • How many personality dimensions are there? • Cattell (1957): 16 traits • Norman (1963): 5 traits • Eysenck (1952): 3 traits

  19. Write 5-10 terms to describe your own personality. • Write 5-10 terms to describe a friend’s personality. • What are the primary traits or fundamental dimensions of personality? • How would you measure these traits? Examples?

  20. Reserved Trusting Relaxed Less intelligent Stable Assertive Happy-go-lucky Conscientious Venturesome Tender-minded Imaginative Shrewd Apprehensive Experimenting Self-sufficient Controlled Outgoing Suspicious Tense More intelligent Emotional Humble Sober Expedient Shy Tough-minded Practical Forthright Placid Conservative Group-tied Casual Cattell’s source traits

  21. Eysenck’s superfactors • Extroversion: How outgoing and social • Neuroticism: How emotional (stable/unstable) • Psychoticism: How sensitive toward others

  22. Norman’s Big Five • Extroversion • Sociable/reclusive • Neuroticism • Calm/anxious • Agreeableness • Good-natured/irritable • Conscientiousness • Responsible/undependable • Openness to experience • Broad/narrow

  23. Organized Curious Active Generous Outgoing Tense Anxious Assertive Original Forgiving Efficient Unstable Talkative Appreciative Responsible Artistic Enthusiastic Sympathetic Deliberate Self-defeating Vulnerable Imaginative Sort the following adjectives and label the group with a “factor” name

  24. Organized Curious Active Generous Outgoing Tense Anxious Assertive Original Forgiving Efficient Unstable Talkative Appreciative Responsible Artistic Enthusiastic Sympathetic Deliberate Self-defeating Vulnerable Imaginative Adjectives sorted… • Extraversion • Neuroticism • Agreeableness • Conscientious-ness • Openness

  25. Allport’s trait theory • Focus on individual • How we are all unique • Cardinal traits • Dominating passion in life (rare) • Central traits • 5-10 descriptive terms • Secondary traits • Other terms (less important, situation specific)

  26. The genetics of personality

  27. Schaie, Willis, & Caskie (2004)The Seattle Longitudinal Study (NEO)

  28. How personality develops • Psychodynamic theory • Caused by forces originating in unconscious, struggling for control • Humanistic approach • Caused by the unique way we grow and understand self • Social-cognitive approach • Caused by experiences and interpretation of those experiences

  29. Freud’s Psychodynamic Theory • Unconscious irrational forces competing to control behavior • 3 layers of consciousness • Conscious • Preconscious • Unconscious • 3 personality structures: shaped by childhood • Id = pleasure principle • Ego = reality principle • Superego = idealistic principle

  30. Ego’s Defense mechanisms • Unconscious processes used by ego to ward off anxiety due to confrontations with id: • e.g.: You missed an exam • Denial (I didn’t miss it, honestly) • Displacement (Get mad at roommate) • Projection (It’s the teacher’s fault) • Rationalization (I would have failed anyway) • Reaction formation (I love exams) • Repression (I don’t remember) • Regression (Please, pretty please) • Sublimation (Play a violent video game)

  31. Freud’s Psychosexual Development • Born with unconscious urges and drives • Move through stages (or get fixated) • Oral stage: 0-1yr • Anal stage: 1-3yr • Phallic stage: 3-5yr • Oedipus complex or Electra complex • Latency period: 5-12yr • Genital stage: 12+ • Personality reflects interactions with adults • Psychological problems reflect when specific experiences occurred

  32. Humanistic approach • Positive view of human capacity • Focus on growth and potential • Drive toward self-actualization • Develop one’s unique potential • Rogers: Develop self-concept • Develop through social interactions • Need unconditional positive regard • Conditions of worth tends to come from approval • Incongruence: self-concept vs. experiences • Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs • Need to satisfy physical to emotional needs • Personality reflects position in hierarchy

  33. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs Peak experiences Self-actualization Aesthetic needs: symmetry, order, beauty Cognitive needs: knowledge, understanding Esteem needs: recognition, approval Belongingness and love needs: acceptance Safety needs: comfort, security, freedom from fear Physiological needs: food, water, oxygen

  34. Maslow: “Toward a Psychology of Being” • The person in peak-experiences feels himself, more than other times, to be the responsible, active, creating center of his activities and of his perceptions. He feels more like a prime-mover, more self-determined (rather than caused, determined, helpless, dependent, passive, weak, bossed). He feels himself to be his own boss, fully responsible, fully volitional, with more “free-will” than at other times, master of his fate, an agent.

  35. Social-cognitive approach • Social side: emphasis on experiences • Cognitive side: emphasis on interpretation • Behaviorism: • Classical conditioning, operant conditioning, modeling • Personality partly based on locus of control • Belief about control over environment • Self-efficacy • Beliefs about own abilities • Self-regulatory systems • Delay of gratification studies •

  36. Cognitions Behavior Environment Bandura’s Reciprocal Determinism Personality is shaped by this complex interaction

  37. Birth order and personality • How has your birth order affected your personality? • Your siblings’ personality? • What traits do you possess that can be attributed in part to your birth order? • Would you be different if your birth order was changed? • If yes, how so? • What does this tell you about your beliefs about nature vs. nurture in regards to personality? •

  38. Birth order • Summary of the findings of Belmont and Marolla. Scores on Raven's Progressive Matrices relate to birth order and family size.

  39. Nature or Nurture: Traits • Nature: Genetics • Twin studies on Eysenck’s PI or MMPI (pp 422) • Identical twins: .50 • Fraternal twins: .21-.23 • Nurture: Environment • For positive emotion: (pp 423) • Identical twins together: .63 • Identical twins apart: .34 • Fraternal twins together: .18 • Fraternal twins apart: -.07 • Interaction of nature and nurture

  40. Compare and contrast theories • Trait theories • Psychodynamic theory • Humanistic theory • Social-cognitive approach • In what ways are the theories similar? Different?

  41. Compare and contrast the theories • Similarities: • All strive to explain adult personality • All agree environment plays a role in personality development • Differences: • Trait theories: from birth • Psychodynamic: unconscious forces • Humanistic: unique view of the world; strive for self-actualization • Social-cognitive: experiences and how we interpret experiences

  42. Consistency controversy • Trait: stable and enduring • Situation: fleeting and changes behavior • Mischel (1968): behavior is inconsistent (due to environment) • Environment better predictor of behavior • Longitudinal studies (Big 5) • Tested 2x: correlations .59 - .87 • Even with time spans between the first and second test of 30 to 40 years • Harshorne & May (1928): kids have opportunity to be dishonest • High correlations for same situation • Low correlations across different situations • Interaction of situation and traits