Unit One: • “Making sense of other people” • 3) Development of amac edu 2011
Personality The word and concept of personality is common in everyday language (eg. “He has a nice personality”). However, most use it without thinking what it actually means. Some thoughts: • How are people different? • Can people change completely? • Are these differences apparent at all ages? • Try creating your own definition of personality (think 1 to 3 above):
A Definition of Personality “Measurable types, traits and temperaments which make you who you are and different from other people”
The strange case of Phineas Gage • PhineasGage(died 1860) was an American railroad construction foreman now remembered for surviving an accident in which a large iron bar passed through his brain… What does this suggest about personality?
The Three Personality T’s • Type Usually Type A or Type B (there are other types and combinations). A = Aggressive/Conflictual and B = Passive/conflict avoidant (in general) 2. Temperament How we appear/interact with others (Easily – Difficult – Slow to warm-up) 3. Trait Extrovert (social) – Introvert (quiet) – Neurotic (anxious) Your personality is a combination of these three factors
Important point… They are all biological (inherited) and to a large extent ‘life-time stable’. They are better understood as the ‘underlying foundations’ of who we are and how we interact/learn with/from the environment. Miserable Baby Miserable Man Miserable ‘Old Git’ [sic]
Personality ‘TYPES’ Q. when you play games or sport do you always play to win rather than just play for fun? 1. Usually play to win = Type A behaviour (competitive) 2. Prefer to play for fun = Type B behaviour (non-competitive)
Which ‘type’ are you? Type B Laid Back Avoids Conflict Relaxed One thing at a time Empathetic (Express feelings) or Type A Up front Conflictual Competitive Time urgent Hostile and aggressive Which type you are most like…
Personality ‘TYPES’ Type "A" – Are highly independent and driven by risk. They tend to be physical, conflictual, competitive and time urgent (mostly male). Type "B" - Represents highly extroverted people, they are very entertaining and possess strong charisma. Often laid back and conflict avoidant Type "C" - The opposite of Type "B"; they are introverted, very cautious and reserved.Type "D" – They prefer the tedium of routine. They are not adventurous, resist responsibility and prefer to be told what to do Some scales go to ‘Type F’ and beyond. In reality most people are a combination of types and this is often determined by situational factors. Evaluation: Are these ‘types’ broad enough to cover everyone and all ages?
Next: TEMPERAMENT “refers to the (biologically) inherited aspects of personality. It is the way people respond to the environment” Temperament is also life long stable
STUDIES OFTEMPERAMENT:THOMAS, CHESS AND BIRCH (1977) Aim:To discover whether temperament is stable throughout life Method: observed 133 children from infancy behaviour to early adulthood behaviour and their parents were interviewed about the children as babies Results:children fell into three types: “Easy”, “Difficult”, and “Slow to warm up”. Easy children were happy, flexible, and regular. The Difficult children were demanding, inflexible and cried a lot. The children that were “slow to warm up” didn't respond well to change or new experiences to begin with, but once adapted they were usually happy Conclusions: The three basic temperaments stayed with the children as they developed through to adulthood; therefore concluded that temperament is innate (genetically inherited) and life-long stable
EVALUATION ACTIVITY Q) What is meant by ‘innate’ & ‘life-long stable’? • This was a longitudinal study (what is a cross-sectional study?). Can you think of the advantages and disadvantages of carrying a longitudinal study? • All children were from middle class families. What's the problem with choosing p’s from only one section of society? • Parents were interviewed for this study. Outline one drawback of asking parents about their own children
Before we move on: What is the rationale of ‘Twin Studies’? Define: • DNA: • MZ: • MZa: • DZ: • Concordance: • Rationale of…
DZ Twins MZa Twins If temperament is If temperament is If temperament is If temperament is The basic rationale
TWIN STUDIES & TEMPERAMENTBUSS AND PLOMIN (1984) Aim: To determine temperament and innateness Method: 228 MZ twins and 172 DZ. They rated concordance for temperament factors at 5years old. They look at these three dimensions of behaviour: • Emotionality-how strong the child’s emotional response was • Activity- how energetic the child was • Sociability-how much the child wanted to be with other people. Results: closer relationship for MZ’s than DZ’s Conclusion: Temperament has a genetic basis
EVALUATION OF BUSS AND PLOMIN (1984) Further research: Read Kagan & Snidman 1991 p41 Do AMRC Supports a genetic basis (it demonstrates that genetically identical twins were more similar in emotionality, activity and sociability than non- genetically-identical twins). However could be that identical twins are treated very similarly and experience very similar situations, especially when children. This means environmental learning could account for the similarities. Hard to generalise from twins to the general population, because we are not all twins (sampling bias).
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY OF PERSONALITY • Eysenck believed that there are different personality types. His theory is therefore described as a type theory. For each personality type there are associated traits. • The personality types he identified include extroversion, introversion and neuroticism. • Extroverts look to other people and the outside world for entertainment while introverts are content with their own thoughts and ideas.
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY OF PERSONALITY Extroverts • Are open and often talkative • Compare their own opinions with the opinions of others • Like action and initiative • Easily make new friends or adapt to a new group • Say what they think • Are interested in new people • Easily break unwanted relations
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY OF PERSONALITY Introverts • Are interested in their own thoughts and feelings • Need to have own territory • Often appear reserved, quiet and thoughtful • Usually do not have many friends • Have difficulties in making new contacts • Like concentration and quiet • Do not like the unexpected
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY OF PERSONALITY Neurotics • A personality type that describes people who are highly emotional and show a quick, intense reaction to fear.
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY OF PERSONALITY A biological theory of personality Eysenck believed that these different personality types were cause by the type of nervous type that the individual inherits. For example, in neurotics, the nervous system reacts quickly and strongly to stress. To test his ideas he carried out a study in 1947
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY OF PERSONALITY (HALF-WAY) Aim: To investigate the personality of 700 servicemen Method: Each soldier completed a questionnaire. Eysenck analysed the results using statistical technique called factor analysis. Results: He indentified two dimensions of personality: extroversion-introversion and neuroticism-stability Conclusions: Everyone can be placed along these two dimension of personality. Most people lie in the middle of the scale.
EVALUATION OF EYSENCK'S WORK His original research used a limited sample of servicemen to test his ideas (sample bias, so hard to generalise). However later research was carried out on 1000s of people and supported Eysenck’s ideas He only described a limited number of personality types. Questionnaires can present researchers with a number of problems (eg. people may not be 100% truthful) Why is personality as inherited a potential problem? (Determinism)
PERSONALITY SCALES • Eysenck developed a number of personality scales to measure personality types. Including: • The Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) • The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ)
Personality ScalesThe Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) • This scale measures extroversion-introversion and neuroticism-stability. • It is made out of a series of yes/no questions, the answers can help identify the person’s personality • The two dimensions are not related so the person can be identified as a neurotic introvert, a stable extrovert or a stable introvert
The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) This scale is also used to measure introversion, extroversion and neuroticism. A new dimension to personality was added to this scale, Psychoticism. Most people score low on this dimension. However those with a high score are hostile, aggressive, insensitive, cruel, and lacking in feelings
ANTISOCIALPERSONALITY DISORDER(APD) It is possible to confuse anti-social behaviour with antisocial personality disorder. Some may commit antisocial acts, or behave in antisocial manner but may not be suffering from APD Also suffering from APD doesn't mean that you have poor social skills...is a bit more complex that this...
Antisocial Personality disorder is a Psychological condition in which sufferers ignore the right of others and do not behave in a socially acceptable manner. • People with APD do not abide by the law, they lie, steal and can at times be aggressive. • They find it hard to keep a job and meet their responsibilities as parents & partners. • They can find it hard to make and keep meaningful friendships, but this doesn't mean that they aren’t witty and charming. • It affects about 3% of males and about 1% of females and about 75% of the prison population suffers from this condition...cause and effect?
CHARACTERISTICS OF ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER • Pattern of behaviour • since age 15 (although only • adults 18 years+ can be • diagnosed) • The symptoms : • failure to conform to social norms • repeatedly performing unlawful acts that are grounds for arrest • deceitfulness, • impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
Cont… • irritability and aggressiveness,as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults • reckless disregard for safety of self or others • consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behaviour or honour financial obligations • lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another
Difference: Psychopath and Sociopath • The DSM IV lists both under the heading of Anti-social Personality Disorder. • Both will engage in behavior that harms others with no feeling of guilt or remorse. • Sociopaths are seen as disorganized and rash, making impulse led, extreme responses to normal situations. Psychopaths, by contrast, are highly organized, often secretly planning out and fantasizing in great detail before actually committing them, and sometimes manipulating people around them. Was Hannibal (Silence of the Lambs) a Psychopath or Sociopath?
WHAT CAUSES ANTI-SOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER? Are Criminals Born or Made?
BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS OF APD Many people believe that there are biological causes for APD. They are particularly interested in brain abnormalities, specifically the Amygdala (controls emotions) and the prefrontal cortex (higher order thinking) areas of the brain.
BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS APD & AMYGDALA The Amygdala is responsible for learning from negative consequences of our actions It responds to fear and sad facial expressions So we usually learn to avoid behaviours that upset others However, it is believed that the Amygdala is impaired in people with APD. As a result, they do not learn to avoid behaviour that harms others- sadness and fear of others do not affect them
BIOLOGICALEXPLANATIONS OF APDTHE PREFRONTAL CORTEX FUNCTIONS People with APD have been known to have smaller prefrontal cortices Again, the prefrontal cortex is an area involved with in moral and social behaviour and guilt. So if smaller they may well feel less remorse and guilt
KEY RESEARCHRAINE ET AL (2000) Aim: To support the theory that an abnormal prefrontal cortex causes APD Method: MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) was used to test 21 men with APD and a control group of 34 healthy males. PS all volunteers. Results: The APD group had an 11% reduction in prefrontal grey tissue compared with the control group Conclusion: APD is caused by a reduced prefrontal cortex
EVALUATION OF RAINE ET AL (2000) - The complexity and all the amazing things the brain is capable of rarely are the result of a single brain structure. Instead the brain relies in a complex network of structures intercommunicating with each other. So we can conclude that the cause of APD is more complex that what these results suggest! It adds support to the idea that there are biological explanations for APD. A brain abnormality in the prefrontal cortex Only males- Andocentric bias Volunteer p’s. Not a representative sample to generalise from…
SITUATIONAL EXPLANATIONS OF APD • In contrast to Biological explanations, it may be the case that APD is caused by situational factors. • That is factors relating to the situation people are brought up in (nurture) • Which factors could we include under this explanation? • Socioeconomic factors- income and housing • Quality of life at home • Educational factors including low school achievement and leaving school early
KEY RESEARCHFARRINGTON (1995) Aim: to investigate antisocial behaviour in males from childhood to the age of 50 Method: longitudinal study of 411 males (8-50yrs old). Deprived areas of inner London. Parents and teachers were all interviewed and family criminal records checked. Results: 41% were convicted of at least one offence between the age of 10 and 50 (factors for offending were criminal behaviour in the family, low school achievement, poverty and poor parenting) Conclusion: situational factors lead to the development of Antisocial Behaviour.
EVALUATION OF FARRIGNTON (1995) Longitudinal study. Attrition? Not a controlled study, which factor of the ones identified was the most important? Also, biological factors were not investigated. All Male pp’s Interviews lend themselves for people to give socially desirable answers- people basically lie to make themselves look good
THE END OF PERSONALITY