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Psychological Science, 3rd Edition Michael Gazzaniga Todd Heatherton Diane Halpern . Personality. 13. Questions to Consider:. How Have Psychologists Studied Personality? How Is Personality Assessed, and What Does It Predict? What Are the Biological Bases of Personality?

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questions to consider
Questions to Consider:

How Have Psychologists Studied Personality?

How Is Personality Assessed, and What Does It Predict?

What Are the Biological Bases of Personality?

How Do We Know Our Own Personalities?

how have psychologists studied personality
How Have Psychologists Studied Personality?
  • Psychodynamic Theories Emphasize Unconscious and Dynamic Processes
  • Humanistic Approaches Emphasize Integrated Personal Experience
  • Type and Trait Approaches Describe Behavioral Dispositions
  • Personality Reflects Learning and Cognition
learning objectives
Learning Objectives

List the major theorists and concepts associated with four general approaches to the study of personality.

psychodynamic theories emphasize unconscious and dynamic processes
Psychodynamic Theories Emphasize Unconscious and Dynamic Processes
  • Sigmund Freud developed one of the most influential theories of personality development by observing patients he treated
  • His underlying assumption was that unconscious forces, such as wishes and motives, influence behavior
slide7

Sigmund Freud theorized that mental activityoccurred in these three zones. He believedthat much of human behavior was influencedby unconscious processes.

psychodynamic theories emphasize unconscious and dynamic processes1
Psychodynamic Theories Emphasize Unconscious and Dynamic Processes
  • There are three major components of Freud’s theory:
    • Topographical model
      • Conscious, unconscious, preconscious
    • Development of sexual instincts
      • Oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital psychosexual stages
psychodynamic theories emphasize unconscious and dynamic processes2
Psychodynamic Theories Emphasize Unconscious and Dynamic Processes
  • Structural model
    • Id, ego, superego
    • Defense mechanisms were described as strategies used by the ego to cope with the anxiety caused by conflicts between the id and the superego
psychodynamic theories emphasize unconscious and dynamic processes3
Psychodynamic Theories Emphasize Unconscious and Dynamic Processes
  • Psychodynamic theory since Freud:
    • Neo-Freudians (Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, and Karen Horney) all modified aspects of Freud’s original theory
    • Many later theorists rejected Freud’s emphasis on sexuality in favor of a focus on social interactions leading to object relations theory
    • Many psychologists have abandoned psychodynamic theories due to the lack of scientifically verifiable hypotheses
humanistic approaches emphasize integrated personal experience
Humanistic Approaches Emphasize Integrated Personal Experience
  • Humanistic approaches to personality:
    • Emphasize subjective personal experience and belief systems
    • Propose that people seek to fulfill their human potential for personal growth through greater self-understanding
      • Self-actualization
    • At its core, humanism focuses on subjective human experience, or phenomenology, and views each person as inherently good
humanistic approaches emphasize integrated personal experience1
Humanistic Approaches Emphasize Integrated Personal Experience
  • The two most well-known humanistic psychologists are Maslow and Rogers
    • Abraham Maslow
      • Theory of motivation
humanistic approaches emphasize integrated personal experience2
Humanistic Approaches Emphasize Integrated Personal Experience
  • Carl Rogers
    • Advocated a client-centered approach
    • Focused on creating a warm, supportive, and accepting environment and dealing with clients’ problems and concerns as clients understood them
    • Recommended that parents provide unconditional positive regard to their children, thereby raising fully functional adults
humanistic approaches emphasize integrated personal experience3
Humanistic Approaches Emphasize Integrated Personal Experience
  • Only recently have psychologists begun using scientific methods to study the positive aspects of humanity
    • Seligman’s research into positive psychology
  • Broaden-and-build theory
    • Positive emotions prompt people to consider novel and creative solutions to their problems
      • May help resilient people cope effectively with setbacks or negative life experiences
type and trait approaches describe behavioral dispositions
Type and Trait Approaches Describe Behavioral Dispositions
  • Typologies:
    • Discrete categories in which we place people
  • Traits:
    • Behavioral dispositions that endure over time and across situations
type and trait approaches describe behavioral dispositions1
Type and Trait Approaches Describe Behavioral Dispositions
  • Implicit personality theory:
    • Personality characteristics go together
      • Allowing for predictions about people on the basis of minimal evidence
  • Estimates of the number of traits have ranged from almost 18,000 to the 16 Cattell identified through factor analysis
type and trait approaches describe behavioral dispositions2
Type and Trait Approaches Describe Behavioral Dispositions
  • Eysenck’s hierarchical model:
    • The specific response level
      • Observed behaviors
    • The habitual response level
      • Behaviors observed on several occasions
    • Traits
  • Eysenck proposed three superordinate traits:
    • Introversion-extraversion, emotional stability, and psychoticism (or constraint)
slide19

Extraversion is asuperordinate trait made up of sociability,dominance, assertiveness, activity, and liveliness. Each ofthese subordinate traits is madeup of habitual and specific responses.

type and trait approaches describe behavioral dispositions3
Type and Trait Approaches Describe Behavioral Dispositions
  • The Big Five or Five Factor Model:
    • Five basic personality traits:
      • Openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism
    • Significant evidence supports the five factor model
      • Including some predictive studies and cross-cultural studies
personality reflects learning and cognition
Personality Reflects Learning and Cognition
  • Early learning theorists:
    • B. F. Skinner
    • Viewed personality as result of the individual’s history of reinforcement
  • Dissatisfaction with this view led to Kelly’s personal construct theory:
    • Individuals develop personal theories about the world
personality reflects learning and cognition1
Personality Reflects Learning and Cognition
  • Julian Rotter:
    • Behavior is a function of people’s expectancies for reinforcement, as well as the value they ascribe to the reinforcer
    • Locus of control (internal vs. external)
      • Describes people’s beliefs about the success of their efforts
personality reflects learning and cognition2
Personality Reflects Learning and Cognition
  • Incorporation of cognition into learning theories led to the development of cognitive-social theories of personality
    • Emphasize how personal beliefs, expectancies, and interpretations of social situations shape behavior and personality
  • Albert Bandura
    • Self-efficacy
personality reflects learning and cognition3
Personality Reflects Learning and Cognition
  • Walter Mischel’s cognitive-affective personality system (CAPS)
  • People’s responses in a given situation are influenced by:
    • How they encode or perceive the situation
    • Their affective (emotional) response to the situation
    • The skills and competencies they have to deal with challenges
    • Their anticipation of the outcomes that their behavior will produce
personality reflects learning and cognition4
Personality Reflects Learning and Cognition
  • Personality models such as CAPS emphasize self-regulatory capacities
    • People set personal goals, evaluate their progress, and adjust their ongoing behavior in pursuit of those goals
how is personality assessed and what does it predict
How Is Personality Assessed, and What Does It Predict?
  • Personality Refers to Both Unique and Common Characteristics
  • Researchers Use Objective and Projective Methods to Assess Personality
  • Observers Show Accuracy in Trait Judgments
  • People Sometimes Are Inconsistent
  • Behavior Is Influenced by the Interaction of Personality and Situations
  • There Are Cultural and Gender Differences in Personality
learning objectives1
Learning Objectives

Identify strengths and limitations of different methods of personality assessment.

Explain why personality does not always predict behavior.

personality refers to both unique and common characteristics
Personality Refers to Both Unique and Common Characteristics
  • Allport divided the study of personality into two types of approaches:
    • Idiographic
      • Person centered
    • Nomothetic
      • Focused on traits
personality refers to both unique and common characteristics1
Personality Refers to Both Unique and Common Characteristics
  • Idiographic theorists are more likely to use case studies or the narrative approach
  • Nomothetic theorists tend to compare people by using common trait measures
    • Questionnaires or other similar methods
objective and projective methods to assess personality
Objective and Projective Methods to Assess Personality
  • Choice of which personality measures to use tends to be determined by theoretical orientation of the user
objective and projective methods to assess personality1
Objective and Projective Methods to Assess Personality
  • Projective techniques:
    • Rorschach Inkblot Test and the TAT
    • Reflect psychodynamic theories as
      • Based on the assumption they people will project their unconscious processes onto the ambiguous stimuli (projective hypothesis)
objective and projective methods to assess personality2
Objective and Projective Methods to Assess Personality
  • Objective measures:
    • NEO Personality Inventory and the California Q Sort
    • Do not rest on the assumptions of psychodynamic theories
    • Consist of self-report questionnaires or direct observations of behavior
observers show accuracy in trait judgements
Observers Show Accuracy in Trait Judgements
  • Researchers have found that close acquaintances may be more accurate at predicting your behavior than you are
    • In one study, ratings of assertiveness and other traits made by friends predicted these traits in the lab better than did the person’s own ratings
people sometimes are inconsistent
People Sometimes Are Inconsistent
  • Situationism
    • Mischel proposed that behaviors are determined as much by situations as by personality traits
  • This affected the field for more than a decade and caused considerable rifts between:
    • Social psychologists, who tended to emphasize situational forces
    • Personality psychologists, who focused on individual dispositions
people are sometimes inconsistent
People Are Sometimes Inconsistent
  • The basic argument made by personality researchers in the person-situation debate is
  • The extents to which traits predict behavior depends on:
    • The centrality of the trait
    • The aggregation of behaviors over time
    • The type of trait being evaluated
behavior is influenced by personality and situations
Behavior Is Influenced by Personality and Situations
  • Personality dispositions are meaningful constructs that predict people’s behavior over time and across many circumstances
  • Yet people are also highly sensitive to social context, and most conform to situational norms
behavior is influenced by personality and situations1
Behavior Is Influenced by Personality and Situations
  • Most trait theorists are interactionists
    • They believe that behavior is jointly determined by situations and underlying dispositions
  • Individuals choose many of the situations in which they find themselves (e.g., go to the party or stay home)
    • A reciprocal interaction occurs between the person and the environment
      • They simultaneously influence each other
there are cultural and gender differences in personality
There Are Cultural and Gender Differences in Personality
  • Studying cross-cultural differences is problematic:
    • Do the same questions have the same meaning?
    • Sampling
    • Accurate translation of measures
there are cultural and gender differences in personality1
There Are Cultural and Gender Differences in Personality
  • More than 120 scientists conducted a careful investigation of personality differences across 56 nations:
    • From Argentina to Zimbabwe
    • Found support for the Big Five personality traits across all countries
      • Supports the argument that those traits are universal for humans
there are cultural and gender differences in personality2
There Are Cultural and Gender Differences in Personality
  • Gender differences:
    • Women
      • More empathetic and agreeable than men
      • More neurotic and concerned about feelings
    • Men
      • More assertive
    • These differences are largest in North America and Europe
      • More equal opportunities and treatment
    • Smallest in Asian and African communities
slide44

A team of more than 120scientists investigated the Big Five personality traitsaround the world, from Argentina to Zimbabwe.

what are the biological bases of personality
What Are the Biological Bases of Personality?
  • Animals Have Personalities
  • Personality Is Rooted in Genetics
  • Temperaments Are Evident in Infancy
  • Personality Is Linked to Specific Neurophysiological Mechanisms
  • Personality Is Adaptive
  • Critical Thinking Skill: Avoiding Single-Cause Explanations
  • Personality Traits Are Stable over Time
learning objectives2
Learning Objectives

Describe the causal links among genes, temperament, and personality traits.

Recognize empirical findings supporting biological bases of personality.

what are the biological bases of personality1
What Are the Biological Bases of Personality?
  • A person’s genetic makeup may predispose certain traits or characteristics, but whether these genes are expressed depends on the unique circumstances that each child faces during development
animals have personalities
Animals Have Personalities
  • Researchers have found that traits similar to the Big Five traits of extraversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness could be seen in most species
    • Sam Gosling and Oliver John
    • Openness to experience was found in approximately 50% of species
      • But only chimpanzees showed conscientiousness
personality is rooted in genetics
Personality Is Rooted in Genetics
  • Nearly all personality traits have a genetic component
    • Genetic influence accounts for approximately half of the variance (40–60 percent) between individuals in personality traits
slide51

Researchers examined correlations between123 pairs of identical twins (monozygotic)and 127 pairs of fraternal twins (dizygotic) inVancouver, Canada.

personality is rooted in genetics1
Personality Is Rooted in Genetics
  • Parenting style has an effect:
    • Children who are raised with inadequate parenting are not socialized properly
    • More likely to become delinquent or display antisocial behavior
personality is rooted in genetics2
Personality Is Rooted in Genetics
  • In general, genetics influence personality based on multiple genes
  • However, single genes have been identified in:
    • Novelty seeking
      • Neurotransmitter dopamine
    • Neuroticism and agreeableness
      • Neurotransmitter serotonin
temperaments are evident in infancy
Temperaments Are Evident in Infancy
  • From birth, infants show temperamental differences that can be grouped into three categories:
    • Activity level
    • Emotionality
    • Sociability
temperaments are evident in infancy1
Temperaments Are Evident in Infancy
  • Long-term implications of temperaments:
    • Research has demonstrated that early temperament is predictive of later personality and behaviors
temperaments are evident in infancy2
Temperaments Are Evident in Infancy
  • Gender and temperaments:
    • Girls have a stronger ability to control their attention and to resist impulses
    • Boys are physically active and experience more high-intensity pleasure
      • Rough-and-tumble play
temperaments are evident in infancy3
Temperaments Are Evident in Infancy
  • Shyness and inhibition:
    • Shyness has been linked to early temperament with about 15 to 20% of newborns classified as inhibited
    • Biological evidence indicates the amygdala shows greater responsivity in shy individuals
    • About 25% of inhibited children do not become shy
      • Illustrating the importance of parental creation of calm and safe environments
slide58

Researchers investigated the personalitydevelopment of more than 1,000 people, 97percent of whom remained in the studythrough their 21st birthdays. Those judgedundercontrolled at age three were later morelikely to have alcohol problems, to be criminals or unemployed, to attempt suicide, to beantisocial and anxious, and to have less socialsupport than those judged either well adjusted or inhibited.

personality is linked to specific neurophysiological mechanisms
Personality Is Linked to Specific Neurophysiological Mechanisms
  • Arousal and extraversion/introversion:
    • Cortical arousal, or alertness, is regulated by the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS)
    • Eysenck proposed that this system differs between extraverts and introverts
      • Extraverts are underaroused
    • Research supports Eysenck’s theories with extraverts performing better in noisy environments
personality is linked to specific neurophysiological mechanisms1
Personality Is Linked to Specific Neurophysiological Mechanisms
  • Neurophysiology of extraversion/introversion:
    • Behavioral approach system
      • Brain structures that lead organisms to approach stimuli in pursuit of rewards
    • Behavioral inhibition system
      • Brain structures sensitive to punishment and therefore inhibits behavior that might lead to danger or pain
    • Have been found to differentiate introverts and extraverts
slide61

Signals of potential reward are processed by the BAS. Signals of potential punishment are processed by the BIS. Based on the information each receives, the BAS activates behavior and the BIS inhibits behavior.

personality is linked to specific neurophysiological mechanisms2
Personality Is Linked to Specific Neurophysiological Mechanisms
  • The amygdala
    • Implicated in both social sensitivity and processing of cues related to possible punishment
personality is adaptive
Personality Is Adaptive
  • David Buss
    • Big Five personality traits emerged as foundational
      • Each provides important information regarding mate selection
personality is adaptive1
Personality Is Adaptive
  • From an evolutionary viewpoint:
    • Individual differences may reflect the inheritance of alternative strategies that become activated depending on situational context
    • Groups who have diverse members may be more successful than groups composed of homogeneous members
critical thinking skill
Critical Thinking Skill
  • Avoiding single-cause explanations
    • Most people prefer single explanations that confirm their biases
    • Single causes often ignore an issue’s complexity
    • Consider multiple-cause arguments instead
personality traits are stable over time
Personality Traits Are Stable over Time
  • Over many years the relative rankings of individuals on each of the Big Five personality traits remain stable
  • Stability is lowest during early childhood and highest over age 50
slide68

This graph shows the levels ofconsistency, at different ages, of the studyparticipants’ personalities.

personality traits are stable over time1
Personality Traits Are Stable over Time
  • Age-related change:
    • In general, people become less neurotic, less extraverted, and less open to new experiences as they get older
    • People also tend to become more agreeable and much more conscientious with age
personality traits are stable over time2
Personality Traits Are Stable over Time
  • Characteristic adaptations:
    • Basic tendencies
      • Dispositional traits determined largely by biological processes
    • Characteristic adaptations
      • Adjustments to situational demands
personality traits are stable over time3
Personality Traits Are Stable over Time
  • The brain develops well into early adulthood
    • May explain the greater evidence of personality change before age 30
    • Environments tend to be relatively stable, especially after early adulthood
slide73

Basic tendencies arebiologically based, but characteristic adaptations are influenced by situations. The lineswith arrows indicate some of the ways inwhich the different components interact. Theimportant point is that basic tendencies donot change across situations, but observablebehavior (objective biography) does becauseit is influenced by personal goals and motivesas well as by situations.

how do we know our own personalities
How Do We Know Our Own Personalities?
  • Our Self-Concepts Consist of Self-Knowledge
  • Perceived Social Regard Influences Self- Esteem
  • Critical Thinking Skill: Resisting Appeals to Snobbery
  • We Use Mental Strategies to Maintain Our Views of Self
  • There Are Cultural Differences in the Self
learning objectives3
Learning Objectives

Differentiate among leading theoretical perspectives concerning the nature and origins of self-esteem.

Describe cultural differences in self-construal.

our self concepts consist of self knowledge
Our Self-Concepts Consist of Self-Knowledge
  • Self-awareness:
    • The objectified self
      • Researchers have differentiated between the self as the knower (“I”) and the self as the object that is known (“me”)—called the objectified self
    • The theory of objective self-awareness
      • Self-awareness leads people to act in accordance with their personal values and beliefs
our self concepts consist of self knowledge1
Our Self-Concepts Consist of Self-Knowledge
  • Self-discrepancy theory
    • Awareness of differences between personal standards and goals leads to strong emotions
  • Self-awareness is highly dependent on the normal development of the frontal lobes
    • As evidenced by the difficulties experienced by those with damage to this region
our self concepts consist of self knowledge2
Our Self-Concepts Consist of Self-Knowledge
  • Self-schema:
    • Network of interconnected knowledge about the self
      • Memories, beliefs, generalizations about the self-help filter information
    • Activation of the middle of the frontal lobes occurs when people process information about themselves
our self concepts consist of self knowledge3
Our Self-Concepts Consist of Self-Knowledge
  • Working self-concept:
    • The immediate experience of self
    • Limited to the amount of personal information that can be processed cognitively at any given time
slide81

When considering themselves or their personalities, people are especially likely to mentioncharacteristics that distinguish them fromother people.

perceived social regard influences self esteem
Perceived Social Regard Influences Self-Esteem
  • Self-esteem
    • Whether people perceive themselves to be worthy or unworthy, good or bad
  • Many theorists, such as Carl Rogers, assume that people’s self-esteem is based on how they believe others perceive them
    • Reflected appraisal
perceived social regard influences self esteem1
Perceived Social Regard Influences Self-Esteem
  • Sociometer theory:
    • Self-esteem is a sociometer
      • An internal monitor of social acceptance (high self-esteem) or rejection (low self-esteem)
      • Monitors the likelihood of social exclusion
slide84

According to sociometer theory, self-esteem is the gauge that measures the extent to which a person believes he or she is being (a) included in or (b) excluded from a social group.

perceived social regard influences self esteem2
Perceived Social Regard Influences Self-Esteem
  • Self-esteem and death anxiety:
    • Terror management theory
      • Self-esteem protects people from the horror associated with knowing that they will eventually die
perceived social regard influences self esteem3
Perceived Social Regard Influences Self-Esteem
  • Self-esteem and life outcomes:
    • Although having high self-esteem makes people happier, it does not necessarily lead to successful social relationships or life success
    • Inflated self-esteem may become narcissism
      • Viewing oneself in grandiose terms, self-centered, feel entitled to special treatment, and are manipulative of others
perceived social regard influences self esteem4
Perceived Social Regard Influences Self-Esteem
  • A recent meta-analysis found increasing narcissism among American college students between 1979 and 2006
  • Contributing factors might include:
    • Programs aimed at increasing self-esteem among schoolchildren
    • Grade inflation
    • Rise in the use of self-promotion Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace
we use mental strategies to maintain our views of self
We Use Mental Strategies to Maintain Our Views of Self
  • Most people have positive illusions in at least three domains:
    • Better-than-average effect
    • Unrealistic perception of their personal control over events
    • Unrealistically optimistic about their futures
we use mental strategies to maintain our views of self1
We Use Mental Strategies to Maintain Our Views of Self
  • A number of automatic and unconscious strategies have been proposed to explain how people maintain their positive sense of self:
    • Self-evaluative maintenance
    • Social comparisons
    • Self-serving biases
we use mental strategies to maintain our views of self2
We Use Mental Strategies to Maintain Our Views of Self
  • Self-evaluative maintenance:
    • People can feel threatened when someone close to them outperforms them on a task that is personally relevant
    • To maintain self-esteem, you would either distance yourself from the relationship or select a different aspiration
we use mental strategies to maintain our views of self3
We Use Mental Strategies to Maintain Our Views of Self
  • Social comparisons:
    • People evaluate their own actions, abilities, and beliefs by contrasting them with those of others
      • People with high self-esteem make downward comparisons, contrasting themselves with people who are deficient to them on relevant dimensions
      • People with low self-esteem tend to make upward comparisons, with those who are superior to them
we use mental strategies to maintain our views of self4
We Use Mental Strategies to Maintain Our Views of Self
  • Self-serving bias:
    • People with high self-esteem tend to take credit for success but blame failure on outside factors
    • Criticism is assumed by those with high self-esteem to be motivated by envy or prejudice
there are cultural differences in the self
There Are Cultural Differences in the Self
  • An important way in which people differ in their self-concepts is whether they view themselves as
    • Fundamentally separate from
      • Western cultures; individualistic
    • Inherently connected to other people
      • Eastern cultures; collectivist
there are cultural differences in the self1
There Are Cultural Differences in the Self
  • People in collectivist cultures tend to have interdependent self-construals
    • Self-concepts are determined to a large extent by their social roles and personal relationships
  • People in individualistic cultures tend to have independent self-construals
there are cultural differences in the self2
There Are Cultural Differences in the Self
  • Self-enhancement is probably universal, but the traits people focus on to achieve it vary across cultures
    • When the culture emphasizes personal achievement, people self-enhance as individuals
    • When the culture emphasizes group achievement, people self-enhance as group members
slide99

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