Temperament. Frank McDonald Psychologist TTH June 2009. Overview - Temperament. Defining terms & concepts – ‘temperament’ ‘type’ ‘traits’, ‘personality’ The value of an understanding of temperament
longer due to inborn nature, more to do w/ environment
the processes of classical conditioning & reinforcement (role of environment)
this extreme environmentalism:
behaviour problems had received “good parenting,”
while some well-adjusted children had received
“bad parenting” Their work focussed on behaviour traits or ‘styles’ in children
Various theoretical approaches now agree temperament:
e.g. US culturally ideal baby
NYLS measured 9 traits
– Quickly establishes regular routine in infancy
– generally cheerful
– easily adapts to new experiences
– Mild, low-key reactions to environmental stimuli
– Negative in mood
– Adjusts slowly to new experiences
– Irregular in daily routines
– Slow to accept new experiences
– Tends to react negatively and intensely
Dimensions of temperament advocated by major researchers (from Berg, 2008)
Thomas, Chess & Birch (also Carey)
Buss & Plomin
2. The infant is fussy on waking up and going to sleep (frowns, cries).
17. The infant moves about much (kicks, grabs, squirms) during diapering and dressing.
21. The infant stops play and watches when someone walks by.
36. For the first few minutes in a new place or situation the infant is fretful.
41. The infant keeps trying to get a desired toy, which is out of reach, for two minutes or more.