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Exam 3


Gazzaniga, Heatherton, & Halpern definition of personality “The characteristic thoughts, emotional responses, and behaviors that are relatively stable in an individual over time and across circumstances.”
Book's definition of personality “Personality refers to important, relatively stable characteristics within the individual that account for consistent patterns of behavior.”
Phineas Gage Foreman who had an iron rod go through his skull (1848) b. Survived and could even talk after. After accident, no visible signs of impairment to cognitive functioning, But, his personality changed. Demonstrated that brain gave rise to personality.
Phineas Gage personality Frontal lobes involved in planning, conscientiousness, and appropriateness ii. Later work showed that damage was restricted to left frontal lobe
Personality theories Psychodynamic—unconscious and dynamic processes
Freud His underlying assumption was that unconscious forces such as wishes and motives influence behavior
Id pleasure principle apparent from birth
Ego reality principle, acquired through contact with reality
Superego morality principle, learned from caregivers
Personality and temperament a. We are born with temperaments (social, happy, etc.) that are biologically based and enduring b. Differences in temperament apparent in early childhood. It may be meaningfully linked with the functional style of adult interpersonal behavior
5 types of temperament identified at age 3 Well-adjusted, Reserved, Confident, Under-controlled, Inhibited
Well-adjusted affectively pleasant, sociable, demonstrated age-appropriate levels of self-control, self-confidence, and task persistence
Reserved more socially reticent but also show task persistence and emotional control
Confident zealous, friendly, and adjust readily to unfamiliar surroundings
Under-controlled impulsive, irritable, and restless
Inhibited shy, fearful, and easily upset
Temperaments predict later life Under-controlled—higher rates of antisocial disorder & alcohol problems when compared to well-adjusted or inhibited groups) ii. Inhibited – higher rates of antisocial disorder (but not alcohol issues)
Rorschach Inkblot Test i. 10 symmetrical inkblots—some color and some black and white. Individual describes what they see ii. Scores based on portion of blot used (whole/part), use of white space/figure, and proportions of small details used
Thematic Apperception Test i. 30 pictures of scenes—make up story that fits ii. Score based on motives/conflicts involved in made-up story
Rorschach i. There is little relation between criteria that are supposed to be indicative of particular traits and actual traits in people ii. There may be some ability to diagnose patients with psychological disorders
TAT i. Can’t differentiate patients with disorders from typical individuals ii. The pictures have been criticized for being too gloomy iii. Lack of a standardized method of administration as well iv. Lack of norms for interpretation
Methods of personality assessment: The Trait Approach Current personality research and Self-Report Data
Current personality research i. Measurement and quantification of differences among people iii. Personality can be described as a number of underlying personality traits
Self-Report Data i. Info provided directly from the subject (questionnaires, interviews) Pros: We are our own best experts, Cons: People may lack accurate self-knowledge, responses could be intentionally distorted
The Big Five Dimensions of Personality Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism
Openness to experience imaginative vs. down to earth; likes variety vs. likes routine; independent vs. confirming
Conscientiousness organized vs. disorganized; careful vs. careless; self-disciplined vs. weak-willed
Extraversion social vs. retiring; fun-loving vs. sober; affectionate vs. reserved
Agreeableness softhearted vs. ruthless; trusting vs. suspicious; helpful vs. uncooperative
Neuroticism worried vs. calm; insecure vs. secure; self-pitying vs. self-satisfied
Big Five factors Necessary & sufficient for describing personality at broadest level
Created by: randikeys