intro to personality psych

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Information about intro to personality psych

Published on August 6, 2007

Author: Flemel


Introduction to Personality:  Introduction to Personality Personality = an individual’s characteristic patterns of thoughts, emotion, and behavior Plus the psychological mechanisms (hidden or not) behind those patterns Pet Activity:  Pet Activity Think of pet you have had or have known. Describe their personality. Write this down. Pet Personality:  Pet Personality How did you describe your pet? (what types of words?) Would everyone agree with your description? (would other people describe your pet the same way?) How do you know about your pet’s personality? (i.e. on what did you base your descriptions?) Why is your pet the way he/she/it is? Questions asked parallel those in personality psychology:  Questions asked parallel those in personality psychology What are the basic pieces of people? How do we learn about people’s personality? What makes people the way that they are? Goal of personality psychology:  Goal of personality psychology Explain whole people In this mission, idea is to combine subfields of psychology into an integrated whole Mission impossible – very difficult to look at everything at once and still maintain a scientific approach Mission Impossible/Need to focus efforts:  Mission Impossible/Need to focus efforts Personality psychologists must focus their efforts: Trait approach = how people differ psychologically from one another. Focus on personality traits. Psychoanalytic approach = focus on unconscious mind and internal conflict Biological = address physiology, inheritance, and evolution and relate these to personality Basic Perspectives on Personality continued:  Basic Perspectives on Personality continued 4. Humanistic/phenomenological approach = focus on conscious experience, focus on growth, spirituality, and self-fulfillment 5. Behaviorist/learning – focus on science of learning, impact of rewards, punishment 6. Cognitive approach – emphasizes human thought, draws from modern cognitive psychology 7. Interactionist perspective – emphasizes that we are different in different situations; situation and person interact Focus – What each perspective does best:  Focus – What each perspective does best Approaches often complement each other rather than compete Toaster analogy: a device that does one thing well is unlikely to do other things well Themes and Issues:  Themes and Issues Awareness/unconscious Concept of self Unique vs. general laws Nomothetic idiographic Person vs. situation Philosophical view of people Past, present, future Feelings, thoughts, behavior Approaches to theory building:  Approaches to theory building Two levels of information that personality theorists are interested in: Individual level – what are individual people like? What are (this person’s) characteristics? General level – general laws that apply to all people Approaches to theory building:  Approaches to theory building Deductive approach – works from the 'top' down generate basic laws about people Make deductions about what individual people will be like based on those laws Example: Freud – developed theory first Approaches to theory building:  Approaches to theory building Inductive approach – reasoning based on a 'bottom-up' approach. Collect data about people first Develop the theory based on the data Example: Five Factor trait model Approaches to theory building:  Approaches to theory building Borrow and learn from related disciplines Use concepts that are known in other fields and apply to personality psychology Example: PET scans allow us to learn about brain function and structure. Pers. theory must be consistent with this. Approaches to theory building:  Approaches to theory building Most modern theories involve all of these approaches. Best theories meet scientific criteria for a theory: Comprehensive Parsimonious Testable Productive – leads to new ideas andamp; research

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