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Flashcards in Chapter 13 Deck (35):
1

Personality

a person’s characteristic thoughts, emotional responses, and behaviors

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Personality trait

a pattern of thought, emotion, and behavior that is relatively consistent over time and across situations

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Is there evidence that nearly all personality traits have a genetic component?

Yes

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Temperaments

biologically based tendencies to feel or act in certain ways

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Activity level

-a temperament characteristic
-overall amount of energy and behavior

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Emotionality

-a temperament characteristic
-intensity of emotional reactions

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Sociability

-a temperament characteristic
-general tendency to affiliate with others

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Freud’s psychodynamic theory

unconscious forces determine behavior

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Id

completely unconscious, operates according to the pleasure principle

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Ego

mediates the id and superego

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Superego

internalization of societal standards of conduct

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Trait approach

focuses on how individuals differ in various personality dispositions
•Some personality traits include...
–Resiliency
–Sensation seeking
–Virtuosity

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Five-factor theory

personality can be described using five factors
–openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism
–Continuum from low to high for each factor.
–The Big Five emerge across cultures and among both adults and children.

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Behavioral approach system (BAS)

brain system involved in the pursuit of incentives or rewards; the “go” system.
•Linked to extraversion
•Extraverts more influenced by rewards than by punishments & tend to act impulsively in the face of strong rewards.

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Behavioral inhibition system (BIS)

brain system that is sensitive to punishment and therefore inhibits behavior that might lead to danger or pain; the “stop” system.
•Linked to neuroticism
•People high in neuroticism become anxious in social situations when they anticipate possible negative outcomes.

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Person –Situation Debate

–Some researchers argue that how much of a behavior a particular personality trait predicts behavior depends on three factors.
•The centrality of the personality trait
•The aggregation of behaviors over time (what did you do in the past in this situation?)
•The type of trait being evaluated

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Idiographic approaches

person-centered approach; focus is on individual lives and how various characteristics are integrated into unique persons

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Nomothetic approaches

study of personality that focuses on how common characteristics vary from person to person
•Most research is done this way

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Are people:
a. more accurate in rating themselves for traits that are hard to observe and less prone to bias
b. more accurate in rating themselves for traits that are easy to observe and more prone to bias

A

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What is a "self"

How well we know ourselves relies on us having a “self”

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What does the sense of self involve?

–Mental representations of personal experiences (memories and perceptions)
–The person’s thought processes
–A sense of one’s physical body
–A conscious awareness of being separate and unique from others

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Self-concept

Your self-conceptis everything you know and believe about yourself.
–What makes you, you?
–Common answers relate to: gender, age, profession, interpersonal style (e.g., shy, friendly), personal characteristics (e.g., moody, optimistic).

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working self-concept

the immediate experience of the self

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Self-esteem

the evaluative aspect of the self-concept in which people feel worthy or unworthy

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Sociometer

an internal monitor of social acceptance or rejection.
–When a person’s sociometer indicates a low probability of rejection, the person will tend to experience high self-esteem.
–When a person’s sociometer indicates the imminent possibility of rejection, the person will tend to experience low self-esteem.

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Terror management theory

self-esteem gives meaning to people’s lives and protects them from the horror associated with knowing they eventually will die.
–People counter their fears of mortality by creating a sense of symbolic immortality through contributing to their culture and upholding its values.
–Research has demonstrated that reminding people of their mortality leads them to act in ways that enhance their self-esteem.

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When is self esteem the lowest?

between ages 18 to 22

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Downsides to having very high self-esteem

–Violent criminals and bullies commonly have high self-esteem.
–Inflated self-esteem is associated with narcissism.
•Because narcissists’ greatest love is for the self, they tend to have poor relations with others.
–When people with high self-esteem believe their abilities have been challenged, they may act in ways that cause other people to dislike them.

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Social comparison

when people evaluate their own actions, abilities, and beliefs by contrasting them with other people’s
–People with high self-esteem tend to make downward comparisons; people with low self-esteem tend to make upward comparisons.
–People use a form of downward comparison when they recall their own past: They often view their current self as better than their former selves.

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Self-serving bias

the tendency for people to take personal credit for success but blame failure on external factors

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cognitive-social theories of personality

These theories emphasize how personal beliefs, expectancies, and interpretations of social situations shape behavior and personality.

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internal locus of control

people believe they bring about their own rewards

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external locus of control

people believe rewards—and therefore their personal fates—result from forces beyond their control

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humanistic approaches

emphasize personal experience, belief systems, the uniqueness of the human condition, and the inherent goodness of each person. They propose that people seek to fulfill their potential for personal growth through greater self-understanding. This process is referred to as self-actualization.

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behavioral views of personality

behaviorists viewed personality mainly as learned responses to patterns of reinforcement.