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Personality

Behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and values that characterize an individual

1

Heredity

Transmission of genetic characteristics from parents to children

2

Nature argument

Instinct

3

Instinct

Unchanging, biologically inherited behavior pattern

4

Nurture argument

Behavior is a result of social environment and learning

5

Sociobiology

Systematic study of biological basis of all social behavior (nature based)

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Factors in personality development

-heredity
-birth order

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Heredity

-aptitude
*environmental factors: parent responses encourage/discourage development of aptitude
*parental reinforcement may effect traits such as shyness, sociability and aggression
-provides you with biological needs but culture determines how you meet those needs
-setting limits on individuals
*inherited characteristics limit what is possible

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Aptitude

Capacity to learn a particular skill or acquire a specific body of knowledge

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Birth order

-Siblings vs. only child
-firstborn: achievement oriented, responsible, conservative in thinking and defenders of the status quo

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Later-born

More affectionate, more friendly, risk-takers and social and intellectual rebels

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Common characteristics for only/firstborn children

Confident, perfectionist, organized, scholarly, conservative
-examples:Franklin d. Roosevelt, bill Clinton, j. K. Rowling, tiger woods

12

Common characteristics of middle children

Flexible, diplomatic, independent, balanced, generous
-example: John f. Kennedy, bill gates, Donald trump, princess Diana

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Common characteristics of last-born children

Willing to take risks, outgoing, creative, rebellious, persistent
-examples: Ronald Raegan, Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Stephen Colbert

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Birth order

Common characteristics of only/firstborn children, common characteristics of middle children, then common characteristics of last-born children

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Parental characteristics

-age of parents when children are born
-level of education
-religious orientation
-economic status
-cultural heritage
-occupational background

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The culture environment

-each culture gives rise to certain personality types (model personalities)
*U.S.=competitiveness, assertiveness and individualism
-gender differences in our cultures
-subcultural differences
-region of country or type of neighborhood
-influence of social environment

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Example of the IK in Northern Uganda

Prior to WWII
-hunters/gatherers
-one large family
After WWII
-insufficient food supplies
-children thrown out at 3 years
-form age bands
-parents do not help children
-adult children do not help parents
-need to be strong and clever

18

Anna

-born to an unmarried mom
-grandfather kept her in an attic room
-given minimal care
*undernourished and emaciated
-no human contact
-at 6 years old- could not talk, walk, or feed herself
-learned to walk, feed herself, brush her teeth and talk in simple phrases
-died at 10 years old

19

Isabelle

-found at same age as anna (6)
-kept in dark room with deaf mom
-did not learn to speak
-found at 6 years old- acted like an infant
-began to speak after training
-after two years...reached level of her peers

20

Genie

-discovered in 1970- 13 years old
-confined from age of 20 months to small bedroom
-beaten if she made noise
-father interacted by acting like angry dog
-did not learn to talk
-had skills of 1 year old when found and could not stand straight
-8 years of training- did not progress past 3rd grade student

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Institutionalization

-1945 study by Rene Spitz (children living in an orphanage)
*given food and medical care
*given little human contact
*1/3 of children died within 2 years
*survivors: less than 25% could walk or dress by themselves or use a spoon
*1 could speak in complete sentences

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Socialization

Interactive process through which people learn the basic skills, values, beliefs and behavior patterns of a society

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Self

Conscious awareness of possessing identity that separates you and your environment from other members of society

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John Locke

the tabula rasa
-each child is born a "clean slate"
-we are all born without a personality
-acquire personality as a result of social experience
-could be molded into a particular personality

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Charles Cooley

-the looking-glass self
-three step process
-child in influenced by primary group

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The looking-glass self (def)

-an interactive process by which we develop an image of ourselves based on how we imagine we appear to others
-interactionist perspective

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Three step process (the looking-glass self)

-we imagine how we appear to others
-we attempt to determine whether others view us as we view ourselves through their reactions
-develop feelings about ourselves based on our perceptions

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George Meade

-role taking
-three step process
-parts of self

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Role taking

Take on, or pretend to take on, the role of others
-first: we internalize the expectations of people closest to us (significant others)
-second: expectations/attitudes of society guide us more
*generalized others

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Generalized others

Attitudes, expectations and viewpoints of society

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Three step process (role taking)

-imitation (under 3)-don't have a sense of self; mimic actions
-play (ages 3-6)-play and act out roles of specific people; trying to see world through someone else's eyes
-organized games (over 6 or 7)-require children to take roles; anticipate the actions and expectations of others

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Parts of self

-"I"-unsocialized, spontaneous and self-interested component of personality
-"Me"-aware of expectations and attitudes of society
*socialized self

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Erving Goffman

-dramaturgy
-impression management
-because we are worried about impressing others, we change our self that we display
-albas and albas study

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Dramaturgy

Social interaction is like a drama being performed on a stage

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Impression management

An effort people make to play their roles and manage the impressions that the audience receives
-because we are worried about impressing others, we change our self that we display

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Albas and albas study

-college students reactions to exam scores were different depending on who they were with

37

Agents of socialization

Specific individuals, groups and institutions that enable socialization to take place
-family
-peer group
-school
-mass media

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Family

-most important agent
-socialization can be deliberate or unintended
*unintended may have a greater impact
-may be different from family to family
*single parents, family relationships, subgroups they belong to, etc.

39

Peer group

-primary group composed of individuals of roughly equal age and similar social characteristics
-influence during pre-teen and early teen years
-focus is the subculture of the group

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School

-class activities= basic knowledge
-extracurriculars= prepare for life in society
-transmits cultural values
-teachers become role models

41

Mass media

-instruments of communication that reach large audiences with no personal contact
-television has the largest influence
*negatives
1)effect of violence-leads to more aggressive behavior
2)presents image of society limited to white middle-class
*positives
1)educational tool
2)expands the viewers world

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Resocialization

Break with past experiences and the learning of new values and norms
-voluntary resocialization
-involuntary resocialization

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Voluntary resocialization

People who assume a new status

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Involuntary resocialization

-total institution
-try to change a person's personality and behavior (remove a person identity)

45

Total institution

Setting in which people are isolated from the rest of society for a time and are subject to tight control