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Flashcards in Personality Deck (56):

Define Personality

The combination of characteristics that for an individuals distictive character, the personality consists of relatively stable, permanent characteristics that are unique to an individual and influence how we think, feel and behave


What is personality not?

Temperament-our predisposition to act in a certain way towards external stimuli, thought to be genetic
Mood-the situation specific to emotional state, explains behaviour
Character-the sum of all traits that show the true nature of a person, used to explain or evaluate someone’s behaviour


Define a trait

“relatively stable cognitive, emotional and behavioural characteristics of people that help establish their individual entitles and distinguish them from others” passer and smith (2009)


Different approaches to trait theory

Idiographic approach: defines traits by studying individuals in depth and focus on the distinctive qualities of their personality

Nomothetic approach: studies groups of people display in any and every situation, traits are inferred from behaviour and you expect people to behave in similar ways in different circumstances


Trait approach

Focus on measuring, identifying and describing individual differences in personality in terms of traits, can be used to predict behaviour focuses on what is different not what is the same


Four main assumptions of trait theory

1. Personalities are relatively stable and therefore predictable
2. Relatively stable across different situations
3. Some people have ‘more’ or ‘less’ if each trait than others, measures on scales or continuum’s
4. Some traits are more closely interrelated than other traits and tend to occur together


What was Mccrae and Costa theory and when?

The big 5 - ocean


What does ocean stand for?



What was the big 5 theory?

The five factor model organises all personality traits along a continuum of 5 factors
Broad categories
Described as showing either end of the trait, each trait has two extremes


Explain the two ends of each trait - conscientiousness

Organised - disorganised
careful - careless
Disciplined- impulsive


Explain the two ends of each trait - agreeableness

Soft hearted - ruthless
Trusting - suspicious
Helpful - uncooperative


Explain the two ends of each trait - Neuroticism

Calm - anxious
Secure - insecure
Self - satisfying - self pitying


Explain the two ends of each trait - openness

Imaginative - practical
Preference for variety - preference for routine
Independent - conforming


Explain the two ends of each trait - extraversion

Sociable - retiring
Fun loving - sober
Affectionate - reserved


What is conscientiousness

This trait refers to ones tendency toward self-discipline, dutifulness, competence, thoughtfulness and achievement-striking. It is distinct from moral implications of “having a conscience”, instead this trait focuses on the amount of deliberate intention and thought a person puts into his or her behaviour.


What is extraversion

An indivuals who scores high on extraversion is characterised by high energy, positive emotions, talkativeness, assertiveness, sociability and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others. Those who score low on extraversion prefer solitude and or smaller groups, enjoy quiet, prefer activities alone and avoid large social situations. Not suprisingly, people who score Hugh on both extroversion and openness are more likely to participate in adventure and risky sports due to their curious and excitement-seeking nature (Tok, 2011)


What is agreeableness

This trait measures ones tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards there’s. It is also a measure of a person trusting and helpful nature and whether that person is generally well-tempered or not. People who score low on agreeableness tend to be deceived as rude and uncooperative


What is neuroticism

High neuroticism is categorised by the tendency to experience unpleasant emotions such as anger anxiety depression or vulnerability. neuroticism also refers to an individual’s degree of emotional stability and impulse control. people with high neuroticism tend to experience emotional instability and Are characterised as angry impulsive and hostile


What was Watson and Clark’s theory on neuroticism

Found that people reporting high levels of neuroticism also tend to report feeling anxious and unhappy. In contrast, people who score low in neuroticism tend to be calm and even tempered


What is openness



Strengths of trait theory

- empirically tested and scientifically validated
- provides flexible descriptions of personality and its structure
- traits are relatively stable - costa mccrae (1990), suggest results have a correlation of 0.63 or above when adults were compared over 6 years


Limitations of trait theory

- can lead people to accept and use oversimplified classifications and descriptions
- traits are often poor predictors of behaviour, which can easily change based on the situation
- do not address how or why individual differences in personality develop or emerge


Humanistic theory

This approach emphasises an individuals inherent drive towards self-actualisation and creativity


Humanistic psychology

1. It offered a new set of values for approaching and understanding of human nature and the human condition
2. It offered an expanded horizon of methods of inquiry in the study of human behaviour
3. It offered a broader range of more effective methods in the professional practice of psychotherapy


Humanistic theory’s

The belief that all people are born good and individuals strive to reach their full potentials (self actualisation)
Personality is the total of all experiences throughout a persons life time at any given time


Reaching self actualisation

SA: is the realisation of fulfilment of ones talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone
- the way other people treat you
- self concept
- ability to deal with negative influences


Maslow hierarchy of needs

- all people are motivated to fulfill a hierarchy of needs with is innate
- these needs range from survival needs to 5hose the hat will be able to fulfil their potential growth needs
- weld actualisation is the top, level, which cannot be achieved until all the lower levels are satisfied



- needs relating to survival and focusing on deficiencies
- d-needs motivate people hen they unmet. Also the dneeds to fulfil such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied e.g the longer a person goes without food, the more hungry they will become



- needs relating to psychological growth and focusing on becoming everything we are capable of becoming, being ourselves
- out actions are motivated in part by basic needs(d-needs) which need to be at least partly satisfied before more complex psychological needs (b-needs) influence out behaviour, this results in the hierarchy of needs with psysiological needs at the bottom and needs linked more closely to life experiences higher up


Hierarchy of needs

1. Biological and physiological needs: air, food, drink, shelter, water, sex, sleep
2. Safety needs: protection from the elements, security, order, law stability, freedom from fear
3. Love and belongingness needs: friendship, intimacy, affection and love - from work groom friends family and romantic relationships
4. Esteem needs: achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others


Two section of esteem needs

A. A need for strength achievement, mastery and competence
B. A need for reputation, status, recognition and appreciation


Strengths of mallows theory

Offers positive approach to understanding personality
Easy to understand
They give a complete (but not necessarily accurate) picture of how the healthy personality develops, which fills in the gaps in other theories


Criticisms of Maslow

Simplistic, romantic, and vague ideas about personality, difficult to test scientifically
Doesn’t take into account cultural difference or individual differences
They encourage self fulfilment


Rodgers humanistic theory

Believe that all people are born good, with considerable potential, and that each person had the ability to reach their full potential as an individual as they are able to overcome a series of hurdles

Rodgers emphasised the importance of free will, we are all individuals who freely choose to behave in whatever way we desire, and we act according to that choice


Self concept

SC: all the perceptions and beliefs an individuals has about themselves including their nature, unique qualities and typical behaviour
- Rodgers believed that childhood is a critical time for the development of personality and that the social relationships a child experiences during that time has lasting effects on the development of their self concept
- our idea of ‘who we are; is built up, over time, from childhood, through our interactions with others and out environment


Influences of other in developing our self concept

- people who are important to us can assist our self actualising in three important ways
- by being genuine, honest and open with their feelings towards
- by being excepting, by valuing us for what we are, regardless of our shortcomings so that we experience unconditional positive regard
- by encouraging our ‘blossoming by being empathetic, being able to put themselves in out positions and fully understand from out point of view, how we full’


What makes someone a well adjusted person?

A well adjusted and happy individual is someone whose self image ideal self and true self are all congruent or fairly similar


Measuring humanistic theories

- humanistic theorists do no believe you can measure or rate of personality
- they use a q-sort tests
- this used mainly during therapy to examine the self concept, and the extent to which the true self and ideal self ,arch smd go study changes in the cleanse perceptions of self during the course of treatment (Malik and birch 1998)
- use a client based approach to therapy


Strengths of Rodgers

- humanistic theories offer a positive approach to understanding personality
- Rodgers was the first psychologist to view the relationships between psychology’s and client as a paramount to a successful resolutions
- Maslow looks at the entire physical, emotional, social and intellectual qualities of an individual and how they impact on learning


Limitations of Rodgers

- offers a simplistic and romantic idea about personality which can be scientifically
- focus on self fulfilment (this can be negative)
- unrealistic - do not recognise the capacity of people to bee evil



Bandura modified his social learning theory (1977) and in 1968 he social cognitive theory, as a better description of how we learn for, our experiences

Believed our personality is the total of all the cognitive concepts we have acquired through experience and that we bring to a situation

Looks at the importance of couscous self regulated behaviour, social experiences, self efficacy beliefs and reciprocal determination


Observed behaviour is influenced by the which determinants?

Personal - whether the individual has high or low self efficacy towards the behaviour
Behavioural - the response an individual receives after they preform a behaviour
Environment - aspects of the environment or setting that influence the individuals ability to successfully complete a behaviour


What is self efficacy?

- is the degree to which you are sure of your own ability and capacity to manage and to be effective in meeting the demands of a particular situation
- bandura describes these beliefs as determinants of how people think feel and behave


The role of self efficacy

- virtually all people can identify goals they want to accomplish things they would like to change, and things they would like to achieve
- bandura and others have found that an individual self efficacy plays a major role in how goals, tasks and challenges are approached


Strong efficacy

- view challenging problems as tasks to be mastered
- develop deeper interests in the activities in which they participate
- form a stronger sense of commitment to their interests and activities
- recover quickly from setbacks and disappointments


Weak efficacy

- avoid challenges
- believe that difficult task and situations are beyond their capabilities
- focus on personal failings and negative outcomes
- quickly lose confidence in personal abilities (bandura, 1994)


Developing self efficacy

- mastery experience which is the process that helps an individual achieve simple tasks that lead to more complex objectives
- social modeling - provided an identifiable,odds that shows rhe process that accomplish
- improving pyshical and emotional states refers to ensuring a person is rested and relaxed prior to attempting a new behaviour the less relaxed , the less partner the more likely they won’t attain the goal behaviour
- verbal persuasion is providing encouragement fromfor person to compete a task or achieve a certain behaviour


Mischels theory

- theoretical position in predicting behaviour - “if personality is a stable system that processes the the information about situations, external or internal, then it follows that as individuals encounter different situations, their behaviour should vary across the situations”
- Personal characteristics influence innate temperaments learned habits and beliefs
- the environment includes opportunities, rewards, punishments and chance occurences
- personality results from a two-way interaction between a persons characteristics and the environment
- people’s characteristics influence the kind of Environment in which they find themselves. Those, environments, in turn, influence and modify people’s personal characteristics


Personality signatories

- mischel suggested that consistency would be found in distinctive but stable patterns of “If-then” situation - behaviour relations that form personality signatories
- in other words, if X situation occurs, then Y behaviour might results
- rather than defining people merely by their traits, he argued that personality research should factor in the importance of context
- in this way, Michel emphasised the importance of physical, social and environmental factors in shaping behaviour
The theory of personality signatories was supported in a large observational study of social behaviour across multiple repeated situations over time


Self regulation

- refers to the ability to set and work towards goals
- is it often described as the will power and often relates to the bailout to delay gratification


Wariness that are used to predict behaviour

Compentenies : our intellectual capabilities as well as social skills
Cognitive strategies: the different perceptions of a specific events
Expectancies : the expected results of different behaviours that are realised by the person inside
Subjective values: the respective values of each possible outcome of various behaviours
Self regulatory: the groups ion rules and standards that people adapt to in order to regulate their behaviour


What was the marshmallow experiment

- examines the process and mental mechanisms that enable a young child to forego immediate gratification and wait for a better, but delayed reward
- preschoolers were presented with a marshmallow and offered the choice of eating the snack immortal getting two snacks if they waited 15 mins to it while researcher left the room
- found that Loren differ in degrees of self control
- continues to follow this group of preschoolers through high school
- higher self control led to more success in Hugh school with higher sat scores, more positive peer relationships and adults were less likely to have substance abuse issues, as adults they also had more stable relationships
- on the other hand, those children who had poor self control (the ones who grabbed the marshmallow) were not as successful in high school and were found to have academic and behavioural problems


Mischel and Ervin stab (1965)

- demonstrated that the interaction between the situation and various personal qualities is an important determinant of behaviour
- 8th grade boys were asked to rate their expectancies for success on verbal reasoning and general information task
- they worked on series of problems- some were told that they succeeded on the problems, some were told they failed, and a third of the group received no information
- the boys were then asked to choose between an immediate, less valuable, non contingent reward, and a delayed more valuable contingent reward


Results of mischel and Ervin

- obtained success: choose more valuable contingent rewards
- obtained failure: choose less valuable non contingent rewards
- no information: made choices based on earlier expectancy for success


Strengths of mischel and Ervin

- we’ll groudned with empirical evidence
- widely applicable
- scientifically robust
- explains learning and the influence on the self and who these affect and are affected by particular situations


Limitations of mischel and Ervin

- ignored the effects of the unconscious
- doesn’t look at the irrational behaviours
- clinical data is more representative than laboratory data