Flashcards in Personality Processes Part One Deck (58):
What is the Personality processes?
the mechanisms that unfold over time to produce the effects of personality traits; a sequence of steps through which a personality trait produces an outcome
What do the personality processes include
Includes perception, thought, motivation, and emotion
Understanding these will help us understand someone’s personality
What is personality (Noun, Verb or Adjective)
The Historical Roots of Research Into Personality Processes : LEARNING
but ignoring cognition is too limited
focused on cognitive processes such as interpretation, evaluation, and decision making
emphasizes importance of the way an individual thinks about the world for shaping personality and behavior
levels of consciousness and the need for compromise
how representations of the self may be organized in the brain
people have different traits based on different thoughts, feelings, and desires
What is an example of how People are predisposed to perceive the world in different ways
Example: dominant people are more sensitive o visual displays on the vertical dimension than on the horizontal dimensions
activation of a concept or idea by repeatedly perceiving it or thinking about it; affects speed at which concepts come to mind; helps to explain differences in perception
the tendency of an idea or concept to come easily to mind
Perception is Part of our Personalities...
--May come from evolution, temperament, or experience; Experience: probably the biggest influence; based on importance of traits to others whom one is around frequently (e.g., parents)
--Different people have a predisposition to be primed for certain concepts
People are especially aware of suggestions of impending rejection.
----Affects interpretation of ambiguous signals
----Often creates a self-fulfilling prophecy: because high rejection sensitive people respond to ambiguous cues with anxiety and even panic
-----Can result in seemingly inconsistent behavior: depending on whether or not cues to rejection are present
related to the tendency to perceive others as having hostile intentions or as a threat; memory may be related to hostile themes for hostile people (but this automatic perception could be overcome if someone slows down and thinks before responding)
screening out information that might make the individual anxious or uncomfortable
--Similar to psychoanalytic defense mechanisms
What are physiological reactions and what do they do?
People can have physiological reactions to emotionally charged words before they are consciously aware of them: when presented very briefly, people started sweating before they said they could see the words
We might be able to avoid conscious awareness of things we find threatening.
Why do some people tend to see exactly what they fear most? (shy and social rejection)
Possible answers: their defense mechanisms don’t work well enough so they perceive the threatening stimuli consciously; people differ in the degree to which they are perceptually vigilant vs. defensive
What is Thought
Determines many, but not all, actions
Not all thinking is conscious
Consciousness: whatever the individual has in mind at the moment
Short-term memory (STM)
Limited capacity: 7 ± 2 chunks
What is STM and thinking
Chunking can work with ideas
Funder’s Fifth Law: the purpose of education is to assemble new chunks
STM is the only part of the mind with a limited capacity
What are constructs and chunks?
similar ideas, and are both based on experience and culture.
A person’s unique set of constructs or chunks influences how they think about the world
Consciousness and psychological health:
don’t fill up consciousness with the wrong things (negative thoughts about worries); instead, use consciousness to appreciate the good things in life and for constructive planning
Constructs, chunks, and consciousness:
The critical aspects of thinking are the constructs, or chunks, that make up your distinctive view of the world
Thought: Unconscious Thoughts
People can do things without knowing why, know things without knowing that they know, and have thoughts and feelings they do not understand. People show a preference for objects they have only seen at an unconscious level (they were presented too quickly for people to be consciously aware of them)
The unconscious is important.
We can do many things without thinking. We can do many things without needing to, or being able to, think about them (digestion, pupil dilation or contraction)
Consciousness is very small and life is more complicated than that: so much more must go on mentally than consciousness can contain
Thought: Two ways of thinking
Two systems that can work at the same time
contrast the roles of conscious and unconscious thought
Conscious thought is slower
Freud’s theory: rational and irrational thought
Reflective (slow and largely rational) and impulsive (fast, almost automatic, and sometimes irrational)
People use two major psychological systems to adapt to the world.
Seeks to explain unconscious processing and the seemingly irrational, emotion-driven sectors of the mind
The rational system and the experiential system
Different systems may generate different decisions.
The systems interact. The experiential system is needed for good judgments to be made.
recognition of gender, fear of snakes
tendency to experience positive vs. negative
Often creates a self-fulfilling prophecy: Can result in seemingly inconsistent behavior: Aggression:
whatever the individual has in mind at the moment
Short Term Memory
Where consciousness is located
pieces of information that can be thought of as a unit; what a chunk is can vary with learning and experience
The rational system and the experiential system
What do you want? How will you try to get it?
the ends that one desires
---drive behavior by influencing what you attend to, think about and do
the means used to achieve goals
ones people can talk about and willingly describe
goals people are likely to not realize that they have
Explicit goals vs implicit goals
---Making progress toward implicit goals is related to happiness.
--Implicit goals may explain behavior that is not consistent with stated, explicit goals (not looking for a job or an apartment when one says she really would like to be able to move out of her parent’s house)
Short-term and long-term goals
are needed to achieve long-term goals; being aware of connections between them gives life meaning and purpose; it’s good to be able to shift one’s focus between these types of goals.
goals can help a person make better decisions and organize short-term goals.
goals that are unique to the individuals who pursue them
Properties of Idiographic goals
---Conscious at least some of the time
---Describe thoughts and behaviors that are aimed at fairly specific outcomes
---Can change over time
---Goals function independently of each other
Limitation of idiographic goals
Goals are not theoretically organized
Goals function independently of each other
the goals don’t necessarily affect each other; people can have goals that are inconsistent with each other
essential motivations that almost everyone pursues; researchers hope looking at goals this way will bring order to idiographic goals
Number of goals
----McClelland’s three primary motivations: needs for achievement (striving for excellence), affiliation (finding and maintaining close, warm emotional relationships), and power (feeling strong and influencing others, seeking prestige and status)
----Emmon’s five: enjoyment, self-assertion, esteem, interpersonal success, avoidance of negative affect
-----Two: work and social interaction
Description of nomothetic goals
the goals circumplex
Useful for seeing the similarities and differences among and goals
Spirituality, helping one's community
Pleasure and Safety
Popularity, financial success
an ongoing motivation that persists in the mind until the goal is either attained or abandoned
the efforts put into goals