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Flashcards in Task 4 Deck (21)
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Cloningers theory

o Peripheral nervous system
o Levels of neurotransmitter are thought to predict certain personality traits


Dopamine and novelty seeking (Cloninger)

 Dopamine related to pleasure and excitement, high levels of dopamine lead to the tendency to seek for pleasure and excitement
 Traits: exploratory excitability, impulsiveness, extravagance and disorderliness
 Parkinson: low levels of dopamine and a decreased interest in novel things


Serotonin and harm avoidance (Cloninger)

 Serotonin prevents (inhibitory) your neurons from sending messages in response to things that feel harmful or unpleasant
 Related to persons reaction to pain or anxiety
 Low levels of serotonin are associated with “harm avoidance”, so the tendency to avoid pain and anxiety
 Traits: worry/pessimism, fear of uncertainty, shyness with strangers and fatigability


Norepinephrine and reward dependence (Cloninger)

 Inhibits transmission of signals of conditioned reward
 Related to the reaction to conditioned stimuli that are associated with pleasure
 Low norepinephrine is associated to Reward Dependence, the tendency to develop strong sentimental attachments
 Traits: sentimentality, warm, communication and dependence



o Is 10 times higher in men, still fluctuates depending on external factors within a single person
o Weak association with novelty seeking
o Unlikely to be a strong influence on personality trait levels
o Aggressiveness and impulsiveness (linked to criminal behaviour)



o Release is triggered by physical or psychological stress
o No studies conducted so nobody knows
o Males with lower cortisone release is correlated to emotional insensitivity



o Associated with emotional bonding especially mother and child
o Might be associated to trustworthiness
o Interacts with other neurotransmitter systems (is not spatial limited so it can spread in the brain and effect other systems)
o Lasts longer and degrades slower so it can have an effect over longer time
o Can influence temporal brain plasticity (due to the priming effect (it stays longer in the brain) of oxytocin)
o dampens responses in the amygdala which reacts to social threats


Gray's theory

o Reinforcement sensitivity: certain regions of the brain work together as mechanisms or systems that underlie personality


The behavioral activation system (gray))

 Involves regions of the brain that receive signals for reward experience
 Encourages the pursuit of rewards
 People differ in their tendency to be impulsive and to seek pleasure and excitement
 Linked to Cloninger novelty system


The behavioral inhibition system (gray)

 Brain areas that receive experience of punishment
 Encourages the avoidance of punishment
 People differ in their tendency to be anxious and to avoid pain and danger
 Linked to Cloninger harm avoidance


The fight or flight system (gray)

 Brain regions responsible for extreme reactions in response to extremely threatening situations
 Being ready to fight or flight
 People differ in their tendency to show extreme reactions, such as responding aggressively or leaving hurriedly, when confronted with threat
 Not linkable to Cloninger


Eysenck's theory

Three dimensions and no explanation of origin


Extraversion (Eyseneck)

 Differences among people involve the strength of their reaction to stimulation of their senses
 Some are overwhelmed by stimulation (Introversion) some get bored by less stimulation (Extraversion)
 Ascending reticular activating system (ARAS): located in the brain stem, acts as a filter regulating the amount of stimulation transmitted to the brain. Little transmission leads to stimulation seeking so extraversion
 Comparable to Novelty seeking in Cloninger theory


Neuroticism (Eysenck)

 Neuroticism vs emotional stable personality
 Reaction to stressful stimuli
 Governed by limbic system, when it gets overwhelmed by stressful stimuli one tends to have neurotic personality
 Comparable to harm avoidance of Cloninger


Psychocitism (Eysenck)

 Traits: aggressiveness, manipulation, tough mindedness, risk taking, irresponsibility, impulsivity
 High levels of testosterone and low levels of monoamine oxidase which influences the levels of neurotransmitter


Lemon juice test

used to investigate intro vs extraversion. U drop lemon juice on the tongue of a participant and introverts are prone to produce more saliva (supported Eysencks hypothesis)



people had to do tasks while they heard noises, extraverts choose louder noises


test of hormone level

measured by blood tests


Zuckerman's theory

o Five factors: Activity, Sociability, Impulsive Sensation seeking, aggression and neuroticism-anxiety
o All caused by own set of complex interaction among brain structures, neurotransmitters and hormones


Revised Sensitivity theory (r-RST)

o A strong basic personality model that is grounded in neuroscience and animal learning
o Inhibition system: is about evaluation of whether or not approach punishing stimulus
o Activation system: Is about reaction to rewarding stimuli and not only conditioned ones as in the original
o Fight light or frees system: Reaction to threatening stimuli and the responses


Neurological correlates to Big 5

o Extraversion: ARAS system and dopamine, opioid system for liking, greater volume of frontal cortex
o Neuroticism: correlated to activity in amygdala, associated with lower serotonin levels and lower norepinephrine (behavioral inhibition and fight flight system is connected)
o Agreeableness: bigger social processing brain areas, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is more developed
o Conscientiousness: frontal cortex is correlated, higher levels of serotonin
o Openness: dopamine level because of increased likelihood to approach stimuli intelligence and prefrontal cortex