Chapter 12 Personality Steven Isonio, Ph.D. Golden West College Personality Psychology--Describing and Explaining Individual Differences • Causes: – Biology (temperament--sensation-seeking; novelty; potency, etc.; ―human nature‖) – Experience (family, society, culture, peers) • To study: – Correlational studies – Case study – Interviews; personality measures – Developmental designs Defining Personality • Personality is the composite of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors that characterize an individual across situations and over time. • Stable individual differences. Personality -Elements of the Definition and Implicit Assumptions • Personality is a composite construct--entailing behavioral and psychological aspects. • An individual‘s personality is stable over time and consistent across situations. • Personality is patterned/organized in discernible ways. Some Classic Definitions • "Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustments to his environment." ALLPORT, 1937 • "Personality is that which permits a prediction of what a particular person will do in a given situation." CATTELL, 1965 Myer‘s Definition • Personality = – Characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting. A LONG history • Personality psychology has a very long history. Human beings first noted individual differences long ago. Interest in describing and explaining these differences also has a long history. • Many pre-scientific ―theories‖ have been developed. Some Pre-scientific Views of Personality • Astrology • Phrenology • Palmistry • Graphology • Somatotyping • Others . . . Astrology • Personality is correlated with the arrangement of planets and constellations at the time of one’s birth. • Astrology is a complex typology, but has received virtually no empirical support. • Classic demo . . . My ―horoscope‖ for a recent day • Balancing the checkbook has never been at the top of your top ten list of favorite activities, but when that or any other chore needs to be done, you do it -- albeit reluctantly. This is one of those times. • Travel, dealing with foreign countries, publishing matters, the media and higher education are your focus. These are all areas that intrigue you. Get away for pleasure, if you can. Publishing looks profitable. • Don't cause yourself to be in danger. Be careful of where you go today. • Privately you may be upset about something, but you wear a smile nonetheless. Your charm wins the support of others. Make each action today your best and the end result is often success. • It's a good day to be like the zebra whose (utterly fabulous) stripes actually help it blend in and run with the herd. Enjoy camaraderie and the ease that comes from going with the flow. Phrenology • Phrenology asserts a relationship between the shape of one‘s skull and personality characteristics. • Brain areas associated with the characteristics are ―exercised‖ and therefore cause a discernible bulge. • Phrenology has long since been refuted. Palmistry • One‘s unique traits (as well as one‘s future) can be read from the palm of the hand. • This is a variation on the theme that there are reliable relationships between physical characteristics and personality traits. If Interested: Graphology (Graphoanalysis) • Describe and measure personality based on handwriting. Questionable validity. • For example, the following ‗t‘ and ‘d‘ forms are said to be indicative of the trait of ―stubbornness‖. Somatotyping • The view that general body shape is correlated with personality (work of William Sheldon). – ectomorph=thin, frail: passive, impotent – mesomorph=muscular powerful: assertive – endomorph=plump, soft: kind, jolly • The model has never received empirical support Modern Somatotyping Contemporary Models of Personality Modern Models of Personality • Trait • • • • Psychodynamic** Humanistic Cognitive-Behavioral +Biological The Trait Perspective • The focus of the trait approach is the description and measurement of separate dimensions along which individuals differ. • These are ―traits‖. The Psychodynamic Perspective • The importance of unconscious processes and the influence of early childhood experiences are emphasized. • Key psychological dynamics below the surface of consciousness shape our personality and can lead to psychopathology. The Humanistic Perspective • The self and a person’s unique qualities are emphasized in this typically optimistic view of human personality. • People strive for fulfillment and actualization. What obstacles must they overcome? Cognitive Social-Learning Perspective • Most critical: How we think about ourselves and others. • Psychological processes including expectancies, self-efficacy, social learning are central concepts. • Personality reflects conclusions we make about ourselves as a result of interacting with others. Theoretical Orientations-- a closer look Trait • A trait is a relatively stable, enduring tendency to behave in a certain way. It manifests itself consistently in the actions of a person. • These are unit descriptors such as competent, assertive, cold, curious, helpful, kind, disorganized, distant, fair, ruthless, forceful, timid, cheerful, confident, interested, likeable, neat, open, etc. For you to think about . . . • Construct a list of traits that you believe comprise personality. • How many can you think of? Do they seem to fall into categories? What does this say about the trait approach to personality? Early Trait Theories • Gordon Allport found over 18,000 trait descriptive adjectives in the English language • After removing obvious duplications, the list contained about 4,500 trait words • Clearly, they are not all equally important or common. How best to categorize them? • Allport‘s suggestion: Categories of traits • Cardinal traits-when present, these define the entire personality, e.g., caring as a cardinal trait of Mother Teresa. (Not everyone has a cardinal trait.) • Central traits-exert broad influence on one‘s personality, although not as completely so as with cardinal traits, e.g., John is a warm person. • Peripheral traits-are the large collection of particular, more focused tendencies within a personality--part of the overall collage, e.g., Sue is punctual. Factor Analytic Approaches to Organizing Traits • These use complex statistical procedures to group many trait measures into larger, more general factors. Specific traits that are highly correlated are grouped together. • The BIG QUESTIONS: How many fundamental factors comprise personality?? What are they?? One Factor Analytic Model: Cattell’s 16 pf (personality factors) • TEN of Cattell‘s 16 personality factors • reserved - outgoing • less/more intelligent • practical - imaginative • relaxed - tense • self-assured - apprehensive • serious - happy-go-lucky • trusting - suspicious • conservative - experimenting • group oriented - self-sufficient • expedient -conscientious The current view BIG Five Personality Factors (McCrae & Costa) • "Deeper causal analyses [than ours] may seek to account for the structure of personality; but the structure that must be explained is, for now, best represented by the five-factor model.‖ • R.R.McCRAE & P.T.COSTA, 1986 The BIG five (+ intelligence) • • • • • • Intelligence = general intelligence Emotionality (neuroticism) = moody, insecure, anxiety vs calm, secure, stable Extraversion = energy, active, fun-loving vs introversion, sober, reserved Conscientiousness = control, careful, thorough vs impulse, casual, disorganized Diagreeableness = will, independence vs subduedness, passivity, affability Openness = imaginative, idealism, original vs tough-mindedness, cynicism, narrow interests The BIG Five Model— Broadly Applicable, Robust ―The BIG Five factors emerge quite consistently in different populations of individuals, including children, college students, older adults, and speakers of different languages. Furthermore, cross-cultural research conducted in countries as diverse as Canada, Finland, Poland, and the Philippines is also supportive.‖ Evaluation of the Big Five: These traits are considerably stable, well into adulthood (consistency over time) Heritability is approximately 50% (significant genetic component) Growing evidence indicates that these traits apply well cross-culturally. Applications of the Big Five • • Many clinicians are using the Big Five as a frame of reference for understanding clients and outlining a direction for therapy. Other: Self-insight, find a friend/spouse, etc. Personality Assessment • Interviews and observations • • Projective techniques Objective tests Interviews and Observations • Interviews – goal is to gather information about the interviewee‘s personality through asking questions – structured or unstructured; self or others • Observation – direct behavioral observation – structured evaluation of behavior of the client Projective tests • • The person being assessed responds to ambiguous stimuli by projecting his/her own issues/needs onto the stimuli. Scoring by experts; subjective Projective Tests • Concept of projection . . . • Examples: – Incompete sentences (e.g., ―I am _______.‖ Or, ―My father _________.‖) – TAT, Rorschach (next two slides) Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) Rorschach Respondent describes what is seen in each of a series of symmetrical inkblots. In so doing, he/she projects own values, attitudes, needs—indeed personality. Evaluation of Projective Measures • Evaluation: – The concept of projection has some validity, but the tendency to do so is weak and inconsistent. – Very costly, time-consuming – Generally low reliability and validity – Yet, still used by some traditionalists Objective format Tests: • Subjects typically respond to a series of items which have a fixed set of answers. • Easily/objectively scored; summative scoring. • Can be quite reliable. • Yet, are subject to response sets, e.g., social desirability, extremity/―fence-sitting‖, etc. Objective Measures of Personality • Examples: – MMPI-2 – Cattell‘s 16PF – Bem Scale The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2) • Many scales/dimensions; clinical emphasis: – e.g., masculinity/femininity, depression, social introversion, psychopathic deviance, etc. – sample items: • I would like to be a mechanic • I have enemies who really wish to harm me • I have never indulged in any unusual sex practices • My stomach frequently bothers me – Also contains validity scales: lie, confusion, defensiveness, ―cannot say‖ Bem Scale-example of an objective measure of personality • Rate yourself using Likert scale for items in left column (self-reliant thru conventional) • Sum, as directed (how to on next slide) • Plot your scores; interpret • (of course, with the full scale--both columns would be used to yield an even more reliable measure) Deriving scores from left column of Bem Scale: • Sum together: – 1st and 4th rating from each block (―M-score‖) – 2nd and 5th rating from each block (―F-score‖) • This yields two scores, each with a possible range of values from 10 to 70. Scores on the Bem Scale Bem Scale • Measures psychological masculinity/ femininity/androgyny • No value judgment; just descriptive • Illustrates objective format of a personality measure • Typical of most measures focused on a very specific trait/dimension • Validity evidence—predicts behavior Strengths and Weaknesses of Various Forms of Personality Measurement Formats • Projective Tests - rich information; respondent is not constrained; yet they are expensive and difficult to use, probably not very reliable or valid, despite what some might think • Objective Tests - easy and inexpensive to use, many items to fully cover a construct, tend to be more reliable and valid. Subject to response sets and styles. Psychoanalysis • Psychoanalysis--this term encompasses both the theory of personality and the form of treatment developed by Sigmund Freud. • Psychoanalysis has had a profound effect on psychology in particular, and society in general. Key Freudian Concepts: • Unconscious - – term used to describe the thoughts, feelings, wishes and motives that exist below our level of awareness, but which nevertheless exert a profound influence on our behavior and development. Structure ―hypothetical constructs‖ • Structure of personality – Id = primitive part of personality, operates according the pleasure principle – Ego = partly conscious, represents rational aspect, operates according to the reality principle – Superego = the conscience, reflects the unrealistic ego ideal of perfect obedience Psychosexual Stages • Psychosexual development – psychic energy (libido), focuses at different points on the body at various times during development. How it is dealt with contributes to the developing personality. Adult personality can reflect fixations at earlier stages. Psychosexual Development • Psychic energy, from physiological processes, is focused at different locations of the body at various stages of development. How this is handled relates to personality development. The role of FIXATION • Freud believed that psychic energy can become ―stuck‖ at earlier stages of development. When this happens to a great degree, it is said that the person is ―fixated‖ at that earlier stage. Freudian Psychoanalysis-The importance of early experiences • Our developing personality is molded by early experiences relating to our response to physiologically-based psychic energy (libido). Freudian Psychosexual Stages (personality development) • Oral stage (0-2) receives gratification through oral activities, such as sucking, babbling, and feeding. • Anal stage (2-3) works to gain control over bowels and bladder, in response to demands of society and own need for autonomy. • Phallic stage (3-7) learns about male-female differences and becomes aware of sexuality. Interest in opposite-sex parent. Castration anxiety; penis envy. • Latency stage (7-11) sexual urges are relatively quiet. • Genital stage (11-adult) learns to deal with the opposite sex in mature ways. Oral Stage and the Freudian concept of infantile sexuality “No one who has seen a baby sinking back satiated from the breast and falling asleep with flushed cheeks and a blissful smile can escape the reflection that this picture persists as a prototype of the expression of sexual satisfaction in later life.” --Sigmund Freud Handling Anxiety and Tension-Ego Defense Mechanisms • Anxiety and tension result from pressure to acknowledge or accept socially undesirable thoughts and motives. • The ego, threatened by this anxiety, uses a variety of mechanisms in order to ―defend‖ itself. • The particular mechanisms used by an individual help shape personality. • They include: Some Freudian Defense Mechanisms • Denial - refusal to accept information that is anxiety-provoking • Repression - unacceptable urges/thoughts are pushed down out of conscious awareness • Displacement - Feelings and thoughts are redirected to ―safe targets‖ • Regression - Behavior and thoughts are characteristic of an earlier stage of development • Sublimation - unacceptable impulses are transformed into socially acceptable forms Evaluating Psychodynamic Theories • The theory is based primarily on retrospective reports by patients. • Most of the theory is untestable ( = prescientific??). • Attempts to validate aspects of the theory have generally failed. • Aspects of the theory can be appropriately characterized as sexist. • Nevertheless, the impact of psychodynamic theory on psychology and society has been profound. Humanistic Theories Carl Rogers Actualizing Tendency ― . . . each person is asking, Who am I, really? How can I get in touch with this real self, underlying all my surface behavior? How can I become myself?‖ (Rogers, 1961) Personality is the manifested by-product of a person‘s efforts to answer these questions. This effort is thwarted by conditions of worth placed on someone from outside. It can be facilitated by an expression of unconditional positive regard. Abraham Maslow • Personality reflects efforts to meet needs. Needs can be organized according to a set hierarchy. Individual differences reflect the needs/drives that are predominant in a particular person‘s life. Organization of Motives • Abraham Maslow described a hierarchy in which physical needs are foundational, followed by safety needs, affiliation, esteem, and then actualization needs. The premise is that the foundational needs must be adequately met before one can address the higher needs Humanistic Personality Theories • Personality is a reflection of the progress one has made at striving toward actualization, as well as strategies employed to cope with obstacles. • E.g., someone who is preoccupied with satisfaction of basic needs will have limited development of self-esteem, aesthetic, and social aspects of his personality. Evaluating Humanistic Theories of Personality • Humanistic theories of personality have been criticized as being too optimistic. • Many of the theoretical tenets are not amenable to testing. The theories generally lack scientific rigor. • While they vary greatly in descriptive value and apparent insight, the validity of humanistic theories remains unconfirmed. Cognitive Social-Learning Theories The Cognitive-Social Learning Perspective • Here, the emphasis is on learning and conscious cognitive processes. • Particularly important are beliefs about the self, goal-setting, and self-regulation. That is, our future behavior is a result of what we have learned in the past, and how we think about it. Cognitive/Social-Learning Theory-Key notions • Self-efficacy - our assessment of our own abilities and skills • Locus of control - general belief that our behavior is directed primarily by either internal or external causes • Expectancies - based on personal learning history, our beliefs about what the future holds for us. These tend to be self-fulfilling. Reciprocal Determinism • Human behavior and personality are caused by the interactive effects of behavioral, cognitive, and environmental influences. Example: Bandura: Self-Efficacy Theory • Cognitions about oneself and one‘s competence in a variety of contexts are main causes of behavior and determinants of personality. • Settings provide opportunities for self-cognitions to be confirmed or disconfirmed, (e.g., ―I did well‖, or ―I didn‘t do well.‖). • Yet, settings are often selected in order to validate one‘s existing sense of self-efficacy. (e.g., ―I challenge myself‖ vs. ―I shy away from challenges.‖) • In these ways, our personality is ―worked out‖. Biological Perspectives on Personality • The core theme is that biological tendencies are at the root of personality. • Temperament is an innate disposition that is present at birth. • Many traits have a relatively high heritability index, e.g, – social potency – stress reaction – sensation-seeking Personality Psychology-Summary of Current Issues Personality Psychology -Looking Ahead • Personality and Social Psychology -- The matrix to account for these very different sources of variation Person or Situation?? • "With the possible exception of intelligence, highly generalized behavioral consistencies have not been demonstrated, and the concept of personality traits as broad response dispositions is thus untenable." MISCHEL, 1968 • Mischel‘s comment, almost certainly an overstatement, nevertheless correctly suggests that we must also attend to the power of the situation--this is social psychology.