Personality psychology exam 2

Gordan Allport

Started the whole trait approach"dirt phobia"counted over 4,000 personality traits in the dictionarywanted to find the major traits

Early typologies

Assumed that everyone fit into one or the other categoryPhrenologyMorphologyhumorism


Ones personality can be related to the mapping of one's brain by the mapping of the bumps of the brain.


The body type of an individual can determine personalityectomorphicendomorphicmezomorphic


Thin body typeseen as fragile


overweight body typeseen as lazy


muscular type seen as productive ans sucessful


looked at bodily fluids to determine personalityfour temperments: sanguine, melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic

sanguine (greek)


melancholic (greek)


choleric (greek)


phlegmatic (greek)


Modern Trait Dimensions

Personalities can be measured on a continum normally distributed

Normal Distribution

few people are at the extremes while everyone else lies somewhere in the middle

Henry Murray

Personologyhaving an affair with his wife but was encouraged to continue the affair to save marriage by jungidealist, patriotic, loyal, creative created the TAT test

Raymond Cattell

created the 16 PF test first in family to go to collegechemist but switched to personality psychology

Walter Mishel

criticized personality psychology tests

Nomothetic approach

Created by Gordon Allportmethod of understanding personality that compares many people along the same personality dimensions

idiographic approach

method of studying personality through in-depth analysis of one individual and the dimensions relevant to that person's personality.central traits then cardinal traits

common traits

traits that only appear depending on a certain situationexample: anxious before public speaking

central trait

specific traits that are specific to the individualexample: shy, honest, intelligent,

Cardinal Trait

a trait that completely defines ones personality very rare example: christ-like

functional autonomy

Our present motives are interdependent from our past behaviors

"Letters from Jenny"

to study the idiographic approach, Allport studied a woman who used the pseudonum Jenny Mastersonidentified eight of her central traits by studying more than 300 of her letters over 12 years.


Psychogenic Needs

the need for power, affiliation, achievement

Thematic Apperception test

Created by Henry Murray shows a picture and the patient tells a story of what is happening

Interaction with the "press"

Your behavior will not be activated unless there a situation( press) that calls for it example: the need for order will be pressed when you need to make time to clean your room even if it is slightly messy

Factor analysis

statistical procedure used to determine the number of dimensions in a data set.emprical search for central traits putting taits onto a 2d space (dimension scale)

16 Personality Factor Inventory

relevant to business and performancetests adults based on 16 major personality factors

The Big five

NeroticismExtraversionOpenness AgreeablenessConscientiousness


insecure, emotionaly unstable, anxious


adaptable, open minded, variety


outgoing, social, lively


warm, friendly, soft-hearted


detail-oriented, carefeul, dependeable, organized

criticism of personality psychology

tests were misused and should not be a diagnosis not reliable or validneeds to look at situations Tests need to predict a constellation of behaviors in order to be more reliable

Response to criticism

personality psychology was paralyzed for the time beingtests became aggregatedPersonality Psychology is not a separate discipline

One item measurement

Testing for one major trait

aggregate data

finding a "constellation" of behaviors


looking at the relationship between a persons traits, situation, and behavior

Achievement motivation

Big 5 in the workplace

#1 most important trait is conscientiousnesstied for #2 are agreeableness for teamwork and extraversion for sales openness for creativity

Type A personality

An extreme description of a personality workaholic, time urgency, competitive, efficient, short tempered

Type B personality

an extreme description of a personality laid back, not urgent on time, less competitive

predictive validity for type A personality

higher awards, faster job advancement, work longer hoursless job satisfaction, high blood pressure

toxic component of type A personality

hostility towards little occurances in everyday life and could lead to heart diseaseif this can be controlled type A is very beneficial

evaluation apprehension

self anxiety about others will view yourself they mostly fear a negative evaluation

Drug Rehab changing personality

Those in drug rehab were tested at the beginning and after fifteen month this was found:Decreased neuroticismincreased agreeableness and conscientiousness

Changing Social Anxiety

Must have an increase in motivation and courage It will be a complete change however it will be enough so that it is significant to the individual.

Trait Profiling and Bullies

Have a high level of Neuroticism, conflicts with family, high levels of psychoticismAt age 26, bullies are 65% more likely to have a felony

Trait profling and whipping boys

High levels of Neuroticism, low self-esteem, and low social skills

Trait profiling and smokers

High neuroticism, extraversion, sensation seeking

Trait profiling and alchoholics

High Neuroticism and sensation seeking; impulsivelow agreeableness and conscientiousness

Trait profiling and serial killers

Serial killer triad (almost always shows in every serial killer)torturing small animalsstarting destructive firesbedwetting (lack of control, anal repulsive, aggression)

Hans Eysenck

Super Traits Backgournd: Jewish sympathizer during WWII,originally studied biology but forced to study psychology, wanted a big family

David Buss

Evolutional theories of universal traits Background: bad grades in school except math, dropped out of highschool but got into a prestigous university by a lottery pick, grew up in poverty

Biological Approach

Personality is formed by a combination of genetic and physiological traits

Heritability of temperament

The characteristic phenomena of an individuals emotional nature depends on experiences and how person responds to the experiencelargely inherited before first year of age

EAS temperaments

E- emotional activity (how easily angered is the child)A- acionality (the energy output; are they figity?)S- Sociability (tendency to socialize with others)

Super traits

used rudemetary by EysenckExtraversion, Neuroticism, psychotocismbelieved that these three were largely inherited

Hierarchy of traits

Supertraits -> traits-> habitual resonse -> specific response

example of hierarchy of traits

extraversion -> sociability -> likes to go to parties -> how person socializes at the party

Intraversion vs extraversion research

Eysenck studied different peoples reactions to caffeine extraverts are more likely to drink more caffeine because they are less sensitive to stimulationintraverts CNS operates at an above normal level so caffeine affects them more

Natural selection

inherited characteristics that help species meet and survive threats from the environmentmakes them more likely to survive and pass on traits to offspring

Universal traits

traits that have a reproductive advantage will most likely be passed on to future generations until it becomes a universal trait within gendersexample: fertility in women

Evolutionary mating behavior in males

tend to want the more mating partnersparental investment: sperm

evolutionary mating behavior in females

more choosier of mating partnerparental investment: 9 months of limited mobility

evolutionary mate selection in males

males tend to look for fertility cues anything that signals that the female is of fertile mating age (healthy skin, hair color, etc)

evolutionary mate selection in females

tend to look for resource cues anything to shoe that the male can provide for female and child example: money, status, intelligence

evolutionary sexual jealousy in males

males tend to have stronger sexual jealousy than emotional jealousystems from paternal uncertainty in that the father may be unsure of who the real biological father is

evolutionary sexual jealousy

emotional jealousy is stronger than sexual jealousy stems from the fact that the female may leave the resources that the father would provide female and child

Goodness of fit model

the sucess of a child in schools depends on how well its environment matches its learning capabilities, characteristics, an style of behavior, example: teacher's expectations, pace of learning, amount of content learned at a time

heritability of extraversion

extraverts require stronger stimulations to operate at peak levelneed some kind of "life" in surroundings to focusmore impulsive

heritability of intraverts

more receptive to stimulants; require lessneed few distractions to focus thinks things through before acting