Personality theories


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Personality theories

  1. 1. Personality Theories Are certain personalities more likely to commit crime? By Marta Llamas
  2. 2. Eysenck <ul><li>Hans Eysenck  (1916 -1997) was a British psychologist of German origin. His main work was on intelligence and personality. </li></ul><ul><li>He wrote over 60 books on many subjects including the influence of drugs, sex and many about personalities. </li></ul>Isn’t he lovely :)
  3. 3. What did he say? - Extroversion <ul><li>Extroversion is characterized by being outgoing, talkative, high on positive affect (feeling good), and in need of external stimulation. </li></ul><ul><li>According to Eysenck's arousal theory of extraversion, there is an optimal level of cortical arousal, and performance deteriorates as one becomes more or less aroused than this optimal level. Arousal can be measured by skin conductance, brain waves or sweating. At very low and very high levels of arousal, performance is low, but at a more optimal mid-level of arousal, performance is maximized. </li></ul><ul><li>Extraverts, according to Eysenck's theory, are chronically under-aroused and bored and are therefore in need of external stimulation to bring them up to an optimal level of performance. Introverts, on the other hand, are chronically over-aroused and jittery and are therefore in need of peace and quiet to bring them up to an optimal level of performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore if the level of extroversion is high you are more likely to commit crime as you need stimulation… </li></ul>
  4. 4. What did he say? - Neuroticism <ul><li>Neuroticism is characterized by high levels of negative affect such as depression and anxiety. </li></ul><ul><li>Neuroticism, according to Eysenck's theory, is based on activation thresholds in the sympathetic nervous system or visceral brain. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for the fight-or-flight response in the face of danger. Activation can be measured by heart rate, blood pressure, cold hands, sweating and muscular tension (especially in the forehead). </li></ul><ul><li>Neurotic people, who have low activation thresholds, and unable to inhibit or control their emotional reactions, experience negative affect (fight-or-flight) in the face of very minor stressors - they are easily nervous or upset. Emotionally stable people, who have high activation thresholds and good emotional control, experience negative affect only in the face of very major stressors - they are calm and collected under pressure. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore if the level of neuroticism is high you are more likely to commit crime as you aren’t calm in stressful situations… </li></ul>
  5. 5. What did he say? - Psychoticism <ul><li>Psychoticism is associated not only with the liability to have a psychotic episode (or break with reality), but also with aggression. </li></ul><ul><li>Psychotic behaviour is rooted in the characteristics of tough-mindedness, non-conformity, inconsideration, recklessness, hostility, anger and impulsiveness. </li></ul><ul><li>The physiological basis suggested by Eysenck for psychoticism is testosterone, with higher levels of psychoticism associated with higher levels of testosterone. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore if the level of psychoticism is high you are more likely to commit crime as you are reckless, impulsive and angry… Also a possible reason why most criminals are male… </li></ul>
  6. 6. Test subject – Myself <ul><li>This test reflects the ideas of Hans Eysenck a pioneer in the field of personality research. Through research and statistical analysis he determined that personality is composed of three main elements: Extroversion, Neuroticism, and Psychoticism. </li></ul><ul><li>Most current researchers agree on the significance of the first two traits, but there is less consensus on the third (so he may be wrong about it's central importance but it clearly plays some role in personality). Most people will score lower on Psychoticism. While Psychoticism implies more negative qualities than the other two traits (typically), a link has been found is several studies between higher creativity and higher scores on Psychoticism. </li></ul>
  7. 7. And my results <ul><li>Extroversion (sociability) 79% </li></ul><ul><li>Neuroticism (emotionality) 45% </li></ul><ul><li>Psychoticism (rebelliousness) 40% </li></ul>
  8. 8. And my results <ul><li>Extroversion  results were high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This one indicates I could be a criminal, because I am easily bored and need stimulation… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neuroticism  results were medium which suggests you are moderately worrying, insecure, emotional, and anxious. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quite good here, as I am quite able to control myself in stressful situations … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Psychoticism  results were moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly kind natured, trusting, and helpful at the expense of your own individual development (martyr complex). Prior to Eysenck's discovery of Psychoticism, he correlated his original two traits (introversion and neuroticism) with an ancient Greek personality system known as the Galen types (Melancholic, Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also low here, which means I have low levels of testosterone (reassuring) and therefore I’m not reckless or impulsive… </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  9. 9. What does this mean? <ul><li>Many psychologists agree that it is hard to conclude at what point extroversion, neuroticism or psychoticism are too high and therefore one is likely to commit crime. </li></ul><ul><li>However most criminals are found to be high in all of these fields. </li></ul>