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Introduction to Personality


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This power point summarizes some important points in understanding personality from various perspectives.

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Introduction to Personality

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION AND APPROACH TO PERSONALITY Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Jamil bin Hj. Yaacob, AM (Mal), MD, M.Med (Psych), M.Sc (London) Lecturer, Dept of Psychiatry, USM
  2. 2. CONTENT <ul><li>Definition of personality </li></ul><ul><li>Shaping of personality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Genetic influences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental influences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural influences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Continuity of personality </li></ul><ul><li>Consequences of personality </li></ul><ul><li>Approach in understanding personality </li></ul>
  3. 3. PERSONALITY <ul><li>Definition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personality traits are enduring patterns of perceiving , relating to , and thinking about the environment and oneself , and are exhibited in a wide range of important social and personality context. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(American Psychiatric Association, 1987) </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. PERSONALITY <ul><ul><li>The characteristic patterns of thought , emotion and behaviour that define an individual’s personal style and influence his/her interactions with the environment. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. SHAPING OF PERSONALITY Genetic influences Environmental influences Cultural influences
  6. 6. GENETIC INFLUENCE <ul><li>Research shows that reliable differences can be observed among infants beginning at about 3 months of age. </li></ul>
  7. 7. GENETIC INFLUENCE <ul><li>Such characteristics are activity level , attention span , adaptability to changes in the environment & general mood. </li></ul>
  8. 8. GENETIC INFLUENCE <ul><li>Such mood related personality characteristics, called temperament are building blocks for the individual’s later personality. </li></ul>
  9. 9. GENETIC INFLUENCE <ul><li>The early appearance of such characteristic suggests that they are determined in part by genetic factors and are inherited from the parents. </li></ul>
  10. 10. ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCE <ul><li>Most psychological theories of development assumes that forces acting early in life have more influence in shaping our personalities than do later forces. </li></ul>
  11. 11. ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCE <ul><li>Child differ from one another in the degree to which they form secure attachments to their primary caregivers in the 1 st year of life. </li></ul>Attachment
  12. 12. ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCE <ul><li>Those who form such attachments are observed in later childhood to approach difficult problems with enthusiasm and persistence , to be self-directed and eager to learn & to be social leaders among their peers. </li></ul>
  13. 13. ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCE <ul><li>In contrast, children who are less securely attached at the end of their first year are more easily frustrated , are more dependent on adults and tend to be socially withdrawn </li></ul>
  14. 14. ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCE <ul><li>The failure to form secure attachments in the early years has been related to an inability to develop close personal relationships in adulthood. </li></ul>
  15. 15. ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCE <ul><li>Childrearing practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accepting/Responsive/Child centered Rejecting/Unresponsive/Parent- centered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Controlling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Undemanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not controlling </li></ul></ul>Neglecting Indulgent Authoritarian Authoritative
  16. 16. ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCE <ul><li>Types of childrearing Individual (child) personality </li></ul><ul><li>practices </li></ul><ul><li>1. Authoritative Increase level of control, warmth & able to use 2-way communication </li></ul><ul><li>2. Authoritarian Competent & capable individual BUT might lack of spontaneity & social withdrawal. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Indulgent Accepting, responsive, have positive mood BUT too much indulgent will create immature individual, lack of impulse control, lack of social responsibility & self-reliance. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Neglecting Neurotic, abuse substances </li></ul>
  17. 17. CULTURAL INFLUENCE <ul><ul><li>Western culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>independent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>self-assertive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>motivated to achieve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-Western culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdependence of persons with others in the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children are encourage to be part of functioning community </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. CULTURAL INFLUENCE <ul><li>Parents in non-Western culture punish wrong behaviour & do not explicitly praise or reward good behaviour. </li></ul>
  19. 19. CONTINUITY OF PERSONALITY <ul><li>Evidence for continuity </li></ul><ul><li>2 studies: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Barkeley Guidance Study conducted at Inst. Of Human Dev. At U California. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Oakland Growth study </li></ul><ul><li>Result: </li></ul><ul><li>1. There was strong continuity of personality from early to later adolescence. </li></ul><ul><li>2. The strongest continuities related to intelligence & intellectual interests. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Personality variables like extraversion, emotional stability & impulse control are next. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Political attitude & measures of self-opinion are last. </li></ul>
  20. 20. CONSEQUENCES OF PERSONALITY <ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Childhood ill-temperedness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low occupational status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Erratic worklife </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Approaches To Personality <ul><ul><li>A) Trait Approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B) Psychobiological Approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C) Social Learning Approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D) Psychodynamic Approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E) Humanistic Approach </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. The Big Five <ul><li>The English vocabulary contains nearly 20,000 trait terms. But there is a lot of redundancy among them (sociable, outgoing). </li></ul><ul><li>Decades of research on similarities between traits have yielded five clusters: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Neuroticism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extroversion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Openness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agreeableness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conscientiousness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These tendencies mix in different proportions to create different personalities. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Psychobiological Approach <ul><li>Focuses on the role of biology in determining personality. </li></ul><ul><li>There are a number of ways to look at the role of biology in personality. One way is to look at the heritability of </li></ul><ul><li>personality traits. </li></ul><ul><li>Another way is to look at the effect of brain damage on personality. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Psychobiological approach <ul><li>Focuses on the role of biology in determining personality. </li></ul><ul><li>There are a number of ways to look at the role of biology in personality. One way is to look at the heritability of personality traits. </li></ul><ul><li>Another way is to look at the effect of brain damage on personality. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Optimum-Level Theory <ul><li>Some personality traits like extroversion and thrill seeking, produce behaviour that increases arousal . </li></ul><ul><li>Could it be that such people are trying to raise their natural low level of arousal to an optimal level? </li></ul><ul><li>Optimal Level Theory states that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is an optimal level of arousal for motivated action. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When arousal is low , we feel bored and unmotivated . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When arousal is very high , we feel tense and fearful. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Social Learning Approach <ul><li>States that our personality is shaped by what we learn from our experiences . </li></ul><ul><li>We develop expectations about the outcome of our behaviour in certain situations. </li></ul><ul><li>One particularly interesting effect of such expectations is reflected in what is known as self-handicapping . </li></ul>
  27. 27. Self-Handicapping <ul><li>Making excuses for one’s performance before the act. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes this is done by saying things that suggest that one is not at one’s best (I have a headache, I slept terribly, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>At the extreme one may actually engage in behaviour that will </li></ul><ul><li>handicap one’s performance (getting drunk the night before a </li></ul><ul><li>competition). </li></ul><ul><li>Self-handicapping is an attempt to protect one’s self-esteem. </li></ul><ul><li>Research shows that people who self-handicap do not cope well with stress. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Psychodynamic Approach <ul><li>According to this approach, diverse sources of psychic energy </li></ul><ul><li>interact dynamically in each of us. </li></ul><ul><li>Sigmund Freud is the most famous proponent of this view. </li></ul><ul><li>Freud’s psychoanalytic theory begins with the idea that the mind exists on two basic levels: conscious and unconscious . </li></ul><ul><li>Freud believed that the mind has three basic structures: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Id : unconscious irrational source of primitive impulses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ego : conscious and realistic (respects “ reality principle ”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Superego : both conscious and unconscious. Based on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rules and prohibitions we have internalized . </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Defense Mechanisms <ul><li>The conflicts created by the id’s strong impulses and the inhibitions imposed by the ego and superego can be very upsetting. </li></ul><ul><li>Defense mechanism: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Repression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reaction Formation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sublimation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rationalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversion </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Personality Disorders <ul><li>According to Psychodynamic theory, problems during early personality development can result in personality disorders in later life. </li></ul><ul><li>Narcissism is a sense that others are there to serve the self. </li></ul><ul><li>Narcissists love attention and praise , but respond to criticism with extreme anger . </li></ul>
  31. 31. Humanistic Approach <ul><li>Humanism emphasizes the individual’s potential for growth </li></ul><ul><li>and change . </li></ul><ul><li>Abraham Maslow proposed that personality is shaped by </li></ul><ul><li>motivation to satisfy a hierarchy of needs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-actualization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aesthetic needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Esteem needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attachment needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Safety needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physiological needs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Carl Rogers proposed that people seek to be fully functioning. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Personality Assessment <ul><li>Projective tests such as the Rorschach Inkblot Test assess how people project unconscious conflicts in their responses to non-specific or ambiguous stimuli. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Standardized Personality Tests <ul><li>Standardized Personality tests use a set of items and have been screened for psychometric properties such as reliability and validity. </li></ul>