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INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES II : PERSONALITY

The art of being yourself at your best is the art of unfolding your personality into the person you want to be. - Wilfred Peterson

Conceptualization of Personality Personality is everything that a person is, distinct from anyone else. It has been defined in many different ways but all definitions have the following common features: Consistency within the same person, across situations makes personality predictable for a person ; Uniqueness no person is exactly the same as any other person.

PERVIN : Personality represents those characteristics of the person that account for consistent patterns of feeling, thinking, and behaving. G.W. ALLPORT : Personality is .the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determines his characteristic behaviour and thought.

Questions that have been raised:

1. Exactly what does personality consist of ? 2. How can it be assessed ? 3. What are the differences between various models/ theories of personality ? 4. Can personality be changed ?

1. Exactly what does personality consist of ? Answered in the form of numerous theories of personality. These various approaches to Personality can be classified broadly into Structural theories emphasize the building blocks of personality- WHAT..? Process-oriented theories emphasize what takes place within personality functioning HOW?; Motivational theories emphasize the WHY..? of personality : may include both structural and process components.

2. How can it be assessed ? Most personality theories propose some form of assessment qualitative, or quantitative. Structural theories - questionnaires/ inventories based on psychometric methods. Process and Motivational theories may use questionnaires and other methods (e.g. interviews). The methods reflect the core ideas of respective personality theories.

3. What are the differences between various models/ theories of personality ? Differences/ similarities in approach become clear when we examine the main ideas proposed by each theory, and the method(s) each theory adopts. All approaches contain the consistency and uniqueness features.

General principle All individuals are similar in some respects, and different in some others.

Structural theories Trait theories Type theories Process theories Learning/ Social learning theories Cognitive theories Motivational theories Humanistic theories Psychoanalytic and neo-Freudian theories

Structural theories Trait theories. In the trait theories, personality is defined/ described in terms of unit or characteristics called TRAITS. A trait is a consistently shown quality of an individual, expressed across a variety of situations. Traits are described as adjectives describing human qualities. Traits are derived on the basis of FACTOR ANALYSIS - involves a long process of collecting data (from very large samples), and judgments from experts.

Well-known Trait theories


1) Allports theory the trait component was a part of Allports broader theory of personality. 2) Cattells theory. 3) Eysencks theory 4) The Five-Factor Model (FFM, or the Big Five model) by McCrae and Costa : the most recent model, and the most accepted one.

CATTELL proposed a sound trait theory, based on psychometric methods. Several pools of adjectives describing human qualities were collected from a large number of subjects. This large pool was systematically reduced to a smaller set of adjectives, using the detailed statistical technique called FACTOR ANALYSIS. At the end, a set of 16 personality factors emerged that would sum up the structure of personality.

Distinction between : 1. Surface and Source traits Surface traits express behaviours only at an external level they appear to be interrelated, but may not actually be so.
continued.

Source traits traits that actually co-vary, and form the source of the behaviours that express them.
2. Ability traits, temperamental traits, and dynamic traits : Ability traits - skills for effective functioning. Temperamental traits - emotion-related traits. Dynamic traits motivation-related traits.

Assessment : The 16 Personality Factors (PF) Inventoryassesses 16 source traits . Using scores on the 16 PF Inventory, a profile can be made for each individual that indicates the PATTERN of traits that he/she has.

EYSENCKs theory :
Proposed THREE basic trait dimensions : 1. Introversion - Extraversion 2. Neuroticism (emotionally stable/ unstable) 3. Psychoticism (those high on this factor would be insensitive to others emotions, uncaring about others.

Devised the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire to measure the three dimensions. This theory/model also contained a TYPE component, combining two TRAIT DIMENSIONS with four TEMPERAMENT TYPES.

The Five- Factor Model (McCRAE & COSTA) These two psychologists carried out fresh factor analyses based on existing personality inventories, including those devised by Cattell and Eysenck. On the basis of their findings, McCrae and Costa concluded that there are FIVE BASIC TRAIT FACTORS that can effectively sum up an individuals personality:

Five Factors (the Big Five) : O C E A N Openness Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness Neuroticism These factors are measured with the help of the NEO-Personality Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1992).

TYPE Theories: The TYPE approach categorizes personality into mutually exclusive types. That is, each category has features that are not found in other categories. But members within each category would be similar amongst themselves.
Two kinds of Types Constitutional/ Body types Psychological types

Constitutional types A relationship is proposed between physical characteristics, on one hand, and psychological characteristics, on the other. In general, constitutional typologies are not accepted by contemporary psychologists, but have historical importance.

1. Temperament types Hippocrates/Galen : The dominance of fluids called humours is associated with a specific type of temperament. FOUR humours and correspondingly, four Temperament types were proposed :
Humour Temperament a) Blood Sanguine b) Black bile Melancholic c) Yellow bile Choleric d) Phlegm Phlegmatic Characteristics Cheerful,optimistic, Sad, depressed Quick-tempered, irritable Passive, content,

Contemporary view : Blood, Bile and Phlegm are not called Humours, and these substances do not have any systematic relationship with personality as proposed in the earlier type theories.
However, Eysenck took the temperament typology, and fitted it into two trait dimensions, namely, Stable Unstable and Introvert- Extravert.

EYSENCKs proposed relationship : INTROVERT

Phlegmatic

Melancholic

STABLE

Sanguine

Choleric

UNSTABLE

EXTRAVERT

Body types (a) Kretschmer : Body structure or body build is associated with psychological characteristics, and these in turn are associated with proneness to specific forms of mental disorder.
2.

Asthenic thin, tall - people with thought disorders (e.g.schizophrenia) Athletic muscular, well-built fond of outdoor activities (no specific disorder mentioned).
Continued.

Pyknic short, fat, round people with emotional disorders (e.g. manic-depressive psychosis). Dysplastic disproportionate body build people with other kinds of psychological disorders. (b) Sheldon - Somatotypes : More systematic procedure of classification, but overall, similar to Kretschmers classification.

Somatotype Endomorphic (similar to Pyknic)

Temperament Viscerotonia fond of eating, physical comfort. Ectomorphic (similar to Asthenic) Cerebrotonic prone to thinking too much, worrying; Fond of intellectual activity Mesomorphic (similar to Athletic) Somatotonia fond of outdoor / physical activities rather than intellectual activities.

Psychological types Classification of personality is based on PSYCHOLOGICAL characteristics.

Carl JUNGs psychological types :

--------------------------------------------------------------Thinking Feeling Sensing Intuiting Introvert Extrovert ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modern typology assessed by the MYERSBRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR (MBTI).

Type A/ Type B classification (Friedman and Rosenman) This typology is based on information regarding proneness to cardiovascular diseases, and its relationship with certain psychological characteristics. Type A the hard-driving ambitious type, always particular to finish every task in time. Type B the cool type, who takes things easy. Type A persons have been found to be more prone to heart disease than Type B persons.

Process Theories 1) Learning theories Basic idea: Personality characteristics are the result of learning. The individual encounters, or is exposed to certain stimuli (situations, environments, people, and so on), and responds to these stimuli. Over time, specific responses get rewarded or punished. The rewarded responses are retained and get stronger. The punished responses get weaker and disappear.

2) Social-cognitive theories
BANDURA: Personality characteristics may be learned A) by observing others behaviour, noticing that some behaviours are rewarded, and others are punished; B) by developing the sense of efficacy (selfefficacy).

ROTTER : A specific personality characteristic -INTERNAL/ EXTERNAL LOCUS OF CONTROL is learned through EXPECTANCIES based on past history of reinforcement. Internal locus the generalized belief that ones outcomes are determined mainly by factors within ones own control. External locus - the generalized belief that ones outcomes are determined mainly by factors outside ones own control.

Social-cognitive theories of personality emphasize the role of COGNITIVE processes that are expressed in the form of perceptions for example, perception of ones own competence/ efficacy, or perception of the sense of control over events in ones life.

Other cognitive theories highlight how particular concepts related to personality are learned, through mechanisms others than stimulus response links, and rewards/ punishment.

Motivational theories MASLOW : Human nature is driven by motives (needs) that function in a hierarchy in an order of priority. Highest level : The need of SELF-ACTUALIZATION. Self-actualization is a process, rather than a goal or terminal point. Characteristics of self-actualizing persons were described including the concept of PEAK EXPERIENCE.

2) ROGERS Humanistic theory that focused on the SELF. Each individual has the human capacity to become a FULLY FUNCTIONING PERSON. Personality functioning is motivated by the SELF-IMAGE. The individual strives towards CONGRUENCE between the REAL SELF and IDEAL SELF. In counselling, Rogers emphasized NONDIRECTIVE counselling.

Psychoanalytic theory (also referred to PSYCHODYNAMIC theory) : FREUD father of Psychoanalytic theory A broad and detailed theory of personality extended into a school of thought. Basic ideas : 1. The unconscious- cannot be accessed at the conscious level iceberg concept. 2.THREE levels of functioning - ID, EGO, and SUPER-EGO.

3. Guiding principles of each level of the unconscious: ID the pleasure principle; EGO the reality principle; SUPER-EGO the morality principle. 4. Basic driving force LIBIDO a sexual biological force, expressed in different forms at different developmental stages : stages of psychosexual development. 5. LIBIDINAL urges may be creative (EROS), or destructive (THANATOS).

6. Functioning of ID, EGO, and SUPER-EGO: conflict between these three levels, especially between Id and Super-ego, and between Ego and Id,. 7. Leads to ANXIETY (at the unconscious level). 8. In order to resolve the conflict, and the resulting anxiety EGO-DEFENCE MECHANISMS are adopted at the unconsious level, for protection of the EGO.

9. The main defence mechanisms : REPRESSION RATIONALIZATION PROJECTION Displacement Sublimation Reaction formation Fantasy Fixation Regression

10. Stages of Psychosexual development : Each stage has some characteristics ORAL stage - infancy ANAL stage 2 3 years PHALLIC stage 3 6 years LATENCY stage 6 years to adolescence GENITAL stage - Adolescence onwards

11. Psychoanalytic methods :


Dream analysis : dreams are the royal road to the unconscious. The psychoanalytic interview (the couch). Hypnosis Free association Analysis of slips of the tongue/ pen. *******