Module 46 Reading Notes - Julie Zimmerman Personality(Page...

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Julie Zimmerman November 16, 2007 Personality (Page 597; Modules 44-46) MODULES 46: CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH ON PERSONALITY (PG 616) DEFINITIONS Trait: a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer reports Personality Inventory: A questionnaire (often with true-false or agree-disagree items) on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors; used to assess selected personality traits. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): the most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests. Originally developed in identify emotional disorders (still considered its most appropriate use), this test is now used for many other screening purposes. Empirically derived test: a test (such as the MMPI) developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups. Social/Cognitive perspective: views behavior as influenced by the interaction between persons (and their thinking) and their social context Reciprocal determinism: the interacting influences between personality and environmental factors Personal Control: our sense of controlling our environment, rather than feeling helpless. External locus of control: the perception that chance or outside forces beyond one’s personal control determine one’s fate. Internal locus of control: the perception that one controls one’s own fate. Learned helplessness: the hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated adverse events. Spotlight effect: overestimating others’ noticing and evaluating our appearance, performance, and blunders (as if we presume a spotlight shines on us). Self esteem: one’s feelings of high or low self-worth. Self serving bias: a readiness to perceive oneself favorably 1
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Julie Zimmerman November 16, 2007 Personality (Page 597; Modules 44-46) Positive psychology: the scientific study of optimal human functioning; aims to discover and promote strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
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