Chapter+1 - Chapter One: Orientation to Personality...

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Chapter One: Orientation to Personality Personality Psychology Professor Andersen WHAT IS PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY? “Personality” has many definitions with no single, universally accepted meaning. Personality is associated with social skills and effectiveness in popular usage - i.e. someone has” a lot of personality”, or “a popular personality” Personality is also associated with an individual’s most striking or dominant characteristic. - i.e. you have a “shy” personality In Personality psychology, the concepts goes beyond these meanings, it has many aspects, which reflects the richness and complexity of the term. Stable, Coherent Individual Differences Different people respond differently to similar events One goal of Personality psychology is to find and describe those individual differences between people that are psychologically meaningful and stable. Concept of personality deals with how we are different from each other and qualities of individuals that are relatively stable. If a person’s behavior changes from time to time, then it may or may not be indicative of behavior, however, sometimes
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the change in a person’s behavior can be meaningful and tell you something about their personality Situational factors contribute to the change in a person’s behavior, if the change is consistent with similar circumstances, this can tell you about personalities Coherence in the pattern of change in an individual’s behavior may be another key component of personality. ** Jane and Charles + grades example Predicting and Understanding “Personality” usually implies continuity or consistency in the individual. Observed differences may be meaningful indicators of individual differences in the personality of individuals. Goals of Personality Psychologists: 1) Identifying consistent, stable individual differences (map out characteristic ways of behaving) in order to describe people and to predict their future behavior (what to expect from them). 2) What underlies these differences? Try to explain and understand observed psychological differences between people. Defining Personality Definition begins with the assumptions that: 1) there are stable individual differences and 2) these differences reflect an underlying organization or structure. One classic and still influential working definition: “…the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his characteristic behavior and thought.” Broadly accepted definition: “ Personality is the complex organization of cognitions, affects, and behaviors that gives direction and pattern (coherence) to the person’s life. Like
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Chapter+1 - Chapter One: Orientation to Personality...

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