Psych 341-Ch.1

Psych 341-Ch.1 - Caitlin Dekker 1/5/2010 Evaluating...

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Caitlin Dekker 1/5/2010 Evaluating Personality Theories Study Guide Why is personality difficult to define? Each theorist has their own definition of personality and their own way of understanding what it entails. It is broadly defined as “who am I” but most personality theorists disagree on the use of the term. What is a “theory”? A theory is a way of explaining a group of abstract concepts about facts or events. They are a system of beliefs constructed by people to understand the world. What is the role of personality theory in the field/study of psychology more broadly? Personality theory is used generally in academic psychology and clinical practice. Personality is simply one area of specialization and most people focus of behaviorism or cognitive psychology today. What are the three orientations from which personality theorists work? Why is it important to understand these three orientations (this part is at the end of the chapter)? Philosophy, Science, and Art: Art is the expression of personality in practical application or applying what is known about people to create a better life. Science is investigations of personality governed by appropriate rules and demands empirical validity and testable hypotheses. Philosophy is seeking assumptions about what it means to be a person. It is important to understand these orientations because each theory uses one and as such, each has its own rules and procedures for establishing information and judging the worth of its findings. What are some important philosophical issues on which personality theorists differ (describe each end of each continuum)? Freedom vs. determinism: some believe that individuals have control over their behaviors while
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2011 for the course PSYCH 341 taught by Professor Slife during the Winter '08 term at BYU.

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Psych 341-Ch.1 - Caitlin Dekker 1/5/2010 Evaluating...

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