Unit One:
“Making sense of
other people”
3) Development of
 amac edu 2011
Personality
The word and concept of personality is
common in everyday language (eg. “He has
a nice personality”). However, most use it
without thinking what it actually means.
Some thoughts:
1. How are people different?
2. Can people change completely?
3. Are these differences apparent at all ages?
4. Try creating your own definition of
personality (think 1 to 3 above):
A Definition of Personality
“Measurable types, traits and
temperaments which make you
who you are and different from
other people”
The strange case of Phineas Gage
• Phineas Gage (died 1860) was an
American railroad construction foreman
now remembered for surviving an accident
in which a large iron bar passed through
his brain…
What does
this suggest
about
personality?
The Three Personality T’s
1. Type
Usually Type A or Type B (there are other types and
combinations). A = Aggressive/Conflictual and B =
Passive/conflict avoidant (in general)
2. Temperament
How we appear/interact with others (Easily – Difficult –
Slow to warm-up)
3. Trait
Extrovert (social) – Introvert (quiet) – Neurotic (anxious)
Your personality is a combination of these three factors
Important point…
They are all biological (inherited) and to a large
extent ‘life-time stable’. They are better
understood as the ‘underlying foundations’ of
who we are and how we interact/learn with/from
the environment.
Miserable Baby
Miserable Man
Miserable ‘Old Git’ [sic]
Personality ‘TYPES’
Q. when you play games or sport do you
always play to win rather than just
play for fun?
1. Usually play to win = Type A behaviour
(competitive)
2. Prefer to play for fun = Type B
behaviour (non-competitive)
Which ‘type’ are you?
Type B
Laid Back
Type A
Up front
Conflictual
Competitive
Time urgent
Hostile and
aggressive
Which type you are
most like…
or
Avoids Conflict
Relaxed
One thing at a
time
Empathetic
(Express
feelings)
Personality ‘TYPES’
Type "A" – Are highly independent and driven by risk. They
tend to be physical, conflictual, competitive and time urgent
(mostly male).
Type "B" - Represents highly extroverted people, they are
very entertaining and possess strong charisma. Often laid
back and conflict avoidant
Type "C" - The opposite of Type "B"; they are introverted,
very cautious and reserved.
Type "D" – They prefer the tedium of routine. They are not
adventurous, resist responsibility and prefer to be told what to
do
Some scales go to ‘Type F’ and beyond. In reality most people are
a combination of types and this is often determined by situational
factors. Evaluation: Are these ‘types’ broad enough to cover
everyone and all ages?
Next: TEMPERAMENT
• “refers to the (biologically)
inherited aspects of
personality. It is the way
people respond to the
environment”
• Temperament is also life
long stable
STUDIES OF TEMPERAMENT:
THOMAS, CHESS AND BIRCH (1977)
Aim: To discover whether temperament is stable throughout life
Method: observed 133 children from infancy behaviour to early
adulthood behaviour and their parents were interviewed about
the children as babies
Results: children fell into three types: “Easy”, “Difficult”, and
“Slow to warm up”. Easy children were happy, flexible, and
regular. The Difficult children were demanding, inflexible and
cried a lot. The children that were “slow to warm up” didn't
respond well to change or new experiences to begin with, but
once adapted they were usually happy
Conclusions: The three basic temperaments stayed with the
children as they developed through to adulthood; therefore
concluded that temperament is innate (genetically inherited)
and life-long stable
EVALUATION ACTIVITY

This was a longitudinal study (what is a cross-sectional
study?). Can you think of the advantages and
disadvantages of carrying a longitudinal study?
 All children were from middle class families. What's the
problem with choosing p’s from only one section of
society?
 Parents were interviewed for this study. Outline one
drawback of asking parents about
their own children
Q) What is meant by
‘innate’ & ‘life-long
stable’?
Before we move on: What is the rationale
of ‘Twin Studies’?
Define:
• DNA:
• MZ:
• MZa:
• DZ:
• Concordance:
• Rationale of…
DZ Twins
MZa Twins
If temperament is
If temperament is
If temperament is
If temperament is
The basic rationale
TWIN STUDIES & TEMPERAMENT
BUSS AND PLOMIN (1984)
Aim: To determine temperament and innateness
Method: 228 MZ twins and 172 DZ. They rated
concordance for temperament factors at 5years
old. They look at these three dimensions of
behaviour:
1. Emotionality-how strong the child’s emotional response
was
2. Activity- how energetic the child was
3. Sociability-how much the child wanted to be with other
people.
Results: closer relationship for MZ’s than DZ’s
Conclusion: Temperament has a genetic basis
EVALUATION OF
BUSS AND PLOMIN (1984)
 Supports a genetic basis (it demonstrates that
genetically identical twins were more similar in
emotionality, activity and sociability than nongenetically-identical twins).
 However could be that identical twins are
treated very similarly and experience very
similar situations, especially when children.
This means environmental learning could
account for the similarities.
 Hard to generalise from twins to the general
population, because we are not all twins
(sampling bias).
Further
research:
Read
Kagan &
Snidman
1991 p41
Do AMRC
HOW IS PERSONALITY
MEASURED?
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY
OF PERSONALITY
• Eysenck believed that there are
different personality types.
His theory is therefore described
as a type theory. For each
personality type there are associated traits.
• The personality types he identified include
extroversion, introversion and neuroticism.
• Extroverts look to other people and the outside
world for entertainment while introverts are
content with their own thoughts and ideas.
EYSENCK’S TYPE
THEORY OF PERSONALITY
Extroverts
• Are open and often talkative
• Compare their own opinions with the opinions of
others
• Like action and initiative
• Easily make new friends or adapt to a new group
• Say what they think
• Are interested in new people
• Easily break unwanted relations
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY
OF PERSONALITY
Introverts
• Are interested in their own
thoughts and feelings
• Need to have own territory
• Often appear reserved, quiet and thoughtful
• Usually do not have many friends
• Have difficulties in making new contacts
• Like concentration and quiet
• Do not like the unexpected
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY
OF PERSONALITY
Neurotics
• A personality type that
describes people who are
highly emotional and show a
quick, intense reaction to
fear.
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY
OF PERSONALITY
• Eysenck believed that these
different personality types were
cause by the type of nervous
type that the individual inherits.
• For example, in neurotics, the
nervous system reacts quickly
and strongly to stress.
• To test his ideas he carried out
a study in 1947
EYSENCK’S TYPE THEORY
OF PERSONALITY
Aim: To investigate the personality of
700 servicemen
Method: Each soldier completed a
questionnaire.
Eysenck analysed the results using
statistical technique called factor analysis.
Results: He indentified two dimensions of personality:
extroversion-introversion and neuroticism-stability
Conclusions: Everyone can be placed along these two
dimension of personality. Most people lie in the
middle of the scale.
(HALF-WAY)
EVALUATION OF
EYSENCK'S WORK
 His original research used a limited sample of
servicemen to test his ideas (sample bias, so hard to
generalise).  However later research was carried out
on 1000s of people and supported Eysenck’s ideas
 He only described a limited number of personality
types.
 Questionnaires can present researchers with a
number of problems (eg. people may not be 100%
truthful)
 Why is personality as inherited a potential problem?
(Determinism)
PERSONALITY SCALES
• Eysenck developed a
number of personality
scales to measure
personality types.
Including:
 The Eysenck
Inventory (EPI)
Personality
 The
Personality
Eysenck
Questionnaire (EPQ)
Personality Scales
The Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI)
 This scale measures extroversionintroversion and neuroticismstability.
 It is made out of a series of yes/no
questions, the answers can help
identify the person’s personality
 The two dimensions are not
related so the person can be
identified as a neurotic
introvert, a stable extrovert
or a stable introvert
The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire
(EPQ)
• This scale is also used to measure
introversion,
extroversion
and
neuroticism.
• A new dimension to personality was
added to this scale, Psychoticism.
• Most people score low on this
dimension. However those with a
high score are hostile, aggressive,
insensitive, cruel, and lacking in
feelings
WHAT IS ANTISOCIAL
PERSONALITY DISORDER?
ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY
DISORDER
(APD)
• It is possible to confuse anti-social behaviour
with antisocial personality disorder.
• Some may commit antisocial acts, or behave
in antisocial manner but may not be suffering
from APD
• Also suffering from APD doesn't mean that
you have poor social skills...is a bit more
complex that this...
Antisocial Personality disorder is a
Psychological condition in which
sufferers ignore the right of others and
do not behave in a socially acceptable
manner.
 People with APD do not abide by the law, they lie, steal and can
at times be aggressive.
 They find it hard to keep a job and meet their responsibilities as
parents & partners.
 They can find it hard to make and keep meaningful friendships,
but this doesn't mean that they aren’t witty and charming.
 It affects about 3% of males and about 1% of females and about
75% of the prison population suffers from this condition...cause
and effect?
CHARACTERISTICS OF
ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY
DISORDER
Pattern of behaviour
since age 15 (although only
adults 18 years+ can be
diagnosed)
The symptoms :
failure to conform to social norms
 repeatedly performing unlawful
acts that are grounds for arrest
deceitfulness,
impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
Cont…
irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by
repeated physical fights or assaults
reckless disregard for safety of self or others
consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by
repeated failure to sustain consistent work
behaviour or honour financial obligations
lack of remorse, as indicated by being
indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt,
mistreated, or stolen from another
Difference: Psychopath and Sociopath
• The DSM IV lists both under the
heading of Anti-social Personality
Disorder.
• Both will engage in behavior that
harms others with no feeling of
guilt or remorse.
• Sociopaths are seen as
disorganized and rash, making
impulse led, extreme responses to
normal situations. Psychopaths, by
contrast, are highly organized,
often secretly planning out and
fantasizing in great detail before
actually committing them, and
sometimes manipulating people
around them.
Was Hannibal
(Silence of the
Lambs) a
Psychopath or
Sociopath?
WHAT CAUSES
ANTI-SOCIAL
PERSONALITY
DISORDER?
Are Criminals Born or
Made?
BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS OF
APD
• Many people believe that there are
biological causes for APD.
• They are particularly interested in
brain abnormalities, specifically the
Amygdala (controls emotions) and
the prefrontal cortex (higher order
thinking) areas of the brain.
BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS
APD & AMYGDALA
• The Amygdala is responsible for learning from
negative consequences of our actions
• It responds to fear and sad facial expressions
• So we usually learn to avoid behaviours that upset
others
• However, it is believed that the Amygdala is
impaired in people with APD.
• As a result, they do not learn to avoid behaviour
that harms others- sadness and fear of others do
not affect them
BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS OF APD
THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX FUNCTIONS
• People with APD have been known
to have smaller prefrontal cortices
• Again, the prefrontal cortex is an
area involved with in moral and
social behaviour and guilt.
• So if smaller they may well feel less
remorse and guilt
KEY RESEARCH
RAINE ET AL (2000)
Aim: To support the theory that an abnormal prefrontal
cortex causes APD
Method: MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) was used to
test 21 men with APD and a control group of 34 healthy
males. PS all volunteers.
Results: The APD group had an 11% reduction in
prefrontal grey tissue compared with the control group
Conclusion: APD is caused by a reduced prefrontal cortex
EVALUATION OF
RAINE ET AL (2000)
 It adds support to the idea that there
are biological explanations for APD. A
brain abnormality in the prefrontal
cortex
 Only males- Andocentric bias
 Volunteer p’s. Not a representative
sample to generalise from…
- The complexity and all the amazing things the brain is
capable of rarely are the result of a single brain structure.
Instead the brain relies in a complex network of structures
intercommunicating with each other. So we can conclude
that the cause of APD is more complex that what these results
suggest!
SITUATIONAL EXPLANATIONS OF
APD
 In contrast to Biological explanations, it may be
the case that APD is caused by situational
factors.
 That is factors relating to the situation people
are brought up in (nurture)
 Which factors could we include under this
explanation?
– Socioeconomic factors- income and housing
– Quality of life at home
– Educational factors including low school
achievement and leaving school early
KEY RESEARCH
FARRINGTON (1995)
Aim: to investigate antisocial behaviour in males from
childhood to the age of 50
Method: longitudinal study of 411 males (8-50yrs old).
Deprived areas of inner London. Parents and teachers
were all interviewed and family criminal records
checked.
Results: 41% were convicted of at least one offence
between the age of 10 and 50 (factors for offending were
criminal behaviour in the family, low school achievement,
poverty and poor parenting)
Conclusion: situational factors lead to the development of
Antisocial Behaviour.
EVALUATION OF
FARRIGNTON (1995)
 Longitudinal study. Attrition?
 Not a controlled study, which factor of the
ones identified was the most important? Also,
biological factors were not investigated.
 All Male pp’s
 Interviews lend themselves for people to give
socially desirable answers- people basically lie
to make themselves look good
THE
END
OF
PERSONALITY
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