Development of personality

Temperament - Thomas, Chess and Birch (1977)

Aim: Discover whether ways of responding to the environment remain stable throughout life. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Studies 133 children from infancy to early adulthood.                                                                 -Childrens behaviour was observed and their parents were interviewed.                                          -Parents were asked about the childs routine and its reactions to change. 

Results:                                                                                                                                  -Children fell into 3 different types: Easy, difficult or slow to warm up.                                          -Easy = happy, flexible and regular.                                                                                          -Difficult = demanding, inflexible and cried a lot.                                                                          -Slow to warm up = respond well to change or new experiences to begin with but once they had adapted thehy were usually happy. 

Conclusion: Ways of responding to the environment stayed with the children as they developed. Thomas, Chess and Birch therefore concluded that temperament is innate. 

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Evaluation for the study Thomas, Chess and Birch

-Children were from middle-class families living in New York. Therefore, the results cannot be generalised to other social classes.

-Parents may have been biased as they may have wanted to present there children in the best possible way.

-Participants could drop out partway through, which could affect the results. 

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Temperament - Buss and Plomin (1984)

Aim: Test the idea that temperament is innate. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Studied 228 pairs of monozygotic twins and 172 pairs of dizygotic twins.                                     -Rated the temperament of the twins when they were 5.                                                              Looked at 3 dimensions of behaviour:                                                                                        -Emotionality (how strong the childs emotional response was)                                                      -Activity (how energetic the child was)                                                                                       -Sociability (how much the child wanted to be with other people)                                                  

Then they compared the scores for each pair of twins.           

Results: Closer correlation between the scores of the monozygotic twins than between the scores of the dizygotic twins.  

Conclusion: Temperament has a genetic basis.                                                                   

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Evaluation for the study Buss and Plomin

-Supports the view that temperament is innate. 

-Research carried out on twins cannot be generalised to the whole population because not everyone is a twin. 

-Monozygotic twins are treated in very similar ways. The correlation between their scores could therefore be explained by their environment rather than by their genes. 

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Kagen and Snidman (1991)

Aim: Temperament is due to biological differences. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Studies reactions of 4 month - old babies to new situations.                                                       -First minute, baby was placed in a seat with the caregiver sitting nearby.                                      -Nextt 3 minutes the caregiver moved out of the baby's view while the baby was shown different toys by the researcher. 

Results:                                                                                                                                  -20% of babies showed distress by crying,vigorous movement of the arms and legs and arching of the back = high reactive.                                                                                                           -40% of babies showed little movement or emotion = low reactive.                                                -The remaining infants fell somewhere between the two. 

Conclusion: These 2 temperaments are due to inherited differences in the way the brain responds. 

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Evaluation for the study Kagen and Snidman

-Used a large sample which makes it easier to generalise their results to the whole population.  

-Research took place in a experimental setting. Therefore,they may have behaved differently from usual because they were in a strange place.

-Behaviour was observed and recorded. The researchers may have missed some important behaviours or recorded them inaccurately which would affect the results.       

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Eysenck (1947)

Aim: Personality of 700 servicemen. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Each Soldier completed a questionnaire.                                                                                  -Eysenck analysed results using a statistical technique known as factor analysis. 

Results: Indentified 2 dimensions of personality: extroversion and inteoversion and neuroticism - stability. 

Conclusion: Everyone can be placed along these two dimensions of personality. Most people lie in the middle of the scale. 

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Evaluation for the study Eysenck

-Only described a limited number of personality types. 

-Used questionnaires to test personality and the answers people gave could have been based on their mood at that time. 

-Believed personality is genetic. This does not consider the idea that personality can change as a result of experience. 

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APD - Raine et al (2000)

Aim: Support the theory that abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex cause APD. 

Method: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to study 21 men with APD and a control group of 34 healthy men. - They were all volunteers. 

Results: APD group had an 11% reduction in prefrontal grey matter compared with the control group. 

Conclusion: APD is caused by a reduction in the brains grey matter. 

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Evaluation for the study Raine et al

-Supports the biological explanation that APD is caused by an abnormality in the brain. 

-Only studied males so their findings may not relate to women with APD. 

-His participants were volunteers, so may not have been representive of all people with APD. 

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Situational causes of APD - Farrington (1995)

Aim: Development of offending and anitsocial behaviours in males studied from childhood to the age of 50. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Carried out a longitudinal study of development of anitsocial and offending behaviour in 411 males (all lived in a deprived,inner-city area of London).                                                                        -First studied at 8 and were followed up until the age of 50.                                                        -Their parents and teachers were also interviewed.                                                                     -Seaches were carried out at the Criminal Records Office to discover if they, or members of their family, had been convicted of a crime.

Results:                                                                                                                                  -41% of males were convicted of at least one offence between the ages of 10 - 50.                       -Most important risk factors for offending were criminal behaviour in the family, low school achievement, poverty and poor parenting. 

Conclusion: Situational factors lead to the development of anitsocial behaviour. 

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Evaluation for the study Farrington

-The study was not a controlled experiement so factors that were not considered could have affected the offending behaviour of the males studied eg: biological factors were not investigated. 

-Researchers in this study interviewed males, parents and teachers. When people are taking part in surveys they can give socially desirable answers. 

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Elander et al (2000a)

Aim: Investigate the childhood risk factors that can be used to predict anitsocial behaviour in adulthood. 

Method:                                                                                                                                  -Investigated 225 twins who were diagnosed with childhood disorders.                                          -Interviewed them 10-25 years later. 

Results: Found that childhood hyperactivity, conduct disorders, low IQ and reading problems were strong predictors of APD and criminality in adult life. 

Conclusion: Disruptive behaviour in childhood can be used to predict APD in adulthood. 

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Evaluation for the study Elander et al

-They looked at twins. Therefore, genetics, rather than situational factors, may have affected their behaviours. 

-Participants were asked to describe experiences from their childhood, which they may have remembered wrongly. 

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