Psychology (Development of personality) GCSE AQA

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Personality and Temperament

Personality and temperament are the features which define who we are and how we act.

Personality is more specifically stable aspects of individuals which make them unique but allow them to be compared to others.

Temperament on the other hand is an inborn personality, characterised at first by genetics and then which can change throughout life.

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Thomas (1977)

A: To conduct a study into temperament

P: Thomas studied babies between the ages of 2 and 3 months old and watched as they grew up along with interviewing their parents and developed nine different categories of behaviour.

F/C: Using these categories Thomas defined 3 types of temperament

1. Easy temperament - Predominatly good mood and easygoing

2. Difficult temperament - The opposite of easy bad mood intense reactions.

3. Slow to warm up temperament - Mild reaction and neutral mood.

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Buss & Plomin (1984)

A: To see if temperament is evident in early childhood.

P: They developed a rating scale for temperament and a quiz for parents.

F/C: They identified four basic traits .

1. Emotionality

2. Activity

3. Sociability

4. Impulsivity

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Kagan & Snidman (1991)

A: To compare inhibited and less inhibited children

P: They compared the behaviour of shy and not shy children.

F: Around 10% of children tested were shy.

Infants with high levels of motor activity were shown to be more afraid of new events.

Nervousness was shown to persist.

Shyness seemed to be caused by an over active amygdala.

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Eysneck's type theory (1952)

Eysnecks type theory suggests that personality comes in 3 forms....

Extroversion - An extrovert is someone who prefers to socialise, or do things in crowds.

Introversion - An introvert is someone who prefers to be alone by themself.

Neuroticism - When your neurotic you constantly worry or experience fear about things.

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MMQ, MPI, EPQ and the EPI

These were ways of measuring a persons personality..

MMQ - Maudsley medical questionnaire only measured neuroticism

MPI - The Maudsley Personality inventory which measured both extroversion and neouroticism.

EPI, EPQ - Eysnecks questionnaires which added a lie scale which measured how often the PP tried to give socially desirable.

Here are some example questions

Do you like to party? - This would measure extroversion.

Do you feel anxious? - This would measure neuroticism.

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Anti-social Personality Disorder (APD)

APD is a mental disorder which consists of a pervasive pattern disregard for and violation of the rights of others. That begins as a child and continues into adulthood.

These indicate APD

1. Failure to conform to social norms i.e disobeying the law continously

2. Deceitfulness repeated lying

3. Irritabilty or aggressiveness

4.Lack of remorse

5. Failure to plan ahead

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Raine (2000)

A: To see if criminals minds where any different to law abiding citizens brains.

P: He collected a bunch of criminals all pleading not guilty for reasons of insanity and conducted a series of tests and measured activity in their brains.

F: Raine found that in criminals minds there was

- Less activity in the left hemisphere and more in the right

- Less activity in the prefrontal area of the brain

- Abnormal asymmetries in amygdala

C: Criminals who pleaded guilty did have significantly different levels of activity in the brain and these may have lead them to become violent.

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Farrington (1995)

A: To see is environmenatl factors could affect the development of APD.

P: He collected a sample of 411 south london males and found out facts about them, and then waited to see who developed APD.

F: He discovered a trend in results. Those with these factors are more likely to develop APD.

- Convicted parent

- Belonging to a large family

- Being of low intelligence

- Child rearing factors

C: Environmental factors can affect whether you develop APD.

The things which can cause APD are called Risk factors.

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Great cards which summarise the aims, procedure, findings and conclusions of research into the development of personality.

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