Introduction to Personality and Individuals Differences

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What is personality?
It refers to our attempts to capture an individual's essence, which is consistent across situations and over time. It varies between people but remains the same internally.
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What are some assumptions of the individual differences approach?
People vary on a range of psychological attributes, variation is measurable, people can be classified in terms of traits and intelligence, and variation can be useful in explaining/ predicting behaviour.
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What was the initial assumption of phrenology by Gall?
Lumps and bumps on the skull can reveal character traits and mental abilities.
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How has phrenology developed?
It is now known that various parts of the brain have particular functions.
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What is the psychoanalytic approach to personality?
It uses theories by Freud/ neo-Freudians to investigate the unconscious mind and internal conflicts.
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What is the trait approach to personality?
It looks at how people differ on a continuum of traits and behaviours.
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What is the biological/ evoluntionary approach to personality?
It investigates the physiological, anatomical and evolutionary factors that underlie everything.
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What is the phenomenological/ humanistic approach to personality?
It argues that we have the freedom to choose, and looks into the conscious experiences of the world.
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What is the learning approach to personality?
It shows how behaviour can be learnt/ taught. It incorporates behaviourism and SLT
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What is the cognitive approach to personality?
It looks into the role of perception and memory to highlight differences in how we process information.
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What four elements are used when evaluating philosophical theories of personality?
Coherence, is it clear/ logical/ consistent; relevance, is it compatible with today's issues; comprehensiveness, does it cover a range of phenomena; compellingness, is it convincing.
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What are the differences between individualistic and collectivist cultures?
I-cultures emphasize individual needs and accomplishments, and value autonomy, youth and equality. C-cultures emphasise cooperation rather than competition, and value traditions and hierarchies.
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Which side of the person-situation debate is assumed to be more important in predicting behaviour?
The person side, because personality theories suggest that behaviour is consistent over time.
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What is the Forer/ Barnum effect?
People tend to accept vague/ general personality descriptions as applying uniquely to them. They may also accept false statements about themselves if they are flattering.
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Why are psychometric tests important?
The impact of testing highlights the need for professional standards when developing, administering and interpreting psychometric instruments.
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What are some assumptions of the individual differences approach?

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People vary on a range of psychological attributes, variation is measurable, people can be classified in terms of traits and intelligence, and variation can be useful in explaining/ predicting behaviour.

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What was the initial assumption of phrenology by Gall?

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Card 4

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How has phrenology developed?

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Card 5

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What is the psychoanalytic approach to personality?

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