Personality Type Theory and Health

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What is the main assumption underlying type theory?
There are different types of people, so they cannot be compared.
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What is the aim of type theory?
To classify people into distinct, discontinuous categories.
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What did Jung suggest are the main two personality types?
Introverts and extroverts.
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How did Jung take into account the fact that people are never wholly introverted/ extroverted?
By suggesting that introversion/ extroversion is a dominant function. People belong to one of these two functions, but differences can be explained by two auxiliary functions.
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What are auxiliary functions?
Ways of relating to the world within the dominant function. They are how we perceive information (sensing vs intuitive) and how we make decisions (thinking vs feeling).
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How are auxiliary functions like handedness?
We can perceive and make decisions using both functions, but we have a preference for one over the other. They are not fixed or mutually exclusive.
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What did Jung suggest that these preferences for certain auxiliary functions are influenced by?
They are inborn predispositions, but are also shaped by culture; family; education; socioeconomic factors.
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What fourth auxiliary function did Briggs & Myers identify?
How we deal with the world on a day to day basis (judging or perceiving).
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What are some criticisms for the idea that there are 16 personality types?
Argued that you can’t capture all of human variability into 16 categories; questionable reliability and validity; existence of the 16 categories has been questioned, poor test-retest data.
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How did Friedman & Rosenman (1974) show a link between personality and heart disease?
They identified what they called a “type A” personality, which included coronary-prone behaviour patterns. They contrasted this with “type B,” non-coronary prone behaviours.
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What are some characteristics of type A individuals?
Lead fast paced lives; work longer hours/ weeks; intolerant of others; high controlling.
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What are some characteristics of type B individuals?
Relaxed; might work hard but not compulsively driven; less interested in competition, power or achievement.
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What has research shown about type A individuals?
Increased risk of heart disease; sacrifice relationships for achievement (Blaney, Brown & Blaney, 1986); have more driving accidents (Nabi et al., 2005).
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What has research shown about the type A personality and CHD?
Some studies using structured interviews show that personality is a predictor of CHD (Rosenman et al., 1964), others found no association (Johnston et al., 1987).
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What has more recent research focused on when investigating the link between type A and CHD?
It has tried to identify the toxic component of type A personality. A meta-analysis by Childa & Steptoe (2009) found hostility (the toxic component) was associated with a 20% increased risk of CHD, and poorer outcomes for those with existing CHD.
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What did Williams et al. (2000) find in their study of hostility and CHD?
Longitudinal study with a large sample. Found that those with high scores of anger were twice as likely to suffer from CHD, and three times as likely to be hospitalised/ die from CHD.
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Why is it suspected that anger/ hostility are related to CHD?
Possible suggestions include unhealthy lifestyle; poor social support; weaker immune system; enhanced cardiovascular reactivity to stress; engaging in more high risk health behaviours (e.g. smoking) (Smith, 1992).
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What is the mechanical theory of the link between greater cardiovascular reactivity and CHD?
The sympathetic nervous system is chronically hyper-reactive in people who are typically type A.
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What is the hormone based theory of the link between greater cardiovascular reactivity and CHD?
Those who are typically type A secrete excessive amount of epinephrine and norepinephrine. This leads to deficits the constriction and dilation of blood vessels, which can cause heart problems.
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What are the characteristics of type D personality (Denollet, 2005)?
Depression; low levels of social support; high hostility/ anger.
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How can a type D personality predispose someone to CHD?
Two personality traits, negative affectivity and social inhibition, may lead to CHD.
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What behavioural mechanism did Schiffer et al. (2007) find that could explain the link between type D and CHD?
Type D patients with CHD are less likely to report cardiac symptoms. Their symptoms were actually greater than other patients, but their reluctance was a consequence of increased social inhibition.
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What is an issue with the idea of type D personality?
We don't know if it's actually a stable personality type, or if it's a response to the illness.
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What are some strengths of personality type theory?
They can usefully summarize many traits under a single label.
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What are some weaknesses of personality type theory?
It overlooks the multi-dimensional and continuous nature of personality traits; ignores the possibility of substantial variation between people of the same "type."
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Card 2

Front

What is the aim of type theory?

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To classify people into distinct, discontinuous categories.

Card 3

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What did Jung suggest are the main two personality types?

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Card 4

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How did Jung take into account the fact that people are never wholly introverted/ extroverted?

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Card 5

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What are auxiliary functions?

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