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Psychology 3101: Introduction to Personality

Study Guide for Exam 2, October 23rd, 2014, in class


ALL TOPICS listed here are fair game for exam questions

Topic 7, Lecture 8: Personality Structure


Personality is hierarchical, e.g. we tend to think about the Big Five, but
there are higher order and lower order traits.
The Big Two (Stability and Plasticity) know which of the Big Five
correspond to each, and what the general characteristics are of people
high/low in each
Stability
Emotional, social and motivational stability
The need to maintain a stable organization of functioning
in order to accomplish goals
Serotonin function
Plasticity
Exploration and engagement with novelty, cognitive and
behavioral flexibility
The need to incorporate novel information into ones
worldview
Dopamine function
Self monitoring
Basically, be able to fill in something like the following
Trait
Definition/behavio Aspects
Definition/Ass
rs/brain regions
ociated
behaviors
Openness
Cognitive
1.intellect
Smart,
flexibility and
intellectual,
complex
philosophical
information
2.openness Artistic,
processing both
creative,
abstract and
perceptive
perceptual;
curiosity,
imagination
Conscientio Effortful control of 1.industriou Hard-working,
usness
impulses and
sness
selfdistractions, so as
disciplined
to follow rules and 2.orderlines Neat, careful,
pursue long-term
s
punctual,

Metatr
ait? (S
or P)
P

Extraversio
n

Agreeablen
ess

goals
Approachoriented,
sensitivity to
reward(incentive
and
consummatory),
positive affect
Altruism, social
affiliation,
cooperation

1.enthusias
m
2.assertive
ness
1.compassi
on
2.politenes
s

Neuroticism

Emotional
sensitivity to
threat and
punishment

1.volatility
2.withdraw
al

thrifty
Sociable,
playful, funloving
Dominant,
outspoken,
active
Warm,
empathic,
kind
Considerate,
unaggressive,
compliant
Temperament
al, irritable,
easily upset
Anxious,
depressed,
vulnerable

Know which traits are associated with:


Conservatism/Liberalism
Political Ideology (Conservative vs. Liberal)
Conscientiousness (esp. Orderliness; high in conservatives,
low in liberals), Openness/Intellect (high in liberals/low in
conservatives), Agreeableness (Politeness & Compassion:
conservatives are higher in politeness than compassion, while
liberals are higher in compassion than politeness)
Alcohol consumption
High Extraversion, low Agreeableness
Happiness/Well Being
High Extraversion, low Neuroticism
Forgiveness
high Agreeableness, low Neuroticism
Volunteer work
high Extraversion, high Agreeableness
The five factor model represents a combination of lexical and statistical
approaches to studying personality taxonomies.

Topic 8, Lecture 9: Brain & Personality


Know the definition and roles/function (discussed in class) for the
following terms:
Brainstem
Limbic System
In the middle of the brain, largely responsible for the generation
of basic motivational an emotional states.
Hypothalamus
Basic motivation and behavior
Upper segment
The four Fs
Fighting
Fleeing
Feeding
Mating
Lower segment
Exploration and foraging
Locomotion
Orienting
Thalamus
Regulates arousal and serves other functions
Hippocampus
Can be seen most broadly as a comparator, comparing
expectations (predictions) to actual experience.
Amygdala
Defense system, vigilance and avoidance
Neuroticism
Nucleus accumbens
Incentive reward system (approach dopamine)
Extraversion
Frontal lobe
The ability to plan ahead and to anticipate consequences and for
aspects of emotional experience, such as empathy and moral
reasoning.
Know about the experiment Lesions used by Bard to isolate the
hypothalamus as an emotional center (the slide about the forebrain
removal)

The default is on.


Know which brain systems correspond to each of the Big Five (the slide
that says, Functions associated with the Big Five
Emotional, limbic
Neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness
Voluntary, cortical
Openness/Intellect, conscientiousness
Topic 8, Lecture 10 Biochemistry and Personality
Know which neurotransmitters are theoretically associated with
Stability and Plasticity
Stability
Serotonin
Plasticity
Dopamine
Understand the 2D:4D ratio
Know these terms and their roles:
Neurotransmitters
The substances on which communication between neurons is
based.
Hormones
Biological substances that affect the body in locations different
from where they were produced.
Epinephrine
Found throughout the body. Respond to stress. When it is
released into the blood stream, the heart speeds up, digestion stops
and muscles tense, producing the well-known adrenaline rush.
Dopamine
Turns motivation into action. It plays a key role in the
mechanisms that allow the brain to control body movements, and it
also is involved in systems that cause one to respond to reward and to
approach attractive objects and people
Serotonin
Inhibition of behavioral impulses.
What are the two basic motivational/emotional systems and how do
they relate to the Four Classes of Stimuli?
Reward (incentive & consummatory)

Neuroticism/Anxiety (threat/punishment)
Know the findings we discussed regarding traits and behaviors linked
to testosterone and oxytocin, respectively.
Testosterone
Classically linked to aggression (in males)
Probably more closely linked to displays of dominance and status
Sex differences (men>women, on average)
High testosterone men
Stable extraversion sociability, self-acceptance,
dominance
Restless energy
Concrete problem-solving in the present (as opposed to
abstraction)
More sexual experience, more sexual partners
High testosterone women (fewer studies)
Aggression
Butch lesbians > femme lesbians or heterosexual
women
Sex drive
Higher sociability, higher impulsivity, low inhibition, lack of
conformity
Oxytocin
Higher in females
Increases during sexual activity, orgasm, breastfeeding,
childbirth
Appears to promote affiliation and social bonding
Also related to social stress
Administering oxytocin makes people less fearful
Not just cuddle chemical
Does promote cooperative behavior in people who are high
intimacy
Reduces cooperation and trust in those who are sensitive
to rejection
Topic 9, Lecture 11 Behavioral Genetics
Phenotype
The actual form of that organism and its functioning and
behavior which results from the interaction of the genes with their
environment
Genotype
The specific pattern of DNA or genes, the code guides the
construction and functioning of the organism

phenotypic variation
differences in physical form and behavioral patterns
among/across individuals
genotypic variation
heritability
the proportion of phenotypic variation in a population that is due
to genetic variation
heritability coefficient
computed to reflect heritability
what A, C, and E stand for in the ACE model
A = additive genetic variance (heritability)
C = common or shared environment
E = non shared environment and error
know that A, C, and E sum to 100% (since E includes error variance)
in addition to knowing what heritability IS, know what it ISNT (slide 21)
There must be phenotypic variation that is due to genetic
variation
What are the definitions of the three types of gene-environment
correlations that can make it difficult to estimate heritability
Define: gene and environment work together to influence behavior
Active
Choices serve to select and create environments
e.g. watching a lot of violent TV, child with sensation seeking
temperament
Passive
Inheriting environment associated with genes
Smoking, IQ, violence
Evocative
Genes affecting behaviors that evoke certain reactions from the
environment
e.g. males vs. females, attractive vs. unattractive person
Know what Differential Susceptibility is

The differential susceptibility hypothesis states that some


genetic variants that confer risk in adverse environments are beneficial
in normal or nurturing environments
The heritability of most traits appears to increase when people leave
their family environments and go out into the world as adults.
Topic 9, Lecture 12: Evolutionary Psychology and Personality
What are the 4 conditions of natural selection?
Individuals must differ in some phenotype
The phenotype is heritable
Differential reproductive success
Variation in phenotype is linked to reproductive success
Understand the distinction between adaptations and by-products
Adaptations
Solutions to problems of survival and reproduction
Dont have to be complex (think about bacteria)
Are constrained by previous adaptations
By-products
Traits that exist because they are associated with adaptations
Impose no-cost to fitness but serve no function
Understand the Four levels of analysis for thinking
about/describing/studying a trait or behavioral phenomenon.
Proximate explanation
How does it work?
Immediate causes of behavior: culture, situations, biological
processes
Ultimate explanation
Why does it work that way?
Why is it there in the first place?
Distal causes of behavior -> recurrent selection pressures
Phylogenetic explanation
What is the evolutionary history?
Traits or behavior that exists because of common ancestry
Ontogenetic explanations
How does the trait develop?
Developmental causes within a lifetime of traits and behavior
What are the theoretical trade-offs for each of the big five traits?
Openness:
High
Benefit: creative problem solving, attracting mates

Cost: strange believes, bias toward belief illusory


correlations, affective disorders
Low
Benefit: simplified worldviews
Cost: less incorporation of novel information into
worldviews
Extraversion
High
Benefit: pursuit of resources, more sexual encounters
Cost: more exposure to danger
Low
Benefit: less susceptible to addiction, less exposure to
danger and disease
Cost: fewer opportunities, failure to learn from rewards
Neuroticism
High
Benefit: safety and avoidance of failure
Cost: psychopathology and missed opportunities
Low
Benefit: less likely to let small failures get you off track
Cost: less likely to learn from punishment
Conscientiousness
High
Benefit: long term goals
Cost: missed opportunities and compulsiveness
Low
Benefit: opportunism and short term gains
Cost: unable to plan for the future
Agreeableness
High
Benefit: smoother social interactions
Cost: too trusting of others; get taken advantage
Low
Benefit: high aggression could help acquire
resources/defend them
Cost: unable to maintain and/or form social alliances
Definitions:
EEA
Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness
The environment in which an adaptation evolved.
Sexual Selection
Intersexual competition
Members of one sex are choosier
intrasexual competition

Individuals within the same sex compete for mates


fluctuating selection (and how this applies to personality variation)
differential parental investment (& how it relates to male/female mate
preferences)

Topic 9, Lecture 12.5 Evolution, Sex Differences, and


Personality Development
Know the findings of Schaller & Murray, very broadly: Which personality
trait levels were predicted by history of infectious disease in a
population? In which direction (positively or negatively correlated)?
Diseases prevalence predicts worldwide variability in sociosexuality,
extraversion and openness to experience
What were the findings of Eagly and Wood regarding cross-cultural
differences in gender inequality and gender differences in mate
preferences?
Sociocultural influences
Good housekeeper and cook
Sex differences moderated by gender equality
What were the findings of the fake polygraph study that examined selfreported number of sexual partners in males vs. females?
Double standards
Might men exaggerate their number of partners or might women
underreport theirs
The bogus pipeline technique: 3 conditions
Polygraph
exposure threat
Anonymous, locked box
Polygraph erased sex differences in # of reported partners
Socio-cultural pressures seem to inflate perceived magnitude of
sex differences
What is Cohens d and how is it used in gender/sex differences
research?

For most traits, within-gender variance is much larger


compared to between-gender variance.

What is Temperament? What are the three main traits that


Temperament includes?
Temperament

Biologically based emotional and behavioral consistencies


Appear early in life and predict outcomes in domains such as
psychopathology and personality
In a sense, temperament represents the earliest indication of the
individuals personality
Three basic temperament factors
Effortful control (including attention, effortful control and
persistence)
Negative affectivity (emotionality, distress to limits, fear)
Surgency (activity, impulsivity)
How big were the gender/sex differences in children for each of the
three temperament scales? Which one showed the biggest sex
differences? The smallest?
Effortful control factor
Girls scored higher on inhibitory control and attention
These average gender differences are in the small-to-moderate
range and contrast to larger gender differences at the tail of the
distribution
Negative affectivity factor
No gender difference for negative affectivity, sadness or
emotionality
Surgency factor
Gender differences in activity ranged between d = 0.15 and 0.33.
depending on the measure.
Know the sex differences across the Big Five/Big Five Aspects across
cultures. What is the one trait that seems to replicate across cultures in
terms of showing a sex difference in magnitude?
Women higher than men in neuroticism but in US only
Men higher in openness in US, but in US only
Women higher in agreeableness/Tender-mindedness across more
cultures.
Know the sex differences in spatial cognition and intelligence; know the
example of the foraging study.
Verbal
Women outperform men in verbal skills
Spatial
Men outperform women on abstract spatial skills
Navigation via landmarks vs. cognitive maps
Mathematics (and also general intelligence)
Men outperform women but
Very small effects
Men also have more extreme low scorers
Inconsistent across cultures

Understand how gender differences in affiliation and dominance are


thought to be related to gender differences in sex hormones.
Testosterone male
Estrogen female
Oxytocin higher in females
Tend-and-befriend vs. Fight-or-flight
Women more nurturing under stress, but men less
Female physical aggression primarily for defense
Desire affiliation under stress: females do this more than males
Not very well studied in males compared to females
Still very minor/moderate differences!
Know the findings of the research study that looked at opiate
administration and social closeness (Depue & Morrone-Strupinsky,
2005)
Only women high in social closeness responded to affiliative scenes
with higher self-rated feelings of warmth and affection and with
increased pain tolerance
Effects were eliminated by giving the women naltrexone, an opiate
antagonist
Understand this basic requirement of conducting research on sex
differences and traits:
Evolution and Sex Differences
Not just what is there, but WHY is it there? Is it really evolution?
Proximate ontogeny**** vs. Ultimate phylogeny
****(in the original lecture slides, ontogeny autocorrected to
ontology ontogeny is the correct term)
Personality Development (Second half of lecture 12.5)
Terms:
mean level stability
when the mean level of a trait doesnt really change much over
time in a population
rank order stability
even though the mean level of a trait changes in a population,
peoples rank order remains the same

Social Investment Model


Personality change in response to the contingencies in their new
environments
Women who worked and were more successful in their work
became more agentic and more norm-adhering
Maturity Principle
Emerging adults show increases in conscientiousness and
agreeableness and decreases in neuroticism
which traits increase/decrease over the course of development
Increase: conscientiousness, agreeableness
Decrease: neuroticism
During which times in development does personality appear to change
the most? The least?
Know that people who are lower in the higher order factor, Stability
tend to have more changeable personalities