Pitt PSY 0160 - Temperament: Thomas and Chess (6 pages)

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Temperament: Thomas and Chess

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Temperament: Thomas and Chess


Lecture number:
Lecture Note
University of Pittsburgh
Psy 0160 - Psychology of Personality
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Personality Psychology Lecture 14 Outline of Last Lecture 5 Factor Model Cross cultural research NEO PI R test Costa and McCrea Growth and Development 6 factor model Evaluation Outline of Current Lecture Temperament Thomas and Chess New York Longitudinal study Easy temperament Difficult temperament Slow to warm up temperament Dimensions of Temperament Buss and Plomin Emotionality Reactivity Sociability Kagan Inhibited Uninhibited Biological Influences of Inhibition Amygdala Frontal Cortex Stathmin protein Evolutionary Psychology Proximate causes Ultimate causes Evolved Tendencies Contents of Human Nature Buss Need to belong Helping and altruism Universal Emotions Ekman Mate preferences Parenthood Jealousy Eagly and Wood These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor s lecture GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes not as a substitute Current Lecture Temperament Thomas and Chess Biologically based Individual differences Emotional and motivational tendencies temperament Evident in early life Longitudinal Study Design Look at same person group of people over time Expensive Problems people drop out New York Longitudinal Study Infant Temperament Types Make determinations of whether characteristics were evident early in life and if theyre enduring Easy temperament playful and adaptable adjust well to routine regular bed and feeding time established early in life o React well to new people Difficult temperament negative and not adaptive easily upset not easily soothed reactive to changes in environment Slow to warm up temperament low reactivity mild responses don t adjust as easy to change as easy babies do in the middle between easy and difficult Goodness of fit match between parent style and environment created by parents way parents approach parenting o Environment and childs temperament o Some temperament styles fit better with some parenting styles o If way parenting is done aligns well with babies temperament goodness of fit Link between 3 different temperaments and what their characteristics were later in life when did longitudinal studies Temperament style remained steady if you were an easy baby usually easy later in life in adjustment Ex Babies easy at age 1 still easy at age 5 etc Studied large number of children and looked at activity level mood attention span resistance in tasks o 100 children studied but based on parental reports asked questions to parents for them to report on childs reaction to certain situations o Problems parents BIASED Dimensions of Temperament Buss and Plomin Used parental ratings kind of problematic Replicated findings of Thomas and Chess were individual differences in temperament but were stable across time Emotionality ease of arousal in upsetting situations Reactivity tempo and vigor how quick of motor movements o Do they move around a lot or not Sociability responsiveness to other people making friends easily or shy Looked at identical twins same genetic material similar in temperament style Said research found biological evidence of temperament but didn t specify biological systems responsible Temperament stays stable over time Kagan Direct objective measure used to gather data observed children directly in lab settings mostly not relying on biased parental reports did physiological measurements like heart rate etc Videotaped kids in lab setting and exposed them to new and normal stimuli 2 clearly defined temperament profiles o Inhibited Highly reactivity children should possess inhibited reaction profile Taking longer time to relax in new situation have more fears behave cautiously and timidly When exposed to something new they hide 20 children highly reactive Highly reactive children back arching facial expressions crying become over aroused from stimuli o Uninhibited Low reactivity children should possess uninhibited reaction profile Enjoy things that make inhibited child upset Spontaneous in new situations smile easily not flustered easily 40 children low reactivity o 40 mixed reactivity o Suggested that theres continuity in children Biological influences on Inhibition Amygdala part of midbrain highly involved of processing of emotions like fear and anger o Genetically based biological processes that contribute to differences in reactivity and thus in temperament o Highly influential in temperament o Inhibited and uninhibited profiles differ in functioning of amygdala Increased activity of amygdala higher level of reactivity with people who are highly reactive sensitive to new stimuli Brain reactivity to new and familiar faces and looked at levels of reactivity between 2 groups of inhibited vs uninhibited profile people Reactivity same between both groups for familiar faces Frontal cortex influential in temperament responsible for inhibiting or not of behavior interpreting behavior judgment o Regulates emotional responses Stathmin protein influence of gene linked to functioning of amygdala o Biology and personality are related o Mice with different levels of stathmin have different levels of reactivity Consistency and Change Genetic predisposition o High or low in reactivity Influence of mothers behavior during infancy o Behavior of mother primary caregiver influences and modifies childs temperament Degree of mothers social support in early childhood o When baby placed in new situation then temperament takes over o Highly reactive and difficult children need social support that s calming and nonreactive to calm them support doesn t override their temperament though Inherited characteristics movie with monkeys Mother available for comfort but doesn t interfere when they explore OR some mothers that are overprotective type Some babies are clingy and others are independent and like to explore Monkey personality is in genes o Differences in first week of life some infants more irritable and others are calm Reactive behavior timid baby type that isn t happy exploring on his own Behavior is inherited and see if can change it Clingy reactive baby then raised by foster mother who is relaxed type clingy baby then becomes more exploratory o In extreme situations though he is reactive again Evolutionary Psychology Rooted in Darwins theory of natural selection In addition to physical aspects of functioning psychological mechanisms are result of evolution by selection Whatever psychological mechanisms we continue to see in people today have endured because theyre adaptive to survival and reproductive success o

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