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19 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back


differences among people, consistent behavior patterns and intrapersonal processes originating within the individual

3 fundamental topics in evaluating personality theories

description, motivation, development


what people are like: characteristics and how they're organized


why they act the way they do: cause, reasons behind behaviors


how they become that way: genetics, early experiences, etc.


a general statement about the relationship between constructs or events; general principles that attempt to explain how several events or facts are related

-organizes facts

-attempts to explain and predict behavior

-needs to be testable

importance and function of theories

each approach to understanding personality begins with a theory.

-usually comes from writings of several important psychologists who provide their own descriptions of consistent patterns of behavior and intrapersonal processes

theory evaluation

explain the mechanisms that underlie human personality and how these mechanisms are responsible for creating behaviors unique to a given individual

-genetic vs. environmental influences

-conscious vs. unconscious determinants of behavior

-free will vs. determinism

genetic vs. environmental influences

to what extent are our personalities the result of inherited predispositions and to what extent are they shaped by the environment in which we grow up?

conscious vs. unconscious determinants of behvaior

to what extent are people aware of the causes of their behavior?

free will vs. determinism

to what extent do we decide our own fate, and to what extent are our behaviors determined by forces outside our control?

6 major personality perspectives





-behavioral/social learning


describe the relationship between theory, research, assessment and application

psychologists derive theories, and then apply the theories to measure the personality constructs they study and use. Then , they assess how well they have applied their theories to kinds of settings, such as education, psychotherapy and behavior. Research has then been conducted in order to find more information about certain personality topics.


argue that people's unconscious minds are largely responsible for important differences in their behavior styles


identified by where a person might lie along a continuum of various personality characteristics


identified by inherited predispositions and physiological processes to explain individual differences in personality


identify personal responsibility and feelings of self-acceptance as the key causes of differences in personality

behavorial/social learning

explain consistent behavior patterns as the result of conditioning and expectations


look at differences in the way people process information to explain differences in behavior