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Personality ‘Sum total of an individuals characteristics that makes a human unique’ - Hollander


Trait Perspective •

Suggests that personality is made up of different secondary traits inherited from parental genes.

All behaviour is innate and genetically programmed.

Traits are stable, enduring and consistent in all situations.

Drawbacks • In reality behaviour is not always predictable • Does not take into account people adapting their behaviour in response to a particular situation. • Does not take into account the influence of environment and other people on shaping of personality. Two specific trait perspective theories are: Personality types (Eyesenck & Cattell) Narrow band theory Type A & Type B (Girdano)


Personality Types Eyesenck Identified 4 primary personality traits: Extrovert: outgoing, sociable, aroused more slowly, low sensitivity of the RAS. Introvert: Shy and reserved, prefer isolation, aroused more quickly, high sensitivity of the RAS. Neurotic: Extreme and unpredictable emotions, mood swings, high degrees of stress, recovery from stress is slow. Stable: predictable emotions in most situations, moods are predictable, less prone to stress, recovery from stress is rapid.

Later added a third scale to the model – Psychoticism (a measure of how tough minded people are). He used this third scale in a test to determine an individuals personality profile. Test = Eyesenck’s Personality Questionnaire (EPQ).

Proposed 4 personality types: Stable extrovert, Neurotic extrovert, Stable introvert, Neurotic introvert.


Cattell • •

Proposed it was necessary to consider more traits before a complete picture of personality could be revealed. Examined 16 personality factors in a questionnaire called Cattell’s 16PF test.

Type A

Narrow band theory Girdano Proposed 2 distinct personality types: Type A & Type B

Type B

Highly competitive

Non -competitive

Works fast

Works more slowly

Strong desire Lacks desire to succeed to succeed Likes control

Dislikes control

Prone to stress

Less prone to stress


Social Learning Perspective Proposes that all behaviour is learned through environmental experiences and influence of other people, it is not genetically programmed. Proposed by Bandura. Believed 2 process were involved in Social Learning: • Behaviour of others being imitated through observation • New behaviour being acquired after observation but only when endorsed through social reinforcement. Often termed Vicarious learning. Vicarious = learning by watching the performance of another person. Conditions that support social learning: • Observed behaviour is demonstrated by role model • Role model is powerful and authoritative • Role model is same gender as observer • Observer wants to adopt norms and values of a new culture e.g. joining a new team. Drawbacks • Does not take into account genetically inherited factors


Interactionist Approach Proposed by Hollander, said that 3 personality levels interacted to form personality. Combines trait and social learning perspectives. Proposes that personality is modified and behaviour is formed when genetically inherited traits are triggered by the environment. 1) Psychological Core The true-self. Known to be stable and relatively constant over time 2) Typical responses Changeable and learned behaviours. These are modified in response to environmental situation. 3) Role-related behaviour Dynamic and changeable. Most external personality level. These adjust in order to fulfil many different roles in one day. It is influenced by the environmental situation. Typical responses emerge with changing environmental situations therefore behaviour is unpredictable. Interactionist approach explains why personalities of sports performers can change in different situations.


Personality Profiling Personality factors are associated with: • •

Participation in general Choice of sport and physical exercise.

Personality profiling involves identifying traits of an individual and recommending which sports would be most suited to their personality. It cannot be used to predict those who will/won’t participate/excel in sport, but identifying suitable sports for an individual can increase chances of lifelong participation.

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