Humanistic Perspective and Trait Perspective – Personality (PSY)

by Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    00:02 So another perspective is the humanistic perspective and this was sort of championed by Carl Rogers and this humanistic model focuses on healthy personality development and it says that the child will actually learn a lot from the parent but in a healthier way, so a personality trait or different things and it gets those from what it’s learning in terms of values from its caregivers.

    00:28 So let’s take a look at what we’re talking about when we mean a personality trait.

    00:32 So that is a generally stable predisposition towards a certain behavior or pattern of behavior.

    00:37 So what we’re saying is that you act in a certain way and you’re predisposed to that and you do this in a consistent stable manner.

    00:47 So it’s not a one-off where you act a certain way one day, then you act a different way another day.

    00:52 A personality trait is something that’s a little bit more consistent.

    00:56 Now, we have two types of traits that we’re going to talk about.

    00:58 The first is the surface trait and these are descriptive towards an individual behavior.

    01:02 So are you funny, are you thoughtful? And so they’re quite clear, and they’re called surface because they’re on the surface.

    01:09 They’re easy to describe and to identify.

    01:13 So unlike Freud, this theory focuses on the conscious instead of the unconsciousness.

    01:17 So the last two, both Erik Erikson’s and this humanistic perspective both are looking, are really embracing the fact that the consciousness is going to play a huge role as opposed to Freud focused saying almost everything is due to latent unconscious drives or triggers, okay? Now, think of the child, the child is at a house with its caregivers and the humanistic perspective is saying the child will actually soak up and learn a lot of the values and the feedback that its getting from this growth-promoting environment.

    01:51 And we think of your typical set of caregivers or parent is there and is trying to stimulate the child, toys, talking, reading, playing, you know, and positively reinforcing when the child does something correct and it’s that that allows to allow the child to establish and figure out its values and start to generate what we feel is that child’s self-concept.

    02:13 Now the self-concept is made up of the child’s conscious, not unconscious, but conscious, subjective perceptions and beliefs of themselves.

    02:21 So you build a self-concept.

    02:23 And part of that building of the self-concept t is based on the feedback that that child is getting from the parents.

    02:30 So people choose behaviors consistent with self-concepts, and if they experience contradictions this is known as incongruence.

    02:36 So if the child is trying to grow and learn and start to compile what it believes is its self-concept and they deviate from that, the parent might say, “Well, why did you do that? You know you don’t do that,” and the child will then now sort of readjust and continue the behaviors that are positively reinforcing and that align with its self-concept.

    02:59 If they do things that are inappropriate they might be considered as incongruence.

    03:06 Now, let’s take a little closer -- a little bit of a closer look at personality traits.

    03:12 So a personality trait is a generally stable predisposition towards a specific behavior, so we’ve mentioned that.

    03:16 Now, the two types of traits that I want to look at are, one, surface traits, and I said those are pretty obvious, right, so things like talkative, funny, outgoing, and source traits are the factors underlying personality and behavior, so those are a little bit less obvious.

    03:31 So what is sort of driving that trait? And on the side you can see this acronym of OCEAN and we have five different things -- openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

    03:47 And what those refer to are specific traits that we can link to an individual, an individual’s personality and there’s a range within each.

    03:59 So the way these came to be are through some researchers looking at what’s available and kind of putting them into different categories or bins.

    04:09 So let’s walk through these.

    04:11 A personality test can be employed to characterize an individual’s surface versus source trait profile.

    04:17 So you may have, and if you’re really interested you can just Google these, there are tons of them, but you can look up a personality test and the test will ask you to rate yourself in these certain situations.

    04:27 For example, you know, if you are in an elevator with somebody, how likely are you that you would say hello or would you spark a conversation? Would you look at them or would you look away from them? And you answer all these different questions and it’ll start to map out what is your personality, and then using that we can tease out well which ones are clear surface traits and which ones are more source traits.

    04:52 So Raymond Cattell actually identified 16 surface traits and identified these as primary factors, and then he had five global factors or source traits.

    05:04 Then McCrae & Costa used a similar method of factor analysis to identify what they call the Big Five Personality Traits and that’s what you see here on the right.

    05:13 So you should be familiar with those five and I’ve kind of put them in that way that’s easier to remember the acronym of OCEAN.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Humanistic Perspective and Trait Perspective – Personality (PSY) by Tarry Ahuja, PhD is from the course Individual Influences on Behavior. It contains the following chapters:

    • Humanistic Perspective
    • Trait Perspective

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Based on consciousness
    2. Concerned with unstable personality
    3. Not based on feedback
    4. Based on interpretation
    5. Based on childhood trauma and triggers
    1. Personality trait
    2. Psyche
    3. Id
    4. Ego
    5. Gestalt theory
    1. Source traits
    2. Base traits
    3. Hidden traits
    4. Conscious traits
    5. Inherited traits
    1. Big Five Personality Traits
    2. Five global traits
    3. Psychosocial theory
    4. Positive and negative reinforcement
    5. Behavioral theory

    Author of lecture Humanistic Perspective and Trait Perspective – Personality (PSY)

     Tarry Ahuja, PhD

    Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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