SUSS PSY 207 STUDY UNIT 5 (Chapter 11: Self and Personality (The Adult…
SUSS PSY 207 STUDY UNIT 5
CHAPTER 10.1 AND 10.2: Language and Education
The System of
Theories: Nature and
Nature: Innate Predispositions
(2000) proposes that humans have a unique genetic capacity to learn language. He believes that:
humans are equipped with knowledge of a
; common rules and properties for learning any of the world’s languages
Most languages share
(Subject, object, verb/ Subject, verb, object).
Exposure to language activates the
language acquisition device (LAD)
which analyses the language, applies the universal rules, and tailors the
system to the specifics of the language spoken in the child’s environment
Chomsky's language model
Feeds into the
(Linguistic processing skills Existing knowledge)
generates a theory
of language (Phonology/ Semantics/ Morphology/ Syntax)
Child's grammatical competence
(Comprehension of others’ speech Speech production)
Evidence supporting this view
The “learnability factor” – children acquire an incredibly complex communication system rapidly and without formal instruction.
Children progress through the same sequence of language
development at similar ages and make the same kinds of errors Suggests language development is guided by a species-wide maturational plan.
Identical twins score more similarly than fraternal twins on measures of verbal skills.
Certain speech, language, and reading disorders appear to run in families
Nurture: Environment and Learning
According to learning theory, Children’s language development is influenced by their environment:
More likely to start using new words if they are reinforced for usage
Learn the language their parents speak, including accent
Learn the words they hear spoken by others, even if these words are not directed at them (learn by “eavesdropping”)
Children with caregivers who encourage conversation are more advanced in early language development
However imitation and reinforcement cannot account for children learning the
E.g. Children make overregularisation errors which they would not have
heard adults make
Nature and Nurture Working Together
believe that both learning theorists (nurture) and nativists (nature) are correct:
Children’s biologically based competencies and their language environment interact to shape the course of language development.
Language acquisition depends on other developments (perceptual, cognitive,
motor, social, emotional) that take place concurrently
- As adults converse with young children, they create a supportive learning environment. Such interactions often operate within the child's
zone of proximal development.
- One of the techniques when toddlers use a familiar word or phrase (“that plane”), mothers often respond with an expansion—
of what the toddler stated
speech adults use short, simple sentences spoken slowly in a high-pitched voice with repetition and exaggerated emphasis on key words
7.5 months of age
, they demonstrate word
ability; they can detect a target word in a stream of words.
The cat ate a fish” is a string of 5 words", not one long word
, infants realise the
sounds they produce have an effect
on their caregivers’ behaviour
Very young infants
can distinguish between phonemes.
: basic units of sound that can change the meaning of a word (Man – Can)
around 6-8 weeks of age
already show a
preference for speech
over non-speech sounds; also for their native language over others.
infants produce sounds which
exercise vocal chords
—cries, burps, grunts, and sneezes
around 3-4 months of age
Repeating consonant-vowel combinations such as “bababa”
babbling includes intonation
pattern of the
babies hear and is restricted to the phonemes of that language
~50 words but do not produce any of them yet.
(or reception) is
ahead of production
This gap between comprehension and production persists and may reflect the relative importance of understanding speech over producing speech
such as how important an object seems to be from their perspective (i.e. If their attention is captured by the ball in front of them, they may assume that mom’s verbalizations refer to this ball)
12 months of age
, though, their reliance on personal relevance is decreasing and infants begin to use
social and linguistic cues
to learn words:
, or social eye gaze—two people looking at the same thing.
Infants listen to parents
and pointing at objects, directing their gaze, and otherwise
connection between words and their referents
Children use the process of
when they use the syntax of a sentence—that is, where a word is placed in a sentence—to help determine the meaning of the word
~1 year of age
The first meaningful word is generally spoken at one year more. First words have been called
because a single word often conveys an entire sentence’s worth of meaning.
First words are used mainly to talk about familiar objects and actions;
that represent objects and people the child interacts with
Objects that the child can
(ball) or that can
on its own
Words used to facilitate
~18 months of age
; the infant experience
.At this time the child has mastered about 30-50 words.
Vocabulary spurt occurs as a result of the realisation that everything has a name and that by learning the names of things, they can share what they are thinking about with others and vice versa.
The pace of word learning
Rapid acquisition of words due to
, which allows children to use
to help them make an educated guess about
Rapid vocabulary acquisition leads to the child making mistakes:
: word used too widely; every man is “daddy.
: only family dog is “doggie”
of age the child experience
- combinations of two or more words comprising the critical content words while the rest are omitted
Between the ages of
2 and 5 years
, there is a dramatic increase in the number and types of sentences produced
With rapid vocabulary acquisition, errors known as
overapplying the rules
to cases in which the proper form is irregular (using past tense or plural nouns indiscriminately)
Rapid acquisition can be attributed to Mastery motivation, a
striving for mastery or competence
, appears to be inborn and universal and will display itself in the behavior of all typical infants without prompting from parents.
An infant’s level of mastery motivation affects her later achievement behavior.
Chapter 11: Self and Personality
Self and Personality
is often defined as an organized combination of:
and behaviors unique to each individual.
All of which are broadly divided into the following three aspects:
Genetic makeup, and cultural/situational influences help shape all three aspects of personality.
One way we describe personalities is in terms of relatively
Dispositional traits are
broad, relatively stable dimensions of personality
along which people differ (i.e. Introversion-extraversion)
A third aspect of personality is narrative identities.
and integrative “
” that we construct to give ourselves an identity and meaning to our lives
Another aspect of personality is characteristic adaptations.
Characteristic adaptations are
situation-specific, changeable ways
in which people
adapt to their roles
i.e. include motives, goals, plans, schemas, self-conceptions, developmental issues and concerns, and coping mechanisms
Overall sense of who we are
, where we are heading and how we fit into society.
are pulled together to form an identity
your perceptions, positive or negative, of your unique attributes and traits as a person.
May or may not be accurate.
Self-concept is about “what I am,”
children’s self-concept is concrete and
Describe self in terms of
possessions and preferences.
Lesser focus on psychological and inner traits
At age 8 years, children begin to form a
; sees self as part of social units – e.g. belonging to a particular school or club
Also begin to describe self in terms of personality traits; e.g. as being funny or smart
; able to use information about how they compare with others to evaluate self
show evidence of their
By 2 years of age,
are used (I, me, mine, you)
Describe themselves in terms of age and gender
A closely related aspect of self-perception is self-esteem.
Self-esteem is an
overall evaluation of our worth
as a person based on the self-concept.
Concerns “how good I am”
school, children differentiate among
conduct (staying out of trouble)
competence (being good at sports)
acceptance (being popular or feeling liked)
appearance (feeling good-looking)
competence (feeling smart or doing well in school)
children distinguish only two broad aspects of self-esteem
(e.g. social acceptance)
(both physical and cognitive)
As children get older, they also integrate their self-perceptions (Self-Concept) in these distinct domains to form an overall sense of self-worth (Identity).
accuracy of their self-evaluations increases
At the same time, children are forming an ever grander sense of what they “should” be like—an
that leads to a widening
gap between the real self and the ideal self,
contribute to a
decrease in average self-esteem
from early to middle childhood
Influences on Self-Esteem
some children display more competence than others; they experience more success and come out
better in social comparisons
as a result
Social feedback from parents, teachers, and peers can make a big difference in their
high self-esteem tend to be securely attached
to parents who are warm and who frequently communicate approval and acceptance to their children
Genetic make up
self-esteem is a
characteristic, influenced by genes as well as by unique or nonshared experiences
Theories of Personality
In general, psychoanalytic theory postulates that people generally:
Progress through the same stages of personality development
Undergo similar personality changes at similar ages.
Freud believed that personality was formed during the first 5 years of life.
Unfavourable early experiences (e.g. Fixation, psychic trauma) would leave a permanent mark and appear in adult personality traits
In trait theory, personality is seen as
a set of dimensions
along which people can differ
Personality traits are
. personality can be described in terms of a fivefactor model; the Big Five Model
The big five trait model
This mdoel suggests that personality
are genetically influenced
and emerge early in life and that personality traits are
salient across all culture
(Albeit differing in intensity)
The five dimensions of personality traits accoridng to the big five model:
Openness to experience
Social learning theory
is seen as a set of behavioural tendencies
shaped by interactions
with others in specific social situations.
Consistency in personality over time is likely if social environment remains the same
Individuals will behave differently in different social environments which change as we grow older, take on new roles, etc. (Goffman’s theory of identity)
Personality are not enduring but are
dynamic based on environment.
The Infant and the child
The emerging self
Infants may be
born without a sense of self
, but they
an implicit, if not conscious, sense of self.
It is based in their perceptions of their bodies and actions and grows out of their interactions with caregivers
2 - 3 months
The capacity to differentiate self from world becomes more apparent by around 2 or 3 months of age, when infants display a
sense of agency
—a sense that they can cause things to happen in the world. ( i.e. Throw a soft toy)
Over the first 6 months of life, then, infants discover properties of their:
distinguish between themselves and the rest of the world
discover that they can act upon other people and objects.
that others are
with different perspectives but which can be shared
; for example, pointing to an object and then looking at others to direct attention towards object
Recognise self visually as a distinct individual. Infants display
– show ability to recognise oneself in a mirror or photograph
(i.e. When a mark is made on the infant’s face and then the infant is placed in front of a mirror, the infant can be said to have achieved self-recognition when he notices the mark on his face and reaches for it on his own face instead of the mirror.)
Following are contributing factors to self awareness infancy:
cultural context (Individualistic vs collectivist)
As babies get to know themselves better, they also form a
; that is, they classify themselves into s
ocial categories based on age, gender, and other visible characteristics
, figuring out what is “like me” (in group) and what is “not like me” (Out group)
Study of infant personality has centred on temperament—early,
genetically based but also environmentally influenced tendencies
to respond in predictable ways to events
serve as the
building blocks of personality
Three ways to view temperament
2. Behavioural Inhibition
tendency to be extremely shy
, restrained and distressed in response to unfamiliar people and situations
Biologically based; children with inhibited temperament show increased arousal (faster pulse) in situations which do not cause the same response in other children •
Inhibited temperament is a
risk factor for later anxiety disorders
genetic basis for temperament
Genes influence the development of the nervous system and how it responds to various stimuli
3. Surgency, Negative Affect and Effortful Control
Rothbart defined infant temperament
in terms of dimensions
rather than types.
They have also considered not only infants’ reactivity to experiences, but also their capacity for self-regulation.
at least three major dimensions of temperament
, each made up of more specific dimensions.
Tendency to be sad, fearful, easily frustrated.
Present at infancy
Ability to sustain attention, control own
behaviour and regulate own emotions.
Develops by early childhood
The tendency to actively approach novel experiences in a positive way.
Present at infancy.
1. Easy, Difficult, and Slow-to-Warm-Up Temperaments
Based on the overall patterning of infant temperamental qualities, most infants could be placed into one of three categories
Active, irritable and irregular in habits
Often react very negatively to changes in routine, slow to accept new experiences
Somewhat inactive and moody, moderately regular in habits
Slow to adapt to new experiences, but eventually adjust to changes
Contented and happy, regular feeding and sleeping habits
Open and adaptable to new experiences
Goodness of fit
Goodness of fit between child and environment is the
to which the child’s
temperament is compatible
with the demands and expectations of the
to which she must adapt.
genes and environment interact
to influence the development of temperament.
Infants’ temperaments and their parents’ parenting behaviors
reciprocally influence one another
and interact over time to steer the direction of later personality development
Identity development in adolescent
Less physical and more psychological
Less concrete and more abstract.
More self-aware and reflective.
Percevied accpetance of social-self into social groups, diversies (acceptance by the larger peer group,
acceptance by close friends, etc)
More integrated and coherent;
Adolescents organise their self-perceptions into a holistic coherent presentation, instead of listing traits
from childhood to early adolescence.
Adolescent are more
knowledgeable and realistic
about their strengths and weaknesses.
unsure of themselves
when moving between schools
Unhappy with their changing bodies during
prompted by the social context can affect self-esteem.
Big-fish – little-pond effect:
academic self-esteem affected by average academic achievement level of classmates.
Forging an Identity
According to Erikson’s
psychosocial stages theory
, adolescents experience the challenge of
identity versus role confusion
According to Erikson our society supports youths by allowing them a
—a time during the high school/college years when they are relatively free of responsibilities and can experiment with different possibilities to find themselves.
Erikson believed that an adolescent “
” can be explained by:
- Changing bodies that require a revised self-concept and adjustment to being sexual beings
- Cognitive growth that allows thinking about various possibilities, including possible future selves
– Socio/cultural demands to act according to age norms
Marcia's 4 statuses of identity
Marcia expanded on Erikson’s theory and developed a procedure to assess adolescent
classified into one of four identity statuses
(statuses, not stages) based on their progress toward an identity in each of several domains (for example, occupational, religious, and political–ideological).
Key questions are whether the individual has experienced a
and whether the individual has achieved a
(Commitment with no crisis)
Adolescents accept identities suggested to them by their parents or others
Without thinking through on their own about what suits them
(Commitment and Crisis)
The individual has resolved his/her identity crisis and made commitments to particular goals, beliefs, and values
Identity Diffusion Status
(No commitment and No crisis)
Adolescents either have not thought about who they are yet
Or has failed to chart directions in life.
(No commitment, Crisis)
The individual is experiencing an identity crisis, actively raising questions, and have yet to make any commitments
Identity formation not only takes a long time but occurs at different rates in different domains of identity.
Quality of relationship with parents
Youths who get stuck in the
Identity diffusion status
of identity formation are sometimes neglected or rejected by their parents and
Adolescents in the
extremely close to parents
who are loving but
Adolescents in the
moratorium and identity achievement statuses
warm and democratic parents
, the same kind of parents who foster high self-esteem
Adolescents who explore and achieve identity tend to score low in neuroticism and
high in openness
to experience and conscientiousness
are emotionally stable
, curious, and responsible.
likely be able to resolve identity issues
have achieved mastery of formal-operational thought,
think in complex and abstract ways
actively seek relevant information
Opportunities to Explore and Cultural Context
Higher education leads to greater exposure to ideas and greater opportunities to explore
Culture also plays a role; adolescents in
status more than identity achievement
Personality: Stability and Changes in Adulthood
Consistency in Big Five personality
dimensions across adulthood
i.e. An extroverted young adult is likely to remain an outgoing elderly person
Across various countries, the same changes have been found on the Big Five personality dimensions
From adolescence to middle adulthood:
Extraversion and openness to experience decline modestly
Agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability (lack of neuroticism) increase
From middle adulthood to late adulthood:
Openness to experience tends to decrease
Activity levels (an aspect of extraversion) decline
Self-Concepts and Self-Esteem
Adults differ greatly in their self-perceptions and levels of self-esteem.
age, gender, and cultural context contribute to this difference
Age and Gender Differences
Males often display higher self-esteem than females in early adulthood but gender differences fade in old age.
Strategies to maintain self-esteem
Reducing the Gap between Ideal and Real Self
Gap between the ideal self and the real self that widens during adolescence, and gives us a sense of falling short.
Older adults scaled down their visions of what they could ideally be. Thus, their
ideal and present selves converged
Adjusting Goals and Standards of Self-Evaluation
Older adults are
e.g. promotions may not be as important to older adults
Comparing to Other Older Adults
Older adults maintain self-esteem by making social comparisons primarily to other older adults who share the same experience.
Also, they can strategically select worse-off peers to judge themselves against, making
downward social comparisons
Not Internalizing Ageist Stereotypes
, which we learn in childhood, can result in self-stereotyping when we reach old age.
Older adults resist applying negative stereotypes of aging people to themselves (
Resist self -stereotyping
, individuals are socialized to put their own goals ahead of others, whereas in a
, people give
and relationships higher priority.
Thus, when asked to describe themselves, American adults talk about their unique personal qualities but Japanese adults more often refer to their social roles and social identities and mention other people
Erikson's Psychosocial theory
maturational forces and social demands
push humans through eight psychosocial crises
Asserts that individuals experience eight major conflicts or challenges in their lives.
conflicts may be difficult to resolve
if early conflicts are not resolved successfully
Optimal development results in the
gain of a psychosocial strength
Erikson’s 8 Psycho-social Stages
research does support the identity achievement versus role confusion conflict in adolescence.
Identity forging in adults is more complex as we have seen in Marcia's four status model.
Identity vs. role confusion
(12 to 20 years)
Adolescents ask who they are and must establish social and vocational identities; otherwise they will remain confused about the roles they should play as adults.
Trust vs. mistrust
(birth to 1 year)
Infants must learn to trust their caregivers to meet their needs. Responsive parenting is critical.
Autonomy vs. shame & doubt
(1 to 3 years)
Children must learn to be autonomous–to assert their wills and do things for themselves–or they will doubt their abilities.
Initiative vs. guilt
(3 to 6 years)
Preschoolers develop initiative by devising and carrying out bold plans, but they must learn not to impinge on the rights of others.
Industry vs. inferiority
(6 to 12 years)
Children must master important social and academic skills and keep up with their peers; otherwise, they will feel inferior.
research supports the psychosocial conflict of intimacy versus isolation.
Studies show that Those with well-formed identities (i.e. achieved identity status) were more likely to be capable of genuine,
often a time when important issues arise,
are made and goals may change.
It seems appropriate to call what many middle-aged adults experience as
, i.e. to recognize that it can occur in response to life events at a variety of ages, and to appreciate that it is usually not a true psychological crisis.
Adults who have achieved a sense of identity and intimacy are more likely to achieve
(i.e. agreeable, more concerned with others)
identity in early adulthood
predicts both generativity in middle adulthood and
integrity in late adulthood
related to a high sense of psychological well-being and
Intimacy vs. isolation
(20 to 40 years)
Young adults seek to form a shared identity with another person, but may fear intimacy and experience loneliness and isolation.
Generativity vs. stagnation
(40 to 65 years)
Middle-aged adults must feel that they are producing something that will outlive them, either as parents or as workers; otherwise, they will become stagnant and self-centered.
Integrity vs. despair
(65 years to older)
Older adults must come to view their lives as meaningful to face death without worries and regrets.