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Answer: Observations allow researchers to gather information and form conclusions in order to support a theory. There are two common types that are used daily: naturalistic observations and laboratory observations. Naturalistic observation is a research method commonly used by psychologists to find out how animals and people behave in their natural environments. Psychologists use this technique when people happen to be at home, in school rooms, in offices, and on playgrounds or streets. Laboratory observation is a research method that is also commonly used by psychologists for the same aspect as naturalistic observation. However, these observations are conducted in an environment that is controlled by the researchers, to create it as similar to a real life situation. While both methods are useful, there are many advantages that a naturalistic observation has over a laboratory observation. In a natural observation, the patient can feel very comfortable in their setting and act natural, which can create a high possibility of matching real life behavior of the person. People may not behave the same way in a lab setting then they would in a natural realistic environment. They may also encounter results that they might have not encountered in a laboratory observation. Another advantage that a naturalistic observation has is that it can help create a high amount of validity in the research. However, there is lack of control in these observations. Due to the lack of control in naturalistic observations, psychologists prefer laboratory research because they are able to control what is happening and can minimize any outside influences. Researchers are able to infer causality, the relationship between cause and effect. Also, they are able to use specialized equipment, to create results that would not be observed outside of a laboratory. Question 4: Describe the similarities and differences between trait and type theories of personality. Answer: Psychologists have attempted to study personality in two types of ways: traits and type theories. Both theories focus on people’s personal characteristics. However, trait and type theories differ in the way they describe people. A trait is a characteristic pattern of behavior. Traits are tendencies to behave in relatively consistent and distinctive ways across various situations.  The most common way to describe people is to list traits or qualities possessed by them. Examples of some traits would be friendliness, social, honesty, dominance etc.The term type is used to identify a collection of traits that make up a general personality classification. It is based on the basis of physique and temperament. Temperament refers to the emotional aspect of personality like changes in mood, excitement etc. An example of a type of personality would be an introvert. Introverts are described as people who share characteristics such as shyness and a tendency to talk less. Because of these characteristics, these people appear to be self-centered and unable to adjust easily in social situations. The similarity between these two theories are that they help define each other where a type of personality is made up by many traits.  However there is an essential difference between the two types. Type theories view characteristics of people as discrete and discontinuous categories whereas trait theory views these same characteristics a continuous. For example, a type theorist would claim that introverts and extroverts are two types of people but a trait theorist would claim there is a possibility for individuals to fall somewhere in the middle of introversion to extraversion. Question 5: What is the “Big Five” and what is its purpose? Answer: The “Big Five” are consisted of five core personality traits. The model was made to comprehend the relationship between personality and academic behaviors. Several researchers began by studying relationships between a large number of known personality traits. They reduced the list of these traits by using an empirical approach. Then, they used factor analysis to group the remaining traits in order to find the underlying factors of personality. Growing evidence suggests that there are five basic superordinate traits. Each factor is actually a cluster of more specific traits that are said to be statistically correlated. The five traits are meant to be descriptive rather than theoretical as they do not attempt to explain why the traits are clustered and distinct. There is much disagreement about the exact nature of the five traits because labeling of factors is subjective – influenced by personal feelings or opinions.The five traits are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. A common acronym used to summarize and remember these traits is OCEAN. Openness to experience is described as someone who appreciates art, emotion, and adventure. There is some disagreement about how to interpret this factor which is sometimes called “intellect” rather than openness to experience. A person who displays consciousness has a tendency to show self-discipline and aim for achievement. Extraversion is used to describe a person who is energetic, optimistic and is very social. Agreeableness is used to describe a person who is compassionate, trusting, and cooperative with others. Neuroticism is used to describe a person who has a tendency to experience unpleasant emotions such as anxiety, anger, depression or vulnerability. Question 9: For each of the following mental structures, explain its content, function, and level of consciousness. ID, Ego, Superego Answer: The ID is the original part of one’s personality, which is present at birth. It is tied to biological functions. It operates entirely in the unconsciousness. The id is the source of our bodily needs, wants desires, and impulses. Freud believed that the id acts according to the “pleasure principle” – the instinct drive that motivates immediate satisfaction of all needs with no consideration to risk or any problems in satisfying needs. For example, infants do not considers the needs of their parents when they cry – they just want whatever they need in the moment, regardless of whether their parents are asleep or busy.The Ego is the rational part of our mind. It is evolved out of the id because the functions from the id cannot deal effectively with reality. It operates primarily at the conscious and preconscious, but also at the unconscious. The ego has no moral sense, it simply just wants to fulfill needs given the constraints of reality. It acts according to the “reality principle” –   seeking to please the id’s drive in realistic ways that will benefit in the long term rather than bringing any risks. An example of the ego’s function would be the choice to resist the urge to grab other people’s belongings, and instead to purchase those items. The Superego is the moral part of us, which embodies parental and societal values. It operates at all levels of consciousness. Freud believed that humans beings are not born with moral sense, but they develop it through the rules and expectations of our caregivers. The superego helps us fit into society by getting us to act in socially acceptable ways. It strives to act in a socially appropriate manner, and controls our sense of right and wrong. For example, the superego would tell a child not to hit another child because that would be morally wrong.Question 12: List and describe the various psychosocial stages proposed by Erikson. What are the crises at each level? What are the optimal outcomes? Answer: The first stage is from birth to 18 months where babies learn to trust or mistrust others based on whether or not their needs are met – such as food and comfort. The optimal outcome is children develop a sense of trust when caregivers provide reliability, care, and affection. A lack of this will lead to mistrust. The second stage is from 2-3 years toddlers deal with a conflict of autonomy vs. shame and doubt. At this point, toddlers realize that they can direct their own behavior. Children need to develop a sense of control over physical skills and a sense of independence. The optimal outcome leads to feelings of autonomy, whereas failure results in feelings of shame and doubt.The third stage is from 3-5 years old, where preschoolers are challenged to control their own behavior. The child strives for emotional and psychological independence while attempting to satisfy their curiosity about the world. The basic conflict is initiative vs. guilt. The optimal outcome is that pre-schoolers who succeed in taking responsibility feel capable and develop initiative. However, children who exert too much power and fail to take responsibility end up feeling irresponsible, anxious and guilty. The fourth stage is from 6-11 years old. School-aged children are faced with learning new social and academic skills. The basic conflict is industry vs. inferiority in which the child strives for a sense of competence and self-esteem. The optimal outcome is when children succeed at learning new skills, they develop a sense of industry and self-esteem arising from their work and effort. Failure to develop new abilities will leave the child feeling inferior and incompetent.The fifth stage is from 12-18 years old. The adolescent is dealing with an identity crisis as a response to the tension of developing social relationships as well as a sense creating a personal identity. The basic conflict in this stage is identity vs. role confusion. The optimal outcome will lead to an ability to stay true to oneself, while failure will result in a weak sense of oneself. The sixth stage is from 19-40 years old where the basic conflict is intimacy vs. isolation. Young adults need to form intimate, loving relationships with other people. The optimal outcome will lead to strong relationships, while failure results in loneliness and isolation. The seventh stage is from 40-65 years old where the basic conflict is generativity vs. stagnation. Adults need to create or nurture things that will outlast them, often by having children. The optimal outcome will lead to feelings of usefulness and accomplishment, while failure would result in shallow involvement in the world.The eighth and final stage is from 65 years old to death and the basic conflict is ego integrity vs. despair. Older adults need to look back on life and feel a sense of fulfillment. The optimal outcome will lead to feelings of wisdom, while failure results in regret, bitterness, and despair. Question 14: Describe classical conditioning. How is operant conditioning different? Answer: Classical conditioning is a process that involves creating an association between a naturally existing stimulus and a previously neutral one. It focuses on involuntary, automatic behaviors. Ivan Pavlov conducted a famous experiment where he noticed dogs would begin to salivate in response to a tone after the sound had been paired with presenting food. The classical conditioning process involves pairing a previously neutral stimulus (the sound of the bell) with an unconditioned stimulus (the taste of food). The unconditioned stimulus automatically triggers salivating as a response to the food which is known as the unconditioned response. After associating the neutral stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus, the sound of the bell will start to evoke salivation as a response. The sound of the bell is now known as the conditioned stimulus and salivating in response to the bell is now known as the conditioned response. Operant conditioning focuses on using either a form of reinforcement or punishment to increase or decrease the likelihood of a behavior. For example, a trainer is trying to teach their dog to fetch a ball. If the dog is successful in catching the ball, the dog receives praise as a reward or even a treat. If the dog fails to retrieve the ball, the trainer withholds their praise. Eventually, the dog forms an association between his behavior on fetching the ball and recieving the desired award. Classical conditioning involves associating an involuntary response and a stimulus, while operant conditioning is about associating a voluntary behavior and a consequence. Another main difference is that classical conditioning is passive – accepting or allowing what happens without active response or resistance. Operant conditioning requires the learner to actively participate and perform some type of action in order to be rewarded or punished.Question 17: Describe Carl Rogers theory of self-actualization. What are the key elements to achieve your full potential as a human being? Answer: Carl Rogers believed that humans have one basic motive which is the tendency to self-actualize. Self-actualization moves a person toward greater autonomy (self determination). People also have a strong need for positive regard – to be accepted by others and gain their affection. It is also a strong motive for love, friendship and affection from people who are important. In order to achieve self-actualization, Rogers believed that a self-actualizers must be in a state of congruence as a person. Congruence occurs when the ideal self and real self are overlapping in which the person experiences harmony.   Rogers identified a fully functioning human being as well adjusted, well balanced, and someone who is interesting to get to know. A person who achieves full potential is open to experience and can accept both positive and negative emotions from others and themselves. A person fully functioning is able to live in the moment and fully appreciate the present, not looking back to the past or into the future. They are also spontaneous and think creatively. This involves the ability to change their life and seek new experiences. A person who achieves full potential must trust their feelings and instincts to make the right choices. Also, a person who achieves full potential as a human being is happy and satisfied with life, and are always looking for new challenges to take on. To achieve full potential as a human being would mean for a person to accept failure and unhappiness at times while still remaining open with people and garnering confidence and positive feelings about themselves. Question 18: Discuss the importance of having goals. What are the implications of feedback control? Answer: A goal is something that a person tries to do or achieve. Having goals is an important part of a human beings life.  Goals help energize activities, direct movements, and provide meaning for life. They help shape human behavior. By setting goals, you give yourself mental boundaries and are able to concentrate more greatly. A goal has a certain endpoint, which motivates you to stay away from certain distractions and stay focused towards the goal. For example, I want to achieve an overall GPA of 3.5 or above in the spring semester. In order to achieve that goal, I will have to dedicate more time to my classes and study for all my exams. There are several implications of feedback control. The first implication is that behavior is purposeful. For example, if I want to meet my need for fun, one of my purposeful behaviors would be to hang out with my friends so that we can go do activities that will help satisfy that need. Another implication of the feedback control is that goals may be dynamic over time – always active or changing. This approach allows you to modify the goal as the situation changes – whether these change occurs in an environment or occured from the presence of others. Another implication is that self-regulation is continuous. This involves being able to set goals, and monitor your behavior to ensure that it is line with those goals. One example of a situation that requires continuous self-regulation would be when you go on a diet with a goal of losing 10 pounds. In order to successfully reach this goal, you must stick to a diet and exercise plan until you reach your target weight. This means being able to say no to certain foods that are not part of your meal plan, and being able to motivate yourself to get up and do your daily workout to achieve this goal.Question 19: Describe major differences between Freudian theory and humanistic theory. Answer: The Freudian theory established the idea that human behavior is dominated by childhood experiences that affect one’s understanding of recent events. He also believed that behavior was deeply influenced by unconscious thoughts, impulses and desires especially those concerning sex, aggression, and death. His main goal was to resolve the internal conflicts that lead to this inner emotional suffering. The humanistic theory has a different goal compared to the Freudian theory. The goals of the humanistic theory is that it seeks to understand how people perceive themselves and experience the world around them. It is also concerned with understanding subjective human needs. The humanistic theory also believes that conscious thoughts and feelings shape behavior. Also, the humanistic theory believes that everyone can reach self-actualization or full potential by moving through Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This differs from the Freudian theory because he did not believe that all his patients could reach full potential as a human being. Another major difference between the Freudian theory and humanistic theory is their views on behavior. The psychodynamic (Freudian) theory believes that behavior is determined. The Freudian theory indicates three elements of the personality into the following: the Id, Ego, and Superego. The id seeks pleasure, the ego is the thinker, and the superego is the voice of reason. The humanistic theory believes that behavior is free choice and free will. The psychodynamic theory also believes that motives are rooted in sex and aggression while the humanistic theory believe that motives tilt towards pursuing self-actualization of oneself. Question 20: Discuss Murray’s system of needs and how they impact personality development. Answer: Henry Murray developed a theory of personality that was organized in terms of motives and needs. Murray identified needs as one of two types: primary needs and secondary needs. Primary needs are basic needs based on biological demands such as food, oxygen, and water. Secondary needs are psychological, such as the need for achievement, or intimacy. Murray focused heavily on secondary needs. Murray’s system of needs also suggest that our personalities are a reflection of behaviors controlled by these needs. These needs operate mostly on the unconscious level, but play a major role in shaping a person’s personality. Murray believed human nature involved a set of universal needs. Individual differences on these needs lead to the unique personalities that each person has. He also believed that everyone has the same basic set of needs. However, each individual priorities these needs differently. These psychogenic needs play a major role in shaping a person’s personality. The need for achievement is associated with the desire to do things well and seek pleasure in overcoming obstacles and difficulties. The need for power is a desire to have an impact and control over others as well as a desire to feel strong. The need for affiliation is a desire to spend time with others. The need for intimacy is a desire to experience close relationships with another person. Environmental factors can also play a role in how these psychogenic needs are expressed in behaviour. These are what Murray called “presses” which influence motives. However, he also realized that some of them share attributes. Needs can also conflict. For example, the need for power can conflict with the need for affiliation.

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