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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 2017 Personality 01: Introduction

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well you might as well start by writing down that URL I'll show it to you again

at the end of class that's where the syllabus is the syllabus will tell you

pretty much everything you need to know about the class the there's a text this

is it it consists of readings from a larger text I use it because it's old

but a lot of the theorists that we're going to talk about are also old and so

I found this particular text accurate and many of the people that we're going

to talk about are very a very sophisticated views of personality and I

think that it does you a disservice unless you read something that's

sufficiently sophisticated so that you actually understand at least to some

degree what the people that were going to study we're talking about we might as

well start I suppose with a definition of personality it's hard to define

something that's that general because when you're speaking about human beings

it's not that simple to figure out what constitutes personality and what

constitutes something else but so I'm going to hit at it from a couple of

different perspectives and while I'm doing so I would like you also to

consider the nature of what you're going to learn a human personality is

essentially unfathomable human beings are unbelievably complicated and and

we're nested in systems that are also unbelievably complicated there are more

patterns of connections between neurons in your

brain then there are subatomic particles in the universe by a substantial margin

you can look up Gerald Adelman if you want to find out about that and so it's

not unreasonable to point out that you're the most complicated thing we

know of by many orders of magnitude and the probability that you can understand

yourself in anything approaching totality is extraordinarily low so this

makes the study of personality something very daring and hopeless and complicated

now we're going to cycle through a very large number of theorists and what

you'll find is that although there are commonalities between them there are

market differences and so then you might ask yourself well what's the point of

studying this sequence of theorists and ideas if there's no point of agreement

between them and I would say first there are points of agreement between them

although personality hasn't advanced to the point where I would say that we have

a homogeneous theory that's free of internal contradictions but I would also

say that personality is a hybrid discipline it's partly science but it's

partly engineering the clinical element of it I would say is more like

engineering and what engineers do is try to do things they try to make something

happen and they are informed by theory but the point is still to build

something and when you're working as a clinical psychologist and most of the

initial fears that we'll discuss for the first little more than a third to a half

of the course or clinical theorists they're trying to build something and

they're dealing with very very difficult conceptual problems

because they're either trying to cure mental disorders or maybe even

unhappiness and trying to bring about health and the problem with that is that

it's not a straightforward thing to define a mental disorder from a

scientific perspective because what's healthy mentally and what's not is

partly social judgment and it's partly socially constructed and it partly has

to do with norms and it partly has to do with ideals because you might also say

that to be healthy is to be normal but you could also say that to be healthy is

to be ideal and then of course you run into the problem of having to

conceptualize an ideal and it isn't self-evident that science is capable of

conceptualizing an ideal because ideals tend to fall into the domain of moral

judgments say or philosophical judgments rather than scientific judgments per se

so what I would say to you is that it would be worthwhile to approach this

course as if you were an engineer of the human spirit an engineer of your own

spirit to begin with but also an engineer of the spirits of other people

because as you interact with other people you inevitably tell them what you

want and what you don't want when they give you what you want and what you

admire you respond positively to them you pay attention to them you smile at

them you focus you focus your thoughts on them you interact with them and you

reward them for acting in a particular manner and when they don't respond the

way that you want then you punish them with a look or by turning away or by

rejecting their friendship or when you're a child by refusing to play for

them play with them and so we're engaged in the co-creation

of personalities our own and others and that also brings up the same question

what is it that we are all collectively trying to be and trying to create I

suspect that you all have the experience of falling short of the ideal an ideal

that you hold for yourself or an ideal that other people hold for you I suspect

that you all feel the negative consequences of falling short of that

ideal Freud would conceptualize that as the super-ego imposing its judgment on

the ego you being the ego the super-ego being a hybrid I suppose of external

forces and also your internalization of those judgments and forces now

personality per se I would say has these elements of ideal and has structural

elements of the way as well and we're going to talk about those more in the

second half of the class the structural elements can be lined up and outlined

more scientifically the second half of the class concentrates more on

physiology brain physiology and on statistical approaches to the

description of personality I suppose you might say that that outlines the

territory the course is called personality and its transformations

because we have personalities that's who you are now but our personalities are

also capable of transformation of change I mean obviously we think about that is

learning some of that might be regarded as

factual learning and some of it might be regarded as learning how to perceive and

behave and I would say that the clinical psychologists that will cover to begin

with are much more concerned with the nature of the implicit structures that

shape your perceptions and also the implicit structures that shape your

behaviors and how they're integrated in relationship to your negative emotion

health and well-being whereas the thinkers in the second half are more

concerned about laying out the structural elements of those features

and relating them to underlying se mechanistic phenomena making the

Assumption which seems warranted that there's some relationship between your

personality and the manner in which your brain functions I'm going to try to

provide you with a meta-narrative that will help you unite these different

theories I've often found it useful when I'm trying to remember something to have

a story to hang the facts on otherwise you're faced with the necessity of doing

nothing but memorization and it isn't obvious to me that memorization actually

constitutes knowledge what constitutes knowledge is the generation of a

cognitive structure that enables you to conduct yourself more appropriately in

life and so I suppose you might say that of course in psychology you could argue

that a course in psychology especially in personality is a course in Applied

wisdom as well assuming that wisdom is in part your capacity to understand

yourselves so that you don't so that you don't present too much of an intolerable

mystery to yourself and also to understand others so that you can

predict their behavior understand their motivations negotiate with them

listen to them and formulate joint games with them so that you can integrate

yourself reasonably well with another person and with a family and in society

well the structural elements of personality might be regarded as the

implicit structures that govern your perception and that tilt you towards

certain kinds of behaviors I can give you some examples we can talk about the

Big Five model just briefly the Big Five personality model is a statistical model

which we'll cover in detail trade by trade partner partly during the second

half of the course the way that the Big Five was generated was that its tread

being generated over about 50 years that personality psychologists gathered

together adjectives with in the English language first that were used to

describe human beings as many adjectives as they could collect and then subjected

them to a process called factor analysis and what factor analysis does is enable

you statistically to determine in some sense how similar adjectives are to one

another so for example if you gave 1,000 people a list of adjectives to describe

themselves with and one of the adjectives was happy and another of the

adjectives was social you'd find that those who rated themselves high unhappy

would also rate themselves high on social and those who rated themselves

low unhappy would also rate themselves low on social and by looking at those

patterns of covariation you can determine what the essential dimensions

are of human personality one of the dimensions is roughly happiness that's

extraversion another dimension is neuroticism it's a negative emotion

dimension so if you ask someone if they're anxious and they score high say

on a scale of 1 to 7 they're also likely to score

on another item that says that they're sad and it turns out that negative

emotions clump together and so that people who experience more of one

negative emotion have a propensity to experience more of all of them there's

another dimension called agreeableness and agreeable people are

self-sacrificing compassionate and polite if you're dealing with an

agreeable person they don't like conflict they care for other people if

you're dealing with an agreeable person they're likely to put your concerns

ahead of theirs they're non competitive and cooperative it's a dimension where

women are women score more highly than men on agreeableness across cultures

including those cultures where the largest steps have been taken towards

producing an egalitarian social circumstance like Scandinavia actually

the gender differences in personality there are larger than they are anywhere

else another trait is conscientiousness conscientiousness is an excellent trait

if you want to do well in in school and in work especially if you're a manager

an administrator I can't say we understand a lot about conscientiousness

although it it reliably emerges from factor analytic studies of adjectives

groups across different countries conscientious people are diligent

industrious and orderly they're orderliness tilts them towards political

conservatism by the way because it turns out that your inbuilt

temperament your inbuilt personality which constitutes a set of filters

through which you view the world also alters the manner in which you process

information and influences the way that you vote and so you might say and I do

believe that this is true or we've been doing a lot of research on this as of

late the more accurate a measure you take of someone's political beliefs the

more you find that personality is what's predicting them and I think that's a

reasonable thing to think about because you know you have to you have to figure

out ways of simplifying the world right because you just can't do everything and

so people are specialized they have

specialized niches that they occupy you can think about them as social niches

can niche is a place where your particular skills would serve to

maintain you and so if you're extroverted you're going to look for a

social niche because you like to be around people and if you're introverted

you're going to spend much more time on your own and so if you're an introverted

person for example you're going to want a job where you're not selling and where

you're not surrounded by groups of people who are making social demands on

you all the time because it'll wear you out

whereas if you're extroverted that's just exactly what you want and so the

extrovert sees the world as a place of social opportunity and the introvert

sees the world as a place to retreat from and spend time alone and it turns

out that both of those modes of being are valid that the issue at least to

some degree is whether or not you're fortunate enough to match your

temperament with the demands of the environment and I suppose also whether

you're fortunate enough fortunate enough so that you're born in an era where

there actually is a niche for your particular temperament because it isn't

necessarily the case that that will be the case

imagine that all of these temperamental dimensions vary because of evolutionary

pressure right so there's a distribution of extraversion a normal distribution

most people are somewhere in the middle and then as you go out towards the

extremes there are fewer and fewer people and what that means is that on

average across large spans of time there have been environments that match every

single position on that distribution with most most of the environments

matching the center because otherwise we wouldn't have evolved that way and so

sometimes being really extroverted is going to work well for you in a minority

of environments a minority of niches and sometimes it's just going to be a

catastrophe I suspect for example that if you live in a tyrannical society

where any sign of of personally oriented activity is likely to get you in trouble

that being extroverted and low in neuroticism would it be a very good idea

because you're gonna be mouthy and happy and saying a lot of things unable to

keep your thoughts to yourself and you're going to be relatively

fearless now I don't know that for sure because we've haven't done the studies

that precisely match temperamental proclivity to environmental demand but

you get what I mean so conscientious people anyways

conscientious people are industrious and orderly we know a little bit about

orderliness it seems to be associated strangely enough with disgust

sensitivity which I suppose isn't that surprising you know if you take an

orderly person then you put them in a messy kitchen they respond with disgust

and want nothing more than to straighten it all out and organize it and clean it

and there's tremendous variability and orderliness and as I said orderliness

predicts political conservatism it's not the only thing but it's certainly one of

the things the correlation between conscientiousness and and grades is

about 0.4 it's about 16% of the variance it's it's the second best predictor of

university grades after intelligence and we'll talk about intelligence during

this course too intelligence is actually a relatively straightforward concept I

don't think I'll get into it today but conscientious people they're

industriousness and they're orderliness makes them schedule their time so they

make efficient use of their time they use schedules and that sort of thing we

haven't been able to figure out anything about the underlying biology or

psychology of industriousness we've tried really dozens and dozens of tests

attempting to find a laboratory measure on which industrious people do better

and we failed completely and there's no animal models of industriousness either

and so I would say it's a great mystery that remains at the heart of trait

psychology and maybe it's a human specific category you know I mean you

can think of sled dogs maybe of being industrious and maybe and maybe sheep

dogs and animals that work like that but of course they've been trained by human

beings so but it isn't obvious that animals are industrious the same way we

are I mean industriousness involves

sacrificing the present for the future something like that and you seems like

you have to be able to conceptualize time in order to sacrifice the present

for the future one of the things that I would recommend that you do as students

in this course and maybe in every course speaking of industriousness is come up

with a plan of attack for the course and use a scheduler you know if you treat

your university career like a full-time job you're much more likely to succeed

and if you keep up on the readings and you keep up on the on the essays and all

of that then you're much less likely as well to fall into despair when you get

too far behind using a Google Calendar or something like that to organize a

schedule for the entire semester at the beginning of the semester can be

invaluable especially if you're not very industriousness very industrious because

it can keep you on track and one of the things we know about industrious people

is that they are very good at using schedules and at planning the use of

their time and so I would like to say that you should all be smarter but I

don't know how you could be smarter we don't know anything about how to improve

intelligence and I suppose we don't really know anything about how to

improve industriousness either but I can tell you that people who are industrious

come up with a strategy for solving the problem that's ahead of them and then

they do whatever they can to stick to the strategy and so for example if you

sat down today or tomorrow for a couple of hours three hours and you filled in a

google calendar whatever you happen to use with a strategy for studying and a

list of when all your assignments are due and all of that and when you're

going to sit down and study then you won't be in a position where you have to

cram for 10 hours a day hopelessly right before you know an important exam it's

also a very ineffective way of studying by the way I mean first of all people

who cram for 10 hours say they're studying for 10 hours but they rarely

are because well I can't study for 10 hours I don't have the power of

concentration that would enable me to do that for that prolonged period of time

I can manage about three hours of intense intellectual activity before I'm

pretty done and it's also the case that if you study and then sleep and then

study and then sleep and then study and then sleep

you space it out then you're much more likely to remember it's also much more

likely that you're you're much more likely to remember if you try to recall

the material and so highlighting and that sort of thing isn't very useful but

reading closing the book summarizing what you've read without opening the

damn book that's useful and the reason for that is that you're practicing

remembering and that's what you have to practice if you're practicing

memorization you have to practice remembering you don't just go over the

thing over and over that'll help you with recognition memory

but some but it won't help you with recall memory so anyways the last trade

is openness openness is a creativity trait it's also associated with

intelligence in that intelligent people and I'm speaking technically of IQ tend

to be higher and tend to be more creative which is hardly surprising

creative people are more likely to be liberal politically by the way they like

novelty they like aesthetics they like fiction they like movies they like art

they like poetry there is something about them that grants them an aesthetic

sensitivity and and that's a that's an inbuilt trait and it's not the case by

the way that everyone's creative in fact far from it we've used the creative

achievement questionnaire to to measure people's creativity I'll talk to you

about that later in the class and the creative achievement questionnaire takes

13 dimensions of creativity so you know writing dancing acting scientific

investigation entrepreneurial activity architectural activity cooking there's a

there's a handful of others singing etc you know the sorts of things that you

would assume that people could be creative about and then it asks people

to rate themselves on a scale from one to ten on their level of achievement

with regards to all those creative domains with zero being I have no

training or proficiency in this area and 70% of people score zero across the

entire creative achievement questionnaire a tiny proportion of

people are outliers way out and they're creative in many dimensions

simultaneously and it exceptionally creative and it turns out

as you'll find out that that pattern which is called a Pareto distribution

where most people stack up at zero and a few people are way out on the creative

end characterizes all sorts of distributions like the distribution of

money for example which is why 1% of the people have the overwhelming majority of

the money it's a different 1% across time it like it churns and you're much

more likely to be in the 1% if you're older logically enough because one of

the things you do as you age is you trade youth for money if you're

fortunate I don't think the trade is really worth it but that's the best

you've got so anyways those particular traits you can think of those as ways

that you simplify the world right there's lots of different places that

you can act in the world and there's lots of different ways you can look at

it and survive that's why you can be a plumber and a lawyer and an engineer and

those all work right even though they're very different modes of being and you

can have different personalities and survive as long as you're capable of

finding the place where your particular filters and behavioral proclivities

match the demand of the environment and a huge part I would say of successful

adaptation is precisely that now there are other elements of personality too

one of the things that I've been struck by and this is actually one of the

criticisms I have of the psycho analysts and the clinicians in general even

though I have great admiration for them and would say that what they have to say

is very much worth listening to is that it's not obvious that your personality

is inside you you know what you think you know a human being is a strange

multi-level thing and you might ask yourself well for example

know is your mother more a part of you than your arm or maybe even more

precisely is your child more a part of you than your arm it's certainly people

will do drastically self-sacrificing things to maintain the lives of their

children and so you're you're a person and you're made out of all sub

sort of subcomponents of a person none of which you could see when you look at

a person all the complicated machinery inside you that makes you who you are

and then outside of that of course you're nested in all sorts of complex

systems so you're part of a family and and you're part of a community and

that's part of a province and that's part of the state and that's part of an

international consortium of states and that's part of an ecosystem and how you

make a distinction between you and the systems that you're embedded in is also

of extraordinary difficulty and when it and one of the things that you have to

do as a clinical psychologist for example if you're trying to diagnose

someone with depression you think you think well this person's dreadfully

unhappy well you can think about that as a problem with their psychological

adjustment you know the way that they're looking at the world but if you look at

the epidemiological literature for example one of the things that you find

is that very many people have a first depressive episode after something

genuinely terrible has happened to them right they've lost someone or they've

become injured or or they've become unemployed because unemployment is a

terrible shock to people and it's not precisely self-evident that you can

consider someone who's unhappy and desperate because they no longer have a

job depressed they're certainly sad and they're not doing very well but the fact

that they no longer have an income is actually something with dramatic

practical consequences and treating that as if it's a mental disorder seems to be

counterproductive it's also the case for example that if you're if someone comes

into you to talk to you and they're very upset and they may manifest the signs of

say an anxiety disorder or again depression or other other clinical

features for that matter you have to do a careful analysis of their manner in

which they're embedded in their family because and this is something that we'll

talk about quite thoroughly when we come to discussing Freud is that well you

know it's not like everybody's families are necessarily particularly happy

places to be you know I mean human beings are very

dependent we have a very long period of dependency partly because we're so

cortically hyperdeveloped it takes a very long time to program us into

something that's vaguely capable of maneuvering on its own and that produces

of course the very tight familial bonds that we all that we all desperately

require because who wants to be alone in the world but it also it also exposes us

to the probability of becoming entangled into even multi-generational family

pathology and it isn't obvious always uncertainty hasn't been to me when I've

seen my clients that the fundamental problem with the client is the client

sometimes the fundamental problem is is the family and and perhaps that person

has been identified as the problem person it's rather convenient for

everyone who's involved to make that presupposition it's also the case that

this is the Freudian idea fundamentally this is the Oedipal idea that it's very

easy for people to become over dependent on their parents and and for the parents

to facilitate that and then for the primary developmental problem for the

individual in fact to become free of the interfering elements of the family so

that they can exist as independent individuals well and then of course

there are cultural variations in that that make that proposition complex but

that's a fundamental tenant say of Freudian psychology a lot of the

clinical psychologists all of whom that we're going to study have a pronounced

Western orientation one of the fundamental presuppositions is that part

of the hallmark of positive psychological development is the

creation of an individual that's capable of acting independently and that's I

would say an implicit ideal that lurks at the bottom of the clinical

presuppositions of all the theorists that are classic psychologists

so now it's a very old picture it's Jonah

emerging from the whale it's a variant of a myth the myth is the dragon myth I

suppose the dragon myth is that there's a dragon that lives under the ground

that's eternal and now and then it rises out of the ground to threaten the state

and someone within the state determines to go confront the dragon voluntarily

and does so and then brings back something of great value sometimes if

the the the hero is generally male sometimes the thing of great value is a

female that the dragon has kidnapped that's a st. George story and sometimes

it's gold another treasure like in the story of The Hobbit and story that you

all know very well it's a classic hero story and the hero story is another

fundamental element of the clinical theories I would say it's predicated on

the idea that you learn through voluntary contact with that that

frightens or disgusts you and that's a hallmark of psychoanalytic theory Jung,

Carl Jung who we'll discuss in detail said his primary dictum wasIn

sterquiliniis inveniturwhich I'm sure I'm

massacring because it's Latin but it meantin filth it will be foundand one

of the hallmarks of the clinical theories is that within the confines of

everyone's experience and you can think about this as experience out in the

world or experience in the unconscious mind there are dirty little secrets

let's say and skeletons and dreadful old fears and remnants of abuse and memories

of pathological behavior and failures of courage that you leave you undeveloped

perhaps out of avoidance and that the psychoanalytic process is precisely the

careful encounter with those forgotten and and repressed elements of the self

in the hope that a clear encounter will redeem them unites them with the

remainder of your personality and make yours make you stronger in consequence

and I would say that that's just a variant of the manner in which human

beings learn and we'll talk about this more in relationship to Piaget because

you always learn when you're wrong which is very annoying now what do you learn

when you're correct you you're walking in the world you're operating in the

world you have a sense of what you want to have happen you're always looking at

the world through this sense of what you want to have happen you're acting so

that what you want to have happen will happen and when it happens well then

you're happy because well first of all you get what you want and that's good

maybe depending on what you want but it's also good because if you get what

you want when you act then it turns out that your model of how to act is valid

right the outcome that you get what you want

indicates no error on the part of your model but it's very frequently the case

that when you act to get what you want you don't get what you want and then

that's unpleasant because you don't get what you want but it's even more

unpleasant because it brings with it the hint of a suggestion that the manner in

which you're construing the world is incorrect at some indeterminate level so

for example if you tell a party tell a joke at a party you presume that people

will attend and then when they hear the joke they will laugh and then if you

tell the joke and it goes flat or even worse disgusts and offends people then

you're going to be taken aback and that's partly because you didn't get

what you want and that's not so good but it's but it's more because there's

something wrong with the way you conceptualized the situation and then

you're faced with a problem and the problem is the emergence of a domain of

the unknown it's like well what kind of mistake did you make

maybe you're not as funny as you think you are not that could be a big problem

maybe you're not around people that who are the way you think they are maybe

they don't like you as much as you thought they liked you I mean the

potential for various paranoid thoughts of increasing severity to come welling

up at you in a situation where you make even a trivial social mistake is quite

broad and when you make an error of that sort you have to face it and sort

through all the possibilities so that you can find out what it was that you

did wrong and how to retool it so that in the future you don't make the same

mistake and that requires well that requires in some sense what you might

describe as a journey into the belly of the beast the beast being that place

where things have fallen apart and where you're overwhelmed with negative emotion

and chaos and confusion and that's a very old story that's the story of the

journey to the underworld and the hero is the person who makes the voluntary

journey to the underworld to collect what's been languishing down there and

that's the basic motif of psychoanalytic theory I would say it's the basic motif

in some sense of clinical practice because one of the things that you do as

a clinician is find out what people are afraid of and what they're avoiding and

that can be in their past or in their present or in their future break it down

into smaller pieces and help them devise strategies of approach and mastery and

that improves the quality of their personality and helps develop them into

people who won't make the same mistakes over and over again all right so well

why these this plethora of tools well I said in some sense being a personality

psychologist is like being an engineer you're trying to build better people

when you might say that if you're a carpenter or a mechanic that your

ability to fix a vehicle or build a house is dependent on your proficiency

with regards to the use of a multitude of tools and so then you might say well

the more tools you have at your disposal the more likely it is that you're going

to manage things properly and so what I would like to offer you is the

possibility that what you're going to encounter in this course is a series of

sophisticated conceptual tools that will help you understand yourself better and

therefore better orient yourself in the world I regard this course as intensely

practical and that's because I believe that you have nothing to rely on in your

life that's more crucial to your success as you move through life than your

character and your personality that's what you bring to every situation and

the more sophisticated you are in relationship to yourself and others the

more you understand people the deeper you understand the nature of your own

being the more likely it is that you're going to proceed through your life in a

manner that will make you pleased to exist rather than displeased to exist

I've collected the writings of people that I regard as of incomparable

brilliance they're difficult to understand their concepts are complex

but it's not surprising because the subject matter is complex and vital and

so it requires work and I would say try to keep up on the readings if you would

it's going to make the course much more much richer for you and I would say

because people often ask me well how should I read for this course because

there's a lot of reading and the answer is read as if it matters that's the

right answer don't be thinking about how it's going

to be tested if you do the readings and you come to the lectures then

the tests aren't particularly difficult but you should read the readings as if

the person is writing about you and you should try to understand what the person

says because it's another tool for you to use and I would say well with my

clients you know I used the approaches of one theorist for one client and the

approaches of another theorist for another client it seems to me to depend

to some degree actually on the temperament of the client I found for

example that people who are very high in openness which is the creativity

dimension are quite amenable to a Jungian approach whereas people who are

more practical conscientious lowe and openness are much more amenable to a

behaviorist approach we don't really know enough about psychology yet to

match treatment to temperament but those are the some of the things that I've

experienced ok practicalities well there's a website I gave you the URL

I'll put it up again at the end of class the URL lists all the readings that

aren't in the textbook and so the textbook contains the classic readings

readings from people like Jung and Freud and Piaget and so forth Rogers and as I

said I picked that particular textbook because I believe that the author did a

very credible job of summarizing what's very difficult to summarize so and then

also on the website there are links to papers because much of the more modern

material that pertains say to neuroscience and also to trait

personality I think it's better just to read the original papers and I'll detail

them out with you as we go through and that'll also give you some familiarity

with original psychological papers which are again there's a there's an idiom

that you have to master in order to understand them but you might as well

practice it especially if you're interested in continuing with psychology

in your educational practice or as a career it's good to get accustomed to it


there again is the URL for the class if you go to Jordan be Peterson comm which

isn't too hard to remember assuming you can remember my name then

classes are listed on the left hand side you can just find the syllabus there

alright so here's what we're going to cover well today obviously this is the

introduction and overview the class is a little strange this year because one day

it's an hour and the next day it's two hours so not exactly sure how we're

going to negotiate our way through that but we'll figure it out

historical perspectives mythological representations well I told you that I

would try to provide you with a meta-narrative that might enable you to

link the theories that we're going to talk about together so I'm going to

describe to you what you might regard as a conceptual language and as far as I

can tell it's that imagine imagine that there are two kinds of things that you

need to know and I believe this to be the case I believe that you need to know

what the world is made of and I suppose that's the proper domain of science but

then you need to know how to act and that's a whole different thing and you

need to know how to act that's the thing you need to know most of anything

anything because of course you're a living creature and action in

relationship to desired goals is is everything to you and you can think

about that from a Darwinian perspective you have to act at least so that you can

survive at least so that you can find a partner that's that's life and so part

of the question is well how does the world look if you think about it as a

place to act and the answer isn't a place of value free objects that's not

what the world looks like and you can't act in a world of value free objects

because there's no way of choosing between them if everything has zero

value why would you choose one thing over another you live in a world where

things present themselves to you as of different value and that's partly a

consequence of your temperament although it's a consequence of other things and

so what I'm going to try to do is to provide you with

schema that describes the world of morality roughly speaking which is how

to act and tell you a little bit about what I think the languages which I think

was derived from Darwinian processes and I believe that it's within that

structure that the clinical theories logically nest and so that'll give you a

way of linking one theory to another from a conceptual perspective without

having to rely so much on sheer memorization then we'll talk about

heroic and shamanic initiation and the reason we're going to do that is because

well people people used shamanic initiation for tens of thousands of

years all over the world and they have a particular kind of structure the paper

by merchant Le ADA which is linked on the site is a very interesting one and

details out some of these processes there have been intelligent commentators

like Andre Ellenberger Burge a who wrote the discovery of the unconscious which i

think is an outstanding book who late the processes that the psychoanalyst

psychoanalysts uncovered in the late part of the 19th century an early part

of the 20th century back to these more primordial rituals of personality

transformation and so we're going to situate ourselves in some sense in deep

history talking first about the underlying mythological landscape then

talking about archaic modes of personality conceptualization and

transformation and then moving from there into constructivism and and we're

going to concentrate mostly on Jean Piaget who is a developmental

psychologist constructivists believed that you make yourself out of the

information that you gather in the world so you're an exploring creature you

explore specifically when the maps that you're using in the world are no longer

orienting yourself properly when they're producing errors so you go out and

gather information and assemble yourself from the information that you discovered

then the depth psychologists Jung and Freud I think I'm going to with Jung I'm

going to walk you through some films I'm not going to use the film's per se I'm

going to use Clips stills from the film but

in you know the film so in in chronological order and I'm going to try

to explain to you how you might use Union presuppositions to understand what

the films are about you know if you think about a film say like The Lion

King which is an extraordinarily popular film it's a very strange phenomena that

you go and watch it right I mean think about it

it's drawings of animated animals that in some sense represent you they're very

low resolution but you perceive them immediately as living things and you

attribute to the motivation and and and motive power and understanding you do it

automatically without even thinking about it and there's a classic plot that

lies underneath those stories and the plots are very very very very old and

that's why you can understand them and the reason you can understand them is

because life has a plot or maybe it has a couple of plots a multitude of plots

but life has a plot and if it didn't we wouldn't be able to understand each

other and so I'd like to illustrate that for you by analysis of some of these

films I think it's the best way to understand someone as sophisticated as

young who is very difficult to get a handle on Freud I'm going to do the same

thing all the way I'm going to show you a film with Freud I'm going to show you

a film called crumb which is a documentary and it's about a very badly

enmeshed family and the attempts of the family members to I suppose escape that

I'll talk to you about Freud I'll show you the film that should give you a

sense of Freudian psychopathology which is a very difficult thing otherwise to

understand then there's a midterm a midterm is multiple-choice you'll do it

in class you'll have lots of time to finish it it'll cover the material that

we took that we studied up to that point then we're going to talk about Rogers

Carl Rogers who was a humanist Rogers has a body-centered philosophy I suppose

and he's interested as well in optimal personal development and the role that

interpersonal communication plays in that Rogers hypothesis fundamentally and

it's a very interesting one is that honest communication between two people

can produce personnel transformation and and you know you

might think well you kind of know that already because there's something very

engaging about a deep honest conversation where you're able to say

things that you wouldn't normally say where you're being listened to by

someone who's actually listening to you and you're listening to them and in the

conversation you're moving both of you further to a different point that's

different than a conversation where you're right and you're trying to

convince me or I'm right and I'm trying to convince you which I would say is the

typical conversation the the healing conversation is more well what's up with

you you know how are you doing what how is your life going where what sort of

problems are you facing what do you think about those problems can you

conceptualize what a solution might be is there a way we could figure out how

to get there you know what's so it's a problem-solving conversation and it's

predicated on the presupposition that the person that you're conversing with

has the capacity to grow in a positive direction if they so choose that's the

fundamental that's the fundamental presupposition of Rogerian psychology

man Frankel are also humanists all finish tell you what the rest of the the

rest of the material is the next time that we meet I should show you let you

know a little bit more about the structure of course the second midterm

is March 14th the and there's a final at the end as well so the mid the

multiple-choice tests are graded in that manner 25% 25% in 27.5% they're not

cumulative each test only covers what you covered before since the last test

including the final you'll be required to write an essay of 15% it's a thousand

words sorry not 750 words and you'll also do an online exercise a personality

analysis which is pass/fail all you have to do is complete it and show proof of

completion it helps you do a modified Big Five analysis of your own

personality concentrating on your virtues and your faults so that so so

it's a it's an active exercise in the application of personality theory to

personal development and so that's the that's the structure of the course I can

tell you there's a sign-up sheet on the on the syllabus we I've broken the

essays down into multiple types across the entire semester I would highly

recommend that you go there and sign up there are limited slots for each topic

and the reason for that is well I don't want my TA to have to grade 200 essays

the last week of classes we have to spread them out across the year so

figure out a topic and sign out please and please do that sooner rather than

later it's it's an industrious thing to do it'll help you organize yourself I'll

post something that's quite useful about how to write especially a thousand word

essay and I'll close the essays are due one day before class I'll close by the

way by telling you who shouldn't take this course okay first of all if you

didn't like this lecture and don't take this course because this is what the

lectures are going to be like so and it's they're not for everybody

oh you used a lot of loose associations and try to gather them back in and I

kind of wander around that way I can talk directly to you which I like doing

but I sacrifice a certain amount of organization for that but my sense is

that it's worth the sacrifice the second thing is there's a lot of reading a lot

and a lot of it is I would say a lot of it's hard science the last half in

particular but the first half of a lot of its philosophical in nature

philosophical / psychological and so if you're not interested in that

like if you're a pure science type and you're not interested in the clinical

elements say of personality and in the end in investigating the philosophical

underpinnings of those clinical theories then I would say this isn't the course

for you and so you should take that seriously because the readings are hard

there's a lot of work involved in this course and it would be better if you

took a course that you actually wanted to take so well welcome to psychology

230 and we'll see you in a bit you


The Description of 2017 Personality 01: Introduction