Thursday, June 6, 2013
1. Observe and Describe a social gathering (where, how many people, type of gathering)
The social gathering I observed was over this past weekend took place at the North Carolina Museum of Art. The North Carolina Museum of Art is the United States’ largest museum art park, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am not sure how many people were exactly there but there had to be at least a couple of hundred men, women, and children coming and going all day while I was there. This was a gathering to visit and enjoy a series of collections of old and newer art exhibits displayed around the art park indoors and outdoors. This gathering was filled with friendliness and one’s helping others understand the artwork on display.
2. What influence does culture have on personality? What culturally derived traits did you observe in this gathering?
McAdams, (2009) stated “beginning in the 1940s, Raymond B. Cattell advocated a brand of trait psychology that emphasized rigorous quantification and statistical analysis in research, with the ultimate goal of improving scientists’ ability to predict behavior” (p. 115). Culture affects one’s personality in tremendous ways, but it is one’s traits that affect how one’s personality is affected by culture. Traits create one’s personality; therefore traits cause behaviors to occur in culture, as well as reactions and interactions. Trait tendencies are what determine the reactions and interactions of one in culture. In the gathering I witnessed I observed people with traits such as extraversion, agreeableness, and those with openness to experience.
3. Which one of the four positions of the nature of traits do you agree with most and why (table 4.1)? Compare and contrast your position against one of the other four positions of the nature of traits.
I agree with the second position of the four positions of the nature of traits the most. This second position is behavioral dispositions. I do however completely disagree with the second position of neurophysiological substrates. Behavioral dispositions are defined as trait tendencies to think, feel, and act in consistent ways which interact with external influences, such as situational variables and cultural norms that influence a person’s functioning. Concerning trait attributions they can be used for describing behavior summaries and for suggesting causal or generative mechanisms for behavior. I agree with how behavioral dispositions keep the option open pertaining to psychophysiological substrata and I believe that traits do exist as dispositions that affect behaviors although it maintains traits are existent as dispositions which exert a substantial impact toward behavior (McAdams, 2009). I agree because I believe outside influences will and can affect one’s personality. If one wants to fit in with a certain group of people their personality may change in order to be accepted. As well as it depends on the culture one lives in. Take for instance women in Afghanistan, they are barely able to educate themselves and live in an oppressive culture, so their personality is attuned to outside influences. However if they were taken out of Afghanistan and sent to America then the different culture will affect and set a different personality.
In contrast neurophysiology substrates traits are thought to exist in the central nervous system (McAdams, 2009). This states that neuropsychic structures are hypothesized patternings of psychophysiology—say, which are particular brain circuitry or neurotransmitter pathways which exert a causal influence on behavior, accounting for consistencies over time and across situations. McAdams (2009) stated “traits are biological patternings in the central nervous system that cause behavior to occur and account for the consistencies in socioemotional functioning from one situation to the next and over time” (p. 110). These traits will not be influenced by outside interferences such as culture. I completely disagree with this. If this were the case then no one would ever be able to change who they are or how they act, and interact in certain situations nor be able to adjust to cultural differences. One would have control over who they are or who they want to become. Therefore from birth to death one will always be the same and never changed. In my own personal life I have made changes constantly in life.