Sunday, October 27, 2013

Do you believe an individual has a choice in constructing their personality? Why or why not?

          Personality makes each individual who he or she is, and makes him or her different from other individuals. An individual's personality also influences almost every aspect of his or her life. The development of an individual's personality is determined by different factors, which one may or may not have a choice in determining what factors develop his or her personality. I think that an individual does and does not have a choice in constructing his or her personality. Heredity and the environment both have an effect on an individual's personality; therefore one does and does not have a choice in constructing his or her personality. Heredity is not something an individual has any control over as far as how it affects one's personality development. The environment or life experiences shape an individual's personality and in some instances an individual does have control over his or her environment or life experiences. Heredity contributes to the construction of an individual's personality but does not contribute to changes in one's personality as one develops from childhood into adulthood. The environment and life experiences contribute to the construction of an individual's personality and can contribute to changes in an individual's personality as one develops from childhood into adulthood but certain aspects of an individual's personality remain constant throughout his or her lifespan.  

Why is it important to study different theories of personality?

          Differing personality theorists have varying definitions for personality and one definition of personality is a pattern of unique characteristics and relatively permanent traits, which give individuality and consistency to an individual’s behavior (Feist & Feist, 2009). There are several reasons why it is important to study different theories of personality. Throughout history, several well-known thinkers and theorists, such as Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson developed differing theories to explain personality, therefore studying their differing theories of personality provides similar, differing, and new aspects concerning personality and by what means they study personality. Also studying different theories enables one to see the point of view each theorist used to make speculations about personality. All developed theories of personality have differing explanations as for what personality is a result of. For example, theories referred to as behavioral theories make the suggestion that personality results from interactions between an individual and his or her environment, while theories referred to as psychodynamic theories of personality emphasize that personality is an influence of the childhood experiences and the unconscious mind. Since theorists cannot agree upon one definition of personality, and since varying theories of personality are developed from the point of view of each theorists, it is important to study different theories of personality to gain a better understanding of what personality is and how an individual's personality develops.
Feist, J., & Feist, G. J. (2009). Theories of personality (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking

          During an individual’s lifespan, several conflicts may occur. A conflict is an individual’s perceived incompatibility of goals or actions (Myers, 2010). If individuals follow certain steps to resolve conflicts through conflict resolution, which are the processes and methods involved that enable individuals to facilitate peaceful endings to conflict or peacemaking. When faced with conflicts, peace is the best solution, which is a condition, labeled by low levels of aggression, and low levels of hostility, and labeled by relationships, which are mutually beneficial (Myers, 2010). However, often individuals are not able to resolve conflicts with low levels of aggression or hostility because individuals are not taught as children in school the processes of conflict resolution and peacemaking. One 1st-grade teacher in Redlands, California, at Redlands Adventist Academy is trying to change this.  
Tiffany J. Hunter
          This 1st-grade teacher is Tiffany J. Hunter, who is an M.A. graduate. Hunter wanted to create an environment of learning, which fosters values, such as active peacemaking, social justice, service, and inclusive compassion (Hunter, 2008). Hunter also wanted to address her students' physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional needs in holistic ways, whereas she created a stimulating and safe space where her students could freely explore and grow. The intention for her students was to practice and learn necessary skills, which enable them to live at peace with him or herself, his or her community, and his or her environment. In addition to Hunter’s student’s academic achievements, she needed her students to think they were valuable to his or her communities, church, and school (Hunter, 2008).
Classroom Design
          Hunter’s first step in her pursuit of teaching her children the processes of conflict resolution and peacemaking was to create a "peaceable classroom,” designed around a structure conducive to the peacebuilding of her student’s interaction. The peace corner was a critical aspect of her design, which was an area with a peace table and chairs. The peace corner possesses books and tools, which engage her students to learn key concepts of peace emphasizing varying curricular activities (Hunter, 2008).  Hunter also placed student work and posters on a bulletin board in this area to remind her students of the values that they were in the process of learning. The peace table was the area where her students discuss and solve their conflict. The peace table was a constant reminder of the classroom’s commitment to nonviolence in every form.
          The process of conflict-resolution only occurred with or without the assistance of a mediator. Hunter would often visit the peace table to assist her students in creating win-win solutions. Hunter (2008), “I designed my curriculum around four major skill sets: Empathy Training, Diversity Training, Community Awareness, and Conflict Resolution” (p. 1). For Hunter’s students it was not necessary to master one skill set as a prerequisite to progress to the next skill set. Students had to model and integrate every skill set into his or her classroom experiences and academic subject areas. The incorporation of every skill set into a standards-based curriculum unit is necessary (Hunter, 2008).
Empathy Training
            Hunter included empathy skills in the first unit of social studies whereas classroom cooperation was the focus. To possess empathy is to perceive another individual’s feelings and thoughts. Expression of emotions occurs through nonverbal and verbal cues; therefore Hunter thought her students should learn to identify his or her emotions to develop empathy for the emotions of other individuals. She used several activities to reinforce this skill.
Diversity Training
          Hunter believed that diversity training taught her students to promote greater social justice and equality required one to take concrete social action. Hunter (2008), “diversity training goes beyond standard multicultural education, as it encompasses all aspects of human diversity - from gender, race, economic class, and ethnic background to physical, intellectual, and emotional characteristics to thoughts and feelings” (p. 1). Hunter also thought that diversity training is consciousness-raising and experiences with other individuals who have diverse mental and physical abilities were another important component, therefore her students could interact with individuals across a wide spectrum of ability.  
Community Awareness
          The skill set of community awareness, details activities that empowered her students to become responsible and active members of his or her community (Hunter, 2008). Community awareness encompasses civic and environmental education. Hunter thought that her students could gain insight into his or her power and value as they contributed to the classroom, global, and local communities. Hunter started with concrete references of her student’s family and classroom community identities to develop an understanding of communities and to develop an understanding of individual responsibilities and rights; she branched out to encompass a global and local context (Hunter, 2008).
Conflict Resolution
            Hunter thought that conflict resolution develops her student’s autonomy as far as personal conflict management goes. She thought she could serves as the mediator, by guiding her students through the conflict resolution process until her students learned and discovered the ability to use his or her nonviolent approaches toward problem-solving (Hunter, 2008). At a classroom peace table this process normally occurs. To equip her students with the necessary skills he or she can use in every aspect of his or her life is the goal. When students learn skills for mediation, negotiation, and compromise it helps them find a peaceful solution to his or her problem.
            Tiffany J. Hunter thought that designing a curriculum around skill sets, such as empathy and diversity training, community awareness, and conflict resolution and teaching it to her students would ensure that children develop into empathic, compassionate, and understanding of other adults in society. In the presence of conflicts, peace is the better solution. As Hunter’s students develop into adults they can better handle conflict resolution and peacemaking because of her teachings.
Myers, D. G. (2010). Social psychology (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Hunter, T. J. (2008). Creating a culture of peace in the elementary classroom. The Education Digest, 74(1), 54-58. Retrieved from

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Abraham Lincoln believed selfishness prompts all good deeds. Explain why you agree or disagree?

          Abraham Lincoln may indeed be correct as far as thinking that selfishness prompts good deeds but I do and do not exactly agree with him. Individuals do indeed perform acts or good deeds in return for self-satisfaction, in order to gain acceptance from others, to please others, or to deal with his or her feelings of guilt. Altruism is selfishness in reverse, and the act of selfishness involves the placement of concern with one's own interest or on oneself above the interest or well-being of other individuals. When an individual performs a good deed, the result from such a good deed benefits more than one individual. Therefore, the good deed becomes justified and any concern about selfishness is nullified. On the other hand individuals do indeed perform good deeds and voluntarily help other individuals not out of the act of selfishness but because of the concern and compassion for other individuals without any regard for him or herself. Therefore, I believe that some good deeds occur outside the realm of selfishness and maybe on rare occasion, therefore never discount selfishness. However, in modern day history it has been seen that individuals did and still do perform good deeds out of altruism.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Does power corrupt? If not, why not? If so, how?

          It seems or has been seen that power corrupts because several individuals and leaders who are in positions of power or authority seem to change after they achieve power. However, I have a different way of thinking about power and if it corrupts or who it corrupts. Yes power does corrupt some individuals but power does not corrupt all individuals. All individuals are not the same, therefore power will not corrupt every individual. Every individual posses traits and behaviors that are different than the next individual. Since every individual is different, power affects every individual differently. Power reveals the worse or amplifies the behaviors of some individuals, which were already there the entire time. Said behaviors did not manifest because that individual was not in a position of power or authority. Power enables averse behaviors that were hidden to surface and be displayed. Many individuals assume that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, therefore they avoid power. Their avoidance of power is just an overreaction to their thinking that they will abuse power. However, shying away from power or leadership roles is problem. Therefore, a fear of corruption is a problem such as the abuse of power. Power does not always corrupt.

Think about a group you belong to, but with which you do not identify. What does this group mean to you? What examples demonstrate your lack of identification?

          As for groups I do belong to several psychological groups were I am a member, such as the APA. These groups I do identify with. One group that I do belong to are the racial groups, which make up America. However, I do not identify with one particular group. These group that represents the individuals of America mean nothing to me. Racial groups are just a means to categorize individuals by racial background or skin color. If asked my racial background I do tell or talking about myself I will mention my multiracial background, however my lack of seeing race or skin color as a means to categorize individuals by racial groups demonstrate my lack of identification. As a child and as an adult I have never used race as a means to set one individual apart from another individual. Race and skin color are unseen by me. My lack of seeing race or skin color as a means to separate the America and the world also demonstrate my lack of identification.     

"I love and treasure individuals as I meet them; I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to." - George Carlin

What is social facilitation? How has the definition of social facilitation evolved?

          Social facilitation is the strengthening of an individual's dominant responses in the presence of other individuals (Myers, 2010). It is the effect that other individuals have on an individual as he or she completes a task. Psychologist Norman Triplett, who began studying social facilitation in 1898, thought the presence of other individuals increased another individual's performance when completing tasks. Triplett who had an interest in bicycle racing, observed the times of cyclists racing and noticed that the racing times ocurred faster when cyclists raced together instead of separately and against a clock (Myers, 2010). The definition of social facilitation has definitely evolved. The definition evolved from the tendency of individuals performing well-learned or simple tasks better when other individuals are present, to the strengthening of an individual's dominant responses in the presence of other individuals (Myers, 2010). 
Myers, D. G. (2010). Social psychology (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Personal Reflection on the Self

          The self, attempts to continue or maintain an unchanging relationship with different aspects of the social world by a means of the creation of identities defined and discovered by an association with the social world. A concern of the self is its image and the impressions it makes on other individuals. The interplay occurring among the self-concept, self-esteem, self-efficacy and environmental influences provoke external images of the self in the social world, which constantly requires acknowledgment, acceptance, adaptation, and accommodation (Orth, Trzesniewski, & Robins, 2010). For an individual to understand his or her “self,” one must understand what the self is and understand the “terms” of self-concept, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. A further understanding of the self occurs through social experiences that affect personal development.
Defining the Concept of the Self in the Social World
          The concept of self is the most important aspect of an individual and is an individual’s answers to the question of “Who am I” in the social world (Myers, 2010). Self-schemas, possible selves, self-esteem, and self-efficacy are important aspects of the self. Self-schemas are beliefs regarding self, which guide, and organize the processing of information of self-relevance (Myers, 2010). Basically, self-schemas are the elements of one’s self-concept, and specific beliefs by which an individual defines himself or herself. An individual organizes his or her world by schemas, which are mental templates. An individual’s self-schemas are a means of perceiving oneself as smart, musical, athletic or by whichever influential affect how one remembers, perceives, and evaluates themselves and other individuals. If music is central to an individual’s self-concept that individual tends to notice the musical interest and musical skills of other individuals.
          An individual will recall rapidly musical-related experiences. Individuals will welcome information consistent with his or her self-schema. Self-schemas make up an individual’s self-concepts and help him or her with the organization and retrieval of experiences (Myers, 2010). The other important component of the self is possible selves. Therefore, an individual’s self-concept not only includes one’s self-schemas about who he or she is currently but also who he or she may become, which is an individual’s possible selves (Myers, 2010). An individual’s possible selves includes visions of the self as for dreams of becoming the in shape self, the rich self, the loving self, and passionately loved self (Myers, 2010). Possible selves also include the self an individual fears or dreads becoming. Therefore, possible selves includes visions may be positive or negative.
          The aspect of self-esteem describes an individual’s sense of self-worth and is how he or she views themselves. Self-esteem adopted during an individual’s childhood often remains stable throughout one’s adulthood but the lowering of self-esteem can occur at any given point and time. Self-efficacy is an individual’s sense that he or she is effective and competent (Myers, 2010).
Applying the Self to Life
          The self or self-concept is an answer for the question of, who one is (Myers, 2010). Self-concept includes the aspects of self-schemas and possible selves. Self-schemas are a definition of the roles individuals have within their lives. My self-schemas are schemas that define me as athletic, smart, a father, and student. Possible selves include the visions that an individual dreams of becoming. My possible selves include clinical psychologist, professor, writer, and researcher. Possible selves also include the self an individual fears or dreads becoming. I fear becoming a failure in life.
          An individual’s self-esteem includes negative and positive self-evaluations. Self-esteem also details an individual’s self-worth. An individual can view him or herself positively in certain areas and also see him or herself negatively in other areas. My level of self-esteem is above average. Self-esteem is not a one dimensional concept, which is true about my self-esteem. In certain areas of my life, I view myself positively, and in others areas I view myself negatively.
            An individual’s self-efficacy is the belief of his or her capabilities to perform a certain task. An individual with high self-efficacy will set high goals, possesses more confidence, are more persistent, and normally has more success in life. Although an individual with low self-efficacy may avoid challenges may give up difficult tasks, and expects failure. My self-efficacy level is high but not too high. I know what I am capable of as a father and college student. I set challenging goals and do not expect failure.
Social Experiences that affect Personal Development
          One social experience that affected my personal development was the day my first child (my son) was born. That day 11 years ago I became more than just a man; I became a father. A father who had another human being depending on me for survival, love, compassion, and empathy. Sure my wife depended on me to provide for her as I would for my son, but with the birth of a child I completely had to share my life and share who I was to foster the development of my son.
            Another social experience that affected my personal development was the day I became a college student again. Socially, I have had to interact with other students from across the country and allow other students to see and read my coursework, thoughts, and beliefs as a student of psychology. Going to college means one has to mature quickly and carry themselves as a mature adult who has a goal of learning and succeeding in life.
          For an individual to comprehend the self, he or she must comprehend the definition of the concept of self, and comprehend the concepts of self-esteem, and self-efficacy. The concept of self and the concepts of self-esteem, and self-efficacy provide the basis for an individual to understand the self. Self-schemas and possible selves are also two concepts of importance. Comprehending the concepts of self-schemas and possible selves allows an individual to understand who he or she is currently, and who he or she may become. Two social experiences that affected my personal development were
Myers, D. G. (2010). Social psychology (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Orth, U., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Robins, R. W. (2010). Self-esteem development from young adulthood to           old age: A cohort-sequential longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(4),             645. Retrieved from

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What is attribution theory? What is the difference between dispositional and situational attribution? Which type of attribution error are you most likely to make about others? Please give an example.

          Attribution theory is the theory of how individuals explain the behavior of others. Individuals explain the behavior of others by attributing said behavior to either external situations or internal dispositions, such as attitudes, motives, and enduring traits (Myers, 2010). Two types of attribution are dispositional and situational attribution. The difference between the two is that dispositional attribution is a means to attribute an individual's behavior to disposition and traits; while, situational attribution is to attribute an individual's behavior to the environment. The fundamental attribution error, also referred to as the correspondence bias is one type of attribution error made by individuals when explaining the behavior of others. For this type of attribution error, individuals attribute the behavior of others more so to an individual's attitudes and inner traits and do not consider situational constraints that may be obvious or not.
     This type of attribution error is one that I am most likely to make. I made this attribution error toward a former friends wife, who at the point and time seemed to have a very negative and harsh attitude toward my former friend (her husband). I completely ignored the some situational constraints and did not know about others, which were that the former friend constantly had affairs with other women, sometimes treated his wife and her son harshly, and often lied to his wife for various reasons.  

Myers, D. G. (2010). Social psychology (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

How does intuition work? What are the strengths and drawbacks of relying on one’s intuition? Do you believe individuals are wise to trust their intuition all the time? Why or why not?

           Intuition is individuals knowing they are right, whether they are or not right (Myers, 2010). Basically, individuals do not use reasoned analysis because they always know something or things. When an individual uses intuition, what occurs is thinking and decision making without reasoning that occurs. A strength of relying on intuition is that an individual can make quick or snap judgments or decisions without a long drawn out thought process. A draw back to using intuition is that individuals neglect analytic reasoning, which can lead to unsound decisions. Another draw back is that using intuition can be misleading. I do not believe individuals are wise to trust their intuition all the time. Trusting one's intuition all the time will not result in good decisions. Individuals need both intuition and reason in order to make the best possible decisions in life. Intuition without any steps of analysis leads individuals to potential manipulation and opening themselves up to make errors and biases judgments. Intuition is a necessary part of life but is not always reliable.
Myers, D. G. (2010). Social psychology (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Does intuition lead to fuzzy decision-making? (2012). The Business Journal - Central New York, 26(17), 5. Retrieved from