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PSYC 210: Temperament and

Personality
Developmental Origins,
Biological Bases,
and Implications for Psychopathology
Dr. Alex Shackman
University of Maryland
Spring 2015

Plan for Today


1. Round table discussion of T&P
fundamental questions (go to
document)
2. Expert perspectives on T&P with short
discussion
3. Review syllabus
Course mechanics and grading

Round Table
What are the fundamental questions that
define the scientific study of
temperament and personality (T&P)?
What are your intuitions, based on your
experiences, your prior coursework, and
our shared cultural understanding?

<Questions Document>

What do the so-called


experts have to say?

Expert perspectives on T&P


Temperament in Children: Behavior and
Biology (5:16)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=CGjO1KwltOw
Animal Models of T&P (~5min; Start @
2:28)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=URee25502aU
T&P Across the Lifespan (16:21)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzgHhhUGQY

Welcome to Psychology 210!


Four Course Objectives

Course Objectives, 1 of 4
A major goal of this course is to give you a broad,
interdisciplinary scientific background in T&P so
that you can:
Be a critical consumer and reviewer of this literature,
especially when it appears in the mass media, or is a
part of conversations about public policy (education,
business, or healthcare)
Understand the strengths and weaknesses of a broad
spectrum of biological, behavioral, and statistical tools
Broaden the way you think about connections between
the mind, brain, behavior

Note: This is an introductory course and an extensive


background in biology, genetics, neuroscience, statistics, or
other STEM fields is not assumed.

Course Objectives, 2 of 4
Become experts on how T&P
influence our daily lives and the
mechanisms that link T&P to positive
and negative outcomes

Course Objectives, 3 of 4
Develop a working knowledge of the
neurobiology and genetics of T&P

Course Objectives, 4 of 4
Know and be able to address the
fundamental questions, based on the
current state of the science

In other words, this is a science class


Not a history class, or whats been termed The Graveyard Tour
approach to teaching T&P

Whadya mean, Graveyard Tour?

The Graveyard Tour


Personality psychology has long been identified in the minds of
many people with the first (and perhaps only) course in the
subject that they took in college. Too often, this was (and
sometimes still is) the classic tour of the graveyard that focuses
on brilliant but long-deceased theorists and leads students to end
the semester thinking the burning concern of the field is the
disagreement between Freud and JungA course that is restricted
to theorists like these is an unforgivable misrepresentation of the
field, a failure in ones duty to educate students, and a slap in the
face to every contemporary personality researcher
It is unacceptable that personality psychology remains, generally,
a side trip through the history of psychology while the rest of the
science of psychology is presented to students through the lens of
the most cutting-edge research.
Benet-Martnez et al., APA Handbook of Personality & Social Psychol,
2015

The Graveyard Tour


Personality psychology has long been identified in the minds of
many people with the first (and perhaps only) course in the
subject that they took in college. Too often, this was (and
sometimes still is) the classic tour of the graveyard that focuses
on brilliant but long-deceased theorists and leads students to end
the semester thinking the burning concern of the field is the
disagreement between Freud and JungA course that is restricted
to theorists like these is an unforgivable misrepresentation of the
field, a failure in ones duty to educate students, and a slap in the
face to every contemporary personality researcher
It is unacceptable that personality psychology remains, generally,
a side trip throughhistorywhile the rest ofpsychology is
presented to students through the lens of the most cutting-edge
research.
Benet-Martnez et al., APA Handbook of Personality & Social Psychol,
2015

The Graveyard Tour


Personality psychology has long been identified in the minds of
many people with the first (and perhaps only) course in the
subject that they took in college. Too often, this was (and
sometimes still is) the classic tour of the graveyard that focuses
on brilliant but long-deceased theorists and leads students to end
the semester thinking the burning concern of the field is the
disagreement between Freud and JungA course that is restricted
to theorists like these is an unforgivable misrepresentation of the
field, a failure in ones duty to educate students, and a slap in the
face to every contemporary personality researcher
It is unacceptable that personality psychology remains, generally,
a side trip through the history of psychology while the rest of the
science of psychology is presented to students through the lens of
the most cutting-edge research.
Benet-Martnez et al., APA Handbook of Personality & Social Psychol,
2015

Syllabus: The nitty gritty details

Go to document

The End

Extra Slides

The T&P Hall of Fame


Consider as a typical textbookIt lists 22 theorists putting forth 20 major theories and faithfully
chronicles their extremely divergent views.
There is no agreement on definitions, models, methods, results or indeed anything whatever; all is
confusion, with no effort used to sort the chaff from the grain.
No criteria are offered for judging the truth-value of given statements, no attempt is made to
eliminate theories which definitely contradict established facts. and there is no effort at integration
As an example I would class among the inadmissible theories those of Freud, Adler, Jung,
Binswanger, Horney, Sullivan, Fromm, Erikson and Maslou.
They fail essentially because for the most part they do not generate testable deductions; because
where they do so the deductions have most frequently been falsified; and because they fail to
include practically all the experimental and empirical studies which have been done over the past
50 years. Historically these theorists have had some influence, but their theorizing and their mode
of working has not been in the tradition of natural science, and they have not been found responsive
to adverse
criticism or empirical disproof.
Hans J. Eysenck Personality & Indiv Diffs 1991