Importance of Natural Resources

2017 Personality 01: Introduction


[Music] 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 was“In sterquiliniis invenitur” which I’m sure I’m massacring because it’s Latin but it
meant ”in filth it will be found” and 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 so 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 you


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