U06D1 Personality Changes over the Lifespan

Topics: Psychology, Personality psychology, Old age Pages: 4 (1178 words) Published: September 1, 2012
u06d1 Personality Changes Over the Lifespan due 8/14/12

Analyze how personality changes throughout life from your chosen theory's perspective. What type of specialized training might counselors need to address the clinical needs of elderly clients? What specific clinical skill sets may be needed?

Eysenck’s Three Dimensions of Personality
British psychologist Hans Eysenck (Schultz, 2009) developed a model of personality based upon three universal traits: Introversion/Extraversion:
Introversion involves directing attention on inner experiences, while extraversion relates to focusing attention outward on other people and the environment. So, a person high in introversion might be quiet and reserved, while an individual high in extraversion might be sociable and outgoing. Neuroticism/Emotional Stability:

This dimension of Eysenck’s trait theory is related to moodiness versus even-temperedness. Neuroticism refers to an individual’s tendency to become upset or emotional, while stability refers to the tendency to remain emotionally constant. Psychoticism:

Later, after studying individuals suffering from mental illness, Eysenck added a personality dimension he called psychoticism to his trait theory. Individuals who are high on this trait tend to have difficulty dealing with reality and may be antisocial, hostile, non-empathetic and manipulative (Eysenck, H.J., 1992).

Eysenck based his theory focusing on physiology and genetics. While he believed that learned habits are important, Eysenck felt that personality stems from genetic influence or what we are born with. An example may be a person’s initial response to stressful or emergency situations. One person may appear calm and collected, whereas others may appear hysterical and fearful. When this behavior becomes the normal way to respond, the response then becomes a habit. Eysenck proposed that introverts were more internally stimulated than extroverts. Therefore extroverts seek out more external...
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