Directions: Using one of the theories of personality that we discuss in class, complete a 2-3 page paper (double spaced, size 12 font, 1” margins) analyzing the personality of a fictional character in a movie, book, TV show, etc. (I will not accept papers analyzing the personality of a real person.) You will be expected to provide a thoughtful discussion of how we can understand this character’s personality through the lens of the chosen major theory of personality. Depending on the theories you choose, different information and anecdotes about the character may be relevant.
· Remember that we have defined personality as: “An individual’s characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior, together with the psychological mechanisms—hidden or not—behind those patterns” (p. 5).
Suggested Paper Structure:
1. Tell me about the fictional character (1/2 page)
a. What is their name?
b. What show/book/movie, etc., are they in?
c. Briefly describe them and their role in the show/book/movie, etc. How might you or others describe the character? What is their environmental context?
2. Analyze the character’s personality from the perspective of the personality theory to personality you selected Behavioral Theory Topics to Consider:
· How does the character’s personality (i.e., thoughts, emotions, and behaviors) fit with the ideas of behavioral psychology?
o Do you see examples of the following types of learning in their personality…
(Make sure you describe the type of learning and explain how you are identifying and distinguishing it from the others.)
§ Classical conditioning?
§ Operant conditioning?
· How does the character’s personality (i.e., thoughts, emotions, and behaviors) fit with the ideas of social learning theory?
o What observational learning is occurring? How do you know? How is this influencing the character’s personality?
o What rewards is the character expecting? Are these different from what the rewards actually are? How do you know? How is this influencing the character’s personality?
o What does the character expect about their behavioral capacities? How do you know? How is this influencing the character’s personality?
o How is the character influencing the environment and how is the environment influencing the character?
· How does the character’s personality (i.e., thoughts, emotions, and behaviors) fit with Mischel’s Cognitive-Affective Personality System (CAPS) social learning theory?
o What are some of the character’s “distinctive person variables” (e.g., construction competencies, encoding strategies, subjective stimulus values, and self-regulatory systems)? How do you know? How is this influencing the character’s personality?
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