the way in which factors such as skills, abilities, personalities, perceptions, attitudes, values, and ethics differ from one individual to another.
Individual differences
the psychological approach to understanding human behavior that involves knowing something about the person and about the situation.
Interactional psychology
a relatively stable set of characteristics that influence an individual’s behavior.
Personality
a personality theory that advocates breaking down behavior patterns into series of observable traits in order to understand human behavior.
Trait theory
the broad theory that describes personality as a composite of an individual’s psychological processes.
Integrative approach
a situation that overwhelms the effects of individual personalities by providing strong cues for appropriate behavior.
Strong situation
an individual’s generalized belief about internal control (self-control) verses external control (control by the situation or by others).
Locus of control
an individual’s general belief that he or she is capable of meeting job demands in a wide variety of situations.
General self-efficacy
an individual’s general feeling of self-worth.
Self-esteem
the extent to which people base their behavior on cues from other people and situations.
Self-monitoring
an individual’s tendency to accentuate the positive aspects of herself or himself, other people, and the world in general.
Positive affect
an individual’s tendency to accentuate the negative aspects of himself or herself, other people, and the world in general.
Negative affect
a personality test that elicits an individual’s response to abstract stimuli.
Projective test
personality assessments that involve observing an individual’s behavior in a controlled situation.
Behavioral measures
a common personality assessment that involves an individual’s responses to a series of questions.
Self-report questionnaire
an instrument developed to measure Carl Jung’s theory of individual differences.
MBTI instrument
being energized by interaction with people.
Extraversion
being energized by spending time alone.
Introversion
gathering information through the five senses and focusing on what actually exists.
Sensing
gathering information through a “sixth sense” and focusing on what could be.
Intuition
making decisions in a logical, objective fashion.
Thinking
making decisions in a personal, value-oriented way.
Feeling
preferring closure and completion in making decisions.
Judging
preferring to explore many alternatives with flexibility and spontaneity.
Perceiving
the process of interpreting information about another person.
Social perception
the assumption that an individual’s behavior is accounted for by the situation.
Discounting principle
the tendency to select information that supports our individual viewpoints while discounting information that threatens our viewpoints.
Selective perception
a generalization about a group of people.
Stereotype
forming lasting opinions about an individual based on initial perceptions.
First-impression
overestimating the number of people who share our beliefs, values, and behaviors.
Projection
allowing expectations about people to affect our interaction with them in such a way that those expectations are fulfilled.
Self-fulfilling prophecy
the process by which individuals try to control the impressions others have of them.
Impression management
a theory that explains how individuals pinpoint the causes of their own and others behavior.
Attribution theory
the tendency to make attributions to internal causes when focusing on someone else’s behavior.
Fundamental attribution error
the tendency to attribute one’s successes to internal causes and one’s failures to external causes.
Self-serving bias