Theoretical Perspective of the Biological Term Paper

Pages: 11 (3177 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Psychology

An individual nature is the vehicle by which one expresses his/her values and emotions to others (Coon & Mitterer, 2008). The human brain processes the four major biochemicals in different manner, and this mixture determines ones nature and personality. The chemical behavioral foundations comprise of hormones and neurotransmitters, which play a major role in interaction and nervous system's cells stimulation.


Neurotransmitters are efficiently the messengers of the brain and they hold information from one brain cell to another. Neurons are sensitive to various types of neurotransmitters and have receptors. Neurons that are sensitive to certain neurotransmitters tend to cluster together forming circuits in the brain that assist the spread of information (Coon & Mitterer, 2008). Neurotransmitters; norepinephrine and epinerphrine, are crucial portion of the flight reaction to dangerous situations. The brain norepinephrine is linked to aggressive tendencies in human and monkeys.

Dopamine on the other hand, assists in controlling the reward of the brain and happiness regions. It regulates emotional reactions and movements besides enabling human beings to view rewards, and is it the foundation of extraversion (Matthews & Whiteman, 2009). Moreover, dopamine is a crucial foundation of BAS (Behavioral Activation System) and BIS (behavioral inhibition system) based in the frontal lobes.

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5-hydroxtytryptamine or serotonin alleviates anxiety and depression besides subduing hunger. Reduced levels of serotonin because intermediate personality disorder and it is involved in sensory perception, sleep and body temperatures regulation with its insufficiency implicated in mental illness. Serotonin controls emotions and some antidepressants are created to augment its dominance in the brain. Serotonin lessens neurotic overreactions to unconstructive situations when it is raised through (SSRI) selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Matthews & Whiteman, 2009). Nevertheless, efforts to enhance personality-pertinent brain operation through cosmetic psychopharmacology can lead to adverse effects.


Term Paper on Theoretical Perspective of the Biological Assignment

Hormones are engaged in a broad variety of personality and behavioral traits. Testosterone, may account in some major sections for the personality disparities between women and men, and the shifts in conduct that takes place as an age function. Testosterone hormone is linked to surgency, sociability, energy, sensation seeking, rebelliousness, aggressiveness and activity.

Cortisone is one of the final products of hypothalamic-pituitary adrenocortical (HYPAC) stress system and is related to stress reactivity in anxiety and depressive disorders. The HYPAC system is highly reactive in a strain of rats depicting nonexploratory, nonaggressive, fearful traits that are characteristic of human sensation seekers (Matthews & Whiteman, 2009).In animals, biological attributes underlying behavior are general across a broad spectrum of attributes like bold exploration and fear.

The Five-Factor Model of Personality Traits

Numerous psychologists have taken on challenge to determine the fundamental traits that construct the core of personality. For instance, Raymond Cattell applied the statistical process of factor analysis to reduce a list of one hundred and seventy one personality traits complied by Allport Gordon (1937) to sixteen fundamental personality dimensions. In the factor analysis, relationships among several variables are evaluated to determine closely linked clusters of variables. In factor analysis of personality traits, the hidden aspects are viewed as elementary, higher-order traits that determine less elemental, more detailed traits. Based on his factor analysis, Cattell confirmed that a person's personality could be described fully through measuring sixteen traits, which are discussed in the Five-Factor Model of personality traits. The Bid Five personality model quantifies comparatively different personality traits including:

The tendency to experience negative emotions-Neuroticism

The tendency to be assertive to sociable, and to experience positive emotions-Extraversion

The tendency to be unconventional and imaginative-Openness

The tendency to be cooperative and trustworthy-Agreeableness

The tendency to be reliable and organized-Conscientiousness

Paul Costa and Robert McCrae utilized the factor analysis to arrive at simpler five-factor model of personality. They claimed that the vast majority of personality qualities derive from just five higher-order traits that are known as the Big Five: extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness and openness to experience. The Big Five traits haven was linked to divergent brain systems and chemicals (Coon & Mitterer, 2008). They also envisage how people will operate in different circumstances. For instance, individuals who score high in conscientiousness tend to perform well at their work place, perform well in school and rarely experience automobile accidents, and they live longer (Coon & Mitterer, 2008).


Agreeableness refers to an individual's aptitude to get along with others. Agreeableness makes some people to be cooperative, gentle, understanding, good nurtured and forgiving while dealing with others. However, some of these people become irritable, uncooperative, short-tempered, and antagonistic towards others (Griffin, 2009). According to Lloyd & Hammer (2012), people who score high in agreeableness tend to be trusting, sympathetic, modest, straightforward and cooperative. People who score at the conflicting end of this personality trait are portrayed as aggressive, antagonistic and suspicious. Agreeableness has its foundation on childhood nature and it enhances philanthropic or helping conduct in social interactions (Lloyd & Hammer, 2009). Agreeableness is linked to constructive perspectives to conflict resolutions thereby making agreeable persons less quarrelsome compared to others. According to Ashton (2012), agreeableness covaries with volume in areas that process information regarding the intentions and mental states of other people.


Conscientiousness refers to the number of objectives a person focuses on (Weiten, 2008). People who focus on comparatively few goals at a given point are likely to be careful, systematic, thorough, self-disciplined, responsible and organized. According to Lloyd & Hammer (2009), conscientious persons tend to be disciplined, punctual and dependable. Conscientious is linked to being highly diligent in the workplace, and is highly linked to different occupational areas with considerable permanence. According to Ashton (2012), conscientiousness covaries with volume in lateral prefrontal cortex, an area involved in planning and the voluntary control of conduct.


According to Lloyd & Hammer (2009), people who score high in extraversion are portrayed as sociable, outgoing, optimistic, assertive, gregarious and friendly. Extraversion is also linked to other traits such as self-esteem and firefighting capacities among professional firefighters. Extraverts may need more stimulation to raise their arousal to maximum levels, which could offer explanations why they are drawn to more exciting actions including risk-taking adventures. According to Ashton (2012), extraversion covaries with the volume of medial orbitofrontal cortex, a brain area involved in process reward information.


Nevid (2012) asserts people who are high on neuroticism, or emotional instability tends to be anxious, restless, moody, worrisome and tense. Those who are low on neuroticism tend to calm, stable, relaxed and even-tempered. Neuroticism is linked to low levels of life satisfaction and poorer psychological adjustment, besides poor health upshots such augmented danger to serious medical illness and reduced endurance. Lloyd & Hammer (2009) assert that people who score high in neuroticism are vulnerable, insecure, hostile, and self-conscious. Such people overreact more in response to stressors compared to other people. According to Ashton (2012), neuroticism covaries with volume of brain regions linked to threat, negative affect and punishment.

Openness to Experience

Openness is linked to flexibility, imaginativeness, curiosity, unconventional attitudes and artistic sensitivity. Lloyd & Hammer (2012) assert that openness fosters liberalism, and this trait is important in determining the political attitudes of people. People who are high on openness display less prejudice against minorities. According to Lloyd & Hammer (2012), the significance of openness to experience trait has been underestimated.

According to Matthews & Whiteman (2009), there is a reasonable degree of congruence between the five factor model and personality aspects from dissimilar schemes devised through different authors with divergent theoretical orientations. No matter what the actual qualities are named by different authors, they tend to considerably assess some or all qualities of the five-factor model (Matthews & Whiteman, 2009). The five-factor model has been powerful because it offers the consequential upshots that include individual well-being, harmful or beneficial community engagement and the quality of relationships with others. Matthews and Whiteman (2009 affirm that Costa and McCrae (1992) summarized the proof of the validity of the five factor model. They state the four means through which the five factors are fundamental. These means include:

That cross-sectional and longitudinal study have indicated five robust aspects to the permanent behavioral dispositions

That qualities linked to the five factors emerge from divergent personality systems and from natural language system

That the five factors are evident in divergent age, race, language and sex

That heritability studies shows some biological foundation for each of the five factors

The Big Five personality model offers a significant structure for identifying individual disparities in both childhood and adulthood, and can integrate the disposition traits that have emerged in several research lines. Extraversion is already apparent in infancy in form of positive emotions and extends to include positive activity and energy, sociability and assertiveness. Neuroticism appears in infancy in the form of irritability, sadness, and overreaction to negative circumstances while conscientiousness surfaces early in life in children's disparities in self-regulation and self-control. Agreeableness appears in form of prosocial conduct and empathy in toddler years. Openness to experience appears later and is determined through sensory sensitivity. The Big Five traits are therefore related to divergent brain systems… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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