CH 9-16 : Behavior and Personality Answers

Question 1

Personality refers to a unique combination of emotion, behavior, motivation and thought patterns and they all play a vital role in defining an individual. More so, these patterns have a strong impact on personal values, attitudes, perceptions and expectations (Introduction to Personality). The biological perspective on personality entails the manifestation of personality traits through biology by investigating the connections between genetics, personality, and brain processes. In fact, according to the field of behavioral genetics, genetics controls various aspects of individuals’ personalities. More so, hormones, neurotransmitters and other areas and pathways in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine have been linked to the development of the personality of an individual (Introduction to Personality).  Hormones, neurotransmitters and pathways in the brain have played a vital part in influencing the personality of individuals because various areas of the brain facilitate the development of some personality traits such as extroversion.

Question 2

A “black box” is the most crucial strongly worded warning that is labelled on antidepressant prescription drugs. The Food and Drug Administration issued orders to drug companies to place labels on the antidepressant medications after they discovered that various antidepressant medications increase suicidal thinking and behavior especially when it comes to adolescents and children with major depressive disorder or other different psychiatric disorders. The Food and Drug Administration agency believed that there was a direct causal link between the thirty-two antidepressant drugs which was currently in the market and increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (Rosack, 2004). Therefore, the “black box” was used to urge caregivers and families to observe the patients closely for various signs and symptoms such as suicidality and other unusual changes in behavior which can be linked to the initiation of antidepressant therapy.

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Question 3

According to the attribution theory, people have the tendency of explaining their own behavior and the behavior of others by giving attributes to these behaviors. The two vital sources of our behavior include those influenced by external factors (situational) and those influenced by internal factors (dispositional). More so, many aspects play a vital role when it comes to assigning attributes to behaviors. For instance, the view of the world, past experiences in a specific situation or with a person and knowledge of existing behaviors. However, other factors can have impacts when it comes to interpretations and people have the tendency of making mistakes such as fundamental attribution error and self-serving bias when assigning these attributes. For instance, fundamental attribution error entails underestimating external factors and overestimating the internal factors when describing the behavior of others. On the other hand, self-serving bias entails equating failures to external attributes and successes to internal attributes (Our View of Self and Others, 2018).

Question 4

The debate on genes, race and intelligence has resurfaced again with some individuals arguing that Black Americans are genetically inferior compared to White Americans. The issue of finding a correlation between race and intelligence has no redeeming value and social significance because it contributes to racism and other disorders irrespective of the fact that people have different biologically determined qualities. The studies of the link between race and intelligence may serve social ends and not scientific ends because there is no gene that has been directly linked to intelligence and various studies have not included other aspects which may have an impact on intelligence such as poor health and low quality of schooling.

Question 5

The availability heuristic entails making decisions quickly and arriving into solutions based on ideas that come quickly to the mind. People have to make tough decisions on daily basis and hence organizations and businesses can take advantage of the existing knowledge of the human mind and behavior by implementing various heuristics such as default effect, scarcity heuristic, naïve diversification and fluency heuristic. Businesses should apply default effect in the essence that the default settings of their products and services should assume the best interest that their customers have in mind by providing unique options to them. Nevertheless, businesses such as state lottery system should apply scarcity heuristic in the effort of boosting their sales by identifying opportunities that facilitate the perception of scarcity among the users when it comes to the availability and exclusivity of products and services.  More so, businesses can apply naïve diversification by providing their customers with more diverse choices since people are easily distracted when they have to make a single choice from more diverse random selections. Fluency heuristic entails providing customers with many options and allowing them to select an option which they can process fast. All these tactics are fair to customers because it involves providing them with quality goods and services irrespective of the choices they will make.

Question 6

The act of repeatedly pounding her pillow is an effective way of reducing anger because it will not assist in shaping her physical health and emotional well being and it may lead to worse outcomes. Some two better ways to reduce her anger entails changing the way she thinks relaxing. Andrea should apply cognitive restricting by replacing unhelpful negative thoughts with constructive reasonable thoughts. Nevertheless, she should practice simple relaxation strategies progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing (Strategies for controlling your anger: keeping anger in check, 2019).

Question 7

Repression is a defense mechanism which entails repressing or hiding traumatic memories. Repression can be used to protect self-image it facilitates creation of an imagery shield which can protect a person from abusive thoughts. Displacement is a defense mechanism changing of aggressive impulses to something which is less intimidating. It is used to enhance a positive self-image because it assists in deflecting away negative wild thoughts. Denial involves the action of refusing to believe in something and it helps in protecting self-image because it shields individuals from bad external factors. Nevertheless, reaction formation involves the expression of individual impulses which are opposite to how they feel and it assists in enhancing self-image by enabling a person to vent off various attitudes and feelings. Projection is a defense mechanism which entails projecting ideas to others resulting from anxieties of previous desires, experiences and feelings. It assists in enhancing self-image by enabling individuals to avoid accepting their personal weaknesses. More so, rationalization is a defense mechanism which involves an individual creating or explaining excuses for an action and it helps in enhancing self-image because it enables a person to avoid valid reasons connected to their current situation.

Question 8

According to cognitive dissonance theory, when a person holds two or more cognitions that contradicts each other, they always experience an unpleasant state-dissonance- and this always goes on until they are capable of resolving that state through alteration of their cognitions (Hinojosa et al., 2016). More so, individuals always change their attitudes in the effort of favoring their behaviors after engaging in an unpleasant behavior and this is the same case that happened to Latitia after sleeping with her boyfriend and focused her attitudes into believing that she was in love with him. Latitia should practice discrepancy reduction which involves alteration of cognition in the effort of minimizing the cognitive discrepancy and this will ensure that her sexual behaviors are guided by her own true attitudes and desires.

Question 9

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition enables mental health professionals to describe various behaviors which may act as symptoms to one or more disorder.  However, the DSM-V can work if the classification system is understood and developed in a particular way so that it can become universally applicable by all mental health professionals hence allowing them to give a universal description of the disorder. Therefore, this will assist in solving the problem of misdiagnosis by the physicians when they do not make the required assessment of the symptoms and conditions of patients.


Introduction to Personality. Retrieved from

Rosack, J. (2004). FDA Issues Controversial Black-Box Warning, 39(21). Retrieved from

Our View of Self and Others. (2018). Retrieved from

Strategies for controlling your anger: Keeping anger in check. (2019). Retrieved from

Hinojosa, A., Gardner, W., Walker, H., Cogliser, C., & Gullifor, D. (2016). A Review of Cognitive Dissonance Theory in Management Research. Journal Of Management43(1), 170-199. doi: 10.1177/0149206316668236











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