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Working Memory

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Submitted By kyryn
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TEMPERAMENT AND TEMPERAMENTAL TRAITS
Temperament refers to an individual’s natural behavioral style which is present from birth. It is the how of behavior, not the wh y, wha t, or how well . It is not to be confused with motivation (why) or ability (what and how well). Temperamental traits are innate, not produced by the environment. However, the environment - including the behavior of the parent - does interplay with temperament and influences the expression of temperamental traits.
Nine characteristics or temperamental traits were originally identified in the New York Longitudinal Study. The NYLS was begun in 1956 by Doctors Alexander Thomas, Stella Chess, and Herbert Birch, and is still ongoing. This project, the first of several longitudinal studies of temperament, has followed over 130 persons from infancy to adulthood, identifying the temperamental characteristics of each child, studying the influences of these traits on the child’s development and interactions with their environments. The nine temperamental traits can be defined as follows:
1. Activity level. How active is the child typically and how much of the time is the child active?
2. Rhythmicity (regularity). How predictable is the child with regard to the timing of his/her sleep, appetite, and elimination patterns?
3. Approach/withdrawal. Is the child’s initial response to newness - new person, foods, places, objects - positive or negative?
4. Adaptability. How does the child deal with transition, change, and newness over time.
5. Threshold (of responsiveness). What level of sensory stimulation evokes a response in the child? Is he easily bothered by bright lights, smells, tastes, textures, pain? Is she easily over-stimulated?
6. Intensity (of reaction). What is the level of the child’s response to stimulation? Is he/she generally loud or quiet, whether happy or unhappy?

7. Mood. Is the child’s basic mood positive or negative? What type of behavior predominates: happy, pleasant, and friendly or unpleasant, unhappy, and unfriendly/
8. Distractibility. How easily is the child distracted from ongoing behavior by new or extraneous stimuli?
9. Attention span and persistence. How long will the child pursue a particular activity? How persistent is he in continuing an activity in the face of obstacles? Is she stubborn about getting what she wants?…...

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