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PSYC 332 Lecture Notes - Unrequited Love, Neuroticism, Agreeableness

Course Code
PSYC 332
Richard Koestner

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Friday January 7 2011
Lecture 2: Personality
How do we know another person: The Personality Framework of Dan McAdams
Today’s Class
Consider how we organize our personality judgments
oBy making inferences about personality, we can predict our interactions
with people
oInterviewing candidates for a position, people are making judgments about
you, the professors who do this spend some time judging scientific
credentials of candidate and also spend time thinking about personality
qualities (is this going to be a nice colleague, will they be fair, will I enjoy
talking to them etc)
Distinguish the Big Five Traits
oCommonly accepted taxonomy of personality traits
oEmerged in 1980s as a strong framework for thinking about personality
Consider the limitations of the Big Five Traits
oRestricting our understanding of personality to these big 5 traits
What do we know when we know a person?
Northwestern University

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Film Clip from the Office
Unrequited love romance between Jim and Pam, Jim loves Pam, unfortunately Pam
has been engaged, Jim is quiet about things until it gets close to the wedding
How would you describe Pam’s personality
How would you describe Jim’s personality
Random Traits:
Already formed some impressions of Jim and Pam, and Ryan if though you only saw
10 seconds (at the end)
Pam – confused (more of a state like thing, is she always like this?), sweet, gentle,
sincere, timid, guarded
Even after a brief presentation you can generate some descriptions
18, 000 - diff terms to describe personality, more are state like descriptions (today we
want to talk about general patterns of behaviour consistent across situations and over time
4, 000 – only this amount that refer to stable characteristics (some sound similar,
170 – grouping things that are synonyms or reverse antonyms (still way to many to be
useful to you in organizing your info about other people)
5 – factor analysis allows you identify clusters of traits that seem to go together but they
cohere. Someone who is sociable-gregarious also tend to be assertive and daring and
impulsive (they aren’t synonyms but the traits go together and when psychologists over
the years try to boil down all the traits in the English language they ended up with 5 big
trait dimensions)
*Other trait dimensions that wouldn’t appear in Jim and Pam
Formal Definition of Traits
Dimensions of individual differences in tendencies to show consistent patterns of
thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Dimensions – these are comparative, you can identify differences in individuals (rank
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