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PSYC 332 - Intro to Personality

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PSYC 332
Richard Koestner

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 o By making inferences about personality, we can predict our interactions with people o Interviewing 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 o Commonly accepted taxonomy of personality traits o Emerged in 1980s as a strong framework for thinking about personality traits • Consider the limitations of the Big Five Traits o Restricting our understanding of personality to these big 5 traits • What do we know when we know a person? Northwestern University 1 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) • Gentle • Outgoing • Likeable • Spontaneous • Thoughtful • Conscientious • Shy • Energetic • Quarrelsome • Neurotic • Disorganized • Open-minded 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, synonyms) 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 2 order people)  Tendencies – it’s a disposition, its not automatic someone who is extroverted will be outgoing in every situation, but most of the time they will behave in a certain way  Consistence – referring to things that should be fairly evident across situations and overtime  Patterns – trait dimensions are rather broad and general, you will find out later that that’s a problem The Big Five Trait Taxonomy • Extraversion: tendency to be outgoing, sociable and impulsive o Most of us think of terms in people who are people-oriented but there is more to it than that, there is also an energetic active assertive aspect that goes along with that (a dominance aspect to extroversion) o Opposite is introversion (being shy, reserved, deliberate) • Neuroticism: tendency to experience negative unpleasant emotions o Anxious, worrying, moody o Opposite – calm stable relaxed o In the video pam and jim are not high on extroversion, Jim a bit higher than Pam o In terms of neuroticism they are pretty low • Openness to Experience: tendency to be receptive to new ideas, approaches and experiences. o Trickiest to identify o People who high on this are curious, creative and complex o Difficulty with this is that it is pretty strongly related to intelligence level and education o When you try and make personality judgments you want it to be separate from IQ and how much education someone has o Opposite – someone who likes routine, eat the same thing, do same thing, someone who is afraid of change • Agreeableness: Tendency to have concern for others, to have warm and trusting and sentiments. o Good natured, curious, and sympathetic o Opposite is to be quarrelsome – prickly, cold, get into arguments with people o Jim and Pam are very high on this o The two interpersonal dimensions – that affect how we get along with other is extroversion and agreeableness • Conscientiousness: tendency toward organization, persistence and motivation in goal-directed behavior o Careful, reliable, and well organized o Opposite – careless and disorganized o Class mean would prob be at 80% bc to make it to a university like McGill you probabl
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