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Lecture 7

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PSYC 332
Richard Koestner

Lecture 7: 2013/01/29 Questions of the day: 1) What does it mean when someone behaves differently on a given trait dimension across different situations? - 2 possibilities: personally relevant, self-monitor - Social psychology vs personal psychology - Walter Mischel  Our behavior is inconsistent across situation  Highly variable across situation  Our behavior is specific to particular situation  How we behave is not true reflection of our true personality, is like more responds to situation. Chameleon story - Prof’s first girlfriend and a getaway trip - Girlfriend thought he was quiet, shy guy but then she observed the conversation between prof and bus driver. - She said “You mean you’re a chameleon!” How consistent are people in their behavior across situations? - Dudycha (1936) study of punctuality (5 different activities, whether be on time, how late they are)  8am classes  Appointments  Extracurricular activities  Vesper services (prayer activity)  Entertainments - Mean r (correlation) = 0.19 - Walter Mischel “It is impossible to demonstrate generalized consistencies in behavior and the concept of personality traits as broad dispositions is thus untenable.” - If you measure personality and predict important outcomes/behaviors, there is correlation of 0.30 ceiling. He overestimated how powerful the effects of situation. He also did not focus on how data can be aggregated (Only use conscientiousness trait across 5 situations, not using 5 traits to average out). If we aggregate all the big 5 traits data, we get good correlation. Darryl Bem (1974) frames the issue - There is a discrepancy between our intuitions, which tell us that people do in fact display pervasive cross-situational consistencies in their behavior, and the vast empirical literature, which tells us that they do not.” - Most of us actually believe that there is personality dispositions and people will behave according to this dispositions and they do thacross situations - But most of the studies seem to suggest this is not true Reasons to doubt our intuition about stability - Evidence of implicit personality theories  Example of implicit theory: educated person is reflective, cultured, unlike to be occupied by sports  First impression accounts for how we see other person’s personality. (Oh, he seems to be educated person.) We assume that people behave consistently across situations.  This implicit personality theories pushes us to see more consistency than there really is - Evidence of attributaional bias  Whether we explain our behavior in terms of situation or personality  We tend to think our behavior is largely determined by situation
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