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Lecture 9

PSYC 333 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Cortisol, Ob River, White Noise


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 333
Professor
Jennifer Bartz
Lecture
9

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PSYC333 Lecture 9 - Feb. 14
The Search For Personal Consistency
Extra Class Notes:
Cross-situational consistency - by knowing that someone is conscience, we can predict their con-
science behaviour across multiple traits
They is very low cross situational consistency - says Walter Mischel
Data is not random actually, it is important and helps tell the behaviour of an individual but re-
quires the use of if-then contingencies
Cognitive-Affective System Theory of Personality (CAPS) - Mischel, Shoda & Wright:
Individual differences in conditional probability across situations
On y axis: any dispositional behaviour (i.e. Agreeableness)
Each person fluctuates a great deal in terms of conscience behaviour in all 12 different situations,
but these two people, taking their mean conscience behaviour, is the same; thus, does not tell us
much
Situation = if, behaviour = then (looks for how people construe the situation)
Situations reliably trigger behavioural responses
Cognitive and affective units mediate the situation to behaviour response
A conditional response
Need to understand the “psychological meaning” of the situation for the individual in order to predict
individual’s behaviour
Variability in behaviour across situations not random error that needs to be eliminated, rather, it’s
important information that can give us clues about underlying personality system
Should not take our error, but rather understand the error
The situational variance is important; gives us clues for underlying personality system
Descriptive Situations (If):
Camp
Characterize the situation by how the child acts in a woodworking class vs at a cabin meeting

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School
Playground vs Classroom
Home
Mealtime vs Watching TV
Mischel says we need to move away from these descriptive situations and understand the psycho-
logical meaning of the situation of the individual
Drawing links between similar situations helps predict behaviour
Interpersonal Situations:
Mischel says to focus on psychological meaning, we need to understand interpersonal situations
How each child behaves in each of the following situation. Understanding how these children psy-
chologically construe the situation, we can determine more regularities in the child’s behaviour
Peer approaches
Peer teases
Adult praises
Adult warns
Adult punishes
Intra-individual, Situation-behaviour Profiles For Verbal Aggression:
Two child #9 and #28
Go through 5 situations by standardizing their verbal aggression; lines up using the mean from the
rest of the groups, thus 0 is the same as the normative behaviour of the group of children
Child #9: warned by adult elicit verbal aggression; peer tease will not likely elicit verbal aggression
Child #28: opposite of child #9. More verbal aggression when peer teased while less verbal aggres-
sion to warning from adult
Random fluctuations are not random, are meaningful, but need to understand the psychological
mindset of the children to predict their future behaviour because each child is different
Situation: “If Peer Teased”
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Red bars indicate the mean correlation of verbal aggressive behaviours across all five situations
Like traditional trait theorists
Blue bars indicate to what extend does a verbal aggressive behaviour on one occasion in a particu-
lar situation IF peer teased. The blue bars indicate within situations in which peer teased, to what
extent is verbal aggressive behaviour correlated across those situations
Helps prove Mischel’s behaviour
There are specific if-then contingencies that develop for these kids
Situation: “If Peer Positive Contact”
Correlation between pro-social talk within situations involving peer positive contact is much higher
than just looking at correlation across all five situations
Cognitive Affective Mediating Units - Mischel:
These are the factors that influence how that person is construing the social situations:
Encodings or construal
Self, other people, situations
Expectancies and beliefs
About social world, outcomes for behaviour in particular situations, self-efficacy
Affects
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