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Lecture One.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2740
Stephen Lewis

Lecture One: Introduction to Personality Personality: set of psychological traits and mechanisms within the individual that organized and relatively enduring and that influences his or her interactions and adaptations with/to the environment (including intrapsychic, physical and social environment). 1) Mechanisms: INPUTS -> DECISION MAKING -> OUTPUTS 2) Relatively enduring: traits are relatively stable over time; State vs. Trait a. Ex. State: anxiety – an unpleasant emotional arousal in the face of danger/threats Trait: anxiety – tendency to respond with state anxiety in the anticipation of threats. 3 LEVELS OF ANALYZING PERSONALITY 1) HUMAN NATURE : like all others Most contemporary research occurs in these levels because we have “domains of knowledge” 2) INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP DIFFERENCE: like some others 3) Individual uniqueness level: like no others i. Nomothetic: recognizes differences between people and uses statistical methods. ii. Idiographic: research focusing on just one individual (more qualitative) DOMAINS OF HUMAN NATURE *Dispositional: focuses on number and nature of traits (links to all domains and focuses how people differ)* Biological: views people as biological systems that are the foundation for personality Intrapsychic: largely pertains to mental mechanisms of personality outside of consciousness Cognitive-experiential: pertains to cognition and subjective experiences of ourselves and others Social-cultural: entails the view that personality is influenced by social and cultural contexts Adjustment: pertains how we cope, adapt and adjust to various forms of change & events Guide for researchers Evaluated by considering: comprehensiveness parsimony Theory: Organizes findings heuristic value compatibility & integration Makes predictions testability EX. Theory of Planned Behaviour Attitudes Your view of a behaviour Subjective norms What others think about you doing it Perceived behaviour control Difficulty of behaviour and control over it Intent Likelihood of engaging in the behaviour Attitudes Subjective norms  Intent  BEHAVIOUR Percieved behavioural control Lecture Two: Personality Assessment, Measurement and Research Design SOURCES OF DATA a) Self-report (s-data): 1. Structured: responses are set; includes DICHOTOMOUS (forced choice) and Likert-Ratings (1 never, 2 rarely, 3 sometimes, etc.) Pros: standardization, use of stats Cons: limits in responses; possible limited accuracy 2. Unstructured: responses are not set; open ended questions. Pros: detailed, no limits in response Cons: not standardized, cannot use routine stats. Other forms: event sampling that occurs over time to assess variables that might change in “real-time”. Ex. Youth who have self-injured had PDA’s and were prompted to self-report about thoughts and actions. Limitation of self-report data: honesty in responses, not having self-knowledge or objectivity to respond. b) Observer (o-data): involves gathering data from other individuals. Pros: access to unique data and multiple informants Cons: objectivity and respondents may not be able to infer internal processes (eg. Feelings) Where it may be collected: Naturalistic setting: observations occur in Artificial setting: observations occur in setting created to a natural/real-life setting resemble a real life setting c) Test (T-Data): utilizes standardized testing situations to determine aspects of personality & takes various forms: 1) Mechanical recording 2) Physiological data 3) Projective tests Limitations of test data: participants may “guess” trait being assessed and create an impression; participants and researchers may view the testing situation differently; the influence of the researcher of the participant. EVALUATION PERSONALITY MEASURES Reliability: whether data reflects the true level of what is being measured. Test-retest: sources of a measure correlate on repeated measures. Internal Consistency: items on 1 measure correlate with each other. Inter-rater: ratings of 1 observer correlate with those of another. Response sets that impact reliability and is unrelated to item content: 1) Acquiescence 2) Extreme responding 3) Social desirability Validity: degree to which a test measures what it claims to measure. Face: whether
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