PSY230H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Extraversion And Introversion, Conscientiousness, Walter Mischel

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3 Oct 2018
School
Department
Course
Personality traits: behavioral dispositions
Consistency across situations
Core assumption of personality psychology: People behave consistency across
situations.
Sociable people are more likely to meet new people: at parties, in airplanes, in
classrooms, in bars, online
However, behavior is also influenced by situations in bars, in dark alleys
Situationism
Walter Mischel – famous critic of trait theories.
“Although intuitively we assume that individuals do differ consistently in the kinds of
behavioral tendencies that they exhibit in many different situations, on close
observation it turns out that this is often not the case” (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk,
Introduction to Personality, 2008, p. 74).
Mischel's evidence
Reviewed studies that examined the correlation between personality measures and
actual behavior in a specific situation (e.g., extraversion & amounts of word spoken in
a conversation).
Correlations were often small to moderate (r< .30, r2 < 9%).
Do you think this finding undermines trait theories?
A = Yes, B = No
Personality psychologists response ******
Low correlations are partly due to measurement error.
A concrete behavior can be influenced by several traits, each one explaining only a
small amount of the variance.
Traits are dispositions that have a stronger influence on behavior across many
different situations than on behavior in a single situation.
Epstein (1983): the power of aggregation
Daily diary study of moods
Complete a diary for 30 days
At the end of each day, students recorded how they felt during a day
Day-to-day correlation
Epstein computed the correlation between students’ moods at the end of one day
with students’ moods at the end of another day.
He repeated this procedure for all pairs of days (e.g., Day 1 with Day 2, Day 1 with Day
3, etc.)
The average day-to-day correlation was r= .20.
Conclusion: There is only moderate consistency in moods from day to day.
Why?
Correlation between aggregates
Aggregates are averages across several observations.
Average mood on odd days (1, 2, 3, …) and average mood on even days (2, 4, 6, …)
The correlation between the two aggregates was r= .81.
Conclusion: High consistency in average levels of moods over a period of weeks.
Does this finding show that dispositions are important? A. Yes B. No
Experience sampling study of the big five
Participants: Students at Wake Forest
Method:
Students carried palm pilots and reported their behaviors and feelings in the
past few hours (states).
-Example. “During the previous hour, how well does [e.g., talkative] describe you?"
Behavioral aggregates are important
Even small effects on one situation (r= .10, r2= 1%) can make a big difference in the
long term.
For example, free throws in basketball.
Exams scores are aggregated across many questions.
Grade point averages of students are aggregated across many exams in many courses.
(preliminary) conclusion
Behavior (thoughts, feelings) vary from moment to moment and situation to situation.
Aggregates of behaviors are highly stable and reveal the influence of personality
traits.
Although traits may have low predictive validity for behavior in a single situation,
traits can have powerful effects on aggregates of behavior.
The 2nd round of the controversy
Epstein:
- aggregation is necessary to control measurement error
- personality is all that matters.
Mischel’s response:
- aggregation destroys situational effects.
- situational effects are much larger than personality effects.
Carlton study of cross-situational consistency
Participants. (only) 63 students
Assessment of conscientiousness behaviors: class attendance, study-session
attendance, room neatness, personal-appearance neatness,
Other evidence
Participants. Students at University of Illinois
Method. Experience sampling study
Student reported activity level, mood, and general attitudes towards life. The also
reported aspects of the situation (social vs. alone; work vs. recreational).
Conclusion
Cross-situational consistency is not always low.
Low correlations do not automatically undermine the importance of trait theories.
The amount of consistency can vary across behaviors.
Important to distinguish cross-situational consistency of the same behavior
(appearance neatness – room neatness) and cross-behavioral consistency (room
neatness and swearing)
Personality traits are real and important.
Person-situation interactions
Personality Matters
Situations Matter
Personality effects depend on the situation
Situational effects depend on the person.
Interaction
Whenever the two lines are not strictly parallel, effects of the person and the
situation interact.
To test person x situation interactions it is necessary to measure personality (e.g.,
extraversion) and situational factors (friend vs. stranger).
Person x situation interaction: study
Participants: 141 U Illinois students.
Measures:
Personality. Excitement Seeking (Self-Report Scale)
Situation. 3-week daily diary ratings of amount of physical pleasure.
Dependent variable:3-week daily diary ratings of satisfaction
Example
Conscientiousness influences Class Attendance (P -> S)
Class attendance influences test performance
(S -> B)
Situations are the most direct (and important) predictors of behavior.
Personality matters because people actively choose situations.
General conclusion
Situationism and Traitism are incorrect.
Behavior and experiences are determined by situational factors and personality.
Situational and personality influences can be independent or correlated (situation
selection).
Personality and situation effects can interact.
Person relevance
Your personality may express itself differently in different situations.
You can better understand yourself by taking situational influences into account.
You may not be able to change your personality, but you may have more influence on
the situations in which you are.
Don’t judge people based on a single situation.
We can control our behavior in a single specific situation, but it is difficult to do so
again and again.
Week 4: Personality and Situational Influences on
Behavior
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
9:52 AM
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
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Personality traits: behavioral dispositions
Consistency across situations
Core assumption of personality psychology: People behave consistency across
situations.
Sociable people are more likely to meet new people: at parties, in airplanes, in
classrooms, in bars, online
However, behavior is also influenced by situations in bars, in dark alleys
Situationism
Walter Mischel – famous critic of trait theories.
“Although intuitively we assume that individuals do differ consistently in the kinds of
behavioral tendencies that they exhibit in many different situations, on close
observation it turns out that this is often not the case” (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk,
Introduction to Personality, 2008, p. 74).
Mischel's evidence
Reviewed studies that examined the correlation between personality measures and
actual behavior in a specific situation (e.g., extraversion & amounts of word spoken in
a conversation).
Correlations were often small to moderate (r< .30, r2 < 9%).
Do you think this finding undermines trait theories?
A = Yes, B = No
Personality psychologists response ******
Low correlations are partly due to measurement error.
A concrete behavior can be influenced by several traits, each one explaining only a
small amount of the variance.
Traits are dispositions that have a stronger influence on behavior across many
different situations than on behavior in a single situation.
Epstein (1983): the power of aggregation
Daily diary study of moods
Complete a diary for 30 days
At the end of each day, students recorded how they felt during a day
Day-to-day correlation
Epstein computed the correlation between students’ moods at the end of one day
with students’ moods at the end of another day.
He repeated this procedure for all pairs of days (e.g., Day 1 with Day 2, Day 1 with Day
3, etc.)
The average day-to-day correlation was r= .20.
Conclusion: There is only moderate consistency in moods from day to day.
Why?
Correlation between aggregates
Aggregates are averages across several observations.
Average mood on odd days (1, 2, 3, …) and average mood on even days (2, 4, 6, …)
The correlation between the two aggregates was r= .81.
Conclusion: High consistency in average levels of moods over a period of weeks.
Does this finding show that dispositions are important? A. Yes B. No
Experience sampling study of the big five
Participants: Students at Wake Forest
Method:
Students carried palm pilots and reported their behaviors and feelings in the
past few hours (states).
-Example. “During the previous hour, how well does [e.g., talkative] describe you?"
Behavioral aggregates are important
Even small effects on one situation (r= .10, r2= 1%) can make a big difference in the
long term.
For example, free throws in basketball.
Exams scores are aggregated across many questions.
Grade point averages of students are aggregated across many exams in many courses.
(preliminary) conclusion
Behavior (thoughts, feelings) vary from moment to moment and situation to situation.
Aggregates of behaviors are highly stable and reveal the influence of personality
traits.
Although traits may have low predictive validity for behavior in a single situation,
traits can have powerful effects on aggregates of behavior.
The 2nd round of the controversy
Epstein:
- aggregation is necessary to control measurement error
- personality is all that matters.
Mischel’s response:
- aggregation destroys situational effects.
- situational effects are much larger than personality effects.
Carlton study of cross-situational consistency
Participants. (only) 63 students
Assessment of conscientiousness behaviors: class attendance, study-session
attendance, room neatness, personal-appearance neatness,
Other evidence
Participants. Students at University of Illinois
Method. Experience sampling study
Student reported activity level, mood, and general attitudes towards life. The also
reported aspects of the situation (social vs. alone; work vs. recreational).
Conclusion
Cross-situational consistency is not always low.
Low correlations do not automatically undermine the importance of trait theories.
The amount of consistency can vary across behaviors.
Important to distinguish cross-situational consistency of the same behavior
(appearance neatness – room neatness) and cross-behavioral consistency (room
neatness and swearing)
Personality traits are real and important.
Person-situation interactions
Personality Matters
Situations Matter
Personality effects depend on the situation
Situational effects depend on the person.
Interaction
Whenever the two lines are not strictly parallel, effects of the person and the
situation interact.
To test person x situation interactions it is necessary to measure personality (e.g.,
extraversion) and situational factors (friend vs. stranger).
Person x situation interaction: study
Participants: 141 U Illinois students.
Measures:
Personality. Excitement Seeking (Self-Report Scale)
Situation. 3-week daily diary ratings of amount of physical pleasure.
Dependent variable:3-week daily diary ratings of satisfaction
Example
Conscientiousness influences Class Attendance (P -> S)
Class attendance influences test performance
(S -> B)
Situations are the most direct (and important) predictors of behavior.
Personality matters because people actively choose situations.
General conclusion
Situationism and Traitism are incorrect.
Behavior and experiences are determined by situational factors and personality.
Situational and personality influences can be independent or correlated (situation
selection).
Personality and situation effects can interact.
Person relevance
Your personality may express itself differently in different situations.
You can better understand yourself by taking situational influences into account.
You may not be able to change your personality, but you may have more influence on
the situations in which you are.
Don’t judge people based on a single situation.
We can control our behavior in a single specific situation, but it is difficult to do so
again and again.
Week 4: Personality and Situational Influences on
Behavior
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
9:52 AM
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 14 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
Personality traits: behavioral dispositions
Consistency across situations
Core assumption of personality psychology: People behave consistency across
situations.
Sociable people are more likely to meet new people: at parties, in airplanes, in
classrooms, in bars, online
However, behavior is also influenced by situations in bars, in dark alleys
Situationism
Walter Mischel – famous critic of trait theories.
“Although intuitively we assume that individuals do differ consistently in the kinds of
behavioral tendencies that they exhibit in many different situations, on close
observation it turns out that this is often not the case” (Mischel, Shoda, & Ayduk,
Introduction to Personality, 2008, p. 74).
Mischel's evidence
Reviewed studies that examined the correlation between personality measures and
actual behavior in a specific situation (e.g., extraversion & amounts of word spoken in
a conversation).
Correlations were often small to moderate (r< .30, r2 < 9%).
Do you think this finding undermines trait theories?
A = Yes, B = No
Personality psychologists response ******
Low correlations are partly due to measurement error.
A concrete behavior can be influenced by several traits, each one explaining only a
small amount of the variance.
Traits are dispositions that have a stronger influence on behavior across many
different situations than on behavior in a single situation.
Epstein (1983): the power of aggregation
Daily diary study of moods
Complete a diary for 30 days
At the end of each day, students recorded how they felt during a day
Day-to-day correlation
Epstein computed the correlation between students’ moods at the end of one day
with students’ moods at the end of another day.
He repeated this procedure for all pairs of days (e.g., Day 1 with Day 2, Day 1 with Day
3, etc.)
The average day-to-day correlation was r= .20.
Conclusion: There is only moderate consistency in moods from day to day.
Why?
Correlation between aggregates
Aggregates are averages across several observations.
Average mood on odd days (1, 2, 3, …) and average mood on even days (2, 4, 6, …)
The correlation between the two aggregates was r= .81.
Conclusion: High consistency in average levels of moods over a period of weeks.
Does this finding show that dispositions are important? A. Yes B. No
Experience sampling study of the big five
Participants: Students at Wake Forest
Method:
Students carried palm pilots and reported their behaviors and feelings in the
past few hours (states).
-Example. “During the previous hour, how well does [e.g., talkative] describe you?"
Behavioral aggregates are important
Even small effects on one situation (r= .10, r2= 1%) can make a big difference in the
long term.
For example, free throws in basketball.
Exams scores are aggregated across many questions.
Grade point averages of students are aggregated across many exams in many courses.
(preliminary) conclusion
Behavior (thoughts, feelings) vary from moment to moment and situation to situation.
Aggregates of behaviors are highly stable and reveal the influence of personality
traits.
Although traits may have low predictive validity for behavior in a single situation,
traits can have powerful effects on aggregates of behavior.
The 2nd round of the controversy
Epstein:
- aggregation is necessary to control measurement error
- personality is all that matters.
Mischel’s response:
- aggregation destroys situational effects.
- situational effects are much larger than personality effects.
Carlton study of cross-situational consistency
Participants. (only) 63 students
Assessment of conscientiousness behaviors: class attendance, study-session
attendance, room neatness, personal-appearance neatness,
Other evidence
Participants. Students at University of Illinois
Method. Experience sampling study
Student reported activity level, mood, and general attitudes towards life. The also
reported aspects of the situation (social vs. alone; work vs. recreational).
Conclusion
Cross-situational consistency is not always low.
Low correlations do not automatically undermine the importance of trait theories.
The amount of consistency can vary across behaviors.
Important to distinguish cross-situational consistency of the same behavior
(appearance neatness – room neatness) and cross-behavioral consistency (room
neatness and swearing)
Personality traits are real and important.
Person-situation interactions
Personality Matters
Situations Matter
Personality effects depend on the situation
Situational effects depend on the person.
Interaction
Whenever the two lines are not strictly parallel, effects of the person and the
situation interact.
To test person x situation interactions it is necessary to measure personality (e.g.,
extraversion) and situational factors (friend vs. stranger).
Person x situation interaction: study
Participants: 141 U Illinois students.
Measures:
Personality. Excitement Seeking (Self-Report Scale)
Situation. 3-week daily diary ratings of amount of physical pleasure.
Dependent variable:3-week daily diary ratings of satisfaction
Example
Conscientiousness influences Class Attendance (P -> S)
Class attendance influences test performance
(S -> B)
Situations are the most direct (and important) predictors of behavior.
Personality matters because people actively choose situations.
General conclusion
Situationism and Traitism are incorrect.
Behavior and experiences are determined by situational factors and personality.
Situational and personality influences can be independent or correlated (situation
selection).
Personality and situation effects can interact.
Person relevance
Your personality may express itself differently in different situations.
You can better understand yourself by taking situational influences into account.
You may not be able to change your personality, but you may have more influence on
the situations in which you are.
Don’t judge people based on a single situation.
We can control our behavior in a single specific situation, but it is difficult to do so
again and again.
Week 4: Personality and Situational Influences on
Behavior
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 9:52 AM
Unlock document

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