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Chapter 2: Personality Trait

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Ulrich Schimmack

PSY230- personality psychology 1 Chapter Two Personality trait - differences among individuals in a typical tendency to behave, think, or feel in some conceptually related ways, across a variety of relevant situations and across some fairly long period of time. - Comparison (difference among ppl) - Likelihood of showing some behaviours or having some thoughts or feelings (typical tendency) - Trait is expressed by various behaviours, thoughts, feelings that appear to have some common physiological cause (conceptually related) - Personality trait NOT just a habit confined to one spec situation; rather shown across a variety of settings in which ppl differ in the ways that the trait is expressed (across a variety of relevant situations) - Pattern can be observed over the long run (fairly long period of time) Trait: there is some reasonably stable, long lasting tendency to show the relevant pattern of behaviours People behave consistency across situations Behaviour also influenced by situations - one broad disposition affecting many independent behaviours - cross situational consistency : people who act a certain way in one situation, should act same way in other situations whether this holds true or not is the core of debate Personality trait vs. psychological characteristics - Mental abilities (verbal, mathematical) diff from personality trait represent ones max level of performance on one task vs way of thinking, behaving, feeling. - Beliefs, attitudes - focused on particular object (ie specific set of religiouspolitical issues vs. general way of thinking, feeling, behaving) - Sexuality Person and Situation Debate Does personality exist? A. Situationism Walter Mischel 1968 - Behaviour changes mostly as a function of situation indiv is in no consistent differences between individuals Evidence: - argued result of personality studies indicate personality traits were of LIMITED VALUE for predicting behaviour - behaviours supposedly related to the same underlying trait were weakly correlated across situations Correlation bw personality measures and actual behaviour in a specific situation small to mod (r<0.3) Hartshorne and May (1928)
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