PSYA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Twin, Twin Study, Factor Analysis

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8 Jun 2018
PSYA02 Lecture 4: Cultural and Biological Approaches to Psychology
Culture and Personality
- Most of psychology studies conducted on WEIRD nations
o Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic
o It is important to see if there are important personality differences between
WEIRD nations and everyone else
- The Five Factor model of personality centers around 5 personality dimensions
o Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Openness
o All were discovered by research conducted in WEIRD nations
Therefore the FFM may not apply to non WEIRD nations
Research found that ppl in these different cultures appear to share the
same basic personality structure
Suggests that the basic system in human personality is deeper
than culture
- Personality structures in different cultures
o FFM originally created via factor analysis of personality adjectives in English
Questions on the big five questionnaire are designed only to measure the
big five factors
When scale given to ppl of other cultures, it brings biases of western
culture and the English language along with it
Researchers addressed this by analyzing personality structure using
personality descriptors in other languages
Revealed unique personality factors not in big five
Analysis of different cultures revealed more and more unique
- Comparing personality traits between nations
o Personality scales translated to different languages allow psychologists to test
for personality differences across cultures
Many of the findings defy cultural stereotypes
Response Styles: Characteristic ways of responding to questions
Ppl from different cultures vary in RS
Influenced by cultural norms
Is one explanation for cultural differences found in personality
Eg: in one culture it may be more acceptable to say very positive
things about yourself while in another it may be considered rude
o Critiques of cross cultural research
Emphasis on how cultures differ from each other
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PSYA02H3 Full Course Notes
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Document Summary

Psya02 lecture 4: cultural and biological approaches to psychology. Most of psychology studies conducted on weird nations: western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic. It is important to see if there are important personality differences between. It is misleading to think that ppl in different cultures are different types of ppl. Twin studies are used to separate contributions of our genes and our environments: comparing identical twins to fraternal ones, researchers able to estimate genetic contributions to personality. Identical twins had stronger correlation for each personality trait than fraternal twins: 0. 50 for all 5 factors vs around 0. 20. Genetics influence on personality is quite strong: parents are not completely incapable of shaping their kids personality development, eg ppl that abuse their kids will have impact on the kids personality. Knowing that a trait is statistically associated with genetic factors tells you very little about extent to which a specific person could be affected by specific set of environmental conditions.

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