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Lecture 10

PSYA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Bertram Forer, Logica, Neuroticism

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Dwayne Pare

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PSYA02 – Lecture 10 – Personality
Definition of Personality:
Personality – A relatively stable set of characteristics (thinking, feeling, and
behaving) that influences an individual’s behavior
Personality Research:
Construct general theories of personality
Assess individual differences in personality
oIdiographic approaches are helpful for understanding yourself and the
social world, its also applied to the full range of human experience,
from the most disturbed to the healthiest and most highly functioning
oE.g. Criminal profilers may focus on a detailed study of a serial
killer in order to help the police in their investigation
oExample of nomothetic research:
oDr. Gordon Flett at York University had examined personality
predictors of alcohol, drug use, and depression in university
The Trait Perspective:
oPersonality trait: a person’s habitual patterns of thinking, feelings and
behaving; how that person is “most of the time”
Barnum effect:
oThe tendency to accept certain vague or worthless information as true,
such as character assessments, horoscopes, psychic prediction
and/or exaggerated claims
oBertram Forer gave research participants a personality test and then
generated a description of subjects’ personalities, which they believed
was based on their test responses
oParticipants found the profiles very convincing
oWhen they were asked to rate how well the profile described them, on
a scale from 0 to 5, the average rate was 4.26
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