PSYB30H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, Extraversion And Introversion
ProfessorMarc A Fournier
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Lecture 7 – Review Class
•Each person is a unique variation of the common heritage. We evolved to immerse in culture
•What is evolutionary history? – Genetics, culture implications, environment settings
•We are not just a ‘unique’ take in a complex design. All theories of personality are:
oTrait theories – sketch an outline of personality. Distinguishes how one thinks from another
person and traits provide a white range of possible outcome of who we are. However, just
psychology of a stranger
oCharacteristic adaptation: how we adapt to varying stages of life and changing circumstances.
This does not fully understand a person.
oIntegrative Life story: memories, meaning of our life and events in life. Synthetize memories into
a coherent narrative that explains who we are and how we came about today.
Lecture 1 – Introduction
Components of Scientific Theories – we all have amateur theories of personality, but scientific theories
formalize theories through experimentation or research. Theories must have:
•Explicitly defined constructs constructs explain what goes around in the world. Interested in
thoughts/feelings/perception. We cannot directly see constructs. Constructs simplify causality
•Correspondence rules explains and relate one construct to another construct (e.g. independency and
health – less healthy = less independent). Must be able to state them to be hypothesis.
•Testable hypothesis prediction of how data will behave. Science require hypothesis to be testable and
•Variation & Covariation – spread or distribution that occurs in scores when people take the same test.
Covariation – when traits depend on each other to co-occur
•Effect size & significance – measure that says if results are significant, or how variables are related.
Tells you how strong the relationship variables
•Reliability & Validity Coefficients
oReliability: how consist you measured something. If measure if reliable, then you should get the
same scores from the same people when testing them again and again. It should be at least 0.7
– 0.9 correlated.
oValidity: around 0.1 – 0.3 usually – measures how accurate your data is with your hypothesis.
Why so low? Reliability puts ceiling with validity – validity scores cannot be higher than
Desiderata for Scientific Personality Theory
•Coherent, Testable & Empirically Valid – theory must hang together and lend itself to testing. It should
have some data to support it. These are minimum requirements
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•Comprehensive & Parsimonious – Some theories explain more things than other theories while other
theories have strength of simplicity. Fewer constructs explain less
•Useful & Generative – Does it get people to debate? Is it applicable to the real world?
Lecture 2 – Human Evolution
•Variation – people differ
•Inheritance – heritability traits. Some traits are better for survival
•Selection – how people choose their mates
Products of Evolutionary Process
•Adaptations – traits that are adapted to the environment
•Spandrels – by-products of adaptation. They do not assist in reproduction or survival, but they happen
to type to evolution (e.g. ear lobes are useless, but they happen to hang on to ears, which is very
•Random Effects – adaptively neutral and variation that exists for many reasons (e.g. longer face vs.
Personality as a Product of Evolutionary Process
The Attachment System – proximity seeking to caregivers if threatened, and if feel safe, infant will explore
Classification of Attachment (The Strange Situation)
•Secure – feels safe when attached (the best)
•Resistant – feels stressed when attached to caregiver
•Avoidant – doesn’t care about attachment
Continuity from Infancy to Adulthood attachment relates to interpersonal relationships and sexual relationship
Homologous evolution two (or more) species possess the same trait due to their common ancestry
•Neoteny requiring a long time to reach to adulthood (e.g. humans have attachment behaviour/system
in adulthood). We are relatively immature species
•Species that pair bond and neoteny tend to develop slow due to evolutionary reasons
Convergent evolution two (or more) species possess the same trait due to similar selection pressures
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