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Lecture 23

PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 23: Walter Mischel, Microsoft Powerpoint, Trait TheoryPremium

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

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PSY100- Lecture 23- Social Psychology
People alter their behaviour to attain personal goals
Engaging in behaviours that help you reach a particular goal
Broad umbrella term
Can be difficult
o Perception that it’s difficult in terms of self control
o You have to sacrifice a short term reward in order to do the more difficult task
because it is going to get you to your long term goal
Delayed Gratification:
The Marshmallow Test (Walter Mischel)
o 4 year olds see if they can resist temptation and not eat the marshmallow
o They would be rewarded with 2 marshmallows
o Engaging in self-control
o Followed up about 15 years later
Looked at SAT scores
Ability to delay gratification at age 4 predicted achievement in high school
o Population of children that were used came from the university’s day care
Children of professors
Not representative sample
Relationship is about half as strong as was originally thought
o More successful strategy is if the kids can reframe what the marshmallow is and
think about it as for example a rock
o Turning “hot” cognitions into “cold” cognitions (reframing); ignoring; distraction
(PowerPoint, Slide #7)
o People good at self-control are really good at not putting themselves into
situations where they don’t have to engage in self-control
Trait Approaches to Personality:
Personality trait: a characteristic; a dispositional tendency to act in a certain way over
time and across circumstances (PowerPoint, Slide #7)
If you just look at the number of descriptive words we have for describing people
o 18,000
o Large numbers
Factor Analysis:
Creates simplest version of clusters of personality traits

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The Big Five (or Five-Factor Model):
Openness to experience
We tend to focus on the extremes, but each trait exists along a continuum
Most people fall somewhere in the middle
Need for Cognition:
How long people spend thinking about things
Positively correlated with Ravenclaw (Harry Potter house)
Learning and wit
“Dark Triad” Traits:
Manipulative behaviour
Social Psychology:
Social Psychology:
How behaviours are influenced by other people
Categorizing different people
How an individual is behaving in a certain situation
o Thinking about social norms/reactions from others
Focus is on the individual in the social context
Our brains are wired to be social
o Concerned with our relationships with others
o What people are going to think about us
Harvard Grant Study:
Biggest longitudinal study
Tracking individuals from their university age into old age
Finding that fame doesn’t matter, money doesn’t matter, but the most important predictor
of happiness and health is their relationships with others
o Protect people from life’s discontents
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