Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (630,000)
UTSG (50,000)
PSY (4,000)
PSY230H1 (100)
Lecture

PSY230H1 Lecture Notes - 16Pf Questionnaire, Lexical Hypothesis, Raymond Cattell


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY230H1
Professor
Maja Djikic

This preview shows pages 1-3. to view the full 16 pages of the document.
3/3/12
1
The Trait Approach
Pg 262- 298
Every man is in certain respects
(a) like all other men
(b) like some other man
(c) like no other man
-were all similar in certain ways and diff in certain ways
Kluckhohn & Murray (1961, p.53)
Trait Approach
Trait
… a dimension of personality used to categorize people
according to the degree to which they manifest a particular
characteristic.
…a stable way of relating to oneself and others
Trait Approach
Sometimes describes the psychological differences between
individuals in terms of special dimensions invented by
psychologists
More often, the trait approach is based on ordinary language
Ex. How friendly, how nervous etc
Trait Approach
1. Based on empirical research, mostly correlational in nature
Can it be used to predict behavior?
2. It focuses exclusively on individual differences
No zero point, absolute sense of a trait
Only relative (more or less nervous, etc.)
Always relative to a diff score
The Problem of Inconsistency
People are different across situations
(diff qualities in diff situations.. )
Is personality assessment a waste of time?
Perhaps there is no such thing as a personality, and we
change from one situation to another?
Perhaps the presence of individual differences is an
individual difference itself?
The Person-Situation Debate
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
5556575859606162636465
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

3/3/12
2
individual difference itself?
The Person-Situation Debate
What is more important for determining what people do -
person or situation?
(which has greater effect)
The Person-Situation Debate
Two main questions:
Does personality entirely depends on situation?
Are our ordinary intuitions about people fundamentally
flawed?
Walter Mischel (1968): Personality and Assessment
He argued that behavior is too inconsistent from one situation
to the next to allow individual differences to be characterized
accurately in terms of broad personality traits.
Walter Mischel (1968): Personality and Assessment
His argument is tri-partite
1. (a) A thorough review of the personality research
literature reveals that there is a limit to how well one can predict
what a person will do based upon any measurement of any
aspect of that person’s personality; and (b) this upper limit is a
small upper limit
Walter Mischel (1968): Personality and Assessment
2.Therefore, situations are more important than personality
traits in determining behavior.
3.Not only is the professional practice of personality
assessment a waste of time, but our everyday intuitions
about people are fundamentally flawed. (no such thing as
personality- we see them n a situation)
Walter Mischel (1968): Personality and Assessment
Predictability
Mischel argued that correlations between personality and
behavior, or between behavior in one situation and
behavior in another, seldom exceed .30.
Nisbett (1980) later revised that estimate upward to .40
Many psychologists took this to mean that personality did
not exist. (barely exists)
Personality researchers fight back
Response
.40 limit unfair (biased literature review)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
5556575859606162636465
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

3/3/12
3
Response
.40 limit unfair (biased literature review)
Granting .40 limit, but this a result of poor research
methodology
Research outside of the laboratory
Moderator variables
oSome people may be more consistent than others (ex.
High vs. low self-monitors)
oSome behaviors may be more or less consistent
Focusing on behavioral trends, instead of actions at
particular moments. (can predict behavioral trends)
Finally, .40 is not small
Prediction accurate 70% of the time
(even if little, can still make reasonable predictions)
Can ‘Situationists’ Do Better?
How does one evaluate the degree to which behavior is
affected by a situational variable.
Common procedure – subtraction?
(cant predict everything to a situation)
What can ‘missing’ variable be attributed to?
Vast literature on social psychology has demonstrated an
effect of a situational variable on behavior
How large are the effects?
Can ‘Situationists’ Do Better?
Festinger and Carlsmith (cognitive dissonance) (1959) .36
(pretend its not boring if make money?)
Darley & Batson (bystander intervention) (1968) -.38, -.39
Milgram (obedience) (1975) .42, .36
Conclusions
Neither personality nor situational variables have effect on
behavior… or
Both do.
Conclusions
Traits
Situations
Anything else? Choice!
Traits Approach
Traits approach is different from other approaches in that
Does not concern itself with predicting behavior of any
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
5556575859606162636465
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version