Psychology 2011A/B Lecture Notes - Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Agreeableness

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Published on 1 Feb 2013
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Lecture #14
Personality (Part II)
ŸThe items that representing a subset of questions, that are widely used from the ‘big five’ inventory
ŸThese are types of things that are asked in order to determine their standing, and with these questions
one is able to get a pretty reliable standing
ŸBefore talking about the big five, other measures in the past are also crucial
ŸOne of the most prominent set of researchers, Paul Costa and Robert McCrae who developed in the
1980s the most widely used inventory in measuring the big five, using Raymond Catell’s questionnaire
(factor analysis)
Ÿ In subsequent analysis, they found that there were about 3 dimensions, not 16
ŸNeuroticism and extroversion (big two) and openness to experience, later in their analysis they found
two more basic dimensions, agreeableness and conscientiousness, representing the big five, and if you
take any pre existing personality inventory, these factors will appear over and over again, very robust
ŸFrom all of this research ended up producing an instrument that is the most widely used indicator
called the Neo-PIR (Personality Inventory Revised), long instrument takes about 35-40 minutes to
complete, 240 items, you can use it for self report or peer report, and it is stable across administration
considerations (person alone in a room, or in big audience)
ŸThese 240 items measure these big five traits called domains, these big items reflect different spheres
or concerns of social or emotional functioning and within these domains are more narrow traits called
facets (specific areas) and there are 6 facets for each trait, each facet shows a different aspect of each
trait
ŸReliability of these scores are very reliable (high 80’s to low 90 correlation)
ŸThe neo PIR, still probably widely used instrument, plus it is copyrighted, so now there are a variety of
clones that are publicly used (open source)
ŸThe big 5 inventory developed by Oliver john, 44 items
ŸMore recently, Gosling showed that 10 items in total would be a pretty good indicator, numbers are
interpretable with respect to other scores
ŸNeuroticism (worries a lot, depressed /is blue, can be tense) reflects a general propensity/readiness to
experience emotional distress (sad, vulnerable, irritable)
Ÿ6 different facets that measure neuroticism, including anxiety, angry hostility, depression, self-
consciousness, impulsive, ways in which we express or show how messed up we can be, defining
whole is negative affect (basic negative emotions), but has more concrete predictions, like greater
marital/ relationship instability, report being less satisfied and more likely to dissolve (dissatisfaction
and dissolution)
ŸExtroversion (is talkative, generates a lot of enthusiasm, is full of energy) the general propensity to the
enthusiastic and social engagement, assertive and social, sensitivity to social interaction
ŸWhen measure 6 facets are warm, sociable, assertive, high activity levels, excitement seekers,
experience positive emotions
ŸCannot predict frequency of your extroversion (how happy, enthusiastic or excited you would be) over
a month’s period by looking at neuroticism scores
ŸNeuroticism predicts negative emotions not negative, extroversion predicts positive and not negative,
reason is counter intuitive emotional factor that positive and negative affect are not correlated
ŸOver a long period of time you can have one or the other or a combination of both good and bad
experiences but the two are not in congruence with each other
ŸExtroversion predicts other things, most notable dominance and social rank, don’t just get along with
others but they get ahead
ŸE.g. Dacker Keltner at Berkley studied natural social groups, kids living in dorms, sororities, and
measured the big five by having each of the kids measure each other by the big 5, so every kid knew
how every other group member saw their status, so Dacker asked what predicted status?
àextroversion. Highly extroverted people are seen prominently in a group of people as prominent,
respectful and influential
ŸAgreeableness (likes to cooperate with others, is helpful and unselfish with others, has a forgiving
nature) broad propensity to be friendly, cooperative, to stress importance of getting along with others
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