PS100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Naturalistic Observation, Theophrastus, Agreeableness

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18 Dec 2016

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Lecture 18
Who are you?
We are different
Throughout time people have been intuitively aware of individual differences
We like some
That they like some people and not others
Historical knowledge of individual differences
Theophrastus wrote about different "character" to try to describe individual differences
Attempting to characterize people- their personalities
Personality Definition (consistency, and distinctive)
Personality-Distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that
characterize a person's response to situations
o A collection of stable traits and her characteristics
o Varies from one individual to another
Come from word persona- actors mask
How do we measure personality?
Ask them?- Ask others? (objective)- Results of a test?- Observe them? (naturalistic observation)
If you ask someone to take a test, you wont answer as honestly because of social bias
No single method, assessment test and naturalistic observation
Personality Assessment
o Structured set of standardized questions
o Note other behaviours- appearance, speech, patterns, etc
o Characteristics of interviewer can affect answers
o Dependence on co-operation, honestly of interviewee
Behavioural assessment (never use just one observer, and observation codes are tallied because
of bias)
o Need explicit coding system
o Aim is not solely to 'describe' behaviour (specific behaviour, frequency, specific situation,
under what conditions
o Interjudge reliability (high level of agreement among observers)
Personality scales
o Objective measures (use standard questions and agreed upon scoring key
o Collect large amount of data
o Validity of answers truthfully answered)
o Validity scales
Personality scales items
Trait theories
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