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Personality.docx (First class)

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Colleen Loomis

Personality: Who are you? • Throughout time people have been intuitively aware of individual differences Historical knowledge of individual differences • Theophrastus wrote about different “characters” to try to describe individual differences • Attempting to characterize people – their personalities • Personality – distinctive and relatively enduring ways of thinking, feeling, and acting that characterize a person’s response to situations • Come from word persona – actors mask How do we measure personality? • Ask them? • Ask others? • Results of a test? • Observe them? Personality Assessment • Interviews o Structured set of standardized questions o Note other behaviours – appearance, speech patterns etc. • Drawbacks o Characteristics of interviewer can affect answers o Dependence on co-operation, honestly of the interviewer • Behavioural Assessment o Need explicit coding system o Aim is not solely to “describe” behaviour • Interjudge reliability o High level of agreement among observers • Personality Scales o Objective measures  Use standard questions and agree upon scoring key o Advantage – collect large amounts of data o Disadvantage – Validity of answers • Trait Theories o Based on a theoretical conception of a trait o Concern – have to identify what are the underlying traits that describe people Traits – The big Issues • Identifying the number of traits • Are they stable over time, and situation? • Are they the product of genetics? Environment? • Differences across the people come from within the person Answers by Trait Theorists • Number of Traits measured varies by test • Are they stable? Somewhat, sometimes • Some genetic component, some environmental • Differences across the people come from within the person Trait Theorists: • Cattell was first o 16 traits with opposing labels – “happy-go-lucky” versus “sober” o Gave way to more modern test • Morden test: NEO-PI-R (Costa &McCrae) o Big 5 personality traits o Extraversion, Neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness • Eysenck, had the fewest traits o 2 – Introversion/extroversion and neuroticism/stability • Empirically devised tests o Hierarchy arranged o Items were answered differently by differing groups  Based on responses by “normal” and psychiatric paitents o Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) revised = MMPI-2 Some Beha
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