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PSYC 2210 Lecture Notes - Extraversion And Introversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness

Course Code
PSYC 2210

of 2
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
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
ŸWhen measure, the 6 different facets are trust, straightforwardness, altruism, modesty and tender
mindedness, tends to be giving, focused on others, go along with others, self-effacing, sympathetic and
empathetic to emotions of others
ŸNeurotics have hard time with relationships, agreeableness strongly represents satisfaction, more likely
to succeed in relationships and marriage, probably because they handle conflict different, ready to
yield, make compromise, less likely to be aggressive, and hurtful remarks, better equipped to use more
sophisticated conflict resolution strategies
ŸConscientiousness (does a thorough job, tends to be organized, is reliable worker) have a general
propensity to be self regulated, self disciplined to ones personal sense of responsibility
ŸMany different sides, competent, orderly, takes responsibility seriously, motivated to achieve, restrains
their impulses an capable of delaying gratification
ŸThere are several correlates of conscientiousness, this trait has been understudied, but it matters
tremendously, because over and above intelligence, this matters in being successful, and career, and
usually live longer (not engage in high risk health behaviours, and other high risk behaviours and also
if a conscientious person gets sick, their going to stick and more likely to follow their treatment plan in
responding to health threats of alerts in a dutiful responsive way to contribute to their ability to
ŸWe are an ability focused society, their innate abilities, but its also about effort (conscientiousness
captures that)
ŸOpenness to experience , so poorly understood because of the different names it has been given (is
original, comes up with new ideas, curious about different things, active imagination) allow for
conflicting and contradicting ideas, able to understand paradox, ambiguity, not conservative people,
more liberal in lifestyle and view
ŸFacets that reflect different types of openness, like open to fantasy (deeply enriched in daydreaming),
open to values (tolerant of diversity and differences)
ŸTwo interesting correlates of openness is hypnotic acceptability (absorption) readiness to experience
trance state, phasing out (hypnotic state), in a clinic used therapeutically, people who are open are not
frightened by this and more easily absorbed into his state, and also they are more artistically creative
ŸOne study, students were asked these questions, then they were given a camera to take pictures of their
lifestyles, and the photos were taken and rated for originality, creativeness etc. and it was the open
people who had the most interesting photos (most imaginative, richest and most complicated) artistic
way of being
ŸAble to predict a wide range of outcomes just from knowing where they stand on the big five,
personally and socially outcomes
ŸNo debate in the field of personality about the robust importance about this theory, but there are
limitations, alternate points of view
ŸFirst is that one of the basic limitations of the big five is there is no theoretical basis, it’s a-theoretical,
no theory that predicts in advance that there are five basic traits, there is a great model, in search of a
theory, but it is derived from a hypothesis (lexical hypothesis)
ŸIf there is some important way to describe differences, there should be words, which is the starting
point of the big five
ŸUnder what set of conditions could we have proven the lexical hypothesis false
ŸIf one dimension had come out the lexical hypothesis would be true, no way to disprove it, not much
progress because no theory
ŸOther real limitation is that its really a model of real surface differences, Dan Mcadams called big five
the psychology of the stranger, five things we assess when we meet someone new based on these
factors, but when we know someone or ourselves well, we presumably know more than these five
aspects that aren’t reflected in the big 5, more deeper ideas
ŸRelated aspect to this is that the big five doesn’t give any sense of how these attributes are distributed
through a person and how they are related inside a person, they are five independent levels of function
(1)empirically uncorrelated, knowing how you are on one dimension gives you no idea on how you are
on another, (2)meant to be conceptually independent of each other, but its not really true (professors
example of how his conscientiousness is due to his neuroticism)
ŸFive factor model doesn’t show how people cohere with the different dimensions