PSYC 331 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Test Data, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Heart Rate

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8 Feb 2017
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I. Lecture One Review
A. Personality
1. Useful for Prediction, Description, Understanding
2. Conveys: consistency, internality, distinctiveness
a) Personality is complex, involving thoughts, behaviors, feelings,
psychological and physiological element
b) It is fluid but consistent
c) Consistency is important because it makes people more
predictable and easier to understand
(1) A person will react/act the same in two different
circumstances
3. Individual Differences
a) Differences between people in their personality characteristics
4. Research is used to test theories about personality
a) There are multiple theories about personality but it has to be
tested to hold any weight
(1) It can’t be solely based on observation
b) Data are then used to refine and revise theories
B. Methods in Psychology
1. Sources of Data, Four ways
a) (S) Self-Report
(1) Ask the person him or herself
(2) When deliberating about the 2 candidates, you might want
to know their values/attitudes through SELF-REPORT (S)
(a) Self report will give you a better understanding of
how they see themselves and gives insight into
their thoughts
(i) We don’t know what they’re thinking, so
without self report, we can only rely on our
own observations
(3) Idea
(a) You are the best person to report about your own
experiences, thoughts, feelings, behaviors, goals,
fantasies
(b) Many different ways to obtain S data.
(c) Most commonly used method in psych.
(4) Structured Ratings
(a) Person can make ratings of their characteristics,
e.g., rate your level of dominance on a scale from 1
to 10
(b) Person can respond to (T/F) statements
(i) “In group discussions, I usually dominate
the discussion.”
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(c) Person can be asked to circle or check off
personality characteristics from a list that describe
them
(i) Adjective Check List
(5) Unstructured Ratings
(a) Open-Ended Questions
(i) Tell me about the what happens when you
get mad?
(ii) Example
(a) Twenty Statements Test Person
given blank paper with the words
(i) “I am __________” repeated
20 times
(ii) Subject fills in descriptors
(6) Advantages
(a) FACE VALIDITY
(i) measure what they seem to measure, on
their face
(ii) No hidden agenda
(a) compare w/ projectives?
(iii) Nothing tricky or subtle. Mass testing
example
(b) “S” data are the most frequently used basis for
personality assessment
(c) Includes the personality measures in Cosmo &
personality research
(d) A person is his/her own best expert about
him/herself
(i) You see yourself in many situations
(a) at home
(b) at school
(c) at work
(d) with family
(e) with friends
(e) Your inner world is accessible ONLY to you
(i) your hopes, dreams, aspirations, fantasies,
emotions are known only to others if you
share that with them.
(ii) If inner mental life is private S data would
seem necessary
(f) Simple, cheap, and easy to obtain.
(i) Lock 500 intro psych. students in a room
(g) Cost-Effective
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(i) no looking up dusty documents in an
archive; no informants to find, etc.
(ii) Good for low-budget researchers
(7) Disadvantage
(a) So simple and easy that they are overused/over-
relied upon
(b) May be better when used in concert with other
types of data
(c) So common & easy
(i) forget about other methods
(d) Some people lack self-knowledge or insight and
may see themselves in distorted ways
(e) People may not always be honest, esp. when
asked about dicey subjects like sex, aggression, or
undesirable behaviors.
b) (T) Test Data
(1) Collect information from Standardized Tests
(2) Participants might try to guess what attributes are the
subject of study in the test.
(3) Participants may react to the test situation in a way that is
different from what the experimenter had in mind.
(a) S thinks obedience test is assessing intelligence.
(4) Always an interpersonal element that may influence how S
behaves.
(a) Friendly experimenter, v. cold experimenter may
elicit different subject behavior.
(5) Advantages
(a) Can elicit behavior that might be hard to observe in
real life.
(b) Can investigate and control the context, eliminating
sources of inference.
(c) Can test specific hypotheses.
(6) Other Forms of T Data
(a) Mechanical Recording Devices: Used to measure
things like activity level and energy.
(i) + provide mechanical means to assess
personality. Not biased by human error/bias.
(ii) + can be used in relatively natural settings.
(iii) - can’t be used to study the full range of
personality characteristics, e.g.,
conscientiousness, introversion, etc.
(b) Physiological Data: Used to measure reactivity to
various stimuli, and speed of information
processing.
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