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Lecture

Lecture 1.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PPE 3003
Professor
Adam Johnson

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Psychology of the Personality: Lecture 1 Intro to Personality Science Thursday, January 9, 2014 Claim 1: We already study personality…a lot o 3 pieces of evidence Claim 2: But our intuitions are sometimes biased o 5 biases Claim 3: Therefore, we need a science of personality o 1 golden rule Demonstration Image 1: red, smiley face Image 2: sink, shocked/ worried Image 3: evil Image 4: smiling green man Image 5: corn muffin, agitated Image 6: angry silver  The point: there is nothing spectacular about perceiving emotions and traits in inanimate  objects—dead wrong because those inanimate objects cannot feel emotions o Yet, we so easily and happily make this mistake So the question is why do our brains seem to infer emotions and traits so easily and  automatically? o Prediction—even single cell organisms can make predictions from previous  events o Our brains have evolved to make predictions about the environment o One of the most important “features” of our environment is OTHER PEOPLE o It is incredibly adaptively quickly infer states and traits 1. What is this person like? How will they respond? 2. Ex. Social Brain Hypothesis?—the reason why the high level of processes  evolved so that we can all stay ahead of the other people so that we can get  what we want and what we need a. Proved by the correlations of the neocortex ration with the group  size  b. Bigger group size, the bigger brains—aka smarter Thin Slices of Personality o We’re pretty good “personality detectors” most of the time, even with little info:  Ambady & Rosenthal (1993) videotaped 13 college professors teaching o Showed a sample of students a 30 second video, no­volume clip of each other o Compared ratings from 30­second “thin slices” with end­of­semester ratings from  students in the course o She found strong, significant correlations for 9 of 15 traits and an overall of r=. 76  (quite strong).  Inferring Personality from Faces o We can infer personality traits from still faces alone o Took a sample of undergrad students and gave them the big five of personality  traits and gave them to female students and said o pick the high and low o Yet when asked why they picked each one for the high or the low, they could not  comprehend why they said which was the high and which one was the low Impression Formation is Automatic o 50+ years of research shows that 3 traits in particular are central to our first  impressions and are formed automatically o Warmth/ aggression (do they want to harm us) o Trustworthiness (is their warmth level honest) o Competence (do they have the ability to act on their intentions) Why do we need a Personality Science?—we are prone to mistakes, and with the science  it may be able to help us correct the mistakes o Because of our intuitive inference systems (our personality detectors) cau
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