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Lecture 2

AS.200.101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Buzzfeed, Intj, Neuroticism

AS Psychological & Brain Sciences
Course Code

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Class notes
Audio recording started: 1:32 PM Tuesday, November 7, 2017
200 million per month
We want to know who we are as people and individuals (personality)
Buzzfeed quizzes --> you answer questions and the result will show your "personality"
Is individual --> like snowflakes
Consider all humans --> we have a set of aspects (character traits) and then you locate everyone on this
spectrum of traits
Challenge of personality research is measuring and finding what is personality
You want to measure how amazed someone is at something, so you measure how open
someone's mouth is because the more amazed the wider open your mouth is --> bad test
because people might have different reasons to have mouth open
A test might not be reliable, but helps you get the answer you want
Test retest reliability --> a test is reliable if it reverts to same score in the same person when retaken
Measuring intelligence by the size of forehead
A test may be reliable but not valid I
Validity --> does this test actually aim at the characteristics I'm looking for
You need a test that is both reliable and valid
Rorschach Test --> not reliable or valid
What makes for a good personality test?
How you are feeling at this moment
State --> being anxious right now (but not later)
Deeper aspect of you present at all situations
Trait --> being an anxious person
Unreliable --> 50% of people get a different type upon retaking the test
Invalid --> Weakly predicts good managers, teammates, etc
Openness to experience
Neuroticism --> how you handle pressure
The "big five" (personality traits) (OCEAN) --> both reliable and valid
When asking questions, some questions are inverse questions, and others the researchers know the
answer to
Gene vs environment
Nature vs nurture in the context of personality
What causes personality
Pg. 471-503
Class notes: Personality
exam 3 Page 1

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Monozygotic twins --> share all of their DNA
Dizygotic twins --> just like any other type of sibling
How much more similar are identical twins vs fraternal twins
Study twins
Nature vs nurture in the context of personality
Not how "genetic" is trait X in some person, but how "genetic" are differences in trait X across people
When people differ in a trait, by how much do they differ because of genetics
e.g. eye color ~1, heart disease ~0.5, #eyes ~0 (when people differ in the number of eyes, it's not about
genes, but probably an accident)
You can't ask for heritability in a single individual
People have different intelligences and they also perform differently on intelligence tests
This shows that there is nothing about group differences
e.g. intelligence --> controversial
Essentially everything related to personality is heritable
Heritability --> the proportion of trait variation that is explained by genetic variation
Plant example
Even in traits that are highly heritable, if not treated well, the overall group cheated poorly doesn't do as
Group differences are entirely environmental
Parenting matters less than you think
Are people inherently good or inherently bad?
The way behave in situations based on personality and also the situation
How people behave in groups, etc.
One of the reasons for personality is why people behave a certain way in certain situations
Subjects are show a (real) cute fluffy puppy
Asked to watch the puppy complete a task and shock it if it got the wrong answer
Each wrong answer increases the voltage up to 450 V
Course credit was earned upon arrival, so there is no obligation to continue
77% of the people shocked the puppy just because someone said to shock it
Obedience to authority
Sheridan and King experiment (1972)
people will also shock other humans as well in the same situation
Was redone in 2009 and still 70% of people will administer the shock
Obedience --> doing something because someone told you to behave like that
Milgram obedience experiment
Acting in a way because our peers are engaging in it
Peer pressure
The people who are in the room give incorrect answers
You know the real answer, but you still say an incorrect answer because the others in the room
also said an incorrect answer
People are given a task in which the answer is super easy
If one of the people in the room give your answer, then increases the chance that you will also say your
(correct) answer
Asch (1956) conformity test
exam 3 Page 2

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Class Notes
Audio recording started: 1:31 PM Thursday, November 9, 2017
37 people saw the murder, but didn't call the police
Diffusion of responsibility --> feeling less responsible for things when other people are involved
e.g. Florida teen recording man drowning but calls 911
Bystander Effect --> we won't do something if we are part of a bigger group because we think other
people will do the thing (we don't intervene when we are in larger groups)
Kitty Genovese --> attacked outside her apartment and was killed
Different feelings when associated with certain groups
People were brought into lab and asked to count how many dots are on the screen
Divided in an arbitrary way
Divide people by the number of dots they said into two groups - if you said high number vs low
Given choice to allocate resources - give resource to someone and take away resource from
e.g. enjoying failure of other group and being sad when the other group does well
People in the same group will feel less towards the other group (in general)
People will give resources to someone chosen arbitrarily in their same group
Minimal way that you can divide people into groups and still have people care about them
Same experiment done when people are divided by coin flip (totally arbitrary)
Kurt is on rattlers team and he goes to free concert
People in the same group feel good when something good happens to someone else in their
People in different groups feel bad when something good happens to someone else in the
other group
People in the different teams are asked how bad and how good they feel
People are divided into rattlers or seagull team randomly
Henri Tajfel --> minimal group paradigm
If you can place something into a category then you can "assume"
e.g. you want to know if something is edible, if you categorize with something else that is edible then
you know you can eat and how nutritious it is
helpful, efficient, fast
First impressions (e.g. is someone smart, going to help us, etc.) and how accurate it is
It takes 6 seconds to make an accurate prediction for the course (very thin)
Students shown silent video of professor giving a lecture and asked to judge how good the lecturer
is and then comparing that to the real teacher evaluations
Thin Slicing (Nalini Ambady) --> snap judgements we make about other people
Categorizing people
Accuracy vs. stickiness (people in that course made the same first impression as you and they are stubborn
and didn't change their minds, so it just matches) vs. self- fulfilling prophecy (if you think it will be a good class,
then the class will be good; if you think the class will be bad, you don't participate and the class becomes bad)
Class notes: Group Behavior
exam 3 Page 3
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