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Personality Psychology intro, data, validity, and much more

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PSY 236

Tuesday, February 25, y Personality psychology What is personality? - personalities can change overtime - Who are these people? - What makes them tick? - What are the similarities and differences between one another? Personality is the dynamic organization inside a person, of psychophysical systems that create the persons characteristic patterns of behavior, thoughts,and feelings".- Gordon all port Genetics promote personality Seeks to identify important consistencies and individual differences in the way "normal" people are. Then it seeks to identify causes and consequences of those characteristics Clinical abnormal human conditions Social normal conditions Concern for personality psychologists -looking at the general causes and consequences of individual differences in various personality characteristics -understanding the nature and importance of these characteristics. Talkativeness -relationships Happiness Jobs Causes Genes Biology Income Education Social support Childhood experience Socialization What is the study of personality? Informal definition: To capture a persons essence To distill this essence from the behaviors that we see 1 Tuesday, February 25, y Why study? We don't know peoples underlying motivation We need to interpret behavior to identify stable organizing statements that explain their behavior Three simple tasks 1. Identify patterns of behavior 2. Identify the causes of these patterns 3. Predict behavior in new situations Interest in the person, has always existed Greeks were especially interested Aristotle wrote about aspects of personality in Nicomachean ethics Four humors Choleric (yellow bile) Melancholic (black bile) Sanguine (blood) Phlegmatic (phlegm) Phrenology Francis gall by bumps on the head Scientific approach to personality 1.traits..... Extroverted 2. Biological..... Genes, physiological arousal,health 3. Psychoanalytic.... Know him or herself, repressing themselves,defensive 4. Phenomenological/humanistic.... Realizing their potential 5. Learning/cognitive.... How did they learn to behave this way, what does he or she think about? Sources of data What makes something observable? There is an impact You can perceive it with your senses Are psychological constructs observable? Yes and no There is a distinction between constructs and measures! -on exam Construct- the real tangible thing that a scientist is interested in. Measures- representation of the constructs. The way in which you quantify the tangible thing. Can we measure personality? "In order to understand personality, first you have to look at it." -Henry Murray 2 Tuesday, February 25, y Is that possible? On one hand- no. We cannot see personality But can you see heat? Multiple complex processes combine into what we call "personality" therefore it cannot be quantified the same as other things. But we can look for clues Study the processes that make-up personality Funders laws Law 1: great strengths are also great weaknesses Law 2: there are no perfect indicators of personality,there are only clues and are always ambiguous Law 3: some data beats no data most of the time. Law 4: there are two kinds of personality data-- terrible data and no data. Types of clues (types of data) - self report data--- ask the person directly Advantages: best expert about yourself, causal force, simple and straight forward Disadvantages: is it the truth?, do they really know?, too easy? Overuse - informant report data-- ask other people about the person, judgments by informants about general attributes of the individuals personality. Advantages: large amount of information, real world basis-- not in lab, common sense- context built right in, causal force, (not in book) avoids some biases Disadvantages: limited amount of information, bias -life-- see how the person is faring, real life outcomes, that may hold psychological significance, personality does something to your life. Ex. Income, employment, health history, look of your bedroom. Advantages: intrinsic importance, reflects the very things we are typically striving for in our lives, psychological relevance, real world outcomes that are theoretically very closely linked with psychological processes Disadvantages: multi-determination caused or determined by many different factors, our behavior is not due to just any single personality trait or process. - behavioral-- things people do, can look like S or I data, natural B data, Laboratory B data Natural, watch what people do in everyday life, can be asses using self-report methods!must be carefully systematically recorded, not an impression. Daily diaries, experienced sampling, report behavior when prompted. Laboratory, experiments, personality tests, physiological measures. 3 Tuesday, February 25, y Can put people in lab situations that are highly regulated, in order to study their behavior and it's implications for personality. For example, marshmallow experiment Advantages: range of contexts, asses in any real world situation, objective and quantifiable, some argue that it's the best data. Disadvantages: uncertain interpretation, ex. Delay of gratification or obedience. Personality assessment --- if something exists, it exists in some quantity, and if it exists in some quantity, it can be measured. A systematic attempts to measure Gosling et al. 2002 -- what does your world say about you? How we'll do observations match the big 5 of the people? Yes reflects to their room Thus study shows us that the world that we create around us tells us something very important about what we are like. Review this study S data vs. b data S data asked the participant to rate their own trait, make a judgement about themselves B data asks about objective counts, exact time or number What to know: Remember the names both the letters and what it stands for, of each of the four types of data Be able to provide and recognize examples of each of the four types Distinguishing between close cases will be the hardest task Be able to identify strengths and weaknesses of each. Disadvantages: It is not controlled Which facts are important? Cannot prove the factor matter You do not see case studies used very often in psychological research. Correlational study: We measure two or more things and see whether they go together 4 Tuesday, February 25, y Methods: Data Quality Psychological measurement Reliability: the extent to which are measures are free from random measurement error. Not systematic measurement error. Reliability has to do with consistency vs. validity whether the answer is the right one. Types: Inter-rather: can only be done with I data Test-retest reliability: only used with things that are supposed to be stable Split-half reliability: said to be a measure of internal consistency because it tells whether the responses within the same scale are consistent with one another. Cronbachs alpha: a measure of internal consistency, equivalent to the average of all possible split-half realizability coefficients, the most frequent used measure of reliability Factors that reduce reliability: Lack of care on the part of the person who is doing the measuring The state of the participants The state of the experimenter The state of the environment Factors that can enhance reliability: Be careful Be systematic Measure something important Use aggregation- the key to reliable measurement, aggregate will reduce error variance The Spearman-Brown Principle: random errors tend to cancel one another out! Validity: the degree to which a measurement actually A measure needs to be reliable for it to be valid Why is validity so difficult in psychology? Because it usually refers to whether a measure actually measures a construct, but the construct itself is unobservable. Ex. Mass vs. intelligence Face validity: does the measure look like it measures what it is supposed to. Content validity: does the measure capture the breadth of the construct. Criterion validity: real world ou
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