Tuesday, February 25, y
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
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
-understanding the nature and importance of these characteristics.
What is the study of personality?
To capture a persons essence
To distill this essence from the behaviors that we see
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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
Choleric (yellow bile)
Melancholic (black bile)
Phrenology Francis gall by bumps on the head
Scientific approach to personality
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
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
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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
Law 1: great strengths are also great weaknesses
Law 2: there are no perfect indicators of personality,there are only clues and are always
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
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.
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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.
--- if something exists, it exists in some quantity, and if it exists in some quantity, it can be
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.
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.
We measure two or more things and see whether they go together
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Methods: Data Quality
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.
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:
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