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Lecture 5

PPE 3003 Lecture 5: SR5


Department
Psychology In Personality
Course Code
PPE 3003
Professor
Heesacker Martin
Lecture
5

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Selected Reading 5
12: Measurement of Character – Francis Galton
1. Why did Galton propose that measurement tools should be developed for assessing
“character” (personality)?
He proposed that those tools should be developed to assess personality because there were
already tools for assessing intellect/intelligence. He stated that these tools would contribute to
show the efficiency of man as a human machine and that it would be impossible to assess the
adequacy of the rearing of man if humans character, physique, and intellect were not measured.
Galton believed that people needed this knowledge for their own use, and that the measurement
tools would be able to teach them their position in society, whether or not they would succeed or
fail, and how they could shape their ambitions and conduct accordingly.
2. In what ways does Galton’s approach reflect his world view as a member of the highly
educated upper class?
Galton’s world view as a member of the highly educated upper class is manifested in his
reasoning for the development of tools to measure personality – to improve oneself in order to
stand out among one’s peers. This shows that Galton is focusing on the tools as a means for
fostering successful individuals in society, which reflects his views an upperclassman. The
examples that Galton gives (Laureate’s poem, Benjamin’s tale) also indicate that he is well-
educated.
3. What is the relationship between Galton’s proposal that character should be measured
by observing and recording a person’s usual behaviors and the type of modern personality
test that primarily relies on self-report?
Both Galton’s proposal that character should be measured by observing and recording someone’s
behavior and modern personality tests that rely on self-report employ the method of observation
since there is no true to way “measure” personality. With Galton’s method, character is analyzed
through “carefully recorded acts, representative of the usual conduct,” whereas with self-report
tests, individuals answer relative to their own observations of themselves.
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