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Midterm 2 Lecture Notes P1.pdf

Course Code
PSYC 333
Jennifer Bartz
Study Guide

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PSYC333 Lecture 9 - Feb. 14
The Search For Personal Consistency
Extra Class Notes:
Cross-situational consistency - by knowing that someone is conscience, we can predict their conscience behaviour across
multiple traits
They is very low cross situational consistency - says Walter Mischel
Data is not random actually, it is important and helps tell the behaviour of an individual but requires the use of if-then
Cognitive-Affective System Theory of Personality (CAPS) - Mischel, Shoda & Wright:
Individual differences in conditional probability across situations
On y axis: any dispositional behaviour (i.e. Agreeableness)
Each person fluctuates a great deal in terms of conscience behaviour in all 12 different situations, but these two people,
taking their mean conscience behaviour, is the same; thus, does not tell us much
Situation = if, behaviour = then (looks for how people construe the situation)
Situations reliably trigger behavioural responses
Cognitive and affective units mediate the situation to behaviour response
A conditional response
Need to understand the “psychological meaning” of the situation for the individual in order to predict individual’s behaviour
Variability in behaviour across situations not random error that needs to be eliminated, rather, it’s important information that
can give us clues about underlying personality system
Should not take our error, but rather understand the error
The situational variance is important; gives us clues for underlying personality system
Descriptive Situations (If):
Characterize the situation by how the child acts in a woodworking class vs at a cabin meeting
Playground vs Classroom
Mealtime vs Watching TV
Mischel says we need to move away from these descriptive situations and understand the psychological meaning of the
situation of the individual
Drawing links between similar situations helps predict behaviour
Interpersonal Situations:
Mischel says to focus on psychological meaning, we need to understand interpersonal situations
How each child behaves in each of the following situation. Understanding how these children psychologically construe the
situation, we can determine more regularities in the child’s behaviour
Peer approaches
Peer teases
Adult praises
Adult warns
Adult punishes
Intra-individual, Situation-behaviour Profiles For Verbal Aggression:
Two child #9 and #28
Go through 5 situations by standardizing their verbal aggression; lines up using the mean from the rest of the groups, thus 0
is the same as the normative behaviour of the group of children
Child #9: warned by adult elicit verbal aggression; peer tease will not likely elicit verbal aggression
Child #28: opposite of child #9. More verbal aggression when peer teased while less verbal aggression to warning from adult
Random fluctuations are not random, are meaningful, but need to understand the psychological mindset of the children to
predict their future behaviour because each child is different

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Situation: “If Peer Teased”
Red bars indicate the mean correlation of verbal aggressive behaviours across all five situations
Like traditional trait theorists
Blue bars indicate to what extend does a verbal aggressive behaviour on one occasion in a particular situation IF peer
teased. The blue bars indicate within situations in which peer teased, to what extent is verbal aggressive behaviour
correlated across those situations
Helps prove Mischel’s behaviour
There are specific if-then contingencies that develop for these kids
Situation: “If Peer Positive Contact”
Correlation between pro-social talk within situations involving peer positive contact is much higher than just looking at
correlation across all five situations
Cognitive Affective Mediating Units - Mischel:
These are the factors that influence how that person is construing the social situations:
Encodings or construal
Self, other people, situations
Expectancies and beliefs
About social world, outcomes for behaviour in particular situations, self-efficacy
Feelings, emotions, affective responses, including physiological arousal to different situations
Goals and values
Desirable and undesirable outcomes and affective states; goals, values, life projects
Competencies and self-regulatory plans
How we regulate ourselves using scripts, strategies for organizing action/affecting outcomes
Cognitive-Affective Personality System:

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All our cognitive affective mediating units are interrelated
Different scenarios will activate different mediating units for the individual
Cognitions and Affects are the ‘Units’:
These units vary in their activation levels and their associations with other units and with features of situations
Some are more chronically activated while others not as much; again, it depends on the different situations that elicit
which units are activated
Selects situations
Interprets situations
Generates situations
“ is the organization of the relationships among them [units] that forms the core of the personality structure…”
Rejection Sensitivity - Downey & Feldman:
Some people anxiously expect, readily perceive and overreact to rejection
“You ask a friend to go on vacation with you over Spring Break”
Level of concern/anxiety
Likelihood of rejection
Some people walk around with vulnerability
Vigilant to rejection cues
Interpret social interactions in terms of rejection
Rejection Sensitivity (RS) & Rejection - Downey & Feldman:
Recruit high/low RS people
Introduced to an opposite sex stranger
Pleasant 10 mins interaction
2nd interaction; none because:
Time constraints (control)
Other person did not want to continue (experimental)
An ambiguous incident that could be interpreted as rejection
Measured feelings of rejection pre- and post- incident and looks at change score
Changes in Feelings of Rejection:
In experimental condition, those who were high in rejection sensitivity felt significantly more rejection
The critical point is that if-then contingencies is correct, only certain situations are going to triggers a chronic dispositional
Rejection Sensitivity (RS) & Attributions of Hurtful Intentions:
Assess rejection sensitivity among singles
They then start dating; Qs:
“If your boyfriend was being cool or distant…”
“if your boyfriend was intolerant of something you did…”
“If your boyfriend began to spend less time with you…”
Rejection sensitivity
Partner being intentionally hurtful; r = .39
People were more likely to expect or perceive rejection but they were more likely to make a rejecting attribution in
ambiguous situations
Rejection Sensitivity (RS) & Partner Satisfaction:
Partners of high rejection sensitivity ps less satisfied
High RS males
More jealous partner dissatisfaction
High RS females
Hostile and less supportive partner dissatisfaction
RS: strength (high/low) on if-then contingencies
High RS; if-then contingencies if interpersonal relationship is ambiguous, then response with perceived rejection,
defensive behaviour, negative attributions
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