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Quick Notes (Textbook) - REVIEW for Test 3 (Exam - new content)

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McMaster University
Margaret Fahnestock

Psych 2B03 2012 Quicknotes Chapter 4: Personality Traits, Situations and Behaviour  Trait Approach – focuses on individual differences; uses correlational designed; criteria is whether measurement can predict behaviour  Clyde Kluckhohn and Henry Murray – every man is a) like all other men b) like some other men c) like no other man a) Certain psychological properties and processes are universal (biological needs) b) Some properties differ in waysthat allow individuals to be grouped  relevant to trait approach c) Each individual is unique; cannot be meaningfully compared to anyone else (genetic makeup, past experience, view of the world)  Stability is not consistent across all ages; more stable 50-70 > 30 > teens, adolescents children less stable o Most consistent = less neurotic Person-Situation Debate – which is more important in determining behaviour; person or situation?  Three Issues 1. Does personality of an individual transcend the immediate situation and guide actions? Or is behaviour dependent on situation? 2. Are common intuitions about people fundamentally flawed or basically correct? 3. Why do psychologists argue about consistency of personality when basic empirical questions have been settled?  Situationists Argument 1. Low upper limit (0.40) to how well one can predict behaviour based on measurement of personality 2. Situations more important than personality traits in determining behaviour; personality doesn’t exist 3. Practice of personality assessment is a waste of time o Mischel – research concerning relationships between S-data and B-data, I-data and B-data, B-data and B-data  B-data gathered in lab o Subtraction used to evaluate degree to which behaviour is affected by situation variable – not legitimate Rebuttal 1. Unfair Literature Review – Mischel’s review of personality wasselective and unfair; concentrated on few studies that obtained disappointing results rather than impressive findings 2. Poor Research Methodology  Should measure behaviour outside the lab (real life)  Check for variations in consistency  Some people more consistent than others – high monitors (change behaviour according to situation); low monitors (express personality consistently across situations)  Some behaviours more consistent than others – expressive behaviour (gestures, volume, speed of speech; more consistent); goal-directed behaviour (trying to impress someone; situation-dependent)  Seek to predict behavioural trends rather than single acts at particular moment – average expression level of trait more predictable than single act; random variation cancel out in an average 3. Correlation of 0.4 is not small – need a standard of comparison  Absolute Standard – how many correct predictions of behaviour a trait measurement with this degree of validity would yield in a hypothetical context; obtained from Binomial Effect Size Display (BESD) – correlation of 0.40 likely to be accurate 70% of time  Relative Standard – compare degree of predictability for traits with accuracy of other methods used to predict behaviour  Social Psychology – pay little attention to size of situational effects; concentrate on statistical significance (of situations) o Social Psychological Experiment – place groups of participants in different situations; measure response (eg/ incentives study; change attitude toward situation based on incentive)  Personality Psychologists – focus on magnitude of ability to predict behaviour; correlation coefficient (measure of effect size, not statistical significance)  Personality coefficient (0.40) is not comparable to social psychology variables  can convert social psych variables into correlations  Forced Compliance Effect (Festinger and Carlsmith) – tell participant that dull experiment was exciting; offered $20 or $1 – $1 not enough to make them feel better; changed attitude to match words  Bystander Intervention (John Darley) – distressed individuals across path; other people present or not in a hurry – more likely to help  Investigation of Obedience (Stanley Milgram) – give victim electric shocks; more likely if victim in other room or experimenter present  Two possible conclusions – neither personality nor situation affect behaviour; both affect behaviour  Big Five (Ozer and Benet-Martinez) – associated 5 large categories with individual outcomes, interpersonal outcomes and institutional outcomes Individual Outcomes Interpersonal Outcomes Institutional Outcomes Extraversion Happiness Peer acceptance Occupational satisfaction Gratitude Success in dating and relationshCommunity involvement Longevity Attractiveness Leadership Psychological health Status Agreeableness Religious involvement Peer acceptance Social interests Forgiveness Dating satisfaction Job attainment Humor Avoidance of criminal behaviour Heart health, longevity Psychological health Conscientiousness Religious beliefs Family satisfaction Job performance Good health habits, Dating satisfaction Occupational success longevity Political conservatism Avoidance of drug abuse Avoidance of criminal behaviour 1 Psych 2B03 2012 Neuroticism Unhappiness Poor family relations Occupational dissatisfaction Poor coping Criminal behaviour Openness Forgiveness, inspiration Artistic interests Substance abuse Political liberalism  Interactionism – persons and situations interact to produce behaviour 1. Effect of a personality variable may depend on situation (vice ver(eg/ caffeine effects on extroverts vs. introverts) 2. Situations not randomly populations – certain types of people seek out different situat(eg/ biker bar where fights occur) 3. People change situations by what they do in them(eg/ first punch in biker bar) o Stanford Prison Experiment (Philip Zimbardo) –guard and prisoner; guards became abusive; certain kinds of people likely to sign up; demonstrate power of situation and personality  Situationist View – how people act under certain conditions o Implies that people are free to do whatever they want in every situation they encounter o Implies everyone is equal to everyone else; differing outcomes are function of the situations in which people find themselves o Absolves people from blame  Personality Trait View – how people act in general o Implies people are different from each other o Implies that even under best circumstances, people have traits that make bad outcomes likely o Appreciates unique aspects of individuals o Possibility that individual may develop a consistent identity and personal style that allows them to transcend the situation Chapter 7: Using Personality Traits to Understand Behaviour Single Trait Approach – examines link between personality and behaviour; “what do people like to do”; important personality trait  Authoritarianism o Erich Fromm – demise of Catholicism, rise of Protestantism, rise of capitalism give individuals freedom to conceive God as they wished – sought to escape by turning to authority figure; found comfort in taking orders o Authoritarian character – enjoy giving orders, expect to be unquestioned – personality invol(under circumstance, not all people) o Berkley Group – understand differences between authoritarian and non-authoritarian  A-Scale – questionnaire to measure anti-Semitism  E-scale – ethnocentrism scale (contained questions about minority groups)  E-scale and A-scale highly correlated  Politico-Economic Conservatism (PEC) Scale – political outlook associated with anti-Semitism and ethnocentrism  California F-Scale – (fascism) aimed to measure basic antidemocratic psychological orientat(foundation of A, E and F) o Genuine Conservatism (Adorn) – internally consistent set of political beliefs that support institutions and traditional social order while seeking to protect individual rights, property and initiative o Pseudoconservatism – blatant contradictions between the acceptance of all kinds of conventional and traditional values and the simultaneous acceptance of destructive attitudes; hold radical positions o Bob Altemeyer – used updated measure of right wing authoritarianism (RWA); three clusters of attitudes and behaviours  Authoritarian Submission – tendency to be obedient and submissive to leaders  Authoritarian Aggression – tendency to act with aggressive hostility toward anyone perceived as deviant  Conventionalism – tendency to follow traditions and social norms endorsed by society and people in power o Authoritarianism is an individual-difference construct – cannot explain why Nazism arose, explains which individuals more likely to follow Hitler-like leader o Authoritarianism provides an example of how personality traits can be helpful for understanding complex social phenomenon  Conscientiousness and Integrity o Integrity tests better viewed as broad measures of personality traits related to job performance than as narrow tests of honesty o Racial imbalance could be addressed without affecting productivity if personality tests used instead of aptitude/ability tests  African-Americans tend to score lower than white-Americans on aptitude, but not on personality tests due to discrimination in educational and social environments  Self-Monitoring o High Self-Monitors – varies in inner and outer selves; survey situations and environmental cues to adjust behaviour  Eg/ laugh track, bogus heart bet o Low Self Monitors – largely the same outside as inside; not vary very much across situations o Criticism – items break into 3 factors – acting ability, extraversion and “other directedness” ; extraversion (aggressive, assertive) and other directness (agreeable)  may be mutually exclusive  difficulty interpreting scores Many-Trait Approach – which traits correlate with specific behaviour; “who does that?”; important behaviour  California Q-Set – 100 phrasesdescribing an aspect of personality that might be important for characterizing individuals (more complex than traits); sort items into nine categories; predetermined number of items in each category; S-data, I-data o Comparisons across items within one individual, as opposed to comparisons across individuals o Judge restricted from only identifying few items as important; subtle discriminations must be made o Factors found through researchers/clinical practitioners, not factor analysis or formal empirical procedure  Delay of Gratification o Many aspects of personality remains fairly consistent throughout rapid development and changes that occur during childhood o Likely to delay  Boys and girls that are planful, reflective, reasonable, stable  Girls who are intelligent, competent, attentive, resourceful  Boys who are shy, quiet, compliant, anxious 2 Psych 2B03 2012 o High levels of Ego-Control (self-control, impulse control, inhibition) in those who delay o High levels of Ego-Resiliency (similar to healthy psychological adjustment) – in girls who delay  Drug Abuse – correlated imply that regardless of immediate effects of peer pressure and external influences, the adolescents most likely to use drugs suffered from other problems visible in early years – drug prevention should identify long-term problems and susceptibility to stress, not “just say no campaigns”  Depression o Females prone to depression when overcontrolled and never venture outside limits society sets o Males prone to depression when undercontrolled; unless they can control emotions and behaviour, they may get into trouble and find difficult  Political Orientation o Jack and Jeannne Block – assessed personalities of children then 20 years later measured political beliefs – scored from liberal to conservative  Conservatives – likely to have been described (as a child) as tending to feel guilty, anxious in unpredictable environments, unable to handle stress well; motivated by fear  Liberals – likely to have been described (as a child) as resourceful, independent, self-reliant, confident; motivated by undercontrol (desire for wide range of gratifications soon; seek and enjoy good life) o Implicit Association Test (IAT) – more conventional measure; liberals likely to prefer change over stability and progress over tradition  Jonathan Haidt – rather than focus on what is wrong with people on one side of ideological divide – understand how they favor different but equally defensive values o Both liberal and conservativesvalue harm/care, fairness/reciprocity o Conservatives favour group loyalty, authority/respect and purity Essential-Trait Approach – “which traits are most importan(eg/ Big Five)  Henry Murray – theorized 20 traits (needs) essential for understanding persona(included aggression, autonomy, exhibition, order, play, sex)  Jack Block – developed theory proposing ego resiliency and ego control o Impulses must be channels or expressed o High in Ego-Control – overcontrolled; tend to inhibit impulses o Low in Ego-Control – undercontrolled; more prone to act in i
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