[PSYC 2740] - Final Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (24 pages long)

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PSYC 2740
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Chapter 2
- Personality Traits: A Good Theory
What is a personality trait?
· May act differently in situations, but there are consistencies in your actions à concept of traits
· Temporary states (emotions, attitudes, physical attributes) are not personality traits
· Traits are measured over a continuum (a continuous stretch, from high to low)
· Hypothetical concept because they exist even though we can’t see them
· 2 main ways to study traits: nomothetic and idiographic
Two Approaches to the study of personality traits
· In the idiographic approach, the goal is to understand the personality of a single individual
- Seek to answer “What unique combination of traits best describes this person?”
- Can use the “experience sampling method” which involves completing surveys
throughout the day either at random intervals, scheduled times, or in response to
particular events
· In the nomothetic approach, the goal is to discover universals concepts that can apply to
everyone by identifying traits that can describe all people or that can be applied to any person
· Hans Eysenck hypothesized human personality is organized into a hierarchy (like a pyramid
p.25)
- Human personalities with the most general at the top and most specific level at
the bottom
- The lower you go, the more the more idiosyncratic our reactions are
- The higher we go, the more similar we become to people personality wise
What do we know about personality from the idiographic approach?
· Studying individual personalities: The idiographic approach
- Allport identified three different kinds of traits: central traits, secondary traits, and
cardinal traits
o Central traits: 5-10 traits people who know you would mention if
describing you
o Secondary traits: of lesser importance, less consistently displayed,
seldom displayed
o Cardinal traits: A single trait that completely dominates a personality
What do we know about personality from the nomothetic approach?
· Finding Universals: The nomothetic approach
- At least three ways to identify the most meaningful words to describe personality
1. The Theoretical approach: Using theory to identify the most important traits for
understanding personality
2. The Lexical approach: Explores a particular language and identifies the number of
synonyms that describe personality
3. The measurement approach: Using questionnaires and statistics to identify the
most important traits for understanding personality
The Great Nomothetic Search for Universalities Principles of Personality
·
· Three superfactors: Eysenck
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- He identified 3 broad dimensions of personality: psychoticism, extraversion, and
neuroticismà together they form the basis of Eysenck’s PEN model of personality
- Also identified more specific traits associated with each of these factorsànarrow
traits
- Psychoticism describes how tough-minded or anti-social people are
- Extraversion describes how outgoing people are in both social and physical
environments
- Neuroticism refers to negative emotionality and emotional reactivity
- Many personality psychologists feel that important traits are missing in this model
· Five Factors: The Big Five and the Five-Factor Model
- The Big Five: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and
Conscientiousness (OCEAN)
- Eysenck’s Psychoticism is a combination of agreeableness and
conscientiousness
- Five Factor Model: Anxiety-Adjustment (now called Neuroticism), Introversion-
Extraversion, and Openness to Experience
- Added scales to measure Agreeableness and Conscientiousness and called their
(Costa and McCrae) solution the FFM
- The two solutions identify virtually identical factors
- Five-factor model fails to include antisocial traits and omits objectives that
represent temporary states (such as moods) or evaluations
- Main difference is the name of the individual factors (other differences are more
philosophical and deal with the history behind the two traditions and empirical
usefulness)
- Research on both The Big Five (using adjectival measures) and the FFM (using
the NEO-PI-R questionnaire) yield similar results
· A One-Factor Solution
- Smallest number of factors that can account for human personality is one
- Researcher have called this the general personality factor or GPF which is
hypothesized to holistically explain the human personality and lies at the top of a
hierarchy of personality traits
- Includes all positive aspects of the five factors: Emotional Stability,
Agreeableness, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Intellect
- GPF encompasses the two factors of Alpha (the emotional stability to get along
with others) and Beta (the flexibility to deal with change, challenges, and demands)
- Researchers believe that a two-factor solution is merely an artifact of the way we
measure traits and have evidence that a five- or six-factor solution is superior to a
two-factor solution
· Six and Seven-Factor Solutions… and Beyond!
- HEXACO (or six-factor) model: Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, Extraversion,
Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience
- Major difference from five-factor model is the addition of Honesty-Humility as a
separate factor which emerged out of research in other cultures and languages
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