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Personality (2740) Psychology Midterm 1 Textbook and Lecture Notes.docx

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PSYC 2740
Stephen Lewis

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Personality Psychology Midterm 1 Chapter 1: Introduction Three levels of personality analysis - Human nature (e.g need to belong) - Individual and group differences (e.g variation in need to belong) - Individual uniqueness (e.g unique way of expressing love) Domain of knowledge – is a specialty area of science and scholarship, in which psychologists have focused on learning about some specific and limited aspects of human nature - Dispositional domain - deals centrally with the ways in which individuals differ from one another - Biological domain – the core assumption is that humans are, first and foremost, collections of biological systems and these systems provide the building blocks for behaviour, thought, and emotion - Intrapsychic domain – deals with the mental mechanisms of personality, many of which operate outside of conscious awareness - Cognitive-experiential domain – focuses on cognition and subjective experience, such as conscious thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and desires about oneself and others - Social and cultural domain – the assumption is that personality is not something that merely resides within the heads, nervous systems, and genes of individuals - Adjustment domain – refers to the fact that personality plays a key role in how we cope, adapt, and adjust to the ebb and flow of events in our day-to-day lives Five standards for evaluating personality theories - Comprehensiveness – explains most or all known facts - Heuristic value – guides researchers to important new discoveries - Testability – makes precise predictions that can be empirically tested - Parsimony – contains few premises or assumptions - Compatibility and integration – consistent with what is known in other domains, can be coordinated with other branches of scientific knowledge From lecture - State anxiety – unpleasant emotional arousal in the face of threat/dangers - Trait anxiety – tendency to respond with state anxiety in the anticipation of threats/dangers - Individual uniqueness • Nomothetic – recognizes differences between people and uses statistical methods • Idiographic – research focusing on just one individual (more qualitative) Chapter 2: PersonalityAssessment, Measurement, and Research Design Sources of personality data - Self-report data – the information a person reveals • Unstructured (open ended questions) • Structured ( e.g true or false) - Likert rating scale – a way for someone to express with numbers the degree to which a particular trait describes him or her (e.g energetic – 1,2,3,4,5,6,7) - Observer-report data – observers (friends, family etc.) that are potential sources of information about our personalities • Inter-rater reliability – degree of agreement among observers • Multiple social personalities – each one of us displays different sides of ourselves to different people - Naturalistic vs. artificial observations • Naturalistic – observers witness events that occur in the normal lives of participants • Artificial – create a setting to observe individuals - Mechanical recording devices - Physiologic data • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) – identify areas of the brain that “light up” when performing certain tasks - Projective techniques – in which a person is given a standard stimulus and asked what they see - Life-outcome data – is the data that can be gleaned from the events, activities, and outcomes in a person’s life that are available to public scrutiny Evaluation of personality measures - Reliability – can be defined as the degree to which an obtained measure represents the true level of the trait being measured • Can estimate reliability through repeated measurement, inter-rater reliability, and if the items within a test all correlate well with each other (internal consistency reliability) - Response sets (non-content responding) – refers to the tendency of some people to respond to the questions on a basis that is unrelated to the question content • Acquiescence – tendency to simply agree with the questionnaire items • Extreme responding – which refers to the tendency to give endpoint responses (e.g “strongly agree”) • Social desirability – refers to the tendency to answer items in such a way as to come across as socially attractive or likeable • Forced-choice questionnaire – test takers are confronted with pairs of statements and are asked to indicate which statement in each pair is more true of them - Validity – refers to the extent to which a test measures what it claims to measure • Face validity – which refers to whether the test, on the surface, appears to measure what it is supposed to measure • Predictive validity – which refers to whether the test predicts criteria external to the test (criterion validity) • Convergent validity – refers to whether a test correlates with other measures that it should correlate with • Discriminant validity – refers to what measure should not correlate with • Construct validity – defined as a test that measures what it claims to measure, correlates with what its suppose to correlate with, and does not correlate with what it is not supposed to correlate with (broadest type)  Theoretical constructs – not one thing you can present to show that personality variable (e.g “Show me your intelligence”) - Generalizability – is the degree to which the measure retains its validity across various contexts Research designs in personality - Experimental methods – used to determine whether one variable influences another variable (causality) • Manipulation – of one or more variables • Random assignment – of participants to experimental groups is a procedure that helps ensure that all groups are equivalent at the beginning of the study • Counterbalancing – the order of the conditions (e.g first group gets real drug and then sugar pill while second group gets sugar pill and then real drug) - Correlational method – a statistical procedure is used for determining whether or not there is relationship between two variables • Cannot determine ifAis the cause of B or B is the cause ofA(directionality problem) • There may be a third variable that that is affecting both (third variable problem) - Case study method – examining the life of one person in-depth The dispositional domain – concerns aspects of personality that remain stable over time From the lecture - Self-report data • Structured – responses are set (true and false)  Dichotomous (forced questions)  Likert-ratings • Unstructured – responses not set (open-ended questions) • Limitations of self-report:  Honesty in responses  Not having self-knowledge or objectivity to respond • Other s-data approaches:  Event sampling (ecological momentary assessment) – self-report that occurs over time to assess variables that might change in ‘real time’(e.g making suicidal kids carry around a monitor and report in every so often) - Observer data • Pros: access to unique data and multiple informants • Cons: objectivity and respondents may not be able to infer internal processes (e.g feelings) • Conducted in:  Naturalistic settings or  Artificial settings - Test data – standardized testing situation, takes various forms: • Mechanical recording devices • Physiological data • Projective tests • Limitations:  Participants may guess the trait being assessed and create an impression  Participants and researchers may view the testing situation differently  The influence of the researchers on the participants - Reliability – whether data reflect the true level of what is being measured • Test-retest – scores of a measure correlate on repeated measures • Internal consistency – items on 1 measure correlate with each other • Inter-rater – ratings of 1 observer correlate with those of another - Response sets – response tendency that is unrelated to item content • Acquiescence • Extreme responding • Social desirability - Validity – degree to which the test measures what is says it claims to measure • Face – whether is appears to measure what it is suppose to • Predictive – whether the test predicts criteria it is suppose to • Convergent – whether the test correlates with other, similar, tests • Discriminant – refers to what the measure should not correlate with • Construct – includes all types of validity (broad in scope) - Generalizability – whether a measure retains validity over different contexts/samples/ situations - Research designs • Experimental method - used to determine causality  2 requirements :  An independent variable is manipulated to affect the dependent variable  Participants are equivalent (via random assignment) • Correlational method: used to understand if 2 (or more) variables share a relation  Correlation coefficient – indicates the direction and degree of relation (-1 to 1)  Limitations: directionality (either way and no causation), and third variable - Case studies – in-depth research into one individual Chapter 3: Trait and trait taxonomies Identification of the most important traits - Lexical approach – all traits listed and defined in the dictionary from the basis of the natural way of describing differences between people • Lexical hypothesis: all important individual differences have become encoded within the natural language  Synonym frequency – if an attribute has not merely one or two trait adjectives to describe it but, rather, six, seven, or nine, then it is a more dimension of individual difference  Cross-cultural universality – if a trait is sufficiently important in all cultures that its members have codified terms to describe the trait, then the trait must be universally important in human affairs - Statistical approach – uses factor analysis , or similar statistical procedures, to identify major personality traits • Factor analysis – identifies group of items that covary (go together) but tend not to covary with other groups of items • Factor loadings – which are indexes of how much of the variation in an item is “explained” by the factor  Indicate the degree to which the items with, or “loads on”, the underlying factor - Theoretical approach – researchers rely on theories to identify important traits • Sociosexual orientation – men and women will pursue one of two alternative sexual relationship strategies  The first is a single committed relationship characterized by monogamy and tremendous investment in children  The second sexual strategy is characterized by a greater degree of promiscuity Eysencks hierarchical model of personality - Three main traits: • Extraversion- introversion • Neuroticism/emotional stability • Psychoticism Cattell’s taxonomy: The 16 personality trait system - Hard to replicate all 16 factors when conducting experiments - Criticized because there are too many personality traits, which, could be refined down to a few key traits that represent the 16 traits adequately Circumplex taxonomies of personality - Interpersonal traits – individual difference pertains to what people do to and with each other - Other kinds of individual differences: • Temperament traits (nervous, gloomy, sluggish) • Character traits (moral, principled, dishonest) • Material traits (miserly, and stingy) • Attitude traits (pious and spiritual) • Mental traits (clever, logical, perceptive) • Physical traits (healthy, tough) - Circumplex model uses Status (y-axis) and Love (x-axis) to explain interpersonal behaviours • E.g at the far right end of the x-axis (love) people are said to be warm and agreeable, whereas, people that fall on the far left side of the x-axis are said to be cold-hearted and hostile • At the top of the y-axis (status) people are assured and dominant, while at the bottom of the y-axis people are deemed unassured and submissive - Three advantages to Wiggins circumplex model: • Provides and explicit definition of interpersonal behaviour • Specifies the relationship between each trait and every other trait within the model • It also alerts investigators to gaps - There are three types of relationships specified by this model • Adjacency – or, how close each trait is to each other in the circumplex, thus, traits close to each other are said to be positively correlated • Bipolarity – traits that are bipolar are located at opposite ends of the circle and are negatively correlated with each other • Orthogonality – which specifies that traits that are perpendicular to each other on the model are entirely unrelated to each, or 0 correlation Five-Factor Model - There are 5 main traits that describe interpersonal behaviour in this model: • Surgency of extraversion • Agreeableness • Conscientiousness • Emotional stability • Openness/intellect - Astonishingly replicable, lots of researchers were able to reproduce these traits when conducting experiments - Has been replicated in different languages and in different item formats - Norman’s markers for the big five: • Surgency or extraversion  Talkative vs silent  Sociable vs reclusive  Adventurous vs cautious  Open vs secretive • Agreeableness  Good natured vs irritable  Cooperative vs negativistic  Mild/gentle vs headstrong  Not jealous vs jealous • Conscientiousness  Responsible vs undependable  Scrupulous vs unscrupulous  Persevering vs quitting  Fussy/tidy vs careless • Emotional stability  Calm vs anxious  Composed vs excitable  Not hypochondriacal vs hypochondriacal (chronic and abnormal anxiety)  Poised vs nervous/tense • Intellect/openness  Intellectual vs unreflective/narrow  Artistic vs non-artistic  Imaginative vs simple/direct  Polished/refined vs crude/boorish - There are some key adjective markers used for each trait: • Surgency or extraversion: talkative, extraverted, assertive, forward, outspoken vs. shy, quiet, introverted, bashful, inhibited • Agreeableness: sympathetic, kind, warm, understanding, sincere vs. unsympathetic, unkind, harsh, cruel • Conscientiousness: organized, neat, orderly, practical, prompt, meticulous vs. disorganized, disorderly, careless, sloppy, impractical • Emotional stability: calm, relaxed, stable vs. moody, anxious, insecure OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion,Agreeableness, Neuroticism - The first four traits are highly replicable across cultures and languages, however, there is uncertainty about the content, naming, and replicability of the fifth factor (openness) - Extraversion: • The defining feature is social attention • Extraverts have a greater impact on their social environment • They tend to assume leadership roles and tend to be more involved at work - Agreeableness: • Favour negotiation to conflict • Like harmonious social interactions and cooperative family life • Tend to be more empathetic towards other people - Conscientiousness: • Industrious and tend to get ahead in things • Punctual and work hard • Usually have higher GPA’s - Emotional stability: • Refers to individuals that can retain stability in times of stress and hardships • They tend not to use harmful methods of coping (e.g drugs, alcohol) • Emotionally unstable individuals can be thrown off course by everyday stressors - Openness: • Can remember their dreams and tend to have more vivid dreams • Open to experimentation • Have difficulty ignoring previously experienced stimuli • Tend to get body piercings or tattoos Combinations of big five variables that can attribute to life outcomes, examples: - Good grades: high conscientiousness and high emotional stability - Alcohol consumption: high extraversion and low conscientiousness - Aggression: high neuroticism - Forgiveness: high agreeableness and high emotional stability - Pathological gambling: high neuroticism and low conscientiousness Summary - Some people still argue that the five-factor model is missing some key traits, however, a lot of the traits that are mentioned tend to correlate with at least one of the five factors - There are two basic conceptualizations about traits: • The first views traits as internal properties of persons that cause their behaviour, in other words, traits cause the outward behavioural manifestations • The second views traits as descriptive summaries of overt behaviour, it does not assume traits cause behaviour - Three major approaches to identifying important traits: • Lexical approach – uses synonym frequency and cross-cultural universality in identifying important traits • Statistical approach – adopts statistical procedures (e.g factor analysis) and attempts to identify traits that covary • Theoretical approach – uses an existing theory of personality to determine which traits are important - Taxonomies of personality traits: • Eysenck’s hierarchical model uses extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism to cover a large range of more specific traits (activity level, moodiness, egocentricity etc.), his model is based on factor analysis • Cattell’s taxonomy includes 16 traits which could be reduced significantly  His model was also based on factor analysis and data gathering • Circumplex models are circular arrangements of traits organized around two key dimensions, status (dominance) and love (agreeableness) • The Five-Factor model includes; extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness (OCEAN)  Heavily endorsed  Used in a large variety of research designs and applied settings From the lecture - Conceptualizing traits • As internal causal properties  Traits are presumed to be internal  Desires/needs carry across settings and are presumed to be causal  But traits may lie dormant  Trait causes behaviour • As descriptive summaries  Traits are descriptive summaries of one’s attributes without assuming internality/causality  Summarize behavioural trends  Traits are assumed from behaviours • Act frequency – traits are categories of acts  Act nomination  Prototypicality judgment - Involves identifying which acts are most central or prototypical of each trait category  Recording of act performance - Securing information on actual performance of individuals in their daily lives  Pros:  Identifies acts relating to most traits  Identifies behavioural regularities  Helps study the meaning of hard to study traits  Cons:  No account for amount of context  Applies only to overt acts  May prove difficult with complex traits  Atheoretical – observing behaviour and trait outcomes (independent of theory) - Identifying traits • Lexical approach - individual differences are encoded in our language • Traits  important in communication • Criteria:  Synonym frequency  Cross-cultural universality • Pros:  Helps initially to identify key differences  Considers culture • Cons:  Some traits are ambiguous  May not capture various types of speech • Statistical approach – factor analysis  Identifies groups that covary  Reduces traits in group, major dimensions of personality  Factor loading – indicates the degree to which an item correlates with the underlying factor • Theoretical approach – a theory determines the important individual differences (traits)  Pros/cons coincide with the theories strengths and weaknesses - Key trait taxonomies • Eysenck’s hierarchical model  P – psychoticism – aggressive, cold, impulsive vs not  E – extraversion/introversion – sociable, lively, adventurous vs not  N – neuroticism/emotional stability – being shy, moody, low self-esteem vs not  Traits presumed to be heritable and have an identifiable physiological substrate  Criticisms:
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