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Christine Logel

Psych 322R Textbook Readings Chapter 1: Introduction to Personality Psychology Trait Descriptive Adjectives adjectives that can be used to describe characteristics of people Personality Defined - Psychological traits characteristics that describe ways in which people are different from each other or are similar to each other o Describe average tendencies - Psychological mechanisms processes of personality with 3 essential ingredients; inputs (environment), decision rules (options) and outputs (behaviour) - Within the individual personality is something you carry with yourself over time and from one situation to the next - Organized mechanisms and traits are linked to one another in a coherent fashion o Contain decision rules that govern which needs are activated, depending on circumstances - Enduring anger is a temporary STATE, but anger-prone, or hot-tempered is a trait that is enduring and relatively consistent from situation to situation - Influential forces  traits and mechanisms can have an effect on people’s lives (influence how we think/act/feel) - Person-Environment interaction involves perceptions, selections, evocations and manipulations - Adaptation accomplishing goals, coping, adjusting and dealing with the challenges and problems we face as we go through life - Physical environment often poses challenges for people (some direct threats to survival) o Social environment  competitive jobs, relationships o Intrapsychic environment within the mind – memories, dreams, desires Three Levels of Personality Analysis - Kluckhohn and Murray o Every human being is, in certain respects  Like all others (human nature level) - universals  Like some others (level of individual/group differences) - particulars  Like no others (individual uniqueness level) – uniqueness - Human Nature the traits and mechanisms of personality that are typical of our species and are possessed by nearly everyone (ex. Everyone speaks) - Individual and Group Differences individual differences - ways in which each person is like SOME other people o Differences between groups men and women for example – men are more aggressive - Individual Uniqueness no two people have the exact same personalities o Nomothetically  individual instances of general characteristics that are distributed in the peopulation  Research involves statistical comparisons (focus is universal) o Idiographically single unique cases  Research focuses on single subject-try to observe general principles that are manifest in a single life over time (biographies) A Fissure in the Field - Grand Theories of Personality o Most address the human nature level of analysis (universal accounts) - Contemporary Research in Personality Six Domains of Knowledge About Human Nature - domain of knowledge a specialty area of science and scholarship in which psychologists have focused on learning about some specific and limited aspects of human nature o dispositional domain  traits person is born with o biological domain  biological events o intrapsychic domain conflicts within a person’s own mind o cognitive-experience domain private thoughts, feelings, desires o social and cultural domain gendered positions, society and culture o adjustment domain adjustment to inevitable challenges of life - each perspective by itself does not capture the whole person - Dispositional Domain identify and measure the most important ways in which individuals differ from one another; how it is developed & maintained - Biological Domain genetics, psychophysiology (nervous system), evolution - Intrapsychic Domain operations outside conscious awareness (freud) - Cognitive-Experimental Domain conscious thought, feelings, subjective experience (self and self-concept), goals and emotions - Social and Cultural Domain different cultures may bring out different facets of our personalities in manifest behaviour - Adjustment Domain how we cope, adapt and adjust to the flow of events- personality is related to health The Role of Personality Theory - Good Theory has 3 things o Provides a guide for researchers, organizes known findings and makes predictions - Astrology is a collection of beliefs between star position and personality o Based on faith not facts - Theories are tested by systematic observations Standard for Evaluating Personality Theories - comprehensiveness, heuristic value (good guide for researchers), testability, parsimony (amount of premises and assumptions, want it to be low), compatibility and integration across domains and levels (cannot violate known laws) Is There a Grand Ultimate and True Theory of Personality? - not now, but work within the 6 domains may one day bring a unifying theory Chapter 2: Personality Assessment, Measurement and Research Design Source of Personality Data - Self-Report Data (S-data) o Most common method for measuring personality (not accurate) o Interviews, periodic reports, questionnaires o Unstructured-open ended (20 Statement Test) o Structured-t/f, m/c (Adjective Check List, Likert rating scale 1-7, California Psychological Inventory, NEO Personality Inventory- statement questionnaires where you agree or disagree) - Observer-Report Data (O-data) o Capitalize on these sources for gathering info about a person o Inter-rater reliability-compare sources of info o Selection of observers  Use professional personality assessors that do not know the person (observe public persona)  Or use close friends, relatives, spouses  Advantage- can observe private persona o Multiple social personalities can be assessed  Disadvantage- may be biased in certain ways o Naturalistic vs Artificial Observation  Naturalistic- record events that occur in the normal course of the lives of the participants o Test Data (T-data)  Standardized testing  Bridge building test of Henry Murray  2 assistance-one dim-witted, one know-it-all  test of tolerance of frustration  Megargee’s men/women dominance/leadership test  pairs, who would assume the leadership/follower roles  elicit behaviour, control the context & test specific hypothesis o Mechanical Recording Devices  Actometer- measure difference between activity and energy  Kids highly active reported as vital, energetic and active by teachers & uninhibitied, assertive, attention- getting, manipulative, fidgety  Advantage-no biases,  disadvantage-limited traits can be measured o Physiological Data  Info about arousal, reactivity to stimuli, speed to take new info  Use of sense on different areas of the body  Patrick-studies psychopaths (not normal anxiety gauge)  Use eyeblink startle reflex – if we are anxious we exhibit the startle reflex faster than when we are normal  Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) – areas of brain that light up during various exercises (gauges O2 flow)  Critical to know resting state (test of comparison)  Hard to fake responses o Protective Techniques  Given a standard stimuli and asked what they see  Rorschach inkblots - Life-Outcome Data (L-data) o Info that can be taken from the events, activities, and outcomes of a person’s life that are available for public scrutiny o Use S-data and O-data to predict L-data o Caspi interviewed mothers of kids 8-10 and measured ill-temper  1 scale severity of temper tantrums (physical)  2 scale  frequency of temper tantrums  used these 2 to make a single measure  O-data (mom’s obs)  later when the kids grew up, gathered info and compared it to O-data to create L-data  men  tantrums predicted lower job stability, less happy marriages  women  tantrums predicted marrying down, less happy marriage o driving record, credit card usage, internet  sources of L-data Issues in Personality Assessment - Links Among Various Data Sources o Agreement tends to range from low to moderate o Ozer and Buss self-spouse agreement  moderate on easily observable traits (extraversion)  low on non-observable traits (calculating) o lack of agreement does not necessarily signify an error - The Fallibility of Personality Measurement o Examine results that transcend data sources  triangulation Evaluation of Personality Measures - Reliability o Degree to which an obtained measure represents the true level of the trait being measured o Repeated measurement-repeat a measurement over time in intervals for same sample (test-retest reliability) o If the item within a test of repeated measure all correlate well (high internal consistency reliability) o When multiple observers agree (inter-rater reliability) - Response Sets o Tendency of some people to respond to questions on a basis that is unrelated to the question content (aka non-content responding) o Acquiescence yea saying; tendency to simply agree o Extreme responding tendency to give endpoint responses and avoid middle o Social desirability answer in socially attractive ways  Crowne and Marlowe measure of social desirability  Used to fix scoring on other questionnaires  Forced choice questionnaire choose between two statements of equal social desirability  Taylor “positive illusions”  correlates with good health  Paulhus Balenced Inventory of Desirable Responding  Self-Deceptive Enhancement subscale o Measures overconfidence and positive illusions  Impression Management subscale o Measures tendency to present oneself favourably - Validity o Extent to which a test measures what it claims to measure o 5 types:  face validity looks to, on the surface, measure what it’s supposed to  predictive validity test predicts criteria external to the test  aka criterion validity  convergent validity  whether a test correlates to other measures that it should correlate with  discriminant validity  refers to what measure should NOT correlate with the test  construct validity --> a test that measures what it is supposed to measure, correlates with what it’s supposed to correlate with and does not correlate with what it’s not supposed to correlate with  broadest validity  based on the notion that personality variables are theoretical constructs - Generalizability o Degree to which the measure retains its validity across various contexts/different conditions (age groups, genders, ethnic groups) o If scale is widely applicable – it is high in this Chapter 3: Traits and Trait Taxonomies What is a Trait? Two Basic Formulations - Traits as Internal Causal Properties o People carry their desires, needs and wants from one situation to the other o Traits can remain dormant exist in the absence of observation - Traits as purely Descriptive Summaries o Traits make no assumptions about internality or causality o Do not prejudge the cause of someone’s behaviour The Act Frequency Formulation of Traits – An Illustration of the Descriptive Summary Formulation - “act frequency approach”  traits are categories of acts o 1. Act Nomination  identify which acts belong to which trait category o 2. Prototypically Judgment  identify the acts which are most central to the trait o 3. Recording of Act Performance  secure info on actual daily performance of individuals - Evaluation of the Act Frequency Formulation o Does not specify context of the situation o What about failures to act or covert acts (not observable) o Helped explain the behavioural phenomena o Extraversion and conscientiousness show high levels of observer-self agreement o Agreeableness shows lower levels of self-observer agreement Identification of the Most Important Traits (3 approaches) - Lexical Approach o All important individual differences have become encoded within the natural language o Terms are used to help describe the differences between people and become embedded within the natural language o Trait terms are very important to help with communicating with each other o 2 clear criteria for identifying important traits  synonym frequency more synonyms = more important  cross-cultural universality more languages use the term= more important - Statistical Approach o Most commonly used method – factor analysis  Identifies groups of items that covary but tend not to covary with other groups of items o Factor loadings indexes of how much of the variation in an item is explained by the factor. They indicate the degree to which the item correlates with or “loads on” the underlying factor  Ex. Someone who is extraverted is often humorous, amusing and popular - Theoretical Approach o Indicates in a highly specific manner which variables are important to measure o Sociosexual orientation theory developed by Simpson and Gangestad  Pursuit of a single committed relationship focused on kids  Or pursuit of promiscuity and less investments in kids - Evaluating the Approaches for Identifying Important Traits o Theoretical approach is simply as strong or weak as the theory it is following Taxonomies of Personality - Eysenck’s Hierarchical Model of Personality o Most strongly rooted in biology o Developed a model for traits he thought were highly heritable and had a psychophysiological foundation o 3 main traits  extraversion-introversion, neuroticism-emotional stability and psychoticism (PEN) o Description  Men tend to score twice as high on P  High on P  cynicism to religion - Hierarchial Structure of Eysenck’s System o Super traits at the top, then narrower traits at the second level and then habitual acts at the third level, 4 level is specific acts - Biological Underpinnings o Heritability and identifiable physiological substrate  One can identify properties in the brain and CNS that correspond to the traits and are though to be part of the causal chain that produce those traits  Introverts are more easily aroused  Neuroticism was linked with lability (changeability) of the autonomic nervous system  High P-scorers were high in testosterone low in MAO (neurotransmitter inhibitor) - Cattell’s Taxonomy: The 16 Personality Factor System o Worked with Spearman (inventor of factor analysis) o Believed that true factors of personality should be found across different types of data (ex. Self-reports, lab tests etc.) o 16 factors of personality - Circumplex Taxonomies of Personality o Leary and Wiggins  circular representations of personality o Wiggins  started with Lexical assumptions then focused on how different KINDS of ways in which we differ - interpersonal traits, temperament traits, character traits, material traits, attitude traits, mental traits, and physical traits o Focus on interpersonal traits dyadic interactions that have relatively clear-cut social (status) and emotional (love) consequences for both participants  Hence love and status are his 2 major dimensions o Circumplex provides explicit definition of interpersonal behaviour and also specifies the relationships between each trait and every other trait within the model o 3 types of relationships according to the model  adjacency the closer beside one another the traits are the more positively correlated  bipolarity traits that are located at opposite sides (negatively correlated)  orthogonality perpendicular traits are entirely unrelated to each other o it alerts investigators to gaps directs to neglected areas of psychological functioning - Five Factor Model o 1. Surgency or extraversion o 2. Agreeableness o 3. Conscientiousness o 4. Emotional stability o 5. Openness-intellect o based on lexical and statistical approaches o divided the traits found in the dictionary into 4 lists: (1) stable traits, (2) temporary states, moods and activities, (3) social evaluations, (4) metaphorical, physical and doubtful terms o Cattell lessened the load to 35 clusters of personality traits o Fiske used factor analysis and discovered the 5 factor model o Tupes and Christal examined the 22 simplified factors and came up with the 5 factor model (with culture instead of openness) o Norman replicated this - What is the Empirical Evidence for the Five-Factor Model o Replicated (via single word self-ratings and sentence self-rating) o NEO-PI-R  created by Costa and McCrae  Most used sentence-length measure of big five - What is the Identity of the Fifth Factor o If you start with lexical strategy and use adjectives as items intellect o If you use questionnaire items  openness o Cross-culture different results produced - What are the Empirical Correlates of the Five Factors o Extraversion social attention o Agreeableness bullied less o Conscientiousness secure job, relationships, long term goals o Emotional stability inability to recall important events if low (high on neuroticism) o Openness remember dreams more, hard to ignore previously experienced stimuli - Combo of Big Five Variables o Good grades high conscientiousness and emotional stability o Risky sexual behaviour high extraversion, neuroticism and low conscientiousness, agreeableness o Alcohol consumption high extraversion, low conscientiousness o Pathological gambling high neuroticism and low conscientiousness o Aggression high neuroticism o Mount everest mountain climbers extraverted, stable, high on psychoticism o Happiness high extraversion, low neuroticism o Proclivity to engage in volunteer work high agreeableness, extraversion o Workers who decline to become union members low extraversion, high stability o Forgiveness high agreeableness, stability o Leadership effectiveness high extraversion, stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness o Propensity to migrate high openness, low agreeableness o Propensity to have children high extraversion, stability o Favorable attitudes toward being touched by an intimate partner high agreeable, openness - Is the Five-Factor Model Comprehensive? o Personality-descriptive nouns rather than adjectives (Saucier) th o Honest-humility  possible 6 big factor Chapter 5: Personality Dispositions Over Time: Stability, Coherence, and Change Conceptual Issues: Personality Development, Stability, Coherence and Change - What is Personality Development? o The continuities, consistencies and stabilities in people over time and the ways in which people change over time - Rank Order Stability o Maintenance of individual position within a group - Mean Level Stability o Constancy of level (ex. if population becomes increasingly conservative as they age then mean level CHANGE) - Personality Coherence o Maintaining rank order but with changes in manifestations of a trait - Personality Change o Changes are internal to the person, not merely changes to the external surroundings and changes are relatively enduring over time Three Levels of Analysis - Population Level o Ex. Freud’s psychosexual development applied to everyone on earth o Basically this level of personal development deals with the changes and constancies that apply to everyone - Group Differences o Some changes over time affect different groups of people differently o Ex. Sexes, cultural or ethnic - Individual Differences o Issues that are located at the individual differences level of personality analysis Personality Stability Over Time - Stability of Temperament During Infancy o Temperament individual differences that emerge very early in life, are likely to have heritable basis and often involved with emotionality or arousability o Rothbart studied 6 factors of temperament using a measure completed by infant caregivers  1. Activity level  motor activity  2. Smiling and laughter  3. Fear  reluctance to approach novel stimuli  4. Distress to limitations  distress to being refused food  5. Soothability degree to which a child calms down when soothed  6. Duration of orienting degree to which the child sustains attention to objects in the absence of sudden changes o all positively correlated  if you score high initially, you will score higher later as well o smiling, laughter and activity show higher stability over time o personality traits tend to become more stable towards the end of infancy o stable individual differences appea
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