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PSY230H5 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Sensation Seeking, Simple Math, Life Satisfaction


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY230H5
Professor
Ulrich Schimmack
Study Guide
Midterm

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Lecture 1:
Goal of personality psychology: to classify and examine the causes and consequences of individual
differences
Approaches:
-Ideographic (person-centered)
-Nomothetic (variable-cented)
Difference between personality psych and other disciplines
-personality psych assumes people are different rather than that everyone is the same
Lecture 2:
Measurement error: variance in a personality measure that is not due to actual individual differences in
the trait being measured
Reliability:
-the amount of variance not due to measurement error in a personality measure
-estimating reliability
-retest reliability: repeating the same measure over after some time has passed since
the first measurement (OVER TIME)
-Internal consistency: asking about the same construct with many similar questions or
include many similar items on test (ALL AT ONCE)
Trait: a general disposition to feel, think, or act in a particular way across different situations
Aggregation: averaging several behavior or several answers to similar questions on a test to reduce
measurement error
Validity:
-a measure is valid if it measure what it is intended to measure (ex. A rule is a valid measure of
height but not weight)
-construct validation: provide evidence for validity
-convergent validity: two independent measures of the same construct are positively correlated
-discriminant validity: two measures of different constructs are weakly correlated
-predictive validity: if the construct intelligence predicts income, than an IQ test is valid if it
predicts income
-face validity: test questions appear to reflect the intended construct (ex. “I often feel
depressed” as a measure of depression)
Problem of generalizability across participants: results in one sample may be different from those in
another sample (ex. Height-weight correlation for famous women in comparison to normal women)
Correlation coefficient (r): varies from -1 to 1; indicates the strength and direction of the relationship
between two variables
Effect size
-reflects the strength of an independent sample zise
-explained variance (r2): how much of the correlation can be explained by the results
-Binomial Effect size display (.5 + r/2)
Standard Scores (z-scores)
(Score Mean Score) / Standard deviation
Causality
-Bermuda Triangle of Causality: r =p1 + p2 +(p3 * p4)
-meaning of arrows, squares/rectangles, and cricles/ovals
-double headed arrows: correlation

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-single headed arrows: causality
-squares/rectangles: observed variables
-circles/ovals: unobserved variables
Lecture 4/5:
Methods of Personality Assessment (advantages and disadvantages)
-S-Data: Self Reports
+cheap
+quick
-cannot be used with individuals and in situation that do not meet the assumptions that
people are ABLE and WILLING to report personality accurately (children below a certain age lack the self-
knowledge. Inmates during a parole violation have a reason to respond incorrectly. Questions about
sensitive issues may make people respond inaccurately to avoid embarrassment)
-I-data: Informant Reports
+cheap
+quick
-like self-reports cannot be used with individuals and in situation that do not meet the
assumptions that people are ABLE and WILLING to report personality accurately (ex. Mothers saying that
their son being accused of murder couldn’t even hurt a fly)
-informant may have limited knowledge about some personality traits (characteristics),
especially those about internal states (thoughts and feelings)
-O-data: observations
+it’s what we see. No bias from the person
+it examines peoples behaviors and experiences in the real world rather than in artificial
lab settings
-cant observe inner thoughts and feelings
-expensive
-SO-data: self-observations (experience sampling, diaries)
+method does not assume that people have accurate memory of their behaviors or
feelings
+provides a better way of examining the joint contribution of situation and personality
on behavior
+it examines peoples behaviors and experiences in the real world rather than in artificial
lab settings
-expensive
-can’t be done for long (too intrusive) thus behavior in a short time may be atypical (ex.
you act differently during exam week rather than during another week)
-Reasons for invalid self-reports
1. Differences in understanding of the item
2. Differences in the use of the scale (response styles)
3. Intentional misreporting (social desirable responding, other deception)
4. Unintentional (unconscious) misreporting (repression, self-deception)
5. Careless responding
Convergent Validity across Methods
-Self informant Correlations (strangers, acquaintances, spouses): self-informant agreement
increases quickly over the 1st moths that people get to know each other, but don’t increase much after a
period of a few months. Also different correlations between informants because you act differently in
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