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PSYB30 Final: Exam Review.docx

Course Code
Marc A Fournier
Study Guide

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Personality Psychology
Lecture 12
-Personality defined
oPersonality is an individual’s unique variation on the general (/universal)
evolutionary design for human nature, (design) expressed as a developing
pattern of dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations, and integrative
life stories complexly and differentially situated in culture. (McAdams &
Pals, 2006)
(Lecture 1)
-Components of a scientific personality theory
oExplicitly Defined Constructs
Using construct to describe phenomenon in the world
Constructs need to be exclusively defined to capture phenomenon
within the world
Ex: describing variation in sociability, neuroticism,
oCorrespondence Rules
How constructs are related to each other, we can explain these
relations by correspondence rules
If we express these rules well you will get a hypothesis – set of
expectation about how variations work
oTestable hypothesis
You can test hypothesis by gathering data on those constructs and
correlating the variables
-The above mentioned 3 are requirements for all theories but theories differ in their
-Desiderata (desirability of a theory) for a scientific personality theory
oCoherent, testable, empirically valid <- absolutes
Theories should hang together. If you have constructs there should
be rules connecting those constructs – this speaks to the coherence
of theory
Have you expressed a theory in such a way that it is testable? Have
you specified what conditions need to be met to prove your theory
false? Falsifiability – you need to specify conditions under which
you are ready to accept that the theory is wrong. – This speaks to
testability of theory
For every theory there should be empirical data to support the
theory. – This speak to empirical validity
oComprehensive and parsimonious

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We prefer theory that explains more than theory that explains less.
There is a range of idea that theory is good for explaining and
range of ideas that theory is not good at explaining. More the
world you want to explain the more variables you have to start
generating. We don’t like theories that are too complicated. –
Speaks to comprehensiveness of a theory
We strive for simplicity and elegance of a theory. Parsimonious
theory is one with fewer moving parts than a complicated theory.
– Speaks to parsimony
More comprehensive the theory less parsimonious it is and more
parsimonious the theory the less comprehensive it is. These to are
trade offs.
oUseful and generative
Applied value of the theory – speaks to useful
Where can it be useful
Is it generative?
Ability to generate thoughts around the theory. To the
extent to which it gets people asking questions and
Human Evolution
(Lecture 2)
-The evolutionary process
oVariation, inheritance, selection
We differ in our attributes, evolutionary design – variation
Some of the ways that we are different are heritable. There is a
possibility that you will pass on your traits to your offspring –
Some of these differences/designed features are going to make
some organisms to better survive than others. These features are
going to increase survival, reproduction and become popular in the
species. If the environment remains the same for long enough these
attributes will become typical/universal of the species, virtually all
members of the species will share them.
-Products of the evolutionary process
oAdaptations, spandrels, random effects
Adaptations: Designed features that successfully contribute to our
reproduction and survival
Examples: Long neck of the giraffe
Spandrels: are by products of adaptations. It becomes popular in
species not because its adaptive but because it CORELATES with
an adaptation. It gets carried along and becomes typical of species
but itself does NOT contribute to reproduction or survival.

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Ex: Earlobes
Random effect: “noise”; genetic variation that makes us different
but these differences don’t matter
Ex: earlobe size
NOTE: Vestigial organs become useless but once they were
function. Exaptation – was not functional but acquires adaptive
function over evolution from a spandrel or adaptation. Adaptation
or a spandrel become exaptation. Spandrel is not function and it
only exists because it’s linked with an adaptation. Genes that were
close together stayed together. Random effects are not universal in
a way that adaptations and spandrels are because they vary
between individuals.
-Personality as a product of the evolutionary process
o2 fundamental problems (Hogan, 1982)
“Getting Along” (communion- life in larger social entity)
Humans are social species and one of our problems is to get
You only win if others win = NON zero sum game
We LOSS together, we WIN together
“Getting Ahead” (agency - individualistic)
Having access to resources before other people.
If you win someone loses = Zero sum game
Gender, Society, and Culture
(Lecture 3)
-The Socialization process
oFemininity – Nurturance & Cooperation
The product of sex-segregated play (“tea party”)
Perpetuated by home – maker roles
(Communion – life in larger social entities)
oMasculinity – Dominance & competition
The product o f sex – segregated play (“war games”)
Perpetuated by wage- earner roles
(Agency - individualistic)
-Eleanor Maccoby’s work: Importance of early childhood in helping to shape the
gender related attributes
oSex-segregation in childhood: boys tend to be separated from girls and
girls tend to be separated from boys. So that boys can play together and
girls can play together. In gender segregated play they are rehearsing the
traits and skills for future home making roles. In gender-segregated play,
girls are practicing nurturing and cooperative behavior, and boys are
practicing dominance and competition for future role as wage – earners.
Personality Traits
(Lecture 4-6)
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