PSYB30H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Lexical Hypothesis, Factor Analysis, Impulsivity

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2 Feb 2016
Personality Chapter 3- Traits and Trait Taxonomies
Act Nomination- Procedure designed to identify which acts belong in which trait category. Ex
Prototypical Judgement- identifying which acts are central to, or prototypical of, each trait
Recording of Act Performance- securing information on the actual performance of individuals
in their daily lives.
Lexical Approach- all traits listed and defined in the dictionary from the basis of describing
differences among people
Statistical Approach- uses factor analysis or similar statistical procedures, to identify major
personality traits.
Theoretical Approach- in which researchers rely on theories to identify important traits.
Lexical Hypothesis- all important individual differences have become encoded within the
natural language.
Example people understand description when these words are used: dominant,
creative, reliable, cooperative, hot-tempered, self centred. These words fall under the
“natural language”
According to the lexical approach, trait terms are extraordinary when it comes to
communication with others.
Two Criteria for identifying important traits- Synonym frequency and cross-
cultural universality
Synonym Frequency- means that if an attribute has not merely one or two trait
adjectives to describe it but rather many words, then it is a more important dimension of
individual difference. “the more important is such an attribute, the more synonyms and subtly
distinctive facets of the attribute will be found within any one language” For example the word
Cross-cultural universality- is the second key criterion of importance within the lexical
approach: “the more important is an individual difference in human transactions, the more
languages will have a term for it”
Statistical Approach- identifying important traits starts with a pool of personality items. These
can be trait words or a series of questions about behaviour, experience, or emotion.
The goal of the statistical approach is to identify the major dimensions, or :coordinates”, of
there personality map, much the way latitude and longitude provide the coordinates of the
map of earth
Factor Analysis- essentially identifies groups of items that covary(go together) but tend
not to covary with other groups of items.
It provides a means for organizing the thousands of personality traits.
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.
Without these statistical procedure, it is hard to tell which traits covary and which traits
are independent from each other. For example, factor analysis tells us that hard-working,
productive, and determined all covary sufficiently that they can be considered a single
trait, rather than three separate traits.
Theoretical Approach - starts with a theory that determines which variables are important.
Sociosexual orientation is an example or the theoretical strategy
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