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Personality textbook Chapter 2

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PSYC 2130
Krista Phillips

Chapter 2 Personality FOUR KINDS OF CLUES 1) Ask the person for their evaluation of their personality 2) ask their acquaintances for their evaluations 3) see how the person is faring in life 4) you watch what the person actually does S DATA self judgements might be done on a scale where a person indicates a number the person might read a statement true or false according to most research the way people describe themselves by and large matches the way they are described by others the questionnaires used to gather S data have what is called face validity: the are intended to measure what they seem to measure, taken at face value; they ask questions that are directly and obviously related to the construct they are designed to measure another kind of S data can be obtained by asking questions that are more open ended personal strivings: objectives you are typically trying to accomplish or attain S data are the most common basis for personalITY assessment self report personality questionnaires have been used with children as young as 5 years ol, yielding surprisingly accurate results Advantage:Alarge amount of information you live your life in many different settings, even your closest acquaintances see you within one or at most a few of them you have a unique perspective on the general nature of your personality and that the S data you can provide can reflect complex aspects of character that no other data source can access Advantage:Access to thoughts, feelings, and intentions mush of your inner mental life that would be invisible to anyone else is visible to you you know your own fantasies, hopes, dreams, and fears, you directly experience your emotions you also have unique access to your own intentions the psychological meaning of a behaviour lies in what it was intended to accomplish, other people must infer this intention, whereas your knowledge is more direct ADVANTAGE: CAUSALFORCE because S data reflect what you think of yourself, they have a way of creating their own reality what you will attempt to do depends on what you think you are capable of, and your view of the kind of person you are has important effects on the goals you set for yourself this idea- the role of what are sometimes called efficacy expectations people work hard to bring others to treat them in a manner that confirms their self conception- self verification your view of yourself doesn't just reflect what you think of yourself- it may be among the causes of what you do ADVANTAGE:SIMPLEAND EASY very cheap easy to make questionnaire DISADVANTAGE: MAYBE THEYWONTTELLYOU there is no way to force a person to provide an accurate account for their personality if they do not want to the person might not choose to tell the researcher the real intention behind her behaviour they may be ashamed of some aspect of their personality or behaviour, or might wish to claim some virtue that she does not possess may want to keep some aspects of personality private no way of preventing participant from withholding information DISADVANTAGE; MAYBE THEYCAN'TTELLYOU person's memory of their behaviour is infinite and imperfect; the information they happen to remember is not necessarily the most important characteristic exceptional events and experiences tend to stand out in memory the general truth might have surprising amount of trouble emerging because of common failing of self judgement called the fish and water effect; named after the presumed fact that fish are not aware that they are wet similarily people may be so used to the way they characteristically react and behave that their own actions stop seeming remarkable they may be no longer aware that this behaviour is a distinctive aspect of their personality we may become used to the customary behaviours of our own cultures the assumptions that surround us all the time may be hard to see information may be actively distorted in memory the Freudians would point out that some particularly important memories may be actively repressed; they may be too painful to remember that the ego prevents them from emerging into consciousness lack of insight; some people may lack the ability to see all aspects of their own personality accurately DISADVANTAGE; TOO SIMPLEAND TOO EASY so cheap and simple that they are probably overused 70% of the articles in one important personality journal were based on self report and nothing else ASK SOMEBODYWHO KNOWS: I DATA gather the opinions of the people who know that person well in daily life I stands for informant judgements by knowledgable informants about general attributes of the individuals personality the key aspect of the informants knowledge base is that they know the person well, not necessarily that they have a great deal of formal knowledge about psychology however, they may not need it judgements: they derive from somebody observing somebody else in whatever contexts they happen to have encountered them and then rendering a general opinion on the basis of such observation I data are judgemental, subjective, irreducibly human ADVANTAGE; LARGEAMOUNT OF INFORMATION a close acquaintance who provides a description of someone else's personality is in position, in principle, to base that description on hundreds of behaviours in dozens of situations almost everyone has many acquaintances, which opens the possibility of obtaining more than one judgment taking the average of several judgements yields ratings that are much more reliable than the ratings of any single judge ADVANTAGE: REALWORLD BASIS they are derived from observation of behaviour in the real world since I data are derived from behaviours informants have seen in daily social interactions, theyenjoy an extra chance of being relevant to aspects of personality that affect important life outcomes ADVANTAGE: COMMON SENSE I DATAare distillations of behavioural observations that are filtered through the informants common sense this fact allows i data to take account of the context and intention pf behaviour to a degree that no other external source of information can be equal as informant with ordinary common sens who transforms an observation of behaviour into a judgement of personality will take two kinds of context into account the immediate situation a second kind of ceontext is provided by other behaviours that an informant might know about the science of psychology has not even come close to developing a formal set of rules, procedures, or computer programs from interpreting behavioural observations in this manner, and is unlikely to do anytime soon the intuitions provided by ordinary common sense allow people to make these judgments easily, naturally and almost automatically ADVANTAGE: DEFINITIONALTRUTH some kinds of I data are true almost by definition the reason is that some aspects of your personality reside in the reactions of other people ADVANTAGE: CAUSALFORCE because I data are, in a sense, a reflection of the social world of the individual being described- they represent opinions of people who interact with her daily- their importance goes beyond their value as a description of the person,I data are the pe
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