For unlimited access to Study Guides, a Grade+ subscription is required.
Exam 1 Study Guide (2.7.17)
What is personality psychology?
Pattern of relatively permanent traits and unique characteristics that give both consistency and individuality
to a person’s behavior (if you know someone’s personality, you can somewhat predict someone’s behavior
What is the basic evidence for the notion that personality is within the individual?
Set of psychological traits and mechanisms within the individual that are organized and relatively endu
ring and that influence his or her interactions with, and adaptations to, the intrapsychic, physical, and social
What is the person-situation debate?
Is our behavior shaped by the situation or by our internal personality traits?
If you know someone’s personality, you might not be able to predict someone’s behavior in a specific sit
uation, but you can predict their general behavior.
Personality psychologists – how do people typically respond to environmental demands?
Where Can We See Personality?
Person and Situation
Assessment and Methods
What is S-data? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
S-data: self-report (specifically asking the person about themselves)
-simple, cheap. S-data and O-data agree with a lot of ideas
What are structured and unstructured measures? What is a Likert rating scale?
-Unstructured: open ended
-Allows respondents to structure their answers freely (ex: Twenty Statements Test: “I am
____” nice, tired, etc) Woman who are married say “I am a wife”; Students in college talk
about their social group
-Coding Difficulty is that how do you code these results? The things that you say first are
the most essential to you. (How many times do students talk about their social group to
-Structured: close-ended (T/F, Rate 1-5, interview, questionnaire, survey, etc)
-Requires respondents to answer within an imposed structure (ex: Does this trait describe you?)
Likert Rating Scale: typically 5-7 response alternatives with the end-points labeled to define
-Coding doesn’t come an issue because there are numbers
-self-report questionnaires in the form of statements
NEO PI: the most common to measure the Big Five -“I like most people I meet” (1-5 Likert
What is experience sampling?
Experience Sampling: measures patterns of behavior
-participants provide data one or more times a day for an extended period of time
-People have best moods on Friday and Saturday; worst mood Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
-Extroverts: don’t follow a pattern external factors influence their mood but those factors depends
-Introverts: patterned because of internal factors
What is a response set?
Response set: pattern of individual responses to questions that is not related to the content of the question
What is the acquiescence response set?
Acquiescence response set: tendency to agree with items regardless of content To avoid this, you can
rephrase the question “I’m shy” “I feel uncomfortable in social setting” to see if the responder is really
reading or not because people can’t agree both socially uncomfortable and “love parties”
What is social desirability bias?
Social desirability bias: participants tend to say what they believes is expected to them (exaggerate their
responses that talk about themselves To avoid: make it anonymous)
What is extreme responding?
Extreme responding: tendency to give endpoint responses.
What is the “fish-and-water” effect?
Fish-and-water effect: individuals may not be able to provide important personality info Ex: I am a very nice
person and everyone says that I can be, but for me, I might not really know. This is who I am.
What is O-data? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
. O-data/I-data: observer-report/informative-data (asking someone else about you)
-Observers: can be friends, family members, and casual acquaintances
-Observers may have information about the participants that is not otherwise available.
1. Large amount of information
2. Observation of behaviors in real world
3. Common sense
What is T-data?
T-data: test (standardized)- (the behavior)
-Participants placed into standardized testing situation/stimulus to elicit behavior; responses to situation
-Physiological data (heart rate, breathing, etc)
-Projective tests (e.g. Rorschach=the paint on paper, folded, and explain)
What are behavioral and physiological data?
What are projective tests?
What is L-data? What is “snoopology”? What is triangulation? How strongly do different sources of
personality data tend to agree?
L-data: life outcome
- residue or tracks that people leave behind
-Events, activities, and outcomes in participant’s life
-information outside of you (stuff everyone can find out about your personality) looking in on the person
from the outside
-Bedroom or offices studies (e.g. Gosling et.al 2002)
-speeding ticket, bumper sticker, posters, candle scent,
-“snoopology” : let me snoop in and see their personality looking at someone’s office or Bedroom having
lots of books (creative, intellectual, thinker, artistic, etc); clean/messy: high or low conscientiousness
-best to use multiple data sources/different types of assessment
-agreement between sources-low to moderate (if two don’t agree with each other, it means that we shouldn’t
rely on either one of them so you have to examine more.
-Triangulation: examining results from two or more data sources
What are correlations? How are they interpreted? What are positive and negative correlations? Does
correlation indicate causation? What is a third variable?
Correlations (r): personality research uses a lot of correlations because you can’t manipulate personalities (ex:
you can’t manipulate someone to be extroverted)
(DOES NOT indicated causation (it could but not always) instead of A causing B, B could cause A.
Third variable: C could be causing both A and B)
-Used to describe strength and direction of linear relationship
-Ranges between -1 to +1
0 = No relationship
Closer to -1 or +1 = strong relationship
-you will never see exactly 0, -1, or +1 because there are no perfect correlations
Positive Correlation: variables change in the same direction (ex: need for achievement and higher race
of salary as one goes up, the other goes up; one goes down, the other one goes down)
Negative Correlation: variables change in the opposite directions
What is statistical significance?
Statistical Significance: probability that results are due to chance (random error)
-we want to understand the properties of all samples in the population by looking at the sample.
-Statistically significant – low probability that results are due to chance
p < .01 we would expect to find these results by chance less than 1 time in 100
P is less than 0.05 = not likely to have statistical significance (statistical significance
1. Which of the following is the strongest plausible correlation coefficient?
(1. 68; -0.63; 0.42; 0.56) -0.63
2. If a research finding is statistically significant, it: is unlikely to have occurred by chance
3. If p = 0.11, this means = there is an 11% likelihood that the results are due to chance
What is reliability?
Reliability: extent to which a test is consistent in its evaluation of the same individuals (ex: you weigh yourself
and the first time it’s 150lb and then 160lb, it is not consistent- not necessarily accurate- if it is inconsistent then
it is unreliable)
What is internal reliability? What is split-half reliability? What is Cronbach’s alpha? What is test-retest
reliability? What is interrater reliability?
-internal reliability: examines relation of items within measure to each other
-split-half reliability: divide measure into 2 halves, compare scores on first and second halves.
-to compare reliability, use Cronbach’s alpha (average of all inter-item correlations)
What is validity? What is face validity, predictive validity, convergent validity, and discriminant
Validity: extent to which a test measures the construct it is intended to measure (how accurate) also called