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Chapter 2

Chapter 2.docx

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Judith Shedden

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Psych 2B03: Theories of Personality Chapter 2: Clues To Personality – The Basic Sources of Data Data Are Clues - Funder’s Second Law: there are no perfect indicators of personality: there are only clues, and clues are always ambiguous - Inferences about personality must be based on indications that can be observed - Funder’s Third Law: something beats nothing, two time out of three Four Kinds of Clues - Self reports: you simply ask the person for her own evaluation of her personality  Face validity: intended to measure what they seem to measure, taken at face value  Open-ended questions  Ask over and over in various phrasings  Large amount of information: unique perspective on your personality and aspects of character that no other data source can access  Access to thoughts, feelings, and intentions: inner mental life is invisible to anyone else  Some S data are true by definition (e.g. self-esteem): self-views  Casual force: self verification, people work hard to bring other to treat them in a manner that confirms their self-conception  Simple and easy: no need for interpretation, little cost, not time consuming  Maybe they can’t tell you: no way to force a person to provide an accurate account of her personality if she does not want to  Maybe they won’t tell you: a person’s memory of his behaviour is finite and imperfect, fish-and-water effect, habituation and culture, lack of insight, repression  Too simple and too easy: overused - Informant’s reports: you ask her acquaintances for their evaluations  Large amount of information: based description on hundreds of behaviours in dozens of situations, more than one judgment of the same person  Real-world basis: derived from daily social interactions therefore more relevant to aspects of personality that affect life outcomes  Common sense: takes into account immediate situation and other behaviours that an informant might know about  Some I data are true by definition (e.g., likeability): some aspects of personality reside in the reactions of other people  Casual force: expectancy effect, behavioural confirmation  Limited behavioural information: each person lives inside a series of separate compartments, and each compartment contains different people, people are different in different environments  Lack of access to private experience: view of personality from the outside; information about the inner psychology must be obtained in some other manner  Error: memory  Bias: personality judgments can be unfair and mistaken - Life outcomes: you see how the person is fairing in life  Objective and verifiable: archival records are accurate and not prone to potential biases, objective nature  Intrinsic importance: predict and even have a positive effect on the real-life outcomes of their clients  Psychological relevance: strongly affected by and uniquely informative about psychological variables  Multi-determination: they have many causes, so trying to establish direct connections between specific attributes of personality and life outcomes can be difficult, data may not even be determined by personality at all  Possible lack of psychological relevance: often influenced by many factors that are not psychological  Even if you ful
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