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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Summary

8 Pages

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Richard B Day

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Chapter 7-Using Personality Traits to Understand Behavior Purposes for measuring traits: 1. To predict behavior 2. To understand behavior 4 Basic Methods used to connect traits with behavior: 1. Single-trait approach examines link between personality and behavior by asking what do people like that do? “That” refers to a personality trait. Some traits have seemed so important that a major amount of effort has been put to assess them. Ex: authoritarianism, conscientiousness and self-monitoring 2. Many trait approach ask question who does that? Where “that” is an important behavior. Researchers take long lists of traits that correlate with the specific behavior and then seek to explain the pattern of correlations. Ex: a researcher interested in the behavior of “self-control” might measure how long a child can wait for a reward and measure up to 100 traits in each child. The researcher hopes that the results will reveal how and why the longest-delaying children did so 3. Essential-trait approach addresses which traits are the most important? Tries to narrow list to most important, most prominently the big 5 4. Typological approach stems from a doubt and hope, doubt is whether it is really alid to compare people with each other quantitatively on the same trait dimensions, the hope is that researchers can identify groups who resemble each other enough and are different enough that it makes sense to conclude they belong to the same “type” Single-Trait Approach Authoritarianism  During the Nazi rule, Erich Fromm began to wonder how civilized people could participate in such barbarism and he theorized that the demise of Catholicism combined with the rise of capitalism, gave individuals unprecedented freedom to conceive of God as they wished. But with this freedom came a frightening degree of responsibility, which according to Fromm many individuals fear and seek to escape it by turning their will over to an external authority. In turn, such individuals enjoy giving orders to those below them in the hierarchy, Fromm coined the term authoritarian character to describe these personalities  Berkley group of psychologists attempted to understand the difference between authoritarians and nonauthoritarians, appointed to search for the cause of anti- Semitism. Began by constructing a questionnaire to measure anti-Semitism called A-S scale. Individuals who endorsed anti-Semitism also tended to be prejudiced against other minority groups, and then constructed a general ethnocentrism scale called the E scale. Scores on the E scale correlated very highly with scores on A-S scale. Then developed Politico-Economic scale (PEC) because believed a more general political outlook was associated with anti- semitism and California F Scale (F meaning fascism). Thought fascism was root of anti-semitisim, racial prejudice and political pseudoconservatism. Genuine conservatives according to Adorno, hold an internally consistent set of political beliefs, all of which support institutions and the traditional social order. While, pseudoconservatism show contradictions between acceptance of values, hold radical beliefs  Instead of F scale, use right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) developed by Bob Altemeyer which is made up of 3 clusters: 1. Authoritarian Submission: the tendency to be obedient and submissive to established leaders of the government and other important institutions(church) 2. Authoritarian Aggression: the tendency to act with aggressive hositility toward anybody perceived as a deviant or a member of an outgroup, or anyone who is described by authorities as someone to be despised 3. Conventionalism: the tendency to follow traditions and social norms that are endorsed by society and by the people in power  Authoritarians tend to be uncooperative and inflexible when playing games and likely to obey an authority figure’s commands to harm another person, also watch more tv, feel fewer positive emotions  When society is in turmoil authoritarians become likely to support “strong” candidates for office. Little correlation between authoritarianism and political party affiliation  2 points important about authoritarianism: 1. Authoritarianism is an individual difference construct, tries to explain which individuals would be most likely to follow a leader like Hitler; cannot explain why Germany did rather than America etc 2.Provides an example of how a personality trait can be helpful for understanding a complex social phenomenon Integrity and Conscientiousness  Some employers go beyond casual observations by administering formal personality tests called integrity tests, the qualities measured by these tests are agreeableness and emotional stability but the trait most closely associated with integrity tests is conscientiousness  More specific criterion of job performance is absenteeism.  Integrity tests are better viewed as broad measures of personality traits related to job performance, especially conscientiousness, then as narrow tests of honesty and are impressively valid -> -0.33 correlation between integrity score and absenteeism, mean validity of 0.13 for theft  Personality assessment could help alleviate effects of bias in testing, if employees used these tests instead of ability tests racial imbalance in hiring could be addressed without affecting productivity  Conscientiousness is a cause of excellence, they seek out opportunities to learn. Conscientious people tend to do well in interviews, lowest risk but most likely to buy insurance, live longer and tend to accumulate more years in school. Years of education can be used as a marker variable or signal of conscientiousness  Conscientiousness uncorrelated with IQ  Self-Monitoring  Mark Snyder, developer of the concept and test of self-monitoring, is interested In the relationships and discrepancies between the inner and outer selves  Some vary in their inner and outer selves and to how they perform in different situations, Snyder calls these individuals “high self-monitors.” Others are largely the same outside as they are inside and do not vary much from one setting to another-called “low self-monitors”  Measure of self monitoring is called the Personal Reaction Inventory. High self- monitors survey every situation to look for appropriate ways to act and to be much less judgable (low self-monitors are opposite)  High self-monitors were more likely to be described with Q-sort items like: - Skilled in social techniqyes of imaginative play - Talkative - Self-dramatizing - Initiates humor - Verbally fluent - Expressive in face and gestures - Having social poise  Low self-monitors: - Distrustful - Perfectionist - Touchy and irritable - Anxious - Introspective - Independ
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