PSYB30 Chapter 4 Notes
1. Based on empirical research that uses correlational designs to predict behaviour
2. Focuses exclusively on individual differences
The Measurement of Individual Differences:
Clyde Kluckhohn & Henry Murray:
• All people have biologically based needs for food, water, and sex, for example.
• Other properties of people differ but in ways that allow individuals to be grouped
• Each individual is unique and cannot by meaningfully compared with anyone else
People are Inconsistent:
• Personality traits + situations control individual’s behaviour
• Age is also a factor, the older you are the more consistent your behaviour
The Person-Situation Debate
• Which is more important for determining behavior, the person or the situation?
1. Does the personality of an individual transcend the immediate situation and provide
a consistent guide to her actions, or is it what a person does utterly dependent on
the situation she is in at the time?
2. Are common, ordinary intuitions about people fundamentally flawed, or basically
3. Why do psychologists continue to argue about the consistency of personality, when
the basic empirical questions were settled long ago?
- How well a person’s behaviour in one situation can be predicted either from his
behaviour in another situation or from his personality-trait scores
- Upper limit to how well one can predict what a person will do based on any
measurement of that person’s personality, and this upper limit is low
- Traits cannot predict behaviours well enough to be useful
- Correlations between traits and behaviours tend not to exceed .30 or .40 Situationism
Summary of Arguments in Person-Situation Debate
A. The “personality coefficient” is r = .30 to .40 including:
1. Correlations from one beh