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Chapter 11

Chapter 11 - Factor Analytic, Genetic and Evolutionary Theories

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Marc A Fournier

Chapter 11 – Factor Analytic, Genetic and Evolutionary Theories  Recognize the importance of heredity and the environment Cattell’s Definition of Personality  Personality – is what permits the prediction of what one will do in a given situation  R = f(P,S) Where a response (R) is a function (f) of the person (P) and the stimuli (S)  Freud developed his theory to understand the self but Cattell developed his to predict behaviour  Cattell unlike Allport was interested in the neurological components that influence behaviours, he did not maintain that the traits had any real physical or neural status Surface Traits Versus Source Traits  Needed to go beyond overt behaviours  Surface traits are overt behaviours that appear together  Source traits are underlying variables that determine surface traits o This is valuable because  There is few to permit economy  Knowledge of source traits can permit predictions  16 basic source traits he called the building blocks of personality Assessment and Research in Cattell’s Theory  Primary tool was Factor Analysis o Begin with gathering large mass of data from many sources o Is a correlational procedure o Make a correlational matrix by finding a correlational coefficient for each variable to show how it relates to each other one o Then look for any clusters of high or low scores – this is a factor o Next find a correlation between the factors and each of the original variables  Syntality – dimensions that allow us to describe and differentiate institutions and groups The Big Five Personality Traits  Cattell provided the groundwork that led to the Big Five – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism (OCEAN)  The big five arose out of the study of language, and the factor analysis of personality questionnaires (Five Factor Model) The Study of Language  Galton suggested that differences among people that affect how they interact are encoded in words  Allport found that words in the English language could be personality attributes (not underlying  Within the vocabulary clusters develop that reflect the most important attributes  Cattell used allport’s list and used factor analysis to reduce it down to 16 items  Later researchers were only consistently able to replicate five The Study of Personality Questionnaires and Ratings  Factor analysis of personality questionnaires led to the five factor model  Costa and McCrae found each of the five factors has a set of characteristics that are related o There is a hierarchy that goes by specifity. The more specific the attribute, the more likely it will predict behaviour in a given situation Differences Between the Big Five and the Five Factor Model  The big Five stems from language and is purely description and not explanation  FFM is an interpretation of the big five  It has some additional claims that are not do not follow from the big five o It asserts we can describe personality structure in terms of five broad categories, and an individual can be described based on their scores on the measures o It asserts differences are stable over time, and have a genetic basis Five Factor Theory  Mcrae and Costa were cautious about moving from language based discriptions of personality to conclusions of scientific structure  Explains the research findings on the five factor model  The core components of the personality system are : o Basic tendencies (arise from biological bases) o Characteristic adaptations (arise from interaction of basic tendencies and external influences) o Self concept  These interact with systems that are outside of personality o Objective biography o External influences  McAdams sees traits and adaptations as separate where McCrae and Costa see them as interconnected Applications of the Big Five and the Five Factor Model and Theory  Research on big five has been used to predict job performance o Conscientousness associated with job
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