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Chapter

Psychology 2550A/B Chapter Notes -Positron Emission Tomography, Social Rejection, Verbal Behavior


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 2550A/B
Professor
Kelly Olson

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WHY A SCIENCE OF PERSONALITY?: BEYOND HINDSIGHT UNDERSTANDING
"life is lived forwards, but understood backwards" - hindsight is 20/20
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We don't realize how different the other accounts of the same event can be when seen through different eyes
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Very different from scientific inquiry
Hindsight can at least help one try to make sense of events that otherwise cannot be understood
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A science begins by creating a language to describe phenomena in a way that allows a single common understanding to emerge, in order to avoid
multiple alternative accounts that vary with each observer
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This knowledge builds a theory in time
Researchers try to arrange conditions under which they can test hypotheses about the various causal factors that might influence the occurrence of
the behaviour or event of interest
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Recognize that "the most distinguishing feature of persons is that they construct meaning by reflecting on themselves, their past, and the
future"
Personality psychologists avoid oversimplifying their subject matter and reducing the complexities of personality into a scientific collection of
variables
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Shows us what Gary answered when asked to describe himself
It's all of uncertain value because we know neither their accuracy nor their meaning
IN FOCUS 2.1 Gary W., The Text's Case - Gary's Self-description
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THE RANGE OF PERSONALITY-RELEVANT MEASURES
Ultimate challenge is putting them all together
The different levels of analyses of personality psychology will each provide data about one aspect of your total functioning personality
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A central goal of personality psychology is to figure out how these diverse aspects about an individual relate to each other and help us to understand
what is going on in the individual as a whole
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Interviews
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Interview - a verbal exchange between the participant and the examiner, favoured particularly by workers at the psychodynamic-motivational level
and those at the phenomenological level
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Its usefulness as an assessment tool depends on many considerations, including how the interview is guided and structured, and how the
interviewee's responses are recorded, coded, and interpreted
The oldest method for studying personality and it remains the most favoured for psychodynamic research and assessment
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Unobtrusive video and sound recording makes the interview a method more open to manageable scoring, coding, and data analysis
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Therefore many researchers use ratings and self-reports
They tend to be expensive and time consuming to conduct, as well as to code or score because it is not easy to have all interviews with different
people conducted the same standard way so that they can be compared easily
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IN FOCUS 2.2 Early Personality Measurement
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Aimed at detecting soldiers likely to break down under wartime stress
This method was valuable as a simplified and economic alternative to interviewing everyone individually (only those with affirmative responses
were interviewed instead)
Woodsworth's Personal Data Sheet (or the Psychoneurotic Inventory) stimulated interest in self-description or self-report as a method of personality
assessment
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Not used widely but provided the grounds for newer versions which are still used
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In addition to efforts to assess adjustment, attempts to measure individuals on various personality dimensions soon became extremely popular
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Tests and Self-Reports
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Test - any standardized measure of behaviour, including verbal behaviour
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Offer quick ways of getting info the person is willing and able to reveal
Self-reports - refers to any statements people make about themselves
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Performance measures - some tests involve these - for ex, researchers interested in seeing how personality measures in childhood predict academic
performance in later life might use measures like SAT as an outcome assessment
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Projective Measures
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Projective tests are still popular
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Assessors present the person with ambiguous stimuli and ask them ambiguous questions tat have no right or wrong answers
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Inkblots
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Has theoretical importance to much of the work at the psychodynamic-motivational level
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Naturalistic Observation and Behaviour Sampling
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But often they can be observed closely and systematically
Ethical considerations prevent psychologists from trying to create powerful, lifelike treatments in the lab
Phenomena such as home environments in which children become delinquent and there are marital conflicts cannot be manipulated or recreated
for experimental purposes
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Naturalistic observation is preferred - no manipulated variables
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The data indicated that in distressed families, the problem children's aversive behaviours continued in "chains" over longer periods of time,
with an escalating pattern of hostile interchanges with family members
When parents in the problem families reacted with punishment, it tended to prolong the escalation of aggression as the child reacted with
defiance or resumed aversive behaviours shortly afterward
This led to poor social skills, noncompliance at school, poor school achievement, rejection by peers, and in many cases, antisocial behaviour as
an adolescent
Behavioural coding system
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When observers are not visible by the individual being observed, the effect of the observers' own behaviours is minimized
Observation is a commonplace method in everyday life; through observation we form impressions and learn about events and people
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Remote Behaviour Sampling: Daily Life Experiences
Data, Methods, and Tools
September-04-12
11:48 AM
Chapter 2 Page 1
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