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Chapter 3

PSYC 2021 Chapter 3: Psyc 2130 Chapter 3 Notes

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PSYC 2021
Margarete Wolfram

Psyc 2130 Chapter 3 Notes The nature of Personality Tests - An individuals personality is revealed through characteristic patterns of behaviour, thought, or emotional experience that is reletvily consistent across time and situations. - They indicate the degree to which a person desires one goal over another, or thinks the world is changeable as opposed to fixed, or is generally happy, or is optimistic as opposed to pessimistic, or is sexually attracted to members of the same or the opposite sex. All of these variables and many others are relatively stable attributes of individuals The Business of Testing - APA holds convention yearly to advertise textbooks, techniques, personality tests etc - The personality testers at the APA convention and those who hand out free so-called personality tests on North Michigan Avenue have a surprising amount in common. Both seek new customers, and both use all the techniques of Personality Tests advertising, including free samples, to acquire them. Personality Tests - Most common personality test in the world is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). This test was designed for use in the clinical assessment of individuals with psychological difficulties. - Another common test is the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) which is similar to the MMPI but is used for people without psychological difficulties - These two are ombigious tests, meaning they measure for a wide range of personality traits - NEO personality inventory measures for 5 broad traits as well as 30 diffrent facets - There are thousands of these tests and new ones appear everyday S v.s B data Personality Tests - Stanford shyness Survery is S-data (asks questions like are you shy for the person to self answer) while MMPI is a B-Data survey, It presents items—such as “I prefer a shower to a bath”—not because the tester is interested in the literal answer, but because answers to this item are informative about some aspect of personality - Implicit association test (B-class) also tests for how quickly participants respond to instructions to discriminate between terms that apply to “me” or to “others,” and between terms that are relevant, or not, to the trait being measured - The theory is that people who implicitly, but not necessarily consciously, know they are shy will have faster associations between “me” and “shy” than between “me” and “nonshy.” (For IAT, this would be measuring shyness as a trait) - Some tests cannot use S-data such as intelligence tests, simply asking the person “are you intelligent” is a poor method of measuring intelligence, B-data would be more valuable Projective Tests - Projective Hypothesis Theory: If somebody is asked to describe or interpret a meaningless or ambiguous stimulus—such as an inkblot—her answer cannot come from the stimulus itself, because the stimulus actually does not look like, or mean, anything. The answer must instead come from (be a “projection” of) her needs, feelings, experiences, thought processes, and other hidden aspects of the mind (roscash inkblot) - Whatever then the person taking the test will “see” will be then interpreted about their personality, such as a woman saying the inkblot looks like a butterfly whos about to die, it can be interpreted she is preoccupied with death - The classic Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) asks clients to tell stories about a set of drawings of people and ambiguous events - If a person looks at an ambiguous drawing of two people and thinks they are fighting, for example, this might reveal a need to be aggressive; if the two people are described as in love, this might reflect a need for intimacy; if one is seen as giving orders to the other, this might reflect a need for power. (TAT) - However the validilty of these tests (do they measure what they actually are supposed to measure) the evidence doesn’t really support it - Even the interpreter can inerpert the response in many different ways - Some just say the validily doesn’t matter, its just a good way of “breaking the ice” with the patient, even if there are cheaper, more reliable and valid tests out there to measure personality traits Objective Tests - If a test consists of a list of questions to be answered Yes or No, or True or False, or on a numeric scale, and especially if the test uses a computer-scored answer sheet, then it is an objective test - The questions used for this test are seen as more “objective” and less “subjective” than projective tests - It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the items on objective tests, while perhaps not as ambiguous as projective tests, are still not absolutely objective (like do you like car magazines, if a person likes them do they read it everyday? Or do they just sometimes read it, or what kind of magazine etc, the question is still seen as largely ambiguous) - However the ambigouity does not nessesarily mean its a bad thing, if everyone was to answer the same way then the test would be useless - There are many questions on these objective things because: a single answer will tend to be unreliable. But if a group of similar questions is asked, the average of the answers ought to be much more stable, or reliable, because random fluctuations tend to cancel each other out. - Therefore longer tests are usually more reliable - Spearman brown formula: is a formula relating psychometric reliability to test length and used by psychometricians to predict the reliability of a test after changing the test length - For example, if a 10-item test has a reliability of .60—which would be considered rather poor for an objective test—adding 10 more items can raise the reliability to .75, which would be considered much better. Double the number of items again, to 40, and the reliability increases to .86. Methods of Objective Test Construction - Three basic methods are commonly used for constructing objective personality tests: the rational method, the factor analytic method, and the empirical method. These are often used
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