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Chapter 6

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York University
PSYC 2130
Krista Phillips

Chapter 6: I. Consequences of Everyday Judgments of Personality  The judgments other people make of your personality reflect a significant part of your social world  Your reputation among those who know you matters since it greatly affects both opportunities and experiences a. Opportunities  Reputations affects opportunities in numerous ways  The judgments of others are an important part of the social world and can have a significant effect on personality and life b. Expectancies  Judgements of others can also affect you through “self-fulfilling prophecies,” expectancy effects  Intellectual expectancy effects o Expectancy effects in regards to intellectual performance is the series of studies by Rosenthal & Jacobson (1968) o Gave school children a battery of tests and then told their teachers, falsely, that the tests had identified some of the children as “bloomers” who were likely to show a sharp increase in IQ in the near future o When their IQs were tested and compared “the bloomers had actually bloomed” o Researchers have proposed at least 4 different theoretical models of expectancy effects o One that garnered the most support is a four-factor theory proposed by Robert Rosenta o High-expectancy students perform better because their teachers treat them differently in 4 ways:  Climate the way that teachers project a warm emotional attitude toward the students they expect to do well  Feedback the way teachers give feedback that is more differentiated  Input the way teachers attempt to teach more material and more difficult material  Output reflects how teachers give them extra opportunities to show what they have learned  Social expectancy effects o Mark Snyder and his colleagues performed an experiment with 2 previously unacquainted college students of the opposite sex, who were brought to 2 different locations in the psych building o Both told they were going to meet someone on the phone, female participant’s picture was taken and the male participant was given either an attractive or unattractive female’s photo instead and then they were on the phone and the conversation was recorded o Later, the recording was edited removing the male’s voice and then shown to group of students and asked them to rate, among other things, how warm, humorous, and poised she seemed o This study suggests that our behaviour with other people is influenced by how they expect us to act, sometimes based on superficial cues such as what we look like o To some extent, we will actually become what other people perceive, or even misperceive us to be  Expectancy effects in real life o Lee Jussim (1991) asked “Where do expectancy effects generally come from?” o He suggested that the situation in real life is usually quite different o These expectancy effects, although false in the lab, might be correct in real life  The self-fulfilling prophecies might have the effect of slightly magnifying or even just maintaining behavioural tendencies that the participant has had all along o It implies that rather than restrict themselves to introducing expectancy effects in the lab, researchers also should study expectancy effects in real life to assess how powerful these effects are o Most research has been more concerned with discovering whether expectancy effects exist than with assessing how important the effects are in relation to other factors that influence behaviour o 2 recent studies suggest that expectancy effects are especially strong when more than one important person in an individual’s life holds the expectancy for a long period of time II. The Accuracy of Personality Judgment  Researchers were hindered by a fundamental problem: By what criteria can personality judgments be judged right or wrong?  Constructivism this philosophy holds that reality, as a concrete entity, does not exist. All that does exist are human ideas, or constructions, of reality  Critical realism holds that the absence of perfect, infallible criteria for determining the truth does not mean that all interpretations of reality are equally correct  Evaluating a personality judgement: o Gather all the info that might help determine whether or not the judgement is valid, and then make the best determination you can a. Criteria for Accuracy  Convergent validation is achieved by assembling diverse pieces of information that “converge” on a common conclusion o Duck test o The more items of diverse information that converge, the more confident the conclusion  2 primary converging criteria o Inter-judge agreement o Behavioural prediction  Predictive validity  2 questions can be asked to evaluate the accuracy of personality judgments: o Do the judgments agree with one another? o Can they predict behaviour? b. First Impressions  The face o 75% of college undergraduates believe that personality can be judged, to some extent, from facial appearances o More recent studies have begun to focus on configural properties of the faces, or overall arrangements of features rather than single body parts o There really are configural aspects of the face that allow a number of psychological aspects of people to be judged with some degree of validity o One study tried to find out what some of those aspects are o On average they were able to tell apart the high- and low- scoring males on agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness, but not openness and emotional stability. For females, participants could tell high from low scores on agreeableness and extraversion o 1 , they mean that apparently it is possible for us to tell whether a person is high or low in 2 traits (extraversion and agreeableness, emotional stabilitymales) just from looking at the face o 2 , the average effect size of the successful discriminations works out to about r= .80  From looking at someone’s face, we are somewhat able to accurately detect the difference between someone who is extremely extraverted and someone who is extremely introverted  Other visible signs of personality o In general, judges will reach more accurate conclusions if the behaviour they observe are closely related to the traits they are judging o People often assume they can judge a person by the kind of music they listen to  People who enjoy reflective, complex music (new age) inventive, imaginative, tolerant, and liberal  People who prefer aggressive and intense music (heavy metal) curious, risk- taking, and physically active  People who like upbeat and conventional
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