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Chapter 7

Chapter 7.docx

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PSYC 2130
Krista Phillips

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Chapter 7:  Measuring traits has 2 larger, important purposes: to predict behaviour and understand behaviour  Research that seeks to connect traits with behaviour uses 4 basic methods: o The single-trait approach  Examines the link between personality and behaviour by asking, what do people like that do?  “that” refers to a [hopefully] important personality trait o The many-trait approach  “Who does that?” “that” is an important behaviour  They determine which traits correlate with specific behaviour, and then seek to explain the pattern of correlations o The essential-trait approach  “Which traits are the most important?”  Tries to narrow the list to those that really matter  The Big 5  extraversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness o The typological approach  Stems a from doubt and a hope  Doubt is whether it is really valid to compare people with each other quantitatively on the same trait dimensions  The hope is that researchers can identify groups of people who resemble each other enough, and are different enough from everybody else, that it makes sense to conclude they belong to the same “type” I. The Single-Trait Approach  Conscientiousness, has turned out to be surprisingly useful for many purposes, including predicting who will be productive employees  Self-monitoring, addresses fundamental issues concerning the relationship between one‟s private inner reality and the external self-presented to others  Narcissism, describes a basic trait of some people who may be charming, attractive, and even charismatic, but also have such a high degree of self-regard and neglect of concern for others that they may cause problems for other people and for themselves a. Conscientiousness  According to 1 survey in which over 3000 employers ranked the importance of 86 possible employee qualities, 7 out of the top 8 involved: conscientiousness, integrity, trustworthiness, and similar qualities  Sometimes employers go beyond these casual observations by administering formal personality tests  Integrity tests typically measure a wide range of qualities o Qualities measured by these tests are partially described by the broad traits of agreeableness and emotional stability o The trait most closely associated with integrity tests is conscientiousness  In many studies in industrial psychology, the criterion of interest is supervisors‟ ratings, typically offered about a year after the person is hired  Ones and coworkers reviewed more than 700 studies that used a total of 576, 460 subjects in assessing the validity of 43 different tests for predicting supervisors‟ ratings of job performance o The validity was equivalent to a correlation of .41 accuracy rate of greater than 70%  A more specific criterion of job performance is absenteeism o Later meta-analysis by the same researchers examined 28 studies with a total sample of 13, 972 participants, and found the overall correlation between “integrity” test scores and absenteeism to be equivalent to a correlation of .33 67%  The tests do less well at predicting employee theft, with a mean validity of .13 about 57% accuracy o Criteria used in these studies may have been flawed  Ones and coworkers concluded that integrity tests are better viewed as broad measures of personality traits related to job performance, especially conscientiousness, than as narrow tests of honesty  Personality assessment could help alleviate the effects of bias in testing o Tests of integrity, conscientiousness and other personality tests typically do not show racial or ethnic differences o If more employers could be persuaded to use personality tests instead of, or in addition to, ability tests, racial imbalance in hiring could be addresses without affect productivity  General conscientiousness might be not only a good predictor of job and school performance, but also a cause of excellence  A recent major analysis of 194 studies found that high conscientiousness people are more likely to avoid many kinds of risky behaviours as well as to engage in activities that are good for their health  People with higher conscientiousness tend to accumulate more years in school even though the trait is uncorrelated with IQ b. Self-Monitoring  Mark Snyder, developer of self-monitoring concept and test, has long been interested in the relationships and discrepancies between the inner and outer selves  Some really do vary in their inner and outer selves and in how they perform in different settings “high self-monitors”  Others are largely the same outside as they are inside, and do not vary much from one setting to another “low self-monitors”  High self-monitors carefully survey every situation looking for cues as to the appropriate way to act, and then adjust their behaviour accordingly less judgable o Skilled in social techniques of imaginative play, pretending, and humor o Talkative, self-dramatizing, histrionic (exaggerates emotions) o Initiates humor, verbally fluent, expressive in face and gestures, having social pose and presence  Low self-monitors tend to be more consistent regardless of the situation, because their behaviour is guided more by their inner personality more judgable o Distrustful, perfectionist, touchy and irritable, anxious, introspective, independent and feeling cheat and victimized by life  A second kind of research borrows a leaf from the empiricists‟ book by comparing the self- monitoring scores of members of different criterion groups- groups that, according to the theory of self-monitoring, should score differently  Studies have suggested relationships between self-monitoring scores and numerous other behaviours  Research also indicates that self-monitoring is related to the experience of emotion o High self-monitors look to the environment for clues to how they are feeling o Low self-monitors are more prone to look within c. Narcissism  Excessive self-love, which can be so excessive as to be classified as a personality disorder  People who score high in narcissism are often charming and make a good first impression, and tend to be good-looking o But they are also described as manipulative, overbearing, entitled, vain, arrogant, and exhibitionistic o May become aggressive when their positive view of themselves is threatened, and when other people reject them they may take out their frustration on innocent individuals who weren‟t even involved  Don‟t handle failure well  Narcissists follow an ill-advised strategy for dealing with life in which they seek to defend an unrealistically inflated self-concept through means, such as bragging, that are ultimately unsuccessful  Their behaviour may stem from a general failure to control impulses and delay gratification  Crave feelings of power, prestige, success, and glory o Rather than take the slow and difficult route toward enjoying these feelings, they take the shortcut of expressing feelings of superiority whenever they feel they need, justified or not  Some psychologists argue that narcissism has increased in the U.S. population o Others respond that the trend is too small to be really important  Part of narcissism stems from an attribute that has been named “entitlement/exploitativeness,” which is basically the obnoxious, arrogant element  But narcissists may also be high on another sub-trait, named “leadership/authority,” which is associated with self-confidence, charisma, and positive social outcomes such as popularity and power II. The Many-Trait Approach a. The California Q-Set  The set consists of 100 phrases  Each phrase describes an aspect of personality that might be more important for characterizing a particular individual  More complex than personality traits  Raters express judgements of personality by sorting the items into 9 categories o Highly uncharacteristic (cat. 1), highly characteristic (cat.9)  Rater who does the sorting might be an acquaintance, a researcher, or a psychotherapist I data  Advantage of Q-sorting o Forces the judge to compare all of the items directly against each other within one individual rather than making a relative comparison across individuals o The judge is restricted to identifying only a few items as being important for characterizing a particular person  A team of researchers and clinical practitioners sought to develop a comprehensive set of terms sufficient to describe the people they interacted with every day  The resulting set of 100 items emerged after numerous revisions and refinement  Later, other investigators further revised the Q-set so that its sometimes-technical phrasing could be understood and used by non-psychologists b. Delay of Gratification  116 4yr old children (M:59 ; F:57) were tested in 2 delay-of-gratification experiments  In one experiment, each child was shown a festively wrapped gift, promised after completing a puzzle o Researchers measured how long the child was able to resist before reaching out and grabbing it  In the other experiment, the researcher told each child that he/she was forbidden to play with an attractive toy o The more the child moved toward playing with the forbidden toy, the lower the child‟s delay-of-gratification score  The 2 delay scores were then averaged and correlated with Q-sort personality descriptions obtained when the children were 3yrs old, 4yrs old, 7 and 11yrs old results shown in tables  One pattern revealed by both tables is that the personality correlates of a behaviour measured when the children were 4yrs old could be detected through personality assessments made 1yr earlier as much as 7yrs later o Many aspects of personality remain fairly consistent even throughout the rapid development and changes that occur during childhood  The correlates of delay of gratification are both similar and different between the sexes o Girls and boys show a similar pattern in that those who are liable are likely to delay most in the experimental tests high levels of ego control (self-control, impulse- control, inhibition) o In the girls, ego resiliency (similar to healthy psychological adjustment) was related to delay c. Drug Abuse  One study looked at adolescents who were already using illegal drugs by age 14  These adolescents had been described with Q-sort when they were small children  Correlates imply that, regardless of the immediate effects of peer pressure and other external influences, the adolescents most likely to use drugs suffered from other significant problems that had been visible years earlier d. Depression  Another common problem among young adults that turns out to have deep roots  According to one long-term study, women may be at risk for depression when they are overcontrolled and never venture outside of the limits s
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