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PSYC 2130 (185)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2.docx

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PSYC 2130
Krista Phillips

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Chapter 2: nd  Funder’s 2 law there are no perfect indicators of personality; there are only clues, and clues are always ambiguous I. Data Are Clues  Observable aspects of personality are best characterized as clues o Always ambiguous personality resides hidden inside each individual  Infer bothrdts existence and its nature inferences based on indications that can be observed  Funder’s 3 law something beats nothing, 2 times out of 3 II. Four Kinds of Clues a. Ask the Person Directly: S Data  Self-judgements (usually a questionnaire)  Face validity intended to measure what they seem to measure, on their face o Ask questions that are directly related to the construct they are designed to measure  Asking questions that are more open-ended  Common basis for personality assessment  Advantages: o A large amount of information  You have a unique perspective on the general nature of your personality and the S data you can provide can reflect complex aspects of character that no other data source could access o Access to thoughts, feelings, and intentions  Aspects of inner mental life are private yet important, S data provide a unique and essential source of data o Definitional truth  True by definition- they have to be correct since they are themselves aspects of the self-view o Causal force  Since S data reflect what you think of yourself, they have a way of creating their own reality  Self-verification  Your view of yourself doesn’t just reflect what you think about yourself- it may be among the causes of what you do o Simple and easy  Cost-effectiveness  Disadvantages: o Maybe they won’t tell you  No way to prevent someone from withholding information, but if the person does, the accuracy of S data she provides will be compromised o Maybe they can’t tell you  Person’s memory of his behaviour is finite and imperfect  Fish-and-water effect  The way we become used to the customary behaviours of our own culture  Information might be actively distorted in memory as well  Simple lack of insight o Too simple and too easy  Overused since its cheap and easy b. Ask Somebody Who Knows: I Data  Gather opinions of the people who know that person well in daily life  Judgments  Advantages: o Large amount of information  To base a description on hundreds of behaviours in dozens of situations  Everybody has many acquaintances obtaining more than one judgement of the same person  Come from observation of behaviour in the real world o Common sense  The informant’s judgements about what the behaviours mean, in general, about the individual’s personality  An informant with ordinary common sense who transforms an observation of behaviour into a judgement of personality will take 2 kinds of contexts into account  The immediate situation  Provided by other behaviours that an informant might know about o Definitional truth  Some aspects of your personality reside in the reactions of other people o Causal force  Person’s reputation  Expectancy effect and behavioural confirmation  Disadvantages: o Limited behavioural information  Their knowledge is limited in 2 ways:  There is a sense in which each person lives inside a serious of separate compartments, and each compartment contains different people  I data provided by any one person will have limited validity as a description of what you are like in general o Lack of access to private experience  Some of every person’s life is concealed even from close acquaintances  I data provide a view of personality from the outside o Error  The judgements of personality that they offer will sometimes be mistaken  An informant’s judgement is based on what he happened to remember about the person being described and will necessarily overlook some information that might be relevant o Bias  Refers to something more systematic, such as seeing someone
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