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Chapter 12

PSYC 3090 Chapter 12: CHAPTER 12

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York University
PSYC 3090
Krista Trobst

CHAPTER 12 – PERSONALITY ASSSESSMENT: AN OVERVIEW Personality and Personality Assessment Personality -different theories, some focus on narrow aspect, others view as context of society, some avoid definition Personality: individuals unique constellation of psychological traits that is relatively stable over time Personality Assessment Personality assessment: measurement and evaluation of psychological traits, states, values, interests, attitudes, worldview, acculturation, sense of humour or related individual characteristics Traits, Types and States Personality Traits -gordon allport saw traits as physical entities -robert holt, brain structures change in brain chemistry from learning Personality trait: any distinguishable, relatively enduring way in which one individual varies from another -guilford came up with this -depends on context, same behaviour in different contexts may have different name -attribution of trait always relative phenomenon -found lack of consistency in traits such as honesty, punctuality, conformity, attitude toward authority and introversion/extraversion -some things may be governed more by societal expectations +cultural roles than individuals personality Personality types Personality type: constellation of traits that is similar in pattern to one identified category of personality within a taxonomy of personalities -types are descriptions -hippocrates 4 types -Carl Jung + myers Briggs type indicator -assumption: people exhibit definite preferences in the way that they perceive or become aware of people, events, situations and ideas -John Holland – people in 6 categories, used it for vocational guidance -Meyer Friedman + Ray Rosenman, cardiologists, type a + b personality Profile: narrative description, graph, table or other representation of the extent to which a person has demonstrated certain targeted characteristics as a result of the administration or application of tools of assessment Personality profile: the targeted characteristics are typically traits, states or types Personality States State: 2 usages of the term 1. Inferred psychodynamic disposition designed to convey the dynamic quality of id, ego and superego in perpetual conflict 2. Transitory exhibition of some personality trait -few tests distinguish traits from states Personality Assessment: Some Basic Questions -wide potential for personality assessment Who? -self report, other people such as parents, teachers, etc Self as primary referent -people like to learn something about themselves Self-concept: one’s attitudes, beliefs, opinions and related thoughts about oneself Self-concept measure: instrument designed to yield information relevant to how an individual sees him or himself with regard to selected psychological variables Self-concept differentiation: the degree to which a person has different self-concepts in different roles -states + traits related to self-concept largely context-dependent -people with low levels of this tend to be healthier psychologically -self reports problematically, assuming person is honest Another person as the referent -third party sometimes better -ex child may be unwilling or unable to complete test, case history data may be bad because problems are so subtle -closer you are to the person the better -rater biases can be problematic, rater could be attracted or not to the person, not have proper background, judgments limited by level of conscientiousness + devoting time and effort -different raters also have different perspectives -differences in ratings could be more than error in evaluation procress Cultural Background of assesses -increased sensitivity to cultural diversity -how fair is generalize, how appropriate development, administration and score interpretation is What? Primary Content area sampled -insight into wide array of thoughts, feelings and behaviours associated with all aspects of human experience -measure trait + response style Testtaker response styles Response style: refers to a tendency to respond to a test item or interview question in some characteristic manner regardless of the content of the item or question Acquiescent: more likely to answer yes/true on tests Impression management: the attempt to manipulate others’ impressions through the selective exposure of some information coupled with suppression of other information -some tests have items to detect response styles -reponses affect validity Validity scale: subscale of a test designed to assist in judgments regarding how honestly the testtaker responded and whther obsere response were products of response style, carelessness, deliberate efforst to deceive or unintentional misunderstanding -type of response style measurement -can provide shorthand indication of how honestly tettaker responds -some people question utility of assessing response styles Where? -schools, clinics, hospitals, research labs, psychologists -natural settings in own, prison How? Scope and Theory -scope of assessment Locus of control: person’s perception about the source of things that happen to him or her -tests vary in the extent to which they are based on a theory -MMPI is athereotical -advantage to athereotical allows test users impose their own theoretical preferences on the interpretation of the findings Procedures and item formats -many different formats, interviews, computers, behavioural observation, etc -structured interview Graphology: handwriting analysis -sometimes very clear or not clear what is required of assesse -same personality trait can be measured with different instruments in different ways -defition of trait matters Frame of Reference Frame of reference: aspects of the focus of exploration such as time frame as well as other contextual issues that involve people, places, and events q-sort technique: assessment technique in which the task is to sort a group of statements, usually in perceived rank order ranging from most descriptive to least descriptive -method for exploring varied frames of reference -best known application advocated by carl rogers, used to find discrepancy between perceived actual self and ideal self -application in initial assessment + reevaluation of client -easily be adapted for wide range of purposes -adjective checklist + sentence completion formats -very simple, can be used widely Scoring and Interpretation -differ in how conclusions are drawn from data Nomothetic approach: learn how a limited number of personality traits can be applied to all people -certain personality traits exist in all people to varying degrees Idiographic approach: learn about each individuals unique constellation of personality traits with no attempt to characterize each person according to any particular set of traits -understand specific traits unique to the makeup of the individual -most people favour nomothetic approach -most common assessment is normative approach where testtakers responses + presumed strength of a measured trait interpreted relative to the strength of that trait in a sample of a larger population -also use ipsative approach, comparison in same individual Issues in persona
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