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PSYC250 Exam 1 Study Guide

by: Yiyi Wang

PSYC250 Exam 1 Study Guide PSYC250

Yiyi Wang

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This is the study guide Dr. Derringer gave out already filled out with my notes and answers.
Psyc of Personality
Jaime Derringer
Study Guide
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This 13 page Study Guide was uploaded by Yiyi Wang on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSYC250 at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign taught by Jaime Derringer in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Psyc of Personality in Psychology (PSYC) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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Date Created: 09/13/16
PSYC 250: Personality Exam 1 Study Guide Fall 2016 Feel free to work on this study guide with others, including in­person and on­line sharing CONCEPTS, THEORIES, & STUDIES What are the key characteristics of personality, according to Allport’s (1961) definition?  Personality is dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine characteristics patterns of behavior and thought  Emphasis on complex set of characteristics  Focused on the individual, not the situation, environment, or culture  Weds psychological and physical (biological)  Deterministic (e.g. casual)-things about you that cause your behavior  Emphasizes what is “characteristic,” That is, on what is enduring not transitory  Focuses on behavior and thought as tangible examples of personality What are the Big Five (names & general description of / adjectives associated with each)?   Openness to Experience (imagination and insight, and those high in this trait also tend to have a broad range of interests. People who are high in this trait tend to be more adventurous and creative. People low in this trait are often much more traditional and may struggle with abstract thinking)  Conscientiousness (high levels of thoughtfulness, with good impulse control and goal-directed behaviors. Those high on conscientiousness tend to be organized and mindful of details)  Extraversion (excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness and high amounts of emotional expressiveness)  Agreeableness (trust, altruism, kindness, affection and other prosocial behaviors; people who are high in agreeableness tend to be more cooperative while those low in this trait tend to be more competitive and even manipulative)  Neuroticism (sadness, moodiness, and emotional instability. Individuals who are high in this trait tend to experience mood swings, anxiety, moodiness, irritability and sadness. Those low in this trait tend to be more stable and emotionally resilient)  Personality as Hierarchy  Factor analysis  Two-factor solution-all categories are not independent, can correlate with another category  Stability: Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness  More positively correlated with each other than plasticity  Plasticity: Extraversion, Openness to Experience  Willingness to seek out different experiences Why does a “strong situation” reduce individual differences in behavior?  According to evolutionary psychology, how do we decide to cooperate or compete with another person?  That is, what interpersonal factors would make someone more likely to cooperate with someone else?  What would make them more likely to compete?  How well do you know them?  How long will you have to deal with them?  How much do you like them?  Potential mate?  How do you choose a partner? Similar or opposite?  Spouse Correlation:  Height: +.22  Education: +.57  Religious Participation: +.82  Political Affiliation: +.64  Conservatism: +.62  Neuroticism: +.09  Potential rival for mating? How does reciprocal altruism improve fitness? How does kin selection improve fitness?  Reciprocal Altruism  One person helps another person in exchange for future help  Helping others will aid your own gene reproduction because (1) you receive help in return and/or (2) the person you help shares some of your genes  Altruism likely developed to increase Inclusive Fitness  Argument where true Altruism really doesn’t exist  Most people cooperate more than they should If we were “selfish” (rational)  We cooperate even more if there is a system in place to punish cheaters  People cooperate more in the Prisoner’s Dilemma if they know they will be “playing” again with the same person  Kin Selection: tendency to help individual who are more closely related to yourself in order to increase reproductive success of related others  Inclusive fitness: successful transmission of one’s genes from all sources to the next generation  Individuals are more likely to help healthy relatives  Both life/death scenarios or everyday scenarios, likelihood to help linearly correlates to how genetically related you are  More likely to help women than men because women are more reproductively viable  Negatively correlated with age, the older the less likely to help In a study of people from all over the world, what characteristics did people consider the most important in a  potential long­term romantic partner?  Surveyed 10,000 people on 6 continents  Various religious and economic groups  Asked participants, on a scale of 0 (not important) to 3 (indispensable), how important are these 18 characteristics in a long-term partner  1. Mutual attraction/love  2. Dependable character (conscientiousness)  3. Emotional stability and maturity (low neuroticism)  4. Pleasing disposition (agreeableness)  3 of top 4 are personality traits!  Conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability (-neuroticism)  If people were all looking for the same sort pf personality type, why don’t we all have those personality types due to natural selection?  Also very similar to what people want in friends What are the different ways that assortative mating (similarity between mates) can occur?  Primary AM: mates choose each other based on similarity  Social homogamy: choose each other due to selected-environment proximity  The tendency to hang around people with the same social interests as you, moreso than people with different social interests  Convergence: mates become more similar to each other the more time spent with one another What are the basic tenets of natural selection?  1. Variation: Individuals of a particular species show variation in their behavioral, morphological and/or physiological traits—their phenotypes (individual differences)  this is what “selection” occurs on  If everyone were the same, we would not be selecting within that trait  2. Inheritance: a part of this variation between individuals is “heritable”: some of that variation will be passed on from one generation to the next  Offspring will tend to resemble their parents more than they do other individuals in the population  3. Adaption: There is competition among individuals for scarce resources such as food, mates, and somewhere to live, and some of these variants allow their bearers to compete more effectively  4. Evolution: Some individuals will leave more offspring than others because of the particular traits they possess  The offspring of such individuals will have inherited these successful traits from their parents. Through this process organisms become adapts to their environment  5. Fitness: a measure of relative reproductive success  The success with which a trait is propagated in future generations relative to other variants of that trait  According to evolutionary theory, why might individual differences in personality exist? Why haven’t we  evolved to a single “optimum” species­wide personality?  Why do individual differences in personality persist?  No set “best” strategy  Success of a characteristic depends on environmental conditions (if environment changes, selection will change)  Selection is slower than environmental change  If a characteristic is an observable across cultures (chronological, geographical), it is probably old  How did the characteristics stay around or spread?  Cultural transmission: Memes  Biological Transmission: Genes What are the two ways a trait can persist or across cultures, both geographically and over time? How does  identifying (or not identifying) the same personality traits in people and different non­human animals help us  understand when personality evolved?  When did personality evolve?  Not easy to put a date on it  No known genes (not like lactase persistence)  No physical evidence (not like bipedalism)  Cross-species comparisons may parallel inferences from cross-cultural comparisons  Things that differ between cultures are recent (<60,000 years)  Things are the same between cultures are more likely to be old (>60,000 years)  BUT even cross-cultural similarities could be due either biological OR cultural transmission  What about traits we share with other species?  Common traits may imply a common source (LCA, last common ancestor)  “New” traits have recent common ancestor, appear in fewer species  “Old” traits appear in many species, have less recent LCA  Shared traits more likely to have BIOLOGICAL influences (assuming no cross- species cultural transmission)  (Alternative possibility: Convergent evolution) What are the benefits and limitations of animal research?  Limitations:  Same construct? Can never be 100% certain that we are looking at the same construct, have to operationalize our own definitions of personality traits  Anthropomorphism/personification: attribution of human form or other characteristics to anything other than a human being (Wikipedia) (researchers always try to rule out)  Same Mechanism? We can have the same mechanism and same construct, and same outcome  Based on social structure of species  Ethical considerations, cannot get informed consent from non-human animals  Rely on decision-making process to figure out if something is worth doing on non-human  Do pros outweigh the cons? Do we think any negative outcome that will come is outweighed by the potential of information we can gather for humans  Summary: things we can practically do with animals that we cannot do with humans  Animal personality exists, can be measured, and predicts behavior  Animal studies allow greater experimental control and more information  Not all animal research will directly translate into information about humans  What can animal studies teach us about personality?  Why haven’t we evolved to a single “optimum” species-wide personality  Because different traits are adaptive in different environments  Because there are different paths to “success” (fitness) How are rating and coding used to assess animal personality? How do we evaluate if we are able to measure  animal personality?  Rating vs. Coding  Subjective rating of broad traits by knowledgeable observers  Objective coding of an animal’s overt behaviors What are the potential costs and benefits to being a “bold” animal?  Bold animals travel farther (encounter more potential mates and resources), but also fight more (and maybe lose) non-bold vice versa  Aggressive fish grow faster in simple environments (monopolize resources), slower in complex environments, go through different situations to survive (with disperse resources)  Bold bighorn sheep reproduce earlier, are more likely to be eaten by cougars  Slow-exploring female great tits nest more successfully, fast-exploring males gather resources more successfully  Different personality traits predict different rates of success depending on sex Unless personality traits are carried on the sex chromosome, you have to have everything move towards an average, cannot selectively pass on a trait to specific sex Which of the Big Five are most often observed in non­human animals? Which of the Big Five do we share with  the fewest non­human animals?  3/5 of Big Five that we observe in human personality research are easily observable across an incredibly wide range of species, regardless of species studied:  Extraversion: Surgency, sociability, energy, vivacity, boldness, approach/avoidance  Neuroticism: Fearfulness, emotional reactivity, excitability, nerve stability  Agreeableness: Affability, affection, affinity, aggression, hostility, fighting  Traits are so consistent, which implies that these three traits are the oldest  Openness: non-observable across all the species, but can be measured in higher level mammals  Chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, vervet monkeys, hyenas, dog, cat, pig  Operational definition of openness same as non-verbal humans (infants): Curiosity, exploration playfulness (imaginative)  NOT open to new ideas or art  Similar to “early openness” in human infants  Interest in novel objects or events  Conscientiousness: only an apparent trait in our most close non-human cousins: chimpanzees  In human & chimpanzees (LCA ~6mya (least consistently observed))  Meta-cognitive, not only do you have to go through systematic steps to achieve a goal, but we assume that this goal something that is fitting with societal norm  No motivation to be good at something, only for survival  Attention, goal-directedness, erratic, unpredictable, disorganized behavior  Why not more species?  Requires planning & awareness of “norms”  Following rules thinking before acting, controlling impulses  Dominance: looked at more in non-humans than humans, a little different trait than what we see in humans, makes up for missing traits: conscientiousness  Could be just a sub-facet in extraversion in adults  In non-humans: High E, Low A, Low N  In humans: high E  Activity: low level assessment that is probably still a facet of human behavior, but we have more complex ways of behaving so activity itself is not so salient to our understanding to each other  low validity in human real world, but in animals, it may be the best information we can get  In chimpanzee & humans, may merge with Extraversion after puberty  Low level assessment that is probably a sub facet of human behavior  How much you move around What are the advantages and disadvantages of case studies, experimental studies, and correlational studies?  Case Studies:  Advantages: Can provide detailed information on things that normally cannot be ethically obtained  (naturally occurring brain damage)  Disadvantages: because of lack of experimental design (manipulation of variables, cannot imply  causation  Experimental Studies  Advantages: Can imply causation through manipulation of variables and controls, the most control  Disadvantages: low external validity, often unethical or impractical  Correlational Studies  Advantages: Can imply correlation, more feasible do to ethics and practicality  Disadvantages: Correlation is necessary but not sufficient for causation Why shouldn’t we rely on personal experience to do “science”?  What source of knowledge do you use to answer this question? Personal experience  Hypothesis/Rumor:  First born children are smarter  Middle children are rebellious  Later born children are more creative, funny  The way people tend to gather information is not very systematic  We tend to seek information that is consistent with our beliefs and ignore inconsistent information (not systematic)  We tend to assume that propositions that “feel” wrong to us are invalid  Confirmation Bias: We tend to seek out information that is consistent with our expectations  Discounting: We reject information that is inconsistent with those expectations  Deem it as just a “random fluke”  Ignore information that doesn’t go along with our hypothesis  The Pleasant Truth Problem: we tend to believe an idea is true if the deal makes us feel good  We believe those things whether or not we have really good evidence Based on the largest available study, what is the relationship between personality and birth order?  Birth Order & Personality/IQ Correlations (r) in N=270,000  .04 C maturity  .03 C tidiness  .02 C impulsiveness~~~~  .08 IQ verbal (largest, but still not good correlation)  All the personality traits found close to 0 correlations between personality and birth order  Results don’t change when controlling for (with regression):  Age, sex, family structure, Sibship size, SES, other, personality/IQ measures  Concluded no relationship between personality and birth order Describe the three requirements for establishing causal relationships.  Association (does one thing tend to go with something else), Isolation (do those two things go together separated from all other possible explanation), Direction (does the thing we think is causal come before what we think is the outcome)  Test whether the association holds across lots of people (correlation, regression)  A goes along with B  Correlation is necessary but not sufficient to show causation  How to establish isolation: control or rule as many alternative explanation as possible—systematic fashion as possible  Describes as the “third variable problem”  Go through a correlation and rule out in a systematic fashion as many possible third variables as we can  Use an experimental design where you randomly select individuals from a representative population to enter the experimental or control groups  Two groups have to be equivalent in every way except for the independent variable  Rarely can do random assign in personality (can’t assign personality traits)  Natural experiments: e.g. identical twins raised in separate families  Statistical controls (using regression)  The most common method for controlling for third variable statistically: multiple regression  Test whether the association holds across lots of people  Correlation, regression  A goes along with B taking into account x, y, z  How to establish direction  Design the study so that your independent variable comes before your dependent variable  Longitudinal, prospective design (measure 2+ variables over the course of time)  An experiment in which you manipulate (control) the independent variable  For our question, birth order comes before personality (at least for latter born children)  The cause precedes the effect Why is experimental evidence often difficult or impossible to collect in personality research? What are some  important topics that lack experimental evidence in humans?  Is personality/psychology a science? It can be  The material you study does not change the scientific method  Lack of random assignment just makes it harder (but not impossible) to make definitive inferences How do traits compare to types? What are the benefits and limitations of each approach to describing  individual differences?  Trait: a consistent characteristic, infinitely contextually complec: use factor analysis (alpha & beta and facets) more helpful because you get more information  Type: a category whose members share one or more characteristic  Efficient way of summarizing a group of objects because we assume the category/type includes members who share one or more characteristics  TYPES are defined by a common set of traits that are shared by group members  Existence of types doesn’t mean traits don’t exist, if types do exist, they also have traits, can coexist  We could also just use the traits to describe each group member individually What bodily substances make up the Four Humors? (Be able to recognize the group of 4)  Blood (sanguine): courageous, hopeful, amorous  Yellow bile (choleric): easily angered, bad tempered  Black bile (melancholic): despondent, sleepless, irritable  Phlegm (phlegmatic): calm, unemotional How many dimensions make up the MBTI (just how many, don’t need to know what they are)? How many  Types? What was the MBTI designed to predict?  Precursor to MBTI:  Psychological types  Perceiving functions (sensation & intuition)  Judging functions (thinking & feeling)  Attitude types (extraversion & introversion)  16 different combinations What are some criticisms of the reliability of the MBTI? What are the criticisms of the MBTI’s validity?  MBTI Reliability: “The type to which you are born will be the one you take to your grave”  High standard error of measurement (SEM): “uncertainty” of assessment  50% test-takers switch types within 5 weeks  BUT even highly reliable measures can show change  MBTI Validity:  Face: “Barnum Effect”: people likely to agree with flattering, vague statements  How many types of people are there?  Convergent: Poor  Does not predict success within occupation  Discriminant: Poor  Confounded with sex: Sex difference in Types & Occupations explain Apparent relationships between Types & Occupations What behavioral differences are most commonly associated with individual differences in dopamine?  Dopamine: neurotransmitter involved in reward-motivated behavior  Increased levels in humans after sex, cocaine, a good meal  Genetically engineered mice  High Dopamine=very active, explore cage  Low Dopamine=lethargic, don’t eat or drink that much What are the potential sources of personality data? What are some examples, benefits, and limitations of  each?  Test-Data (in-lab, experimental, objective)  Life-Outcome Data (observational, objective)  Observer-report data (observational, subjective)  Information provided by someone else about another person  Key features of Observer-report data  Provide access to information not attainable through other sources  Multiple observers can be used to assess a person  Thin Slices of Behavior: Judging from <1 second exposure to a picture of a face participants accurately perceive:  Sexual Orientation: Snap judgements were better than deliberative judgements  Extraversion: But not the other Big 5 traits  Aggression  Effects are small (minor deviation from chance)  More than 1 second still useful  More experience with a persona does lead to more accurate estimates  Correlations between self-reports and observer reports range from .3 to .5  Correlations reach asymptote after around 10 events  Self-report data (observational, subjective)-most common  Information provided by a person, such as through a survey or interview  Individuals have access to a wealth of information about themselves that is inaccessible to anyone else Which traits can be assessed accurately (better­than­chance) from a “thin slice” of behavior, such as a less  than 1­second exposure to a picture of a person’s face? How does other­report accuracy change with  increased experience with a person?  Thin Slices of Behavior: Judging from <1 second exposure to a picture of a face participants accurately perceive:  Sexual Orientation: Snap judgements were better than deliberative judgements  Extraversion: But not the other Big 5 traits  Aggression  Effects are small (minor deviation from chance)  More than 1 second still useful  More experience with a persona does lead to more accurate estimates  Correlations between self-reports and observer reports range from .3 to .5  Correlations reach asymptote after around 10 events For what kinds of traits are friend­ratings likely to be more accurate than self­ratings? What is an example of  this kind of trait? What kind of traits are likely to be more accurate from self­reports than from friend­reports? What is self­monitoring and how does it relate to variability (or consistency) in one person’s behavior across  different situations?  Precursor to MBTI:  Psychological types  Perceiving functions (sensation & intuition)  Judging functions (thinking & feeling)  Attitude types (extraversion & introversion)  MBTI Reliability: “The type to which you are born will be the one you take to your grave”  High standard error of measurement (SEM): “uncertainty” of assessment  50% test-takers switch types within 5 weeks  BUT even highly reliable measures can show change  MBTI Validity:  Face: “Barnum Effect”: people likely to agree with flattering, vague statements  How many types of people are there?  Convergent: Poor  Does not predict success within occupation  Discriminant: Poor  Confounded with sex: Sex difference in Types & Occupations explain Apparent relationships between Types & Occupations What are the different ways to assess reliability and validity?   Reliability: Independent assessments must agree; consistency of measurement  can the test be used two or more times and get the same result  Types of Reliability:  Test-retest: similar assessment at different points in time  Inter-rater: agreement among multiple observers  Internal consistency: correlation among separate items within a single measure  Validity: ratings must reflect attributes of targets (not observers’ implicit personality theories)  Does the test measure what it claims to measure  Assessments must predict behaviors and real-world outcome  Accuracy of measurement  Types of Validity:  Face validity: sounds like it measures what it claims to measure  Convergent: correlated to other measures of same construct  Discriminant: uncorrelated with (distinct form) theoretically separate constructs  Construct: overall evaluation of the above How is psychology “WEIRD”? What does this mean for the generalizability of findings from most psychology  studies?  Psychology is WEIRD: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic Which two of the Big Five can be most accurately predicted from Facebook “Likes”? How does accuracy  change as more Likes are used to predict personality and demographic characteristics?  As the number of likes increases, the prediction accuracy also increases for every one of the prediction  variables  Extraversion and Openness What are the major limitations of attempting to study the relationship between sex or gender and anything  else?  Limitations  Discriminant validity: how do we investigate separate effects of sex, gender, sexual orientation, perceiver bias?  Random assignment is impossible & unethical  Confounding sex & Gender What is the average sex difference in general cognitive ability? Which specific ability is the exception to the  findings for general cognitive ability? Who can throw a ball farther? – Males, d = 2.00 (very large!) • Who has a higher GPA? – Females, d = ­.04  (very very small) • Who has better verbal ability? – Females, d = ­.11 (pretty small) • Who’s better at math? –  Males, d = .15 (pretty small)  Overall, global measured IQ, no average difference  Exception: Spatial Rotation (.75)  Throwing a spear or a football so that it correctly anticipates a moving target (animal receiver)  Still says nothing about any individual  Males tend to have more variable IQ/ Females tend to have less variable IQ  high end, more males but actual numbers (277 vs 203); low end, more males more likely to have intellectual disability (188 vs. 133)  Total effect is small even at the extreme ends Which of the Big Five shows the least evidence of sex differences? Which trait shows the largest sex  difference?  Openness consistently shows no difference across cultures in sex differences  Neuroticism shows biggest difference (females more neurotic than males) Which world region has the largest average sex differences in personality? Which region has the smallest  average sex differences? Which is the only trait to show consistent sex differences across all examined world  regions?  Neuroticism is the only trait to show consistent sex differences across all examined world regions  North America has the largest sex differences  South/South East Asia has the smallest average sex differences Which interest shows the largest sex difference? How does this compare to the sex difference in height? What  does that mean in terms of making assumptions about interests based solely on sex?  Su, R (2009): meta-analysis of sex differences in interests (N>500,000)  Male Interests:  Things vs people (d=.93)  Realistic (d=.84)  Investigative (d=.26)  Science (d=.36)  Math (d=.34)  Engineering (d=1.11)  Female Interests:  Artistic (d=-.35)  Social (d=-.68)  Conventional (d=-.33)  Still not as good of a predictor than height, so gender alone is not sufficient to predict interests How do sex differences in Neuroticism compare between humans and hyenas? What does this tell us about  sex differences in Neuroticism in humans?  Humans: Females have higher neuroticism than males  Hyenas: Males have higher neuroticism How do Social Learning Theory and Hormonal Theory seek to explain human sex differences?  Hormonal Theory: Males and females differ because of underlying hormones, not different social treatment  Then sex differences should be largest when hormonal differences are largest  Absolutely true for aggression and depression  Social learning: Kids learn by observing the behaviors of other DEFINITIONS Traita consistent characteristic Operationalizationthe process of defining an ambiguous concept so that it can be measured Linguistic Relativilanguage influences perception Lexical Hypothesis: Important traits have many synonyms within a language Fluctuating selection: fluctuation of the selection on a given phenotype over a relatively brief period of  evolutionary time (a species fluctuating between two traits/varieties) Negative frequency dependent selection: the fitness of a phenotype is dependent on the frequency relative to  other phenotypes in the population Fitness indicator traia measure of relative reproductive success  The success with which a trait is propagated in future generations relative to other variants of that trait   P­level or P­value: percent of which the data results happened by chance (p<.05 is significant) Type I error: False Positive Type II error: False Negative Correlation coefficient: (regression) a number that quantifies the statistical relationship between two or more  variables (depicted as (r), ranges from ­1 to 1 File Drawer Effect:motivation to write up interesting, significant research; others get forgotten in a “file drawer” Principal of Aggregation:sum of multiple measures is more reliable and valid than any one of those measures alone Gender identity:Girl/Women, Boy/Man, Transgender/gender non-conforming Gender presentation: how we present ourselves - Feminine, Masculine, Androgynous


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