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PSY 325 Unit 2 study guide

by: Lauren Toomey

PSY 325 Unit 2 study guide PSY 325

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Lauren Toomey

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This study guide answers all of the study questions provided for the Unit 2 Exam, covering chapters 5-7.
Psychology of Personality
Karla Gingerich
Study Guide
PSY 325, personality, Psychology
50 ?




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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by Lauren Toomey on Thursday March 3, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSY 325 at Colorado State University taught by Karla Gingerich in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 129 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Personality in Psychlogy at Colorado State University.


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Date Created: 03/03/16
Study Questions for the Textbook: Unit 2 Gingerich PSY325 Spring 2016 I suggest you use these study questions to quiz yourself during and after reading your text. This is not a list of what will be on the exam (see syllabus), but these questions may help you study and learn the text material. -kjg Chapter 5 1. How does the case of shyness illustrate how personality judgments affect our opportunities? a. Shy people deny themselves the opportunity to develop social skills by avoiding social situations and interactions. b. By the same token, people perceive shy people as cold, aloof, and can even get offended when a shy person avoids conversation. This affects shy people’s lives in that they are avoided, and the cycle perpetuates shyness. Our judgments can have a significant effect on personality and life. 2. What was Rosenthal’s explanation for why students did better when their teachers expected more of them? a. His theory: high-expectancy students perform better because their teachers treat them differently in 4 ways: i. Climate: the way teachers project a warmer emotional attitude toward students they expect to do well ii. Feedback: teachers give feedback varying according to the correctness of a student’s responses iii. Input: teachers attempt to teach more material and more difficult material iv. Output: teachers give them extra opportunities to show what they have learned b. All 4 aspects led “blooming” students to perform better 3. After reading about expectancy effects, what advice would you give to parents of kid or teens? a. Treat all children/teens as if they have the potential to be great, because then your teaching style will be the best it can possibly be and it will show in their results. 4. Why would constructivists say that a tree falling in a forest doesn’t make a noise? What is an alternative viewpoint (Funder’s)? a. Because constructivism holds that reality, as a concrete entity, does not exist i. All that exist are human ideas (i.e., constructions) of reality b. They answer no to the question above because there is no way to regard one interpretation of reality as accurate and another as inaccurate, because all interpretations are mere “social constructions” (156). c. Funder rejects this because he finds critical realism more reasonable i. It holds that the absence of perfect criteria for determining truth does not mean that all interpretations of reality are equally correct (157). ii. Constructivists argue that accuracy issues can never be settled, but Funder argues that you gather all the information that might help you determine whether or not the judgment is valid, and make the best determination you can, which is perfectly reasonable and even necessary. Page 2 5. How might we know if our personality judgments are accurate? a. Convergent validation: basically, “if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably—but still not absolutely positively—a duck” i. Validation achieved by assembling diverse pieces of information—such as appearance, quacking style, walking & swimming style, etc—that “converge” on a common conclusion: it must be a duck ii. The more items of diverse information that converge, the more confident the conclusion b. 2 primary converging criteria: i. Interjudge agreement ii. Behavioral prediction 6. Were the college undergraduates mentioned on page 158 correct? Which Big Five traits are most likely to be accurately judged from faces? a. Psychologists have tended to disagree that you can judge a person’s personality based on their face, until recently i. Recent studies have found that the entire arrangement of the face (configural properties) or the arrangement of features can yield validity of first impressions b. Most accurately judged from faces are: Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Openness to experience i. These are twice as likely to be right as wrong 7. Would you be a good judge of personality, a good target, or both? Are you high on “communion?” How about meta-accuracy? a. I would be a better judge than target, because I am not a consistent target. b. I am high in communion—meaning I value developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships c. Meta-accuracy= “accuracy about being accurate” i. We can tell the difference between people who we can and cannot judge accurately 8. When comparing good judges and good targets, which seems more important for accuracy? a. A good target is to be more important for accuracy when it comes to judgment i. Need to be predictable and consistent ii. Judgability= “what you see is what you get” 9. By the definition suggested on page 167, do you know people who are “psychologically healthy?” a. Psychologically healthy means that the person is not putting on a “transparent self”—in other words, someone on the outside that they are not on the inside b. Exhibiting a façade like this that produces large discrepancies can make one feel isolated from the people around them, leading to unhappiness, hostility, and depression Page 3 10. You have seen me in class many times, but my husband has never seen me lecture. We’ve been together over 20 years, though, so he knows me pretty well. According to Funder, who would be a better judge of how I will behave in a future class – you, or my husband? a. The students will be a better judge of how you will behave in a future classroom setting b. On the other hand, your husband will be a better judge of how you would behave in any other context 11. What are strong and weak situations, and how do they relate to the accuracy of personality judgments? a. It can be more informative to view people in weak situations, in which different people do different things i. As opposed to viewing them in a strong situation, in which social norms restrict what people do ii. This is why behavior at a party is more informative than behavior while riding a bus 12. Knowing what you know about the RAM model and how it relates to the moderators of accuracy from this chapter, what would you say to a friend who is interviewing future employees or roommates, or dating with the intention of finding a long-term partner? a. Put that person in a situation where they don’t have to adhere to social norms, so that you can see who they really are b. Three things must happen: i. Person must do something relevant; i.e., a trait that is informative about the trait being judged ii. Second: information must be available to judge iii. Third: judge must detect this information iv. Fourth: judge must utilize this information correctly Chapter 6 1. Think of questions you have about personality and behavior. Which approach in Chapter 6 would best address your questions? a. The essential-trait approach: which traits are the most important? i. Narrows the endless list of traits to those tha really matter ii. Most prominently, the Big Five b. Typological approach: stems from doubt and hope i. Doubt: whether it’s really valid to compare people with each other quantitatively on the same trait dimensions ii. Hope: researchers can identify groups of people who resemble each other enough, and are different enough from everybody else, that it makes sense to treat them as if they belong to the same “type” iii. Doesn’t focus on traits directly, it focuses on the patterns of traits that categorize whole persons, and tries to sort these patterns c. The Single-trait approach: answers the question, “What do we know about people with that particular trait?” Page 4 i. Focuses on self-monitoring and narcissism 2. What do you think about the question of whether narcissism is on the upswing? And could there by an upside to that? As the author reminds us, we should recall Funder’s First Law. a. Narcissism is on the rise; according to Jane Twenge, there has been a 10% increase since the 70s and 80s b. Funder points out, however, that narcissists may also be high in a subtrait named “leadership/authority”, which is associated with self-confidence, charisma, popularity, and power i. People who score high report being more satisfied with life c. The impulsiveness may not be all that bad either; it can lead to a willingness to take the risks that are inevitably associated with making new friends and influencing people d. Funder’s first law: “great strengths are often great weaknesses, and surprisingly often the opposite is true as well.” 3. How do the concepts of overcontrol and undercontrol relate to depression? Political orientation? Is it better to be undercontrolled or overcontrolled? a. Women who are depressed reported being over controlled, meaning they may be at risk for depression when they are overcontrolled and never venture outside of the limits society traditionally sets for them b. Men who experience depression reported being “undercontrolled” i. Meaning the risk factor is undercontrol; unless they can control their emotions and behavior, they may get into trouble constantly and have difficulty finding a useful or comfortable niche in life c. These findings show how society’s different expectations for women and men can affect their psychological development and health, and how it can lead personality traits to have opposite implications in the two sexes d. It is better to be under or over controlled? i. Overcontrolled (high in the ego-control dimension) tend to inhibit impulses ii. Undercontrolled (low in ego control dimension) tend to act on impulses immediately iii. Depends on the situation, which is better 1. If nice things are safely available, then you may take advantage of them, but if gratification is risky under the circumstances, self-control is advised 2. “under control gets you into trouble, but resilience gets you out” –Jack Block (199) 4. Hans Eyesenk gets credit for the “three essential factors” which Tellegen later revised, and have which have been nicknamed the “superfactors.” What are they? a. Tellegen later revised them to be: i. Positive emotionality ii. Negative emotionality iii. Constraint Page 5 5. If you know someone’s score on one of the Big Five factors, does that predict their score on another of the five factors? a. The correlations between the 5 personality traits do exist, but they are so minor that it is still enough to keep the traits in five separate and distinct categories b. The factors are orthogonal, meaning that scoring high or low on one of the factors is not supposed to predict whether they will score high or low on another factor 6. Why might employers be better off using personality tests than ability tests, according to some researchers? And why might colleges be better off knowing applicants’ conscientiousness scores than GPAs? Are conscientious people smarter? a. Employers use these as “integrity tests,” used to measure responsibility, long-term job commitment, consistency, moral reasoning, friendliness, work ethic, dependability, cheerfulness, and even-temperedness b. The qualities measured by these tests are partially described by agreeableness and emotional stability i. But most closely associated with integrity tests is conscientiousness c. Conscientious students do very well in college, meaning the trait is a better predictor of academic success than either SAT scores or high school GPAs i. The trait is uncorrelated with IQ; however, highly conscientious people tend to accumulate more years in school 7. Why does Funder say the “openness to experience” dimension is controversial? What are the upsides and downsides of this factor? a. Because some researchers view the trait as reflecting a person’s approach to intellectual matters or even her basic level of intelligence, while others see it as a result of the degree to which one has been taught to value cultural matters such as literature, art, and music b. Still others see it as a basic dimension of personality that underlies creativity and perceptiveness c. Also controversial because among the big five, it has the worst record of replication across different samples and cultures 8. What happens when researchers translate Big Five tests into other languages? a. The big five translate pretty well; most languages yielded at least 4 of the 5 factors i. These include: Phillipines, Japan, and Hong Kong b. All five factors appeared in: German, Hebrew, Chinese, Korean, and Turkish 9. Check out page 213. Any surprises? a. Diagrams of the highest concentrations of each big five trait across the U.S. 10. What is HEXACO? a. It is the Chinese version of the 5 factors, with a 6 factor incorporated i. H= honesty-humility ii. E= emotionality iii. X= extraversion iv. A= agreeableness v. C= conscientiousness vi. O= openness Page 6 11. Many people love the idea of personality types. What do personality psychologists conclude about the pros and cons of categorizing people into types? a. Pros i. These traits are considered the essential “structure” of personality ii. The Big Five are types of traits, not of people b. Cons i. There is more to personality than just 5 traits ii. It doesn’t cover attributes such as sensuality, frugality, humor, and cunning iii. The big five are frequently broken down into “facets” or “aspects,” because a summary of just those 5 is not enough to explain the essence of the construct Chapter 7 1. What can we conclude about birth order and personality? a. Firstborns are found to be higher on conscientiousness b. Laterborn children tend to be higher on extraversion, openness to experience, and agreeableness—there was no difference at all in neuroticism c. Despite these findings, the correlations were very small, so the debate continues 2. How might early abuse and stress affect personality? a. If children are abused early in childhood, the stress can produce a lifelong patterns of chronic inflammation b. These outcomes create long-term tendency to have stronger emotional reactions to ordinary, daily stress c. You can also experience too little stress in early life, because that can leave one unprepared for the difficult times that inevitably come later 3. Describe your active, reactive, and evocative person-environment transactions. What kinds of environments do you seek out because they fit your personality (and which do you avoid)? How do you respond differently than others, in certain environments? Think of one particular environment – how does your personality lead to changes in the environment (which in turn affects you)? a. Active person-environment transaction: an aggressive person may be attracted to (and attractive to) similarly aggressive friends, which may put that person into environments where conflict and delinquency are common b. Reactive person-environment transaction: seeking out environments that are compatible with your traits because alternative environments are unpleasant i. Differential response to situations based on personality (ex. An introvert being truly uncomfortable at a party) c. Evocative person-environment transaction: people do not only choose their environments; they also change them i. Our behaviors draw out evocative responses from those around us that match our traits 4. Why does personality get more stable with age? For which teens do we see less change into early adulthood? Page 7 a. This conclusion of stability with age is called the cumulative continuity principle, which asserts that personality traits are relatively stable over time, and also that consistency increases with passing years b. Traits tend to change together—when one changes, others do too c. The main reason for increased stability: one’s environment also gets more stable with age i. Older people are more likely to have decided where they live, who they live with, and what they do for a living; i.e., being “settled down” d. Adolescents with relatively high psychological maturity—or relatively mature personalities—tend to change less over the next 10 years than do others, the same age, who are less mature 5. Does it matter if women follow a “social clock?” Explain. a. Social clock: systematic changes in the demands that are made on a person over the years b. A person who stays on time with their social clock receives social approval and enjoys the feeling of being in sync with society c. Study results: women who followed either the Feminine social clock or the Masculine social clock reported being fairly consistent and satisfied with life 20 yrs after graduation i. It was only the women who didn’t follow either agenda that reported feeling depressed and bitter in their early 40s 6. Describe McAdams’ model of narrative identity. a. Narratives have various themes , consistent with the individual’s background, culture, and personality b. Theme of narrative identity is “agency,” which organizes the life story around episodes of challenging oneself and then accomplishing goals i. Another theme is “redemption,” which includes an event that seemed terrible at the time, but in the end turned out for the best 1. Redemption stories are a good sign; these people are able to change their lives for the better 7. Do people want to change their personalities? Can they? What are some examples of things related to personality change? a. According to a survey, almost everyone would like to change at least one of their Big Five traits at least somewhat—estimates range from 87%-97%, depending on the trait i. The change people want is almost always in the socially desirable direction b. A small amount of research suggests that personality can be changed i. Four methods that can change personality: psychotherapy, general intervention programs aimed at life outcomes, targeted intervention programs aimed at specific traits, and life experiences 8. Were you surprised by the finding about how going off to college generally affects self- esteem? How about changes associated with starting jobs or relationships? Trying drugs? Page 8 9. Is personality change easy? What are the obstacles to personality change? If your cousin said she wanted to change a trait, what would you tell her about how to go about it? a. Programs for personality change are ambitious and expensive b. I would recommend psychotherapy and patience, because this is a tedious process that is not guaranteed to give results; however, results of the study showed dramatic effects 15 years later


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