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Personality Chapters 1 and 2

by: Karly Lord

Personality Chapters 1 and 2 PSYC2053

Marketplace > University of Cincinnati > Psychlogy > PSYC2053 > Personality Chapters 1 and 2
Karly Lord
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Chapters 1 and 2 notes from the Personality Psychology Book
Christine Hovanitz
Class Notes
Psychology, personality




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Karly Lord on Wednesday January 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC2053 at University of Cincinnati taught by Christine Hovanitz in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 109 views. For similar materials see Personality in Psychlogy at University of Cincinnati.

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Date Created: 01/20/16
Chapter 1 Personality defined  Personality - the set of psychological traits and mechanisms within the individual that are organized and relatively enduring and that influence his or her interactions with, and adaptions to, the intrapsychic, physical, and social environments. Personality is the set of psychology traits…  Psychological traits - characteristics that describe ways in which people are different from each other o Also define ways in which people are similar to some others o Traits describe the average tendencies of a person  Research on personality traits asks 4 kids of questions o How many traits are there? o How are the traits organized? o What are the origins of traits? o What are the correlations and consequences of traits?  Psychological traits help describe people and understand the dimensions of differences among people o Traits help explain behavior o Traits can help predict future behavior And mechanisms….  Psychological mechanisms - refers to the processes of personality o Most involve an information-processing activity o Most have 3 essential ingredients: inputs, decision rules, and outputs  Psychological mechanisms may make people more sensitive to certain kinds of info from the environment (input), may make them more likely to think about specific options (decision rules), and may guide their behavior toward certain categories of action (outputs) o An extraverted person may look for opportunities to be with other people, may consider in each situation the possibilities for human contact and interaction, and may encourage others to interact with them. Within the individual…  Means that personality is something a person carries with them over time from one situation to the next o Stresses that the important sources of personality reside within the individual and are at least somewhat stable over time and somewhat consistent over situations That are organized and relatively enduring…  Organized - the psychological traits and mechanisms for a given person are not simply a random collection of elements. They are organized because the mechanisms and traits are linked to one another in a coherent fashion. o Our personalities are organized in the sense that they contain decision rules that govern which needs are activated, depending on the circumstances  Traits are relatively enduring over time - particularly in adulthood o To say someone is angry at this moment is not saying anything about a trait  Anger is a state o To say someone is anger prone or generally hot tempered is to describe a psychological trait  Anger prone is frequently angry and shows this proneness time and time again in many different situations And that influence… Influential forces of personality - personality traits and mechanisms can have  an effect on people's lives  Personality plays a key role in affecting how people shape their lives His or her interactions with…  Person-environment interactions are complex  Selection - describes the manner in which we choose situations to enter - how we choose our friends, hobbies, careers, etc.  Evocations - the reactions we produce in others, often quite unintentionally  Manipulations - the ways in which we intentionally attempt to influence others And adaptions too…  Adaption - conveys the notion that a central feature of personality concerns adaptive functioning o Accomplishing goals, coping, adjusting, and dealing with the challenges and problems we face as we go through life The environment.  Environment - poses challenges for people o Some are direct threats to survival o Social environment also poses adaptive challenges  Desiring the prestige of a good job but there are many other people competing for the same position o Intrapsychic environment - within our minds Three Levels of Personality Analysis  Personality can be analyzed at three levels: 1. Like all others (the human nature level) 2. Like some others (the level of individual and group differences) 3. Like no others (the individual uniqueness level) Human Nature  The traits and mechanisms of personality that are typical of our species and are possess by everyone or nearly everyone o Language skills o Need to belong o Capacity for love Individual or group differences  Individual differences - ways in which each person is like some other people o Extraverts sensation seekers  Group differences - people in one group may have certain personality features in common o Men are more physically aggressive than women Individual uniqueness  No two individuals have exactly the same personality  Nomothetic research - involves statistical comparisons of individuals or groups o Typically applied to identify universal human characteristics and dimensions of individual or group differences  Idiographic research - typically focuses on a single subject, trying to observe general principles that are manifest in a single life over time. Six Domains of Knowledge About Human Nature  Dispositional domain - deals centrally with the ways in which individuals differ from one another  Biological domain - humans are collections of biological systems and these systems provide the building blocks for behavior, though, and emotion  Intrapsychic domain - deals with mental mechanisms of personality, many of which operate outside of conscious awareness  Cognitive-experiential domain - focuses on cognition and subjective experience, such as conscious thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and desires about oneself and others  Social and cultural domain - the assumption that personality is not something that merely resides within the heads, nervous systems, and genes of individuals. Rather, personality affects and is affected by the social and cultural context  Adjustment domain - personality plays a key role in how we cope, adapt, and adjust to the events of our daily lives Role of Personality Theory  A good theory is one that fulfills the 3 purposes in science o Provides a guide for researchers o Organizes known findings o Makes predicitions Standards for Evaluation Personality Theories  Five scientific standards for evaluating personality theories o Comprehensiveness  Does the theory do a good job in explaining all the facts and observations o Heuristic value  Does the theory provide a guide to important new discoveries about personality that were not known before o Testability  Does the theory provide precise predictions that can be tested o Parsimony  Does the theory contain few premises and assumptions (parsimony) or many premises and assumptions (lack of parsimony) o Compatibility and integration across domain levels  A personality theory in one domain that violated well-established principles in another domain would be judged highly problematic Chapter 2 Sources of Personality Data Self-Report Data (S-Data)  Can be obtained through interviews, periodic reports to record the events as they happen, and questionnaires  Unstructured and structured personality tests o Unstructured - open ended; "tell me about the parties you like the most" o Structured - true or false questions such as "I like loud and crowded parties" o Structured personality questionnaires are more common than unstructured  Likert rating scale - participants indicate in numerical form the degree to which each trait term characterizes them Observer-Report Data (O-Data)  Friends, families, teachers, and casual acquaintances are all potential sources of information about our personalities; O-data capitalizes on these sources  The use of multiple observers allows investigators to evaluate the degree of agreement among observers - inter-rater reliability  Using intimate observers - multiple social personalities can be assessed o Each of us displays different sides of ourselves to different people  Naturalistic observation - observers witness and record events that occur in the normal course of the lives of their participants Test Data (T-Data)  Standardized tests  Physiological data - can provide info about a person's level of arousal, reactivity to various stimuli, and the speed at which he or she takes in new information o More recent physiological data source comes from functional magnetic resonance imagine (fMRI) o One key benefit of physiological data - hard for participants to fake responses  Projective techniques - the person is given a standard stimulus and asked what he or she sees o Inkblot or Rorschach tests Life-Outcome Data (L-Data)  Refers to information that can be gleaned from the events, activities, and outcomes in a person's life that are available to public scrutiny o Marriages and divorces  Personality characteristics measured early in life are often linked to important life outcomes Evaluation of Personality Measures  Three standards are used to evaluate personality measures o Reliability o Validity o Generalizability Reliability  Defined as the degree to which an obtained measure represents the true level of the trait being measured  Ways to estimate reliability o Repeated measurement  If two tests are highly correlated the resulting measure is said to have high test-retest reliability o Examine the relationships among the items themselves at a single point in time  If the items with a test all correlate well with each other, then the scale is said to have high internal consistency reliability o Obtain measurements from multiple observers  When different observers agree to measure is said to have high inter-rater reliability Response Sets  Refers to the tendency of some people to respond to the questions on a basis that is unrelated to the question content - also referred to as noncontent responding  Acquiescence - tendency to simply agree with the questionnaire items, regardless of the content of those items  Extreme responding - another response set, which refers to the tendency to give endpoint responses, such as "strongly agree" and to avoid middle part response scales, such as "slightly agree"  Social desirability - responding to items in such a way as to come across as socially attractive or likable  Forced-choice questionnaire - test takers are confronted with pairs of statements and are asked to indicate which statement in each pair is more ture of them Validity  Refers to the extent to which a test measures what it claims to measure  Face validity - refers to whether the test, on the surface, appears to measure what it is supposed to measure  Predictive validity - whether the test predicts criteria external to the test (sometimes called criterion validity)  Convergent validity - whether a test correlates with other measures that it should correlate with  Discriminant validity - refers to what a measure should not correlate with  Construct validity - a test that measure what it claims to measure, correlates with what it should correlate with, and does not correlate with what it is not supposed to correlate with o The broadest type of validity, subsuming face, predictive, convergent, and discriminant validity o Based on the notion that personality variables are theoretical constructs Generalizability  The degree to which the measure retains its validity across various context o One context of interest might be different groups of persons o Different conditions Research Designs Experimental  Used to determine causality  Uses variables and manipulation of one or more variables  Uses random assignment of particpants to ensure that all groups are the same at the beginning of the study  Uses sample size, mean, standard deviation, t-test, and p-value o T-test - a statistical formula to calculate the difference between mean and standard deviation o P-value - whether the difference is large enough to be called significantly different Correlational Studies  Correlational method - a statistical procedure is used for determining whether there is a relationship between two variables  Researchers are interested in the direction and magnitude of the relationship  Correlation does not mean causation Case Study  Examining the life of one person in-depth as a case study  Advantages o Can give researchers insight into personality that can then be used to formulate a more general theory to be tested on a larger population  Case studies are most often used as a source of hypotheses and as a means to illustrate a principle by bringing it to life


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