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Week 1 & 2 Notes

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Week 1 & 2 Notes 17278

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About this Document

These notes are made from listening to, and viewing Chris Steinman's Lecture, and readings from the book.
Chris Steinman
Class Notes




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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Colean Notetaker on Thursday January 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 17278 at Kent State University taught by Chris Steinman in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 40 views. For similar materials see Personality in Psychlogy at Kent State University.


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Date Created: 01/21/16
Personality  Chris Steinman Chapter 1 01/19/16 Personality  Personality­ a pattern of relatively enduring psychological traits and mechanisms within a person, affecting how they interact with the environment(s) Psychological trait­ indicates an average tendency of a person ­Talkative people talk a lot ­Traits are a continuum: low/moderate/high ­Applying an adjective to someone is to make an amateur judgment of their  personality Psychological mechanism: the process of personality, often including interpretations of  things ­Talkative people are more likely to notice/seek/create opportunities to talk Three levels of personality theory   1. Grand theory­ Freund, “human personality”  “How are people the same?”  2. Difference theory­ types of individuals or, group differences like between men  or women  “How are people similar and different”   3. Individual theory­ “How are people unique”  The fundamental attribution error: people overestimate how much behavior reflects  personality.  ­Prejudice: people overestimate how much appearance reflects personality  (stereotypes)  Self serving attributions­ people think of themselves as having a better personality than  others  False consensus­ people overestimate how much others agree with their judgments of  personality  Psychology Traits should be contrasted with psychological states  ­Traits: patterns over time ­States: many appear as traits, but come and go  ­Someone with high self­esteem may be in a state of low self­esteem  ­Someone with a trait of high agreeableness may be in a state of aggressiveness  Physical Environment­ Physical world: “nature is scary”, “nature is beautiful” ­Physical needs: food, safety, etc.  ­“Eating is fun”, “Eating takes too much energy”  Social Environment­ how we thin and relate to other people ­Perceptions of people: “People are kind, cruel, etc.” ­Social needs: Status, friendship, love ­Intrapsychic needs: like the need for self­esteem, and can be very individualized  Domains for studying personality  ­Dispositional: traits  ­Biological: genetic influences  ­Intrapsychic: psychnoalytic perspectives on personality  ­Cognative: patterned ways of thinking and feeling  ­Social: patterns on how people relate to each other  ­Adjustment: how people deal with stress Personality Assessment  ­Self report tests: individuals describe themselves by responding to questions  ­Beliefs on their own personality  ­Biased: people describe themselves ­Self­descriptions can predict things other cant Unconstructed tests: open ended questions “Tell me about the types of parties do you like?” Structured: forced responses “How much do you like crowded parties number 1­7?” ­Twenty statements test: unconstructed  “I am ___________” twenty times  *Biased vocabulary unless you have a lot of time  ­Adjective check­list: structured  Asking people to check off adjectives that describe theme  ­Likert rating scale: structured  Agree or disagree or a number scale  ­Personality scale: includes multiple test items that reflect a single personality  trait (e.g activity level)  *Popular in research  Activity Level  Energetic            Active                Vigorous  ­Experience sampling: repeatedly asking the same questions over days, weeks, or  months to observe patterns over time ­Observer report: asking individuals to rate another persons personality in some  way Friends, family, etc… Useful because people fall into different social roles around different people  ­Inter­rater reliability: using multiple observers, and comparing responses  ­Objective test: putting individuals in he same situation to use how they react  differently  ­Megargee’s dominance test: ­Rate their own dominance  ­High scored people are paired with low scored people  ­Pairs were then told to appoint a leader of the pair, who had to direct the other  into solving a problem ­Dominant women would appoint a non­dominant men the leader anyway 91% ­Dominant women took over, over a non­dominant women  ­Dominant men always took over  ­Reliability: degree to which measurement represents a true level of a trait being  measured  Repeated measurement: popular way to measure a test’s reliability  ­Response sets: tendency of people to answer questions in a way that is not a  genuine, based on a set of social principles  ­Acquiescene: people tend to respond with “yes” type­answers  Extreme responding: people tend to describe themselves in extremes, rather than  toward the average  ­Social desirability: people avoid providing responses that make them appear as  “bad” people  ­On one hand, psychologists wish to control or minimize this ­On the other hand, concern about social desirability is itself a personality trait  ­Correlated with emotional stability  Traits  ­If the trait is Internal: the assumption is that it causes the behavior  ­If the trait is Descriptive: it is only describing, but not causing the behavior  Ex: jealousy (behavior): glaring at men who talk to his girlfriend  ­Descriptive Traits: summaries of behavior  Internal: jealous person Situational: jealous because another man is flirting with his girlfriend  ­Internal Traits: cam be thought of as driving desires, wants, and needs  You want to party because your extroverted  *Scientifically identifying internal traits requires ruling out other explanations of  behavior  You did not go to the party to see a friend, or social pressure, or being  bored  ­Internal Traits can lie dormant, as a capacity  Ex: brittleness is a trait of glass, even if you don’t see it break  ­Act Frequency: descriptive approach to traits, involving three components: 1. Nomination: a list of different behaviors related to a trait  2. Prototypically: behaviors related to a trait that is most commonly observed 3. Recording­Self­or other­ reports of the frequency of behaviors related to the trait  ­Act Frequency does not specify how much context should be accounted for  Ex: ‘dominant act’  ­The Lexocal Approach argues that all important individual differences have  become encoded within the natural language  ­This is why we have so many adjectives to describe people ­It emphasizes two important points  1. Synonym Frequency 2. Cross­Cultural University  ­Synonym Frequency: the more frequent a concept appears in a language, the  more important it I a trait  Dominance: boss, assertive, powerful, pushy, forceful, influential, etc… ­Cross­Cultural University: if a concept appears in all languages, it is assumed to  be fundamentally important to humans  Otherwise it is merely an aspect of local culture  ­Theoretical Approach: identifies traits based on theoretical assumptions, and then attempts to capture those traits with a measure  Ex: sociosexual orientation theory, based on evolutionary theory, argues  that people tend to use either of two sexual strategies  ­More are committed of promiscuous  ­A trait measure was developed to capture men’s and women’s trait of  promiscuity versus commitment  Across­Gender difference: both men and women can be either more  promiscuous or more committed ­These very much fit with the evolutionary theory  ­Men report having had more sexual partners than women ­Someone  must   be lying (probably both) unless men are more gay (not  likely) ­Promiscuous women have less stable marriages (men too?) ­Interaction styles related to ‘promiscuous personality’? ­The Statistical Approach to personality takes a pool of question items, and looks  to see which items correlate into one group, but not another Factor Analysis is the statistical test typically used for this A factor is a latent variable made up of responses to multiple, related items Factor Loadings show how well items load on a factor.  ­There are three “supertraits”:  1. Extraversion  2. Neuroticism  3. Psychoticism  Each supertrait has two levels of subtraits under it: ­Extraversion: which are made up of… Habitual Acts, which are made up of… Specific Acts  Habitual Acts: sociable, lively, active, assertive, sensation­seeking  Specific Acts: carefree, dominant, surgent, venturesome  Neuroticism: involve both Habitual Acts: anxious, depressed, feelings of guilt, low self­esteem, tense Specific Acts: irrational, shy, moody, emotional  ­Psychoticism Habitual Acts: aggressive, cold, egocentric, impersonal, impulsive  Specific Acts: antisocial, non­empathetic, creative, tough­minded  Eyesnick argues it is realted to testosterone  ­It is criticized for not distinguishing between eccentricity and violent tendency  ­It is partly led to development of psychopathy  Eyesnick believed that traits should be linked to biology.  ­Indeed, his supertraits are somewhat heritable  ­This is also true of other personality traits, though ­Like with psychoticism, there is evidence that some of the traits should be broken down into different traits (e.g eccentric vs. violent)  Cattell’s Taxonomy: The 16 Factor System Interpersonal Warmth  Suspiciousness  Intelligence  Imagination  Emotional Stability  Shrewdness  Dominance  Insecurity  Impulsivity  Radicalism  Conformity  Self­Sufficiency  Boldness  Self­Discipline  Sensitivity  Tension  ­Researchers have not always been able to replicate all 16 factors  ­The traits are not necessarily equally important for making predictions  ­A few traits might be enough  Trait Theories  Circumplex Models of Personality­ uses the relationship between two personality  dimensions to determine personality traits  Dimension: continuum (hight to low) Traits: descriptive adjective  Different dimensions can be used Three dimensions are sometimes used (rarely)  Wiggin’s Circumplex­ compares traits of status and lovingness  Adjacency­ traits near each other on the circumplex are positively correlated with one  another  Ex: gregariousness is positively correlated with warmth­agreeableness  Bipolarity­ traits on opposite side of the circumplex are negatively correlated  Ex: gregariousness is negatively correlated with arrogance  Orthogonality­ specifies that the dimensions are independent of each other, not correlated ­Thus, traits that are separated at 90 degrees separated are not correlated with each other at all  ­Status is not correlated with lovingness  ­If dimensions are correlated, this can be statistically forced, but it distorts the  meaning of the dimensions Five Factor Model­ the “Big 5” personality traits  1. Extraversion 2. Agreeableness  3. Conscientiousness  4. Neuroticism  5. Openness to Experience  ­Has been studied both lexically and with self­report  ­Has been replicated many times  Extraversion: talkative, social, adventurous, expressive ­Tend to be happier, more organized, greater commitment to and enjoyment of  work ­More likely to take risks, like reckless driving, which puts them at greater risk for injury and fatality  Agreeableness: good­natured, cooperative, gentle, not easily made jealous ­Generally wants to get along with everyone ­Prefers negotiation over conflict or using power ­More forgiving, highly empathetic, likes helping  Harshly judgmental against actions that harm others  ­Low agreeableness: aggressive, argumentative   Conscientiousness: responsible, scrupulous, persevering, fussy/tidy  ­Tend to be punctual, organized, and planning ­Tend to work hard, do not procrastinate, and are relatively perfectionistic  ­If they become unemployed, it devastates them ­Low­C: prone to risky sexual behavior; if trouble­making, likely to be a repeat  offender Neuroticism: anxious, erratic, hypochondriacal, agitated  ­Mood swings, fatigue, self­handicapping (creating obstacles to own success)  ­More frequent suicidal ideation, more drinking, difficulty coping with loss ­More ups and downs in relationships, anxiety about sex­related things ­Low neuroticism: emotionally stable; calm, poised  Openness to Experience: intellectual, artistic, imaginative, polished  ­Likes to try new things, creative, less prejudiced against minorities  ­Interested in theories, cultures, arts, eclecticism  ­Are able to take in more information more quickly  ­Tends to be a bit different from culture to culture  *The Five Factor Model predicts many life outcomes   Good Grades  High C, Low N Edu. Attain/Income High C& O, Low N Risky sex High E & N, Low C Alcohol  High E, Low C Gambling High N, Low C Aggression  High N, Low A ­Critics have proposed additional factor with some, often limited evidence  Ex: conventionally, humorousness, integrity, and femininity  ­The Big 5 was originally based on adjectives, but personality nouns reveal other factors: Ex: cutie, philosopher, lawbreaker, joker, jock  ­Studies done with multiple languages tend to reveal a sixth factor: Honesty­Humility: trustworthy and unselfish  Low HH: criminal activity, vengeful, narcissistic, and exploitative  Theoretical Issues in Personality Traits  ­Predicting long­term outcomes based on personality traits requires: ­Knowing that differences are meaningful  ­Knowing that traits are stable over time  ­Knowing that the traits are consistent across situations  ­Differential Psychology: studying the differences between people ­Traits, abilities, aptitudes, intelligence  ­It is argued that only a handful of traits can predict huge differences between people  ­Like the three primary colors can produce any other color in the spectrum ­Like the Circumplex  Meaningfulness of Traits  ­Universal traits should show good variance at the level of the population, such as in a  normal distribution ­Otherwise the trait is defining deviance or abnormality, not common personality  differences  ­Dimensions are superior to categories  ­Categories cannot capture people nearer to the “average” which should be 50%  of people ­Small errors will lead to mistaken categorization­poor reliability/replication  Ex: On the MBTI, 49% is considered the same as 1%ile (48% difference),  but different than 51%ile (2% difference)  ­Developing traits from factor analysis is useful because: ­It can ensure traits are meaningfully independent ­It indicates items that are not meaningfully related to any trait, even if they seem  like they should be  Ex: MBTI Circumplex­ the traits are not independent  J +correlates with S, So are they the same?  ­It is desirable to show that traits persist over time  ­Many traits are highly stable, such as extraversion, sensation seeking, activity  level, shyness, and aggressiveness  ­Low agreeableness in children predicts more difficulty holding a job 20 years  later  Stability of Traits  ­Changes in typically table traits can often be explained by significant life events  ­In high school, low agreeable, low openness individuals are more likely to join  the military  ­After military service, people become less agreeable (i.e more aggressive)  ­Some traits naturally change with age Ex: older people show broad decreases in impulsiveness and sociopathy  ­Rank Order: however, compared to peers of the same age, they will still score high/low  on he trait  ­Their score is just more/less extreme than in younger individuals 


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