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by: Lauren Toomey

PSY325Week3Notes.pdf PSY 325

Lauren Toomey

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About this Document

Psychology of Personality
Karla Gingerich
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Toomey on Saturday February 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 325 at Colorado State University taught by Karla Gingerich in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Personality in Psychlogy at Colorado State University.


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Date Created: 02/06/16
Lecture 6: Chapter 3 (cont.) and Ch. 4 Monday, February 1, 2016 1:00 PM • EW #2: Posted and due next Monday, Feb 8th at 12pm • Two options for a BFI (Big 5 Inventory) comparison: o You and your informant data about another person • Where we were last class o Rational method o Empirical method o Factor Analysis • Coming up with questions that just make sense o Factor analysis ex: What Disney rides have related attributes? What do we name those groupings (factors)? What can we predict? • Which Music Genres "hang together"? (fact or analysis study) o Factor analysis finds 4 groupings of musical preference o In other words, when preferences of musical genres are rated by a large group of people, correlations emerge o What are the attributes of the X genre? • What else might someone like, if they like that X genre? • These things tend to be correlated together • What are the attributes of this X person's characteristic? § What else might someone be like, if they have X characteristics? • These are the types of questions personality psychologists seek to answer o One group: classical, blues, folk, and jazz • These people tend to reflective and complex. • This factor, then, is named "reflective and complex" o Another group: alternative, rock, and heavy metal • This group is called intense and rebellious o Another group: country, religious, pop, soundtracks/theme songs • This group is called upbeat and conventional o Another group: dance/electronica, rap/hip -hop, soul/funk • This group called: energetic and rhythmic o This will come up in a later chapter on "what type of pe rsonality traits would like this music" (or would fall in these groups) • Objective Tests o IPIP (International Personality Item Pool) • +keyed answers: the Impulsive thrill -seeking scale § Examples of these items: "act wild and crazy" and "am unpredictable, people never know what I'm going to say" • +keyed answers: the Dangerous thrill -seeking scale § Examples: "love dangerous situations" and "like to do frightening things" • +keyed: Obsessive compulsive symptoms § Repeatedly check doors, windows, and drawers § Get upset if objects are not arranged properly; repeatedly wash hands, etc. • +keyed: Rosenberg Self-esteem scale § Feel comfortable with myself; etc. • Creating Objective Tests o Using factor analysis, how many essential personality traits exist? • At present, the most widely accepted answer is 5 (but there is still debate…) Chapter 4 • The Trait Approach o Assumes individual differences in patterns of Behavior, thinking, and emotion; calls those differences "traits" o An infinite variety of personalities are created from a combina tion of a small number (5?) of primary traits • The same way you can create infinite combination of colors from just 3 primary colors • There are also parts of traits that overlap which help us identify with others, and also help us distinguish them from other people and label their traits o Primary Research design: Correlation o But first: The person-situation debate (i.e. do traits even exist?) • Walter Mischel (social psychologist) is associated with this debate --he is known for the marshmallow test with children • He touched off the debate in 1968 • He said, "Personality traits don't exist, only situations exist that push people into certain behaviors" § Ex. Quiet classroom. People who are extroverts aren't talking in class because we are in a situation where social nor ms push us to be quiet. • Gladwell furthered the situationist argument: it's the situation people are in, not their personality or their environment § Look at someone's situation (not about talent, not about age, it's about the person's birthday being earlier in the year so they had more time to practice to be better) § Right place + Right time + a little luck (and lots of hours) = success • He argues this is what happened to Bill Gates (just their situation and good timing-- a lot of other people could have done t he same thing) • The Situationist Argument o Situations have a more powerful influence over Behavior than do traits o Mischel would argue that a situation would pull from you a behavior that you would normally not do • Ex. Being on time to something formal and imp ortant, even if you are usually a lazy or non-punctual person o Think about it… • How consistent are you across situations? § How are you around your friends vs. on a first date? Lecture 7: Chapter 4, continued Wednesday, February 3, 2016 1:01 PM • For Friday: Take the Preference for Consistency Scale on pg. 122 Where we Were • Think About It: o Which of your friends is most likely to • Show up late? • Be assertive with their boss? o According to Mischel, it all depends on the situation • What kind of party is it: wedding? Friends? Formal or informal situation? The Situationist Argument (broken down) 1. People are pretty inconsistent from situation to situation o One occurrence cannot predict another situational occurrence o Behavioral data predicting Behavioral data o Knowing behavior in one situation tells us nothing about another situation • Walter Mischel: It all started in 1928 with an examination of moral character in kids o Interested in studying: • Altruism § To see if kids would use money for a class party or donate it to charity • Self-control § The marshmallow test (waiting to eat it) • Honesty § Opportunities to cheat on a test o Very difficult to predict time 2 from time 1 data (whether or not they cheated in a game cannot predict whether or not they will cheat on the test) • TAT need for Achievement (nAch) scores correlate poorly too o The need for achievement measure is highly situational in character • Many traits were reviewed in Michel's book: o Rigidity: cognitively not flexible; very organize, routine, structured o Dependency: dependent on others in a Freudian way o Trait anxiety: some people are more an xious than others because it's situational (trait vs. state) o Response to authority (sorry Freud) • Michel says that if Freud were right, we would see consistency throughout life • But really, it's not consistent and we only see it in situations --with particular people o And Aggression (Bandura, 1960 Bobo dolls) • Michel agrees with Bandura on situations where people are aggressive effecting our behaviors (which will probably be aggressive Behaviors) • In textbook, Funder published a study o Study shows that people wer e less insecure, less distant, and more comfortable around strangers the 2nd time they met o This demonstrates that social psychologists acknowledge when situations are important • Tighter and looser situations, cultures, subcultures o Tighter meaning: must conform, more formal o Looser: party on Friday night with your friends, looser, informal attire = more comfortable o This includes culture 2. Correlation predicting behavior from traits are pretty "low" o This is true no matter the type of data (e.g. predicting L o r B data from S, I, or B data) o With traits predicting behavior at .30 to .40 o This is a weak prediction of behavior --very low correlation • Mischel's lit review included many at .20 or lower 3. People's intuitions about traits are wrong o They over-emphasize dispositions (personalities), and under -emphasize situational influences (the effect of situations) • The fundamental attribution error § We always assume something bad about people's dispositions • We think people are slackers or rude drivers, rather than considering the situation • Situational factors influence behaviors • Ex: crime rates-- understand criminal's Socioeconomic Status, their role models, their previous Behavior, and their background before assuming you understand their motive The Personality Rebuttal To Situationists 1. Yes we CAN demonstrate behavioral consistency (to a degree) o Mischel's lit review • Funder (textbook) said Mischel was very selective in his research to support his argument (Mischel neglected to include important stu dies that countered his argument) • Plenty of studies show situation -to-situation behavior correlations of .30 to .40, whereas Michel only included low correlations of .20 in his lit review o Funder published consistency correlation between 2 time observations • Correlations ranged from .56 to .70 o We are pretty good at predicting who is most likely to be friendly, impulsive, generous, etc. • If we rank people by who is most trustworthy, who is most friendly, etc. • If we only look at 1 situation by data, occurrence, etc., it won't be accurate, but if we average many occurrences, behaviors are predictable § This is aggregated predictive data § Especially with real-life predictive data o We CAN make predictions about who is most likely to: • Show up late • Be assertive with their boss, etc. • But we need more data (i.e. cumulative, over many occurrences) § Especially if we have data on individual difference of consistency • Example: how we are on social media vs. real life § Age effects this-- people prefer consistency/become more consist ent over time • Preference matters-- preference for consistency = will become consistent in life § A value for self-monitoring effects this as well • Self-monitoring = how much you evaluate yourself in situations (what do people think of me?) o Mischel himself even found self -control in childhood to be predictive of certain life outcomes (E.g., he was the founder of the Marshmallow test) • Competence ratings (by teachers) • Higher SAT scores • He writes his book The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self -Control as if he may believe in predictions for behaviors later in life § He calls it a "cognitive skill" that can be learned • As opposed to it being a trait or personality factor § So Mischel believes that self-control is a learned skill Lecture 8: End of Ch. 4 Friday, February 5, 2016 12:59 PM Reminders: • Today: MW #2 on the Consistency test from pg. 122 in textbook • Monday: EW #2 due before noon (upload to Canvas) o Guest speaker: Kyla Holcombe on I/O psychology • Wednesday: EXAM 1 o All unit 1 class material and text material o 40 multiple choice questions o Don't forget to read and do the study guide for the text material o Questions from Kyla's talk will be on test o Tuesday from 5-7pm, study session (room not decided yet) • Before next Friday, take pictures of "neutr al" faces of people you know to be either introverts or extroverts • The Personality Response (or rebuttal) continued • Walter Mischel, again (video) o He admits that the contextual person remains stable over time, which allows us to predict things about perso nality o "The contextualized me has temporal stability" • There is consistency when we get back into a situation we know well, and will adapt to our previous behavior • Best predictor of future behavior? Past behavior in the same situation • Funder (p. 140) says: o Situations are relevant to how people will act under specific circumstances o Personality traits are better for describing how people act in general 2. The "low" correlation coefficients issue • Social psychology uses NHST; PP converts results to a common metric (correlations, represented by r) o Social psychologists use null hypothesis testing o You want to prove the null hypothesis is incorrect, to indicate that it is unlikely your results happened by chance o PP= Personality psych • Social psychologists use different kinds of statistics, whereas Personality Psych uses the common metric method o PP method: What is the effect of the situation, represented by r, on behavior in classic social psych studies? • So, they used classic social psych studies (ex: Milgram's shock study) and compared the effect of a different situation results to these social studies • See table 4.1 in textbook on correlations between social psych studies and the effect of personality traits § The effect of personality and the effect of situation are comparable 3. Personality Traits are Useful • The Big Five: (OCEAN) o Openness to Experience o Conscientiousness • High: Ability to regulate and control your behavior • Low: messy and disorganized behavior o Extraversion = the amount of socialization that allows you to be your best self • High: go out, high amount of socializing makes you feel your best • Low: feel more energized in being alone, low amount of socializing makes you feel your best o Agreeableness • High: "let's all get along" • Low: place self-interests above getting along with others o Neuroticism (emotional stability) • High: prone to negative emotions; i.e., anxiety, depression, anger • Low: emotionally stable and balanced • Personality and Life • Is one's personality (any Big Five Traits) related to Long Term Relationship satisfaction? o Long term= minimum of 5 years o Yes, it is related: high Agreeableness, and low Neuroticism = more likely to perceive your long term relationship as more satisfying • Is one's marital satisfaction (heterosexual) related to his or her spouse's personality? o Yes: the spouse's high Agreeableness and low Neuroticism are predictive of satisfaction in Long Term Relationships • AND if your spouse has high Openness to Experience, you are happier in your marriage • Dating Satisfaction o "Dating satisfaction" is also related to Higher Extraversion (as well as high Agreeableness and low Neuroticism) • By the way, do people in long term relationships have similar personalities? o The answer is: Only slightly (correlations on many studied dimensions are between 0 and 0.25) o Researchers conclude, "The personality of one spouse gives very little clue as to the personality of the other spouse." o But what about birds of a feather flock together…? • There has to be some similarity between religious beliefs, IQ, and other values like these • Researchers are looking at common interests between couples, yes they have to be similar § But personalities, not so much (0.25 correlation) • Is divorce predicted by personality? o 50 year longitudinal study of 300 married couples; strong predictors of divorce • Yes, it is predictive of divorce: § High Neuroticism in either spouse, and husband's impulsivity • Interactionism • Interactionism: how we respond in a social situation often depends on the other personalities in that situation • When possible, people choose situations that suit their personalities, which in turn affects the situation, and so on o Ex. Who will be at safeway this Sunday at 5pm? • Procrastinators (didn't get all their food on time) • People who don't care about football • People who had a lot of friends over and ran out of food o All different personalities


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