Week Two Notes
Week Two Notes Psyc 287
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashley Choma on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 287 at University of Nebraska Lincoln taught by Dr. Pearce in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 45 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Personality in Psychology at University of Nebraska Lincoln.
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Date Created: 09/04/16
Psychology of Personality PSYC 287 Week Two notes 8/30/16 & 9/01/16 Book Notes Chapter 3: Assessment, Effect Size, and Ethics The Nature of Personality Assessment o An individual’s personality is revealed by characteristic patterns of behavior, though, or emotional experience that are relatively consistent across time & situations Personality Tests o Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): was designed for us in the clinical assessment of individuals with psychological difficulties o California Psychological Inventory (CPI)” similar to MMPI but is designed for use w/ socalled “normal” or nondisturbed individuals o SData Versus BData Personality Tests Most personality tests provide Sdata “selfmonitoring” scale: asks how closely you watch other people for cues as to how to behave “attributional complexity” scale: asks about the level of complexity in your thinking about the causes of behavior BData: MMPI; Implicit Association Test (IAT); measures how quickly participants respond to instructions to discriminate between terms that ply to “me” or “others” & between terms that are relevant, or not, to the trait being measured Tests based on BData labeled “performancebased” instruments o Projective Tests The Projective Hypothesis Theory: if somebody is asked to describe or interpret a meaningless or ambiguous stimulus her answer cannot come from the stimulus itself because the stimulus does not look like, or mean, anything (e.g. inkblot) Evaluating the Rorsehach and the TAT 82% of clinical psychologists use the Rorsehach at least occasionally the purpose of the TAT is to measure implicit motives Objective Tests If a test consists of a list of questions to be answered yes or no, true or false, on a numeric scale, and uses a computerscored answer sheet it is an objective test Validity & Subjectivity of Test Items o Commonality scale: consists of items that are answered in the same way by a at least 95% of all people Why so many items? o If a group of similar questions is asked, the average of the answers ought to be more stable/reliable o Methods of Objective Test Construction The Rational Method The strategy of this approach is to come up with items that seem directly, obviously, and rationally related to what the test developer wishes to measure The Factor Analytic Method Factor analysis identifies groups of things that seem to have something in common The Empirical Method An attempt to allow reality to speak for itself Content validity: the content of the test matches the content of what it is trying to predict Evaluating Assessment and Research o Significance Testing A result that would be unlikely to appear if everything were due only to chance In any experimental study the difference between two conditions will almost never turn out to be exactly zero In correlational studies and r of precisely zero is equally rare Nullhypothesis significance testing (NHST): attempts to answer the question, “what are the chances I would have found this result if nothing were really going on?” Plevel (probability level): the probability that a difference of that size (or larger) would be found, if the actual size of the difference were zero Possibility is called the null hypothesis If result is significant, the statistic probably did not arise by chance; real values (population value) does not equal zero, therefore null hypothesis is incorrect The plevel addresses only the probability of one kind of error (Type I error) Type I error: deciding that one variable has an effect on, or a relationship w/ another variable when it really does not Type II error: deciding one variable does not have an effect on/relationship w/ another variable when it really does Two things we want to know from our data Is the result stable, or did it occur by chance? Are our results important? o Effect Size A number that will reflect the magnitude as opposed to the likelihood of their result Correlation coefficient: can be used to describe the strength of either correlational/experimental results Calculating Correlations To calculate a correlation coefficient, you start w/ 2 variable & arrange all of the scores on the 2 variables into two columns w/ each row containing the scores for one participant (columns are labeled x and y) o Cause = x; effect = y If two variables are correlated (+ or ) one of them can be predicted from the other Interpreting Correlations Look at the correlation’s actual size A commonly taught way to evaluate effect sizes is to square them – tells “what % of the variance the correlation explains” – Funder does not agree with this way Rosenthal & Rubin (1982) o Begin by assuming correlation of 0 – gives each of the four cells in the table an entry of 50 o Take the actual correlation, remove the decimal to produce a twodigit number, divide by 2, & add it to the 50 in the upperlefthand cell o Adjust the other three cells by subtraction Ethical Issues o Purposes of Personality Testing Sometimes, testing is for the benefit of the tester, not the person being tested “tests are unfair mechanisms through which institutions can control individuals” perhaps traits such as “conscientiousness”/ “intelligence” do not matter until and unless they are tested o The Uses of Psychological Research Psychological research may be used for harmful purposes Studying racial/sex differences – are the findings likely to do more harm than good? o Truthfulness Researchers have fabricated their data Science w/o truthfulness is completely meaningless o Deception Frequently, psychologists tell their research participants something that is not true Deception is allowed – but limits on use are narrow Informed consent; lies usually do no harm; certain topics cannot be investigated w/o deception In Class Notes – 8/30 Chapter 2 cont. – Chapter 3 – Research Methods Reliability: a reliable measure gives you a result you can trust o Factors that interfere w/ reliability Participant error, experiment error, distractions during experiment, situations and temporary states Aka measurement errors o Strategies improving reliability Clear, carefully designed experimental protocol Use scales rather than single items (data aggregation) Scale: set of items you would aggregate to get a total score o Reliability Assessments Test/retest reliability Interrater reliability: other people scoring measurements and other things in your experiment Validity: measuring what you intend to measure o No validity w/o reliability o Methods of determining validity: convergence, face validity Convergence: collect everything that we can Face validity: common sense; measuring the reactions on their faces Generalizability o Do your measures work on “everyone”? o Do your results apply to people other than the participants of your study? o Generalizability overtime – will it apply to people across time? (issue) o Ethnicity/gender/culture – issue – adapt measures to fit different cultures Research Designs o Case studies: involves a very close examination of a person or event o Experiments: have to randomly assign to two or more groups; manipulate the factor interested in o Correlational: an associational research study o Correlations A correlation (r) represents the strength of the linear relationship between two variables ranges from 1 to 1: negative tells us about the nature of the relationship difference strong – strong correlation, no relationship correlation is 0, weak – weak correlation correlation coefficient: a # between 1 & 1 that indicates the relationship between two variables correlation – linear relationship between two variables Book Notes Chapter 4 The Trait Approach o Almost all research within the trait approach relies on correlational designs o Focuses exclusively on individual differences o Prone to neglect aspects of psychology common to all people, as well as the ways in which people are unique People are Inconsistent o Personality traits are not the only factors that control an individual’s behavior; situations matter as well E.g. someone is shy w/ strangers – outgoing w/ friends and/or family The PersonSituation Debate o Which is more important for determining what people do, the person or the situation? o Predictability The Situationist Argument Situationists argue that predictive capacity is severely limited The Response Unfair literature review We can do better o How research can be improved: Move out of the laboratory more often The basis on the possibility that some people are more consistent than others Focus on general behavior trends instead of single actions ^These represent potential more than reality A Correlation of .40 is not small o The Power of the Situation The way situations were measured was by subtraction; this didn’t explain how situations affect personality In order for the effects of situations to be directly calculated, the data must come from studies in experimental social psychology o Absolute vs. Relative Consistency Situations have an important influence on behavior, but people still tend to be consistent o Are Person Perceptions Erroneous? People’s everyday perceptions of one another are largely erroneous due to situations being much more important Personality and Life o Personality affects life outcomes that matter to people Persons and Situations o Situational variables are relevant to how people will act under specific circumstances o Personality traits are better for describing how people act in general o Relationships, Jobs, and Business You treat each person you have a relationship w/ differently “citizenship performance” – the employee tries in various ways to promote the goals of organization o Interactionism Persons and situations constantly interacting to product behavior together Persons & situations act in 3 major ways: The effect of a personality variable may depend on the situation or vice versa Certain types of people go to or find themselves in different types of situations This stems from the way people change situations by virtue of what they do in them o Persons, Situations, and Values Situationism implies that everybody is equal to everybody else and that differing outcomes for different people are a function solely of the situations in which they find themselves The idea that understanding human nature demands more than a onesize fitsall approach, & it appreciates the unique aspects of every individual (personality) People are different In Class Notes 9/1 Research methods – Chapter 3 Continued Significance Testing o Null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) is the most common method used to determine whether or not scientific results “matter” o It tells us what percentage of the time we would find the same relationship between variables o The null hypothesis that there is no relationship between the phenomena you are studying o p = the probability that the correlation you found is a meaningless fluke o Cutoff for rejecting the null hypothesis is p < .05 o This means that if p > .05, you retain the null hypothesis that there is no statistically meaningful correlation Implications of Sampling on Significance Testing o Study of 25 married couples o Spouses’ premarital socioeconomic status (SES) correlated at r = .30 Relationship Between Effect Size & Statistical Significance o Correlations are a measure of effect size: they tell us the goodness of fit between data and least squares line Binomial Effect Size Display o A way of expressing effect size based on probability o Using r = .90 .90 x 100% = 90% 90%/2 = 45% add 45 to cell one and solve for the other cells Chapter 4 Person vs. Situation o Controversial debate that nearly obliterated the field of personality psychology o Origins in Walter Mischel’s 1968 book Personality and Assessment o Debate was joined by other antagonists: Freudian psychoanalytic theorists Aftermath o Personality psychology as a field was salvaged The Debate Begins o Mischel (1968) reviewed personality studies & found that correlations between personality traits & behavior in different situations fell under .30 o This .30 correlation has been labeled “the personality coefficient” Later revised upward to +/ .40 Mischel Fallout o Mischel’s commentary caused psychologists to question whether the concept of personality traits was useful Funder’s Rejoinder o Funder (1983) & other researchers reanalyzed classic social psychology studies Current Views of personality o Modern psychologists tend to accept that personality traits and situations interact to influence behavior Personality traits influence the situations a person finds herself in (situational selection) Personality traits influence how situations unfold Classic interaction: 2 variables in combination have meaningful effect o Moderator Variables Need for consistency (higher = greater predictive power of personality traits) Selfmonitoring (higher = greater predictive power of situations) Age (older = greater stability in personality traits) o situational variables are better at predicting how people act in an array of situations batting average stock performance o this has led to data aggregation (measuring personality across situations) Other points about the person/situation interaction o Strong situations Situations where nearly all people act the same way Personality is useless (e.g. obeying traffic signal during rush hour) o Weak/ambiguous situations Situations that allow for variations in behavior Personality is useful Conclusion o Think of personality as an interaction between traits and situations o Personality traits are average tendencies to behave certain ways across time/situations o Personality exists!
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