Personality    Chapters 6 and 7
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Personality Chapters 6 and 7






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Personality    Chapters 6 and 7 Personality Chapters 6 and 7 Presentation Transcript

  • Chapters 6 and 7
    The Trait Theory
  • Trait Approach
    Based on empirical research, mostly correlational
    The ultimate criterion for the measurement of a personality trait is can it be used to predict behavior?
    Therefore, the purpose (theory) of the trait approach is:
    Identify trait Predict Behavior
  • Individual Differences
    There is no zero value for a trait, only a continuum
    Example: How sociable are you compared to someone else? (no one is zero sociable)
    Great at measuring how people differ from one another, not so great at assessing commonalities
    The trait approach assumes that people are their traits…yet people are unpredictable!
  • Situations
    Situations are powerful in influencing behavior
    What is more important for determining what people do, the person or the situation?
    Look at three things:
    1. Predictability
    2. Statistical significance of results
    3. Personality terms in language
  • Scientific Use of Personality Tests
    The many-trait approach
    The single-trait approach
    The essential-trait approach
  • The many-trait approach
    Long lists of traits intended to cover comprehensively the whole domain of personality
    Try to find out which of the traits are correlated with behavior…then explain correlates
    California Q-set: A list of 100 traits in the form of phrases, ex:
    “Is critical, skeptical, not easily impressed”
    Raters are then asked to put into either a “highly characteristic” pile or a “not characteristic” pile.
    Judge Individual
    (I data) (S data)
  • Another example…
    Sex Differences in Delay of Gratification
    Results suggest that there are gender differences as well as gender similarities
    Also, many aspects of personality remain fairly consistent even after childhood development
  • Yet more examples…
    Drug Abuse – tendencies when young compared to teenage use
    Depression – gender difference when young, depression when young correlates with young adult depression
    Political Orientation – Compares ages 3-4 to political orientation at 23 years old
    So…what do the conclusions of these experiments mean and why do we care about this conclusion?
  • The single-trait Approach
    Look at the nature, origin and consequences of single traits
    Research on three traits that are viewed as important:
    1. Authoritarianism
    2. Conscientiousness
    3. Self-Monitoring
  • Authoritarianism
    Important because of role in social problems (ex: Nazism)
    What do we want to know?
    Differences in people who are authoritarians vs. those who are non-authoritarians
    Not as broad a construct as title implies
    Is an individual difference construct
    An example of how a trait can explain behavior
  • Conscientiousness
    All occupational groups
    No racial or ethnic differences
    The “motivation variable”
    Questions: Is there a relationship between your score on conscientiousness and your behavior? (Take Conscientiousness Scale in your textbook to find out!)
  • Self-Monitoring
    Studied for a more philosophical reason
    Relations between inner and outer selves
    High vs. low self-monitors
    Question: Again, is this trait a good predictor of behavior?
  • Essentail Trait Approach
    Funder 100
    Murray 20
    Cattell 16
    Eysenck 3
    Block 2
    • Robert McCrae and Paul Costa (1987)
    The Big Five:
    Openness to Experience
  • Typological Approach
    Look for basic “types” of people that characterize the whole range of their personalities
    Three basic types:
    Maladjusted overcontrolled
    Maladjusted undercontrolled
  • Human Development
    Where does personality come from?
    Stable vs. change over the lifespan
    Individual differences are highly stable across the lifespan
    Some traits show big changes over the lifespan; social dominance, agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability
  • Questions to ponder…
    What are the most consistent aspects of the people you know? What are the most inconsistent aspects?
    Have you ever been in a situation in which you acted differently than you would normally? Why did this happen?
    Ask your parents (or someone in that cohort) what is more important; the person or the situation in determining behavior? Then ask someone from your age group the same question. Are the answers the same or different? Why do you think that is?
  • More Questions to ponder…
    Which approach do you find the most helpful in understanding personality? Why?
    Have you ever observed a change in someone’s personality? What do you think caused the change?
    What about your own personality, is it changing now? Why?