PSY 239 401 Chapter 2 SLIDES


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  • McAdams article from the reader: What Do We Know When We Know a Person?
  • Use this as a class discussion or writing exercise to get students thinking about the different types of information they would want and how they might access them.
    Activity 2-1: Handshake analysis
  • Look at all parts of the triad because personality is complicated.
    Clues are ambiguous: You can’t see personality directly.
    A psychologist’s job is to put all of the clues together and interpret them correctly to understand personality.
    Activity 2-2: The millionaire’s dilemma
  • Oftentimes, we want more than just self-report data to believe what someone is telling us.
    Class discussion question: What other kind of data could be used to verify the possible complaints of this man?
  • Questionnaires or surveys can have rating scales or open-ended response options.
    Class activity: Create a scale for the construct of your choice and share.
  • You are always with yourself, so you have a unique perspective on your general nature.
    Definitional truth: The data are true by definition if one is assessing what people think about themselves (self-esteem, self-efficacy).
  • Causal force: Self-perceptions can create their own reality or truth and influence the goals people set for themselves.
    Self-verification: People work to convince others to treat them in a manner that confirms their self-conceptions.
    Simple and easy data: cost-effective
  • Maybe people won’t tell you: People can’t be forced to provide accurate information about themselves; they don’t want to brag; they want to make themselves look better than they really think they are (job interview); they are ashamed of personality.
    Memory: Exceptional events and experiences tend to be remembered more easily and may make self-perceptions inaccurate; the kind person remembers the times she was rude because they stand out to her.
    Fish-and-water effect: People do not notice their most obvious characteristics because they are always that way.
    Active distortion of memory: repression
    Lack of self-insight: narcissists, nervous habits, alcoholism scale completed by someone in denial
    Too simple and too easy: leads to overuse
  • Used frequently in daily life: letters of recommendation, gossip
  • Based on observation of behavior in the real world; for example, obedience to authority, following traffic laws vs. Milgram’s experiment
  • Takes context of the person into account: of the immediate situation and other behaviors
    Definitional truth: Some aspects of personality are based on what others see you do or how they react to you (charm, likeability).
    Expectancy effects/behavioral confirmation: To some degree, people become what others expect them to be.
  • Limited behavioral information: Acquaintances often see each other in only one context, and people might be different in different contexts.
    Lack of access to private experience: People do not share all of their private thoughts and feelings.
    Bias: due to personal issues (secretly loving or hating the person, being in competition) or prejudices (racism, sexism)
    Try For Yourself 2.1 on p. 32: S Versus I data
    Vazire & Mehl article from the reader: Knowing Me, Knowing You
    From reader: Vazire & Mehl in part I: discusses the similarities and differences of S and I data
  • Definition: verifiable, concrete, real-life outcomes that may hold psychological significance
    Advantages of archival records: usually accurate; not prone to biases like S and I data
    Disadvantages of archival records: may be difficult to access and their use may violate privacy
  • Intrinsic importance: This is what the psychologist wants to know (GPA, visits to health center, criminal record, marital status) or what people are trying to affect (parole officer and arrest record, doctor and number of hospitalizations).
    Psychological relevance: L data are usually affected by personality and uniquely informative about personality; e.g., people who are conscientious are likely to live longer.
    Multidetermination: L data can be influenced by much more than personality (genetic illnesses, parental attention, environmental toxins)
    Try For Yourself 2.2 on p. 44: What L data reveals about you
  • Definition: information that is carefully and systematically recorded from direct observation
  • Diary and experience-sampling are compromises to following a person around all day, and the subject makes observations of herself rather than a psychologist or trained observer.
    Reports by acquaintances: Experience-sampling and acquaintance reports may include socially desirable responses.
    Naturalistic observation: electronically activated recorder (EAR)
  • To see how a person responds: not what the person says about himself; no assumption that the answer given is true
    More on the specific tests in Chapter 5
  • Range of contexts: no need to wait for the situation of interest to happen if it is created in the lab
    Appearance of objectivity: less distortion and exaggeration; high reliability and precision
    Subjective judgments: deciding which behaviors to observe and how to rate them
    Uncertain interpretation: behaviors may not mean what we think they do (delay time vs. delay of gratification vs. cooperation with adults; duration of smiling and laughing vs. happiness)
  • It is important to collect more than one type: makes it possible for advantages of one type to compensate for disadvantages of another
  • 1. L; 2. B; 3. I; 4. S
  • Correct answer: d
  • Correct answer: c
  • Correct answer: b
  • PSY 239 401 Chapter 2 SLIDES

    1. 1. Chapter 2: Clues to Personality: The Basic Sources of Data The Personality Puzzle Sixth Edition by David C. Funder Slides created by Tera D. Letzring Idaho State University © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1
    2. 2. Objectives • Discuss four ways to “look at” personality (BLIS—behavior, life, informants, self) • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of data • Discuss why it is important to collect as many types of data as possible © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2
    3. 3. Think About It • If you wanted to know all about the personality of the person sitting next to you, what would you do? © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 3
    4. 4. Clues to Personality • All parts of the psychological triad (thoughts, feelings, behaviors) • “There are no perfect indicators of personality; there are only clues, and clues are always ambiguous” (p. 21) – Funder’s Second Law – Psychologist’s job • “Something beats nothing” (p. 23) – Funder’s Third Law © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 4
    5. 5. © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
    6. 6. S Data: Self-Judgments or Self-Reports • Definition: a person’s evaluation of his or her own personality • Usually questionnaires or surveys • Most frequent data source • High face validity (the degree to which an assessment instrument appears to measure what it is intended to measure) © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 6
    7. 7. Advantages of S Data • Based on a large amount of information – You are always with yourself. – People are usually their own best expert. • Access to thoughts, feelings, and intentions • Definitional truth © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 7
    8. 8. Advantages of S Data • Causal force – Efficacy expectations (what you think you are capable of and the kind of person you think you are) – Self-verification • Simple and easy data © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 8
    9. 9. Disadvantages of S Data • Maybe people won’t tell you • Maybe people can’t tell you – Memory is limited and not perfect – Fish-and-water effect – Active distortion of memory – Lack of self-insight • Too simple and too easy © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 9
    10. 10. Informant Report (I) Data • Definition: judgments by knowledgeable informants about general attributes of the individual’s personality • Acquaintances, coworkers, clinical psychologists, etc. • Based on observing people in whatever context they know them from • Used frequently in daily life © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 10
    11. 11. Advantages of I Data • Based on a large amount of information – Many behaviors in many situations – Judgments from multiple informants are possible • Based on observation of behavior in the real world – Not from contrived tests or constructed situations – More likely to be relevant to important outcomes © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 11
    12. 12. Advantages of I Data • Based on common sense about what behaviors mean – Takes context into account • Definitional truth • Causal force – Reputation affects opportunities and expectancies – Expectancy effects/behavioral confirmation © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 12
    13. 13. © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
    14. 14. Disadvantages of I Data • Limited behavioral information • Lack of access to private experience • Error: more likely to remember behaviors that are extreme, unusual, or emotionally arousing • Bias: due to personal issues or prejudices © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 14
    15. 15. Life Outcomes (L) Data • Definition • Obtained from archival records or self-report – Advantages and disadvantages of archival records • The results or “residue” of personality © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 15
    16. 16. Advantages and Disadvantages of L Data • Advantages – Objective and verifiable – Intrinsic importance – Psychological relevance • Disadvantage – Multidetermination © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 16
    17. 17. Behavioral (B) Data • “The most visible indication of an individual’s personality is what she does” (p. 44). • Definition © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 17
    18. 18. Natural B Data • • • • • • Based on real life Diary and experience-sampling methods Reports by acquaintances Naturalistic observation Advantage: realistic Disadvantages: difficult and expensive; desired contexts may seldomly occur © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 18
    19. 19. Laboratory B Data • Experiments – Make a situation happen and record behavior – Examine reactions to subtle aspects of situations – Represent real-life context that are difficult to observe directly © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 19
    20. 20. Laboratory B Data • (Certain) personality tests – To see how a person responds – Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Rorschach Inkblot test • Physiological measures: biological “behavior” © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 20
    21. 21. Advantages and Disadvantages of B Data • Advantages – Range of contexts in the lab – Appearance of objectivity • But subjective judgments must still be made • Disadvantage – Uncertain interpretation © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 21
    22. 22. Mixed Types of Data • Data do not always fit into only one category • There is a wide range of possible types of data • Each type has advantages and disadvantages © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 22
    23. 23. No Infallible Indicators of Personality • “There are only clues, and clues are always ambiguous” (p. 55). • It is important to collect more than one type. • Consistent findings increase confidence. • Discrepancies can be interesting and informative. • There are only two kinds of data: terrible data and no data. – Funder’s Fourth Law © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 23
    24. 24. Identify Each Type of Data 1. How much money a person spends on groceries in a month based on receipts 2. What type of food a student purchases from dining areas and vending machines on campus 3. Reports from parents about what kind of food people ate as children 4. Answers to a “Healthy Foods, Healthy People" survey about one’s self © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 24
    25. 25. Think About the Sources of Influence on Data • What are some aspects of personality that people are likely and unlikely to accurately and honestly report about themselves? • What influences your best friend’s, coworkers’, and mother’s impressions of you? © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 25
    26. 26. Think About the Sources of Influence on Data • What influences whether you will apply to graduate school? get a traffic ticket? • What influences how long a child will wait to receive a better food? © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 26
    27. 27. Clicker Question #1 Data are a) clues to personality. b) always ambiguous. c) how researchers can “see” personality. d) all of the above. © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 27
    28. 28. Clicker Question #2 If you are interested in what a person does, rather than what a person says about himself, then you are collecting a) S data. b) L data. c) B data. d) I data. © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 28
    29. 29. Clicker Question #3 What does it mean to say that S data have causal force? a) S data cause personality. b)What people think about themselves influences how they behave. c)How people behave is caused by what others think of them. d)People’s environments cause their selfperceptions. © 2013 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 29