Module 46 - Module 46: Contemporary Research on Personality...

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Module 46: Contemporary Research on Personality 1. The Trait Perspective (defines personality in terms of traits) a. Trait : a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act, as assessed by self-report inventories and peer report b. Some personality classifications use broad personality “types” that signal one’s most noteworthy trait and its associated characteristics (e.g., Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which defines people as “thinking” vs. “feeling” types) c. Exploring Traits – people cannot be understood as just one type; people are a unique conglomerate of multiple traits; better to place people on several trait dimensions (clustered together using factor analysis) i. Biology and Personality: Brain activity may influence personality (e.g., extraverts seek stimulation because their normal brain arousal is relatively low) . Genes may also help determine temperament (emotional reactivity) and the behavioral style that helps define personality d. Assessing Traits i. Personality Inventory: a questionnaire on which people respond to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors 1. E.g., Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) : most widely researched and clinically used of all personality tests; developed to identify emotional disorder. Is an example of an empirically derived test (meaning a test developed by testing a pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups) 2. Personality inventories are scored objectively; but objectivity does not guarantee validity (social desirability of a trait may influence results) e. The Big Five Factors
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Module 46 - Module 46: Contemporary Research on Personality...

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