Lecture 15 - Feb 14th

Lecture 15 - Feb 14th - Feb 14th: 332 D. Criticisms of...

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D. Criticisms of Allport on traits 1. Circularity - people say: since there are no physiological measurements of traits, in reality what one does is INFER traits of behavior (watch you behave and then deduct your trait. nothing wrong with that but we are constructing a summary of what is taking place and can not use that as a causal statement.) - most of Allports critics said that Allport’s reasoning is circular because there is no way to measure traits independently of behavior 2. Neglect of situation - this is the great critique of all trait theories: people act differently in different situations. - Allports actual views were not so simplistic: - the situation that you ±nd yourself in activates numerous traits. - somehow that activation and cumulation of those traits results in what we see - EXAMPLE: student walks through the door which activates traits in the Prof like dominance. they also have a trait of Agreeableness and Pompous, you activate these 3 traits. Somehow all of that adds up and bang out comes a response.Different situations activate a different array of traits. Prof goes home and his 3 year old jumps into his arms, this is a different situation and activates different traits and yields a different situation. People act differently in different situations - BIG WHOLES in this: - (a) he never tells us how to determine which traits which will be activated in which situation - (b) he never tells us how these traits add up! - we are left with a plausible way of talking about people (POST behavior) but we want to predict! COMPLEX back and forth on this issue. 3. Changing tides in personality theory - since Allport started writing there has been a lot of back and forth. Walter Mischel came along and published a critique of traits and traits disappeared from the professional landscape (when Prof was in grad school only a fool would believe in traits) - what came to dominate was “interactionism”: if I look at your behavior on the
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2012 for the course PSYCH 332 taught by Professor Koestner during the Winter '11 term at McGill.

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Lecture 15 - Feb 14th - Feb 14th: 332 D. Criticisms of...

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