lecture02 - Lecture2:; Psych350 R.ChrisFraley...

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Lecture 2: Four Limitations of Personal Experience; the Scientific Method in  Personality Psychology Psych 350 R. Chris Fraley http://www.yourpersonality.net/psych350/fall2012/ 
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Psychology Philosophy &  Humanities Natural Science the themes  of  psychology the methods   of psychology Psychology, like the humanities, is  concerned with fundamental issues  concerning human experience.   However, psychologists use the methods  of the natural sciences to learn about   psychological phenomena. 
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Why Do We Need the Scientific Method in  Order to Study Personality? The methods we tend to use are subject to severe limitations. We tend to rely upon  personal experience  and  authority  in  constructing our beliefs about the world. What are the limitations of these methods for understanding the  world?
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Class Exercise In the following exercise, I will ask you to make judgments about the  personality of a person named Josh.   I will present you with a number of brief descriptions of Josh, taken from  statements made by Josh and some of his friends. After you have had a chance to read each statement, I’ll ask you some  questions about Josh. Before we begin, we need two groups. Group 1 = Heads (H) and Group 2 =  Tails (T)
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Group Tails close your eyes
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Group Heads Your goal is to answer the following question: Is Josh an extraverted (i.e., social, high-energy, outward-focused)  individual?
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Group Heads close your eyes Group Tail’s turn
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Group Tails Your goal is to answer the following question: Do you think Josh is a relatively intelligent person?
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Everyone can look
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Characteristics of Josh When Josh was a child, his favorite toy was a metal Tonka truck. Josh can be shy when he is meeting someone for the first time.  “Cherry Garcia” is Josh’s favorite kind of ice cream. Josh likes to hang out with his friends at the local pub. Josh is in his fourth year of college at UIUC. Josh spends a lot of time on Facebook. Josh is an “early bird,” and often gets up at dawn. Josh enjoys meeting and interacting with new people.  Josh loves Thai food. Josh claims he spends too much money buying music.
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Now Take 60 seconds to write down as many of the statements as you can  recall.
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Now One last question: Would you describe Josh as an extravert (i.e.,  someone who is relatively social, outgoing, and energetic)?  Yes or No
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Four Limitations of Personal Experience 1.  The Confirmation Bias and the Discounting Problem . We tend to  seek out information that is consistent with our expectations.  Moreover, sometimes we discount information that is inconsistent  with those expectations.
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