Outline of chapter 15

Outline of chapter 15 - PERSONALITY Chapter 15 The goal of...

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PERSONALITY Chapter 15 The goal of psychologists is to understand and measure the way people differ in behaviors, desires, feelings, and their outlook on the self/the world (aka, personality) There is not just one approach that provides us with a complete account of personality- there are 4 approaches that focus on separate aspects on how we can begin to understand. History : study of personality dates back to ancient Greece, when actors portray a fixed character with specific traits well known to the audience. (Ex: the kindhearted prostitute, the restless wife, etc) but are people really set into a limited number of fixed “types”? Approach # 1: The Trait Approach Assumes that people’s differences are stable across different situations/time Identify people’s differences by discussing traits (not to be confused with states which are TEMPORARY- ex: being excited in the moment is a state vs. being generally excitable which is a trait) Traits allow us to summarize a person in a couple words, and allows us to make predictions about their future behavior How to study this? The issue is figuring out which traits to use that are descriptive enough (to give a holistic picture of the entire person) and precise enough (to allow us to make further predictions). Thus, researchers searched for the correct taxonomy, or useful classification scheme, to accurately describe someone’s personality Led to the Lexical Hypothesis - = personality inventory by Raymond Cattell. Started with 4500 trait terms in the dictionary, and by eliminating redundant words, boiled it down to 171 traits. Those traits fitted into 16 personality dimensions (dimension= adjective & its opp. Pole) that summarized all our differences. Ex: dimension 1= outgoing vs. reserved. The Big Five: , Investigators found evidence that some dimensions were repetitive. Boiled down t16 into the trait system with the most supporting evidence aka The Big Five . 5 dimensions, not overlapping are: 1. Extraversion : direct energies towards outside world of people vs. introversion (opp pole), directing energies towards inner feelings and thoughts. 2. Neuroticism : prone to negative effect vs. emotional stability 3. Agreeableness : trusting and easy going with others vs. not. 4. Conscientiousness : organized/disciplined/efficient vs. not 5. Openness to new experience : intellectual curiosity/willingness to try new things vs. not Big five seem to be consistent across varying cultural settings and species. Unlike the ancient Greek perception of a fixed type, because this approach is about where a person falls in each dimension. How to collect this data? Self report measures: assumes that we know ourselves the best and can assess our dimensions accurately
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& Informant data: where a person falls according to close relationships (parents, teachers, coaches etc) When both self report and informant data are consistent, it is highly likely findings are trustworthy
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course PSYC 001 taught by Professor Rozin during the Fall '07 term at UPenn.

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Outline of chapter 15 - PERSONALITY Chapter 15 The goal of...

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