Chapter 14 – Personality

Conscientious vs undirected o taking responsibility

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Conscientious vs. undirected o Taking responsibility, accountability Extraverted vs. introverted o How social are you? Agreeable vs. disagreeable o How easy are you to get along with? Get annoyed easily? Neurotic vs. stable o Emotional response; able to be emotionally predictable Personality Traits Under Siege Walter Mischel – argued that personality traits did not predict behavior well Seymour Epstein – demonstrated that while Mischel was correct for specific events, personality traits can predict aggregated behaviors Individualistic societies – focus on themselves and their personality goals o Report higher self-esteem Collective societies – focus on their relations to others o Report lower self-esteem Trait models don’t provide much insight into the causes of personality o Hans Eysenck – introverts are chronically over-aroused and overwhelmed; extroverts are chronically under-aroused and bored, so they seek stimulation Measuring and Mismeasuring the Psyche Personality wouldn’t be useful to psychologists if they had no way of measuring it Reliability – consistency of measurement Validity – extent to which a test measures what it purports to measure Structured personality test – paper-and-pencil tests consisting of questions that respondents answer in one of a few fixed ways o Example: on a scale of 1-10, 1 being lowest and 10 being highest, rate how much you like chocolate ice cream Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) – widely used test designed to assess symptoms or mental disorders o Built using empirical method of test construction o Results in low face validity
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Rational/theoretical Method of Test Construction – requires test developers to begin with a clear-cut conceptualization of a trait and then write items to assess that conceptualization o Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ) – assesses positive emotions, negative emotions, and impulse control The MPQ has strong validity, but not all rational / theoretical tests do, such as the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Projective tests – consist of ambiguous stimuli that examinees must interpret Projective hypothesis o Ex: Rorschach tests, Thematic Approach tests, etc. Common Pitfalls in Personality Assessment P.T. Barnum effect – tendency of people to accept high base rate descriptions as accurate; in other words, label very likely/common predictions as truth
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