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Ch. 10 - Personality Psychology. What Is Personality?  an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, & acting  most fields of psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Ch. 10 - Personality Psychology. What Is Personality?  an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, & acting  most fields of psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ch Personality Psychology

2 What Is Personality?  an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, & acting  most fields of psychology study similarity  personality: the individual  an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, & acting  most fields of psychology study similarity  personality: the individual

3 Personality: an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, & acting  implies some degree of consistency  enduring, stable qualities  traits vs. situationism  traits: relatively consistent characteristics exhibited in different situations  intuitive appeal  implies some degree of consistency  enduring, stable qualities  traits vs. situationism  traits: relatively consistent characteristics exhibited in different situations  intuitive appeal

4 The Case For Situationism  a view of personality that regards behavior as mostly a function of the situation, not of internal traits  idea of multiple selves, situationally-elicited  Does the following passage sound like you?  a view of personality that regards behavior as mostly a function of the situation, not of internal traits  idea of multiple selves, situationally-elicited  Does the following passage sound like you?

5 The Case For Situationism  You have a strong need for other people to like you and for them to admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. You pride yourself as being an independent thinker and do not accept others’ opinions without satisfactory proof. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved.

6 The Case For Situationism  Davies (1997): gave all participants this paragraph after a personality test  results: students typically rated personality summary as good or excellent  certain traits experienced at certain times, in certain situations  role of dual presentation  This is why horoscopes “work”...  Davies (1997): gave all participants this paragraph after a personality test  results: students typically rated personality summary as good or excellent  certain traits experienced at certain times, in certain situations  role of dual presentation  This is why horoscopes “work”...

7 The Case Against Astrology...  Leo: creative, generous, fun-loving, dramatic, passionate, ambitious, independent, noble, powerful  bossy, patronizing, boastful, self- conscious  Capricorn: prudent, responsible, patient, hard-working, self-reliant, ambitious, conscientious  rigid, demanding, insensitive, inhibited  Pisces: compassionate, imaginative, spiritual, easy-going, accepting, visionary, artistic  distracted, detached, impractical, neglectful, lazy

8 The Case Against Astrology...  1. universality of traits  2. desire to see self positively  Glick et al. (1989): skeptics of astrology given flattering description  “maybe there’s something to this astrology stuff after all”

9 The Case For Situationism  Hartshorne & May (1928): gave grade-school kids the opportunity for undetected deceit  e.g. lie about how many push-ups they can do, lie to parents about time spent on homework, cheat on a test, keep money given to them for other purposes  dishonesty in one domain did not predict dishonesty in another  less than 10% of variance explained by single underlying trait of honesty  Hartshorne & May (1928): gave grade-school kids the opportunity for undetected deceit  e.g. lie about how many push-ups they can do, lie to parents about time spent on homework, cheat on a test, keep money given to them for other purposes  dishonesty in one domain did not predict dishonesty in another  less than 10% of variance explained by single underlying trait of honesty

10 Interactionism: The Compromise  power of the situation... ...but we do carry something around with us  individual differences  interactionism: view of personality as product of both traits and situations  We will start by talking about historical personality perspectives, then move to more modern interactionist approaches...  power of the situation... ...but we do carry something around with us  individual differences  interactionism: view of personality as product of both traits and situations  We will start by talking about historical personality perspectives, then move to more modern interactionist approaches...

11 Sigmund Freud ( )  Austrian neurologist; medical degree from University of Vienna (psychiatry/neurology)  early interest in cocaine as analgesic, relief from mental disorders (On Coca, 1884)  reports of addiction, overdoses  developed interest in nervous disorders (neurosis, hysteria)  defined by anxieties  Austrian neurologist; medical degree from University of Vienna (psychiatry/neurology)  early interest in cocaine as analgesic, relief from mental disorders (On Coca, 1884)  reports of addiction, overdoses  developed interest in nervous disorders (neurosis, hysteria)  defined by anxieties

12 Anna O. ( )  aka. Bertha Pappenheim  treated for hysteria by Josef Breuer & Freud  limb paralysis on right side of body  disruptions to vision, hearing, & speech  hallucinations  loss of consciousness  faking symptoms? sympathy from Breuer & Freud  used hypnosis, discussion & clarification of memories  “talking cure”  Are we anxious about things that we are unaware of?  aka. Bertha Pappenheim  treated for hysteria by Josef Breuer & Freud  limb paralysis on right side of body  disruptions to vision, hearing, & speech  hallucinations  loss of consciousness  faking symptoms? sympathy from Breuer & Freud  used hypnosis, discussion & clarification of memories  “talking cure”  Are we anxious about things that we are unaware of?

13 The Unconscious  more to the psyche than just consciously accessible portion (iceberg analogy)  unconscious: collection of unacceptable thoughts, wishes, desires, feelings, & memories (Freudian definition)  modern definition: information processing of which we are unaware  psychoanalysis: hydraulic theory of personality that attributes thoughts & actions to unconscious motives & conflicts  more to the psyche than just consciously accessible portion (iceberg analogy)  unconscious: collection of unacceptable thoughts, wishes, desires, feelings, & memories (Freudian definition)  modern definition: information processing of which we are unaware  psychoanalysis: hydraulic theory of personality that attributes thoughts & actions to unconscious motives & conflicts

14 The Unconscious Revealed  unconscious wields powerful influence (often in disguise)  Freud found deeper meaning in almost everything  e.g. dreams: “the royal road to the unconscious”  manifest vs. latent content  safe haven for expressing unacceptable urges; consequence-free  e.g. Freudian slips  slips of the tongue through which strange or unacceptable thoughts are expressed  “A Freudian slip is like saying one thing, but meaning your mother.”  unconscious wields powerful influence (often in disguise)  Freud found deeper meaning in almost everything  e.g. dreams: “the royal road to the unconscious”  manifest vs. latent content  safe haven for expressing unacceptable urges; consequence-free  e.g. Freudian slips  slips of the tongue through which strange or unacceptable thoughts are expressed  “A Freudian slip is like saying one thing, but meaning your mother.”

15 Freudian Slips  Condoleezza Rice (2004): called Pres. Bush “my husband”

16 Freudian Slips  Pres. George W. Bush (2000):  “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.”  Pres. George W. Bush (2000):  “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.”

17 Freudian Slips  Pres. George W. Bush at an address to teachers of America (2001):  “First I’d like to spank all the teachers...”  Pres. George W. Bush at an address to teachers of America (2001):  “First I’d like to spank all the teachers...”

18 Freudian Slips  George H.W. Bush (1988):  “For seven and a half years I’ve worked alongside President Reagan. We’ve had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We’ve had some sex... uh... setbacks.”  George H.W. Bush (1988):  “For seven and a half years I’ve worked alongside President Reagan. We’ve had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We’ve had some sex... uh... setbacks.”

19 The Unconscious Revealed  e.g. free association  not all patients could be hypnotized  free association: relax, respond to stimulus with first thing that comes to mind  reverse flow of unconscious thoughts; backtracking  Bottom line: Freud believed neuroses expressed themselves in slips of the tongue, passing comments, etc.  e.g. free association  not all patients could be hypnotized  free association: relax, respond to stimulus with first thing that comes to mind  reverse flow of unconscious thoughts; backtracking  Bottom line: Freud believed neuroses expressed themselves in slips of the tongue, passing comments, etc.

20 Uncovering the Unconscious Today?  limited information from objective tests (conscious only)  need a pipeline to the unconscious...  projective tests: personality test using ambiguous stimuli to elicit projection of inner conflicts  e.g. Rorschach inkblot test (1921)  limited information from objective tests (conscious only)  need a pipeline to the unconscious...  projective tests: personality test using ambiguous stimuli to elicit projection of inner conflicts  e.g. Rorschach inkblot test (1921)

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22 Uncovering the Unconscious Today?  82% of clinicians report administering Rorschach at least occasionally (Watkins et al., 1995; Lilienfeld et al., 2000)  “If a professional psychologist is ‘evaluating’ you in a situation in which you are at risk and asks you for responses to ink blots... walk out of that psychologist’s office.” (Dawes, 1994)  82% of clinicians report administering Rorschach at least occasionally (Watkins et al., 1995; Lilienfeld et al., 2000)  “If a professional psychologist is ‘evaluating’ you in a situation in which you are at risk and asks you for responses to ink blots... walk out of that psychologist’s office.” (Dawes, 1994)

23 Uncovering the Unconscious Today?  problems with Rorschach:  extracting objective meaning from allegedly ambiguous stimuli?  Are the inkblots truly ambiguous?  requires subjective, projective perspective of clinician  no universal system for scoring & interpretation  low inter-rater reliability  yet inkblots are still used...  “The Rorschach Inkblot Test has been resoundingly discredited... I call it the Dracula of psychological tests, because no one has been able to drive a stake through the cursed thing’s heart.” (Tavris, 2003)  problems with Rorschach:  extracting objective meaning from allegedly ambiguous stimuli?  Are the inkblots truly ambiguous?  requires subjective, projective perspective of clinician  no universal system for scoring & interpretation  low inter-rater reliability  yet inkblots are still used...  “The Rorschach Inkblot Test has been resoundingly discredited... I call it the Dracula of psychological tests, because no one has been able to drive a stake through the cursed thing’s heart.” (Tavris, 2003)

24 Uncovering the Unconscious Today?  another projective test: Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)  30 provocative but ambiguous pictures  create a dramatic story, including:  what led up the event shown  what is happening now  what the characters are thinking, feeling  outcome of the story  another projective test: Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)  30 provocative but ambiguous pictures  create a dramatic story, including:  what led up the event shown  what is happening now  what the characters are thinking, feeling  outcome of the story

25 Uncovering the Unconscious Today?  interpretations, themes = window to the unconscious?  criticisms:  validity? (measuring what it actually claims to measure)  reliability? (consistent results over time)  interpretations, themes = window to the unconscious?  criticisms:  validity? (measuring what it actually claims to measure)  reliability? (consistent results over time)

26 Psychoanalytic Theory: 3 Components of Personality  personality = behavior resulting from conflict between aggressive, pleasure-seeking desires and social restraints

27 Psychoanalytic Theory: 3 Components of Personality  id: unconscious psychic energy driven by sexual & aggressive urges  pleasure principle: demands immediate gratification; mindless of societal norms & restraints  young children largely id-driven  id: unconscious psychic energy driven by sexual & aggressive urges  pleasure principle: demands immediate gratification; mindless of societal norms & restraints  young children largely id-driven

28 Psychoanalytic Theory: 3 Components of Personality  superego: part of personality that represents internalized ideals and standards for judgment  the “conscience”  develops around age 4-5 (according to Freud)  focuses on how one ought to behave  superego: part of personality that represents internalized ideals and standards for judgment  the “conscience”  develops around age 4-5 (according to Freud)  focuses on how one ought to behave

29 Psychoanalytic Theory: 3 Components of Personality  ego: mostly conscious, “executive” part of personality that mediates id vs. superego struggle  reality principle: seeks to gratify id in ways acceptable to the superego  ego: mostly conscious, “executive” part of personality that mediates id vs. superego struggle  reality principle: seeks to gratify id in ways acceptable to the superego

30 Psychoanalytic Theory: Stages of Psychosexual Development  patients’ symptoms rooted in conflicts from childhood?  id’s pleasure-seeking energies focused on different parts of the body (erogenous zones)  patients’ symptoms rooted in conflicts from childhood?  id’s pleasure-seeking energies focused on different parts of the body (erogenous zones)

31 Don’t write this down... it’s on page 392

32 The Story of Oedipus  Oedipus: mythical Greek king of Thebes  son of Laius & Jocasta  prophecy that he would murder Laius, marry Jocasta  given to herdsman to be killed  traveling to Thebes, met chariot with father in it  dispute  killed Laius  defeated Sphinx’ riddle  appointed king of Thebes, married widow Jocasta  met herdsman: Jocasta killed self, Oedipus blinded self  Oedipus: mythical Greek king of Thebes  son of Laius & Jocasta  prophecy that he would murder Laius, marry Jocasta  given to herdsman to be killed  traveling to Thebes, met chariot with father in it  dispute  killed Laius  defeated Sphinx’ riddle  appointed king of Thebes, married widow Jocasta  met herdsman: Jocasta killed self, Oedipus blinded self

33 The Oedipus Complex  during phallic stage (3-6 years old), boys develop unconscious sexual desires for mother, jealousy & hatred of father (rival)  feelings of guilt, fear of punishment (anxiety)  castration anxiety = fear of becoming like a female (fear of powerful people overcoming them)  What about girls?  Electra complex: a girl’s feelings of inferiority and jealousy (anxiety)  penis envy = anger, regret over being female  during phallic stage (3-6 years old), boys develop unconscious sexual desires for mother, jealousy & hatred of father (rival)  feelings of guilt, fear of punishment (anxiety)  castration anxiety = fear of becoming like a female (fear of powerful people overcoming them)  What about girls?  Electra complex: a girl’s feelings of inferiority and jealousy (anxiety)  penis envy = anger, regret over being female

34 Remember, it’s all about anxiety...  hedonistic id vs. conscience/superego = personality  ego fears losing control  experience generalized anxiety, no clear explanation why  defense mechanisms: methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality  can be adaptive...  hedonistic id vs. conscience/superego = personality  ego fears losing control  experience generalized anxiety, no clear explanation why  defense mechanisms: methods of reducing anxiety by unconsciously distorting reality  can be adaptive...

35 Defense Mechanisms  repression: forcibly blocking unacceptable thoughts from conscious mind  thoughts, desires, emotions, memories, etc.  e.g. why we don’t remember childhood sexual desire for parents  underlies all the other defense mechanisms  repression: forcibly blocking unacceptable thoughts from conscious mind  thoughts, desires, emotions, memories, etc.  e.g. why we don’t remember childhood sexual desire for parents  underlies all the other defense mechanisms

36 Defense Mechanisms  projection: disguise own threatening impulses by attributing them to others  e.g. Newt Gingrich’s diatribe against Bill Clinton’s infidelity while having his own affair at the same time  “a level of disrespect and decadence that should appall every American”... White House as “rough equivalent of the Jerry Springer show” ( )  projection: disguise own threatening impulses by attributing them to others  e.g. Newt Gingrich’s diatribe against Bill Clinton’s infidelity while having his own affair at the same time  “a level of disrespect and decadence that should appall every American”... White House as “rough equivalent of the Jerry Springer show” ( )

37 Defense Mechanisms  reaction formation: unconsciously switching unacceptable impulses into their opposites  e.g. Congressman Mark Foley (R-Florida) resigned in 2006  exchanged sexually explicit s with a former congressional page  had previously introduced legislation to protect children from Internet exploitation by adults  reaction formation: unconsciously switching unacceptable impulses into their opposites  e.g. Congressman Mark Foley (R-Florida) resigned in 2006  exchanged sexually explicit s with a former congressional page  had previously introduced legislation to protect children from Internet exploitation by adults

38 Defense Mechanisms  sublimation: redirecting psychic energy away from negative outlets, toward positive outlets  most productive defense mechanism; “socially useful”  e.g. art, music, etc.  sublimation: redirecting psychic energy away from negative outlets, toward positive outlets  most productive defense mechanism; “socially useful”  e.g. art, music, etc.

39 Neo-Freudians  people who ran with Freud’s ideas, pioneered psychoanalysis  maintained many of Freud’s original ideas  e.g. personality structures, unconscious, personality development in childhood, anxiety & defense mechanisms  2 critical modifications:  1. more emphasis on conscious mind  2. sex & aggression as primary motives?  people who ran with Freud’s ideas, pioneered psychoanalysis  maintained many of Freud’s original ideas  e.g. personality structures, unconscious, personality development in childhood, anxiety & defense mechanisms  2 critical modifications:  1. more emphasis on conscious mind  2. sex & aggression as primary motives?

40 Carl Jung ( )  Swiss psychiatrist; developed close relationship with Freud  intrigued by psychoanalysis + Freud needed people to spread and validate ideas  shared belief in existence of unconscious, but differed on content  Freud unconscious: store unacceptable thoughts, urges (Jung: “personal unconscious”)  Jung unconscious: personal unconscious + collective unconscious  Swiss psychiatrist; developed close relationship with Freud  intrigued by psychoanalysis + Freud needed people to spread and validate ideas  shared belief in existence of unconscious, but differed on content  Freud unconscious: store unacceptable thoughts, urges (Jung: “personal unconscious”)  Jung unconscious: personal unconscious + collective unconscious

41 Collective Unconscious  “a reservoir of the experiences of our species”  repository of all religious, spiritual, & mythological symbols and experiences  evidence? theory of synchronicity  2 or more events seemingly co-occur meaningfully, but causally unrelated  meaningful coincidences  “a reservoir of the experiences of our species”  repository of all religious, spiritual, & mythological symbols and experiences  evidence? theory of synchronicity  2 or more events seemingly co-occur meaningfully, but causally unrelated  meaningful coincidences

42 Synchronicity  e.g. costume designers buying a coat for Wizard of Oz  bought from second-hand store  previously belonged to L. Frank Baum  Jung: such synchronicities evidence of collective unconscious, underlying all human experience  e.g. costume designers buying a coat for Wizard of Oz  bought from second-hand store  previously belonged to L. Frank Baum  Jung: such synchronicities evidence of collective unconscious, underlying all human experience Professor Marvel Wizard of Oz

43 Evaluating Psychoanalysis: The Bad  many of Freud’s specific ideas refuted by modern research  “Many aspects of Freudian theory are indeed out of date, and they should be: Freud died in 1939, and he has been slow to undertake further revisions.” (Westen, 1998)  scientific shortcomings  typically based on Freud’s own recollections & interpretations  fails to predict behaviors, only explains them post hoc  testable predictions?  many of Freud’s specific ideas refuted by modern research  “Many aspects of Freudian theory are indeed out of date, and they should be: Freud died in 1939, and he has been slow to undertake further revisions.” (Westen, 1998)  scientific shortcomings  typically based on Freud’s own recollections & interpretations  fails to predict behaviors, only explains them post hoc  testable predictions?

44 Evaluating Psychoanalysis: The Bad  lifelong development, not just childhood  neural networks incapable of sustaining traumas suggested by Freud?  gender identity begins earlier, lasts longer than Oedipus complex  other, modern explanations for dreams  lifelong development, not just childhood  neural networks incapable of sustaining traumas suggested by Freud?  gender identity begins earlier, lasts longer than Oedipus complex  other, modern explanations for dreams

45 Evaluating Psychoanalysis: The Bad  Freudian slips: confusion between verbal choices in memory network (simultaneous activation)  e.g. “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.”  little evidence for repression  more often remember traumatic events (role of stress, emotion)  Freudian slips: confusion between verbal choices in memory network (simultaneous activation)  e.g. “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.”  little evidence for repression  more often remember traumatic events (role of stress, emotion)

46 Evaluating Psychoanalysis: The Good  introduction of the unconscious  modern conception: processing of which we are not aware  e.g. implicit learning  Lewicki et al. (1997): number 6 jumped around screen according to complex pattern  tracked movement; got faster with repeated exposure  offered $100 for finding pattern, but no one could  different than Freud’s concept, but rooted in that idea  defense against anxiety, often unconsciously (e.g. Terror Management Theory)  introduction of the unconscious  modern conception: processing of which we are not aware  e.g. implicit learning  Lewicki et al. (1997): number 6 jumped around screen according to complex pattern  tracked movement; got faster with repeated exposure  offered $100 for finding pattern, but no one could  different than Freud’s concept, but rooted in that idea  defense against anxiety, often unconsciously (e.g. Terror Management Theory)

47 Evaluating Psychoanalysis: The Good  not necessarily intended to be a predictive scientific theory?  merely possible to find meaning in our states of mind  first personality & psychotherapy theories  roots of modern study of:  unconscious/implicit processes  self-protective defenses  sexuality as human motivation  social well-being  not necessarily intended to be a predictive scientific theory?  merely possible to find meaning in our states of mind  first personality & psychotherapy theories  roots of modern study of:  unconscious/implicit processes  self-protective defenses  sexuality as human motivation  social well-being

48 Nicolaus Copernicus Charles Darwin Sigmund Freud

49 The Trait Perspective  early-mid 20th century: 2 primary options for budding psychologists  1. Freudian psychoanalysis (and its accompanying negativity)  2. Skinnerian behaviorism (and its mechanistic way of thinking)  Gordon Allport ( )  generally considered founder of modern personality psychology  thought psychoanalysis = too deep, behaviorism = not deep enough  early-mid 20th century: 2 primary options for budding psychologists  1. Freudian psychoanalysis (and its accompanying negativity)  2. Skinnerian behaviorism (and its mechanistic way of thinking)  Gordon Allport ( )  generally considered founder of modern personality psychology  thought psychoanalysis = too deep, behaviorism = not deep enough

50 Allport’s Famous Visit with Sigmund Freud (1919)  Soon after I had entered the famous red burlap room with pictures of dreams on the wall, he summoned me to his inner office. He did not speak to me but sat in expectant silence, for me to state my mission. I was not prepared for silence and had to think fast to find a suitable conversational gambit. I told him of an episode on the tram car on my way to his office. A small boy about 4 years of age had displayed a conspicuous dirt phobia. He kept saying to his mother, “I don’t want to sit there... don’t let that dirty man sit beside me.” To him everything was schmutzig (dirty). His mother was a well-starched Hausfrau, so dominant and purposive looking that I thought the cause and effect apparent.”

51 Allport’s Famous Visit with Sigmund Freud (1919)  When I finished my story Freud fixed his kindly therapeutic eyes upon me and said, “And was that little boy you?” Flabbergasted and feeling a bit guilty, I contrived to change the subject. While Freud’s misunderstanding of my motivation was amusing, it also started a deep train of thought. ...taught me that [psychoanalysis], for all its merits, may plunge too deep, and that psychologists would do well to give full recognition to manifest motives before probing the unconscious.  i.e. describe personality in terms of traits  trait: characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act a certain way  describing, rather than explaining, behavior  When I finished my story Freud fixed his kindly therapeutic eyes upon me and said, “And was that little boy you?” Flabbergasted and feeling a bit guilty, I contrived to change the subject. While Freud’s misunderstanding of my motivation was amusing, it also started a deep train of thought. ...taught me that [psychoanalysis], for all its merits, may plunge too deep, and that psychologists would do well to give full recognition to manifest motives before probing the unconscious.  i.e. describe personality in terms of traits  trait: characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act a certain way  describing, rather than explaining, behavior

52 The Trait Approach: Class Project  Groups of no more than 5  at stake: 1 homework voucher per person for winning team  1. Are some traits more ‘important’ than others? In other words, which are most centrally defining of someone’s personality? Which traits are most important? (roommate example)  2. Would most people agree with you? How would you know if those traits are the most important to other people?  3. How would you assess these traits in someone? Be specific: If questionnaire, what would you ask? Who would you ask? If observation, what would you look for? etc.  Groups of no more than 5  at stake: 1 homework voucher per person for winning team  1. Are some traits more ‘important’ than others? In other words, which are most centrally defining of someone’s personality? Which traits are most important? (roommate example)  2. Would most people agree with you? How would you know if those traits are the most important to other people?  3. How would you assess these traits in someone? Be specific: If questionnaire, what would you ask? Who would you ask? If observation, what would you look for? etc.

53 The Trait Approach  How do we decide which traits are most important?  3 main approaches:  1. lexical approach  2. statistical approach  3. theoretical approach  How do we decide which traits are most important?  3 main approaches:  1. lexical approach  2. statistical approach  3. theoretical approach

54 1. The Lexical Approach  lexical hypothesis: all important individual differences have been encoded within language over time  meaningful differences noticed  words invented to discuss differences  e.g. dominant, creative, reliable, cooperative, hot-tempered, self- centered, etc. etc. etc...  a ‘natural selection’ amongst words  lexical hypothesis: all important individual differences have been encoded within language over time  meaningful differences noticed  words invented to discuss differences  e.g. dominant, creative, reliable, cooperative, hot-tempered, self- centered, etc. etc. etc...  a ‘natural selection’ amongst words

55 1. The Lexical Approach  ≈ 2,800 trait-descriptive adjectives in English language (Norman, 1967)  2 criteria for identifying important traits:  1. synonym frequency  2. cross-cultural universality  ≈ 2,800 trait-descriptive adjectives in English language (Norman, 1967)  2 criteria for identifying important traits:  1. synonym frequency  2. cross-cultural universality

56 1. The Lexical Approach  problems & limitations  many traits ambiguous, metaphorical, obscure, or difficult to interpret  personality conveyed through different parts of speech (not just adjectives)  Bottom line: good starting point for identifying traits, but should not be exclusive method  problems & limitations  many traits ambiguous, metaphorical, obscure, or difficult to interpret  personality conveyed through different parts of speech (not just adjectives)  Bottom line: good starting point for identifying traits, but should not be exclusive method

57 2. The Statistical Approach  start with pool of personality items (e.g. lexical approach)  have large number of people rate selves on traits  factor analysis: statistical procedure that identifies groups of items that covary, but do not covary with other groups  start with pool of personality items (e.g. lexical approach)  have large number of people rate selves on traits  factor analysis: statistical procedure that identifies groups of items that covary, but do not covary with other groups

58 Factor Analysis Example (Matthews & Oddy, 1993) Adjective Rating Humorous Amusing Popular Hard-working Productive Determined Imaginative Original Inventive Factor 1: Extraversion Factor 2: Ambition Factor 3: Creativity

59 2. The Statistical Approach  advantages:  identifying personality variables that have common property, “hang together”  reducing huge number of traits into more manageable set of factors  caveat: You only get out of it what you put into it.  critical dependence on input selection  advantages:  identifying personality variables that have common property, “hang together”  reducing huge number of traits into more manageable set of factors  caveat: You only get out of it what you put into it.  critical dependence on input selection

60 3. The Theoretical Approach  theory dictates which traits are important to measure  e.g. Maslow’s self- actualization theory  predicts differences in motivation to self-actualize  theory dictates which traits are important to measure  e.g. Maslow’s self- actualization theory  predicts differences in motivation to self-actualize

61 Taxonomies of Personality  many attempts at creating a list of the most ‘important’ traits  some theoretical, some atheoretical...  taxonomy with most support: five-factor model (Big Five)  began with combination of lexical & statistical approaches  trait dimensions  many attempts at creating a list of the most ‘important’ traits  some theoretical, some atheoretical...  taxonomy with most support: five-factor model (Big Five)  began with combination of lexical & statistical approaches  trait dimensions

62 The Big Five  Openness  Conscientiousness  Extraversion  Agreeableness  Neuroticism  Openness  Conscientiousness  Extraversion  Agreeableness  Neuroticism

63 The Big Five  Conscientiousness  Agreeableness  Neuroticism  Openness  Extraversion  Conscientiousness  Agreeableness  Neuroticism  Openness  Extraversion

64 The Big Five: Conscientiousness  how we control, direct, and regulate our lives  high conscientiousness: organized, neat, orderly, practical, prompt, meticulous  low conscientiousness: disorganized, disorderly, careless, sloppy, impractical  sample questions:  “I am always prepared.”  “I am exacting in my work.”  how we control, direct, and regulate our lives  high conscientiousness: organized, neat, orderly, practical, prompt, meticulous  low conscientiousness: disorganized, disorderly, careless, sloppy, impractical  sample questions:  “I am always prepared.”  “I am exacting in my work.”

65 The Big Five: Agreeableness  concern with cooperation and social harmony  high agreeableness: sympathetic, kind, warm, understanding, sincere  low agreeableness: unsympathetic, unkind, harsh, cruel  sample questions:  “I am interested in people.”  “I make people feel at ease.”  “I sympathize with others’ feelings.”  concern with cooperation and social harmony  high agreeableness: sympathetic, kind, warm, understanding, sincere  low agreeableness: unsympathetic, unkind, harsh, cruel  sample questions:  “I am interested in people.”  “I make people feel at ease.”  “I sympathize with others’ feelings.”

66 The Big Five: Neuroticism  tendency to experience strong negative emotions  intense emotional reactions, long- lasting  high neuroticism: moody, anxious, insecure  low neuroticism (aka. emotional stability): calm, relaxed, stable  sample questions:  “I get irritated easily.”  “I get stressed out easily.”  “I have frequent mood swings.”  tendency to experience strong negative emotions  intense emotional reactions, long- lasting  high neuroticism: moody, anxious, insecure  low neuroticism (aka. emotional stability): calm, relaxed, stable  sample questions:  “I get irritated easily.”  “I get stressed out easily.”  “I have frequent mood swings.”

67 The Big Five: Openness  somewhat vague trait: distinguishes imaginative, creative people  high openness: creative, imaginative, intellectual, preference for new & exciting  low openness: uncreative, unimaginative, unintellectual, preference for routine & habit  sample questions:  “I am full of ideas.”  “I am quick to understand things.”  “I spend time reflecting on things.”  somewhat vague trait: distinguishes imaginative, creative people  high openness: creative, imaginative, intellectual, preference for new & exciting  low openness: uncreative, unimaginative, unintellectual, preference for routine & habit  sample questions:  “I am full of ideas.”  “I am quick to understand things.”  “I spend time reflecting on things.”

68 The Big Five: Extraversion  engagement with the outside (social) world  high extraversion: talkative, assertive, forward, outspoken  low extraversion: shy, quiet, bashful, inhibited  sample questions:  “I am the life of the party.”  “I don’t mind being the center of attention.”  “I start conversations.”  “I talk to a lot of different people at parties.”  engagement with the outside (social) world  high extraversion: talkative, assertive, forward, outspoken  low extraversion: shy, quiet, bashful, inhibited  sample questions:  “I am the life of the party.”  “I don’t mind being the center of attention.”  “I start conversations.”  “I talk to a lot of different people at parties.”

69 Research on the Big Five  generally very stable through adult life  neuroticism, extraversion, openness drop slightly after college  agreeableness (30s-60s), conscientiousness (20s) rise slightly after college (McCrae et al., 1999; Vaidya et al., 2002)  heritability: (Bouchard & McGue, 2003)  openness: 57%  extraversion: 54%  conscientiousness: 49%  neuroticism: 48%  agreeableness: 42%  generally very stable through adult life  neuroticism, extraversion, openness drop slightly after college  agreeableness (30s-60s), conscientiousness (20s) rise slightly after college (McCrae et al., 1999; Vaidya et al., 2002)  heritability: (Bouchard & McGue, 2003)  openness: 57%  extraversion: 54%  conscientiousness: 49%  neuroticism: 48%  agreeableness: 42%

70 Research on the Big Five  cultural universality?  e.g. McCrae et al. (2005): 50 culture study, 80 collaborators  “Features of personality traits are common to all human groups.”  some variability...  e.g. individualistic cultures score higher (on average) on extraversion  Big 5 predicting other attributes  morning people = more conscientious; evening people = more extraverted (Jackson & Gerard, 1996)  one partner lower than other in agreeableness, stability, & openness = marital & sexual dissatisfaction (Donnellan et al., 2004)  birth order?  cultural universality?  e.g. McCrae et al. (2005): 50 culture study, 80 collaborators  “Features of personality traits are common to all human groups.”  some variability...  e.g. individualistic cultures score higher (on average) on extraversion  Big 5 predicting other attributes  morning people = more conscientious; evening people = more extraverted (Jackson & Gerard, 1996)  one partner lower than other in agreeableness, stability, & openness = marital & sexual dissatisfaction (Donnellan et al., 2004)  birth order?

71 Birth Order & Personality  only child = spoiled, self-centered, pampered?  middle child = left out, out of place in family, “problem child”?  Sulloway (1997): firstborns = more conscientious, more socially dominant, less agreeable, less open to new ideas  intelligence differences?  only child = spoiled, self-centered, pampered?  middle child = left out, out of place in family, “problem child”?  Sulloway (1997): firstborns = more conscientious, more socially dominant, less agreeable, less open to new ideas  intelligence differences?

72 Birth Order & Intelligence  firstborns typically score higher on intelligence, reasoning, & achievement tests  Zajonc: firstborns surrounded by adults, adult influences (highly intellectual?)  firstborns typically score higher on intelligence, reasoning, & achievement tests  Zajonc: firstborns surrounded by adults, adult influences (highly intellectual?)

73 Birth Order & Personality  little definitive research to support birth order claims  often contradictory: only children = introverted (used to being alone) AND extraverted (go outside family to meet other children)?  studies often confounded  e.g. large families typically lower SES than smaller families  3rd, 4th, 5th kids: low in birth order but also larger family, often lower SES, etc.  Ernst & Angst (1983): study on 6,315 Swiss males  birth order research a “waste of time”  Jefferson, Herbst, & McCrae (1998): study on 9,664 Americans  no significant correlations between birth order and Big 5  tendency to perceive birth order effects when aware of individual’s birth order  little definitive research to support birth order claims  often contradictory: only children = introverted (used to being alone) AND extraverted (go outside family to meet other children)?  studies often confounded  e.g. large families typically lower SES than smaller families  3rd, 4th, 5th kids: low in birth order but also larger family, often lower SES, etc.  Ernst & Angst (1983): study on 6,315 Swiss males  birth order research a “waste of time”  Jefferson, Herbst, & McCrae (1998): study on 9,664 Americans  no significant correlations between birth order and Big 5  tendency to perceive birth order effects when aware of individual’s birth order

74 Optimism  belief that things are more likely to go well than to go badly  strongly positively correlated with self- esteem  causal direction?  belief that things are more likely to go well than to go badly  strongly positively correlated with self- esteem  causal direction?

75 Optimism  benefits of optimism:  more likely to turn around low grades  success at work  associated with higher immune system functioning  problems with optimism?  benefits of optimism:  more likely to turn around low grades  success at work  associated with higher immune system functioning  problems with optimism? “We just haven’t been flapping them hard enough.”

76 Optimism  one problem with optimism: optimistic bias  tendency to be over-optimistic about future outcomes  Most people see themselves as less likely than peers to:  become alcoholic  drop out of school  have heart attack by 40  get divorced  be fired from a job  get struck by lightning  get cancer from smoking cigarettes  one problem with optimism: optimistic bias  tendency to be over-optimistic about future outcomes  Most people see themselves as less likely than peers to:  become alcoholic  drop out of school  have heart attack by 40  get divorced  be fired from a job  get struck by lightning  get cancer from smoking cigarettes “We just haven’t been flapping them hard enough.”

77 Optimism vs. Realism  a dose of realism can help  explaining past failure = depress ambition  anxiety over potential future failure = increased ambition  “Success requires enough optimism to provide hope and enough pessimism to prevent complacency.”  a dose of realism can help  explaining past failure = depress ambition  anxiety over potential future failure = increased ambition  “Success requires enough optimism to provide hope and enough pessimism to prevent complacency.”


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