Presentation on theme: "Am I Me or Am I the Situation?. Does Personality Change? l Foundation of personality psychology is personality stability and predictive utility l If personality."— Presentation transcript:
Am I Me or Am I the Situation?
Does Personality Change? l Foundation of personality psychology is personality stability and predictive utility l If personality changes this threatens the field’s usefulness l Especially if change is random l Prediction difficult l Central debate has been whether personality or situation better predictor
Person or Situation? l Account for 2 observations: l Behavior varies across situation l Perceive ourselves as the same person l Are we different people in different situations? l Historical emphasis on one or the other l Internal or external l Implications for methodology, Qs, etc.
Person-Situation Debate l Either Or Question l 1940s, 1950s internal emphasis l Freudian personality types (anal character) l Projective techniques and trait inventories
Mischel (1968) challenge l Dissatisfied with internal emphasis on traits l Argued for situational focus l Situational changes predict behavior > traits l Ostensive personality consistency due to situational consistencies l Learning view
Mischel (1968) challenge l Primary criticisms l Little evidence of cross-situation consistency in behavior l Traits dependent on situational evocation l Traits poor predictors of behavior across situations (r < =.30) l Trait merely labels w/ no independent reality
Controversy l Leads to near collapse of personality psychology l If traits aren’t real/stable/predictive what use are they? l No need for personality if behavior primarily due to situational features l Predict/understand behavioral variation via situation
Field’s Response l Funder & Ozer (1983) l Reanalyzed studies showing situational influence on behavior l Situation had ~same predictive power as personality (r < =.30) l Power of situation = power of personality l Both rs < =.30
Activity 13: Mischel l In groups of 3-4 l Describe the response to Mischel’s challenge made by Epstein. How does Mischel (re) challenge Epstein here? l Next describe at least 1 more response made by the field in defense of traits. l PLEASE TURN THESE IN AFTER CLASS!
Kenrick & Funder: Fallout l PS debate led to numerous hypotheses regarding the relative importance of personality/situation l Many assumed that personality was an artifact, unreal and a weak predictor (empirically and conceptually) of behavior
Kenrick & Funder: Hypotheses l H1: Personality is in eye of beholder l Interrater agreement fails to support l H4: Shared (incorrect) stereotypes account for rater agreement l Ratings predict independent behavioral manifestations (aggression, delay of gratification, social behavior)
Kenrick & Funder: Hypotheses l H7: Effect of personality on behavior too small to be meaningful (.30) l Situational features share effect size (.30) l Small can be important & meaningful l Effect increases with aggregation
Mischel’s Fallout l 1980s/90s reality/stability of traits revealed l Genetics, longitudinal, cross-cultural studies l Interactionism (nature & nurture) : l Effect of personality depends on situation l Effects of situation depends on personality l Behavior = traits + situation + traits x situation l Greater external validity (Cattell: multivariate world)
Lessons from PS Debate l Kenrick & Funder l Gray > black or white (closer to reality) l Limitations on behavioral prediction from personality and situation l Boundary conditions on personality ratings l Personality & Social Psych MUST work together
Knowns l Person & situation important l Consistency varies across people l Situations vary in their power l Consistency varies as a function of both
Unknowns l What person & situation Vs best? l Goals l Situational taxonomy
Future: Integration? l Social-cognitive approach of Mischel l Trait approach of Costa & McCrae l Function & structure?