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Personality Theory & Assessment Chapter 14 Part I

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1 Personality Theory & Assessment Chapter 14 Part I
William G. Huitt Personality Theories Last revised: May 2005

2 Humanistic Personality Theories
Abraham Maslow Emphasized self-actualization and transcendence Found self-actualizers to be accurate in perceiving reality, able to judge honestly and to spot quickly the fake and the dishonest Carl Rogers Focus on self-worth, self-esteem Unconditional positive regard is designed to reduce threat, eliminate conditions of worth, and bring the person back into tune with his or her true self Major goal of psychotherapy is to enable people to open themselves up to experiences and begin to live according to their own values rather than according to the values of others in order to gain positive regard 2 2

3 Humanistic Personality Theories
Self-esteem One source of variations in self-esteem arises from comparisons of actual to desired traits Another source is achievement compared to expectations Self-esteem is fairly stable from childhood through the late adult years with the exception of early adolescence 2 2

4 Learning Theories and Personality
Locus of control A concept used to explain how people account for what happens in their lives internal locus of control—people see themselves as primarily in control of their behavior and its consequences external locus of control—people perceive what happens to be in the hands of fate, luck, or environment 2 2

5 Learning Theories and Personality
Social-cognitive theory Reciprocal determinism Bandura’s concept that behavior, cognitive factors, and environment all influence and are influenced by each other Self-efficacy A person’s belief in his or her ability to perform competently in whatever is attempted 2 2

6 Trait Theories Early trait theories Gordon Allport Raymond Cattell
Claimed that each person inherits a unique set of raw materials for given traits, which are then shaped by experiences Raymond Cattell Referred to observable qualities of personality as surface traits Found certain clusters of surface traits that appeared together time after time Believed these were evidence of deeper, more general, underlying personality factors, which he called source traits Cattell’s Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, commonly called the 16 PF, yields a personality profile 2 2

7 Trait Theories Factor models of personality Five-factor Theory
Surgency, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Intellect Big Five Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience (OCEAN). 2 2

8 Trait Theories Factor models of personality Costa and McCrae
Developed the NEO Personality Inventory and, more recently, the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, which are used to measure the Big Five dimensions of personality The NEO and other measures of the Big Five are currently being used in a wide variety of personality research studies 2 2

9 Nature, Nurture, and Personality
Twin and adoption studies Most studies have found similarity between identical twins on several personality factors, regardless of whether they are raised together or apart Correlations similar to those for intelligence Neurotransmitters and personality Researchers hypothesize that genes contribute to personality through their influence on the brain’s neurotransmitter production, transport, and reuptake systems Researchers propose that people who are emotionally unstable possess a serotonin system that is unusually sensitive to dangers and threats 2 2

10 Nature, Nurture, and Personality
Personality and culture Hofstede Analyzed questionnaire responses measuring the work-related values of more than 100,000 IBM employees in 53 countries around the world Factor analysis revealed four separate dimensions related to culture and personality Rank-ordered the 53 countries on each of the four dimensions 2 2

11 Nature, Nurture, and Personality
Personality and culture Power distance—the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (such as the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. Uncertainty avoidance—a society’s tolerance for ambiguity. Individualism/collectivism—signifies a culture’s emphasis either on individuals or on social relationships Masculinity/femininity—the distribution of emotional roles between the sexes 2 2

12 Nature, Nurture, and Personality
Criterion Predictors Cumulative Adj. R2 Neuroticism + Uncertainty avoidance 0.31 + Masculinity 0.55 Extraversion + Individualism 0.39 – Masculinity 0.46 Openness to experience 0.13 – Power distance 0.29 0.36 Agreeableness – Uncertainty avoidance 0.28 Conscientiousness + Power distance 0.24 Source: Hofstede, G., & McCrae, R. (2004). Personality and culture revisited: Linking traits and dimensions of culture Cross-Cultural Research, 38(1): 2 2

13 Personality Assessment
Projective tests A personality test in which people respond to inkblots, drawings of ambiguous human situations, incomplete sentences, and the like, by projecting their own inner thoughts, feelings, fears, and conflicts onto the test materials Based on the assumption that the test taker will transfer (“project”) unconscious conflicts and motives onto an ambiguous stimulus.

14 The Rorschach Inkblot Test
Ambiguous stimuli Person is asked to report what they see Figure 15-3 from: Kassin, S. (1998). Psychology, second edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Sample Rorschach Card

15 Thematic Apperception Test
Person is asked to tell a story about the “hero” in the picture Based on Murray’s personality theory People are distinguished by the needs that motivate their behavior Figure 15-4 from: Kassin, S. (1998). Psychology, second edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

16 Personality Assessment
Observation, interviews, and rating scales Using an observational technique known as behavioral assessment, psychologists can count and record the frequency of particular behaviors Useful because they provide a standardized format, including a list of traits or behaviors to evaluate 2 2

17 Personality Assessment
Personality inventories A paper-and-pencil test with questions about a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, which can be scored according to a standard procedure Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) An inventory for classifying personality types based on Jung’s theory of personality 2 2

18 Personality Assessment
Personality inventories Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) The most extensively researched and widely used personality test Used to screen and diagnose psychiatric problems and disorders Originally published in 1943 MMPI-2 was published in 1989 Does not reveal differences among normal personalities very well 2 2

19 MMPI Score Profile

20 Personality Assessment
Personality inventories NEO PI-R™ (240 items) considered by many psychologists to be the best inventory for measuring traits within the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) 2 2

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