List and define the eight perspectives of personality psychology and What is the usefulness of studying eight perspectives of personality psychology?

List and define the eight perspectives of personality psychology and  What is the usefulness of studying eight perspectives of personality psychology?

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List and define the eight perspectives of personality psychology that are discussed in this section.

List and define the eight perspectives of personality psychology that are discussed in this section. What is the usefulness of studying eight perspectives of personality psychology?
Chapter 1: What is Personality?

The basic questions that personality psychologists seek to answer are, ?What makes us unique,? and ?What makes us a human being??

II. Personality psychology is the scientific study of psychological forces
A. Unconscious
B. Ego forces
C. Cognitive
D. Biological
E. Conditioning/shaping
F. Traits skills
C. Spiritual/existential
H. Person-situation interaction

Ill. Because personality psychologists use scientific methods to test their theories, conclusions as are much more reliable and valid (compared to those obtained from astrology ? palm-reading, physiognomy, etc.).
A. Importance of data and statistics for scientific testing of many theories
B. Distinction between correlation and causation

IV. What are the sources of personality theories?
A. Careful observation and deep introspection of insightful thinkers
B. Systematic empirical research
C. Concepts borrowed from other disciplines (note that knowledge gleaned from other disciplines may also be used to test present theories– for instance, if new advances in biochemistry show that one theory of personally is impossible, the theory must then be reworked to be consistent with current biochemical knowledge).

V. Preview of 8 different approaches to studying personality
A. Psychoanalytic
B. Neo-analytic
C. Cognitive
D. Biological
E. Behaviorist
F. Trait/skill
G. Humanistic/existential
H. Person-situation interactionist

VI Brief history of personality psychology
A. Theatre & self-presentation
B. Religious influences
C. Evolutionary biology
D. Progression of testing

VII. Modern theories
A. Allport: The search for underlying organizational properties, with a focus on individuality.
B. Lewin: Gestalt tradition, integrative nature of perception and thought, a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts; believed in the importance of changing situation
C. Murray: emphasis on comprehensive orientation-longitudinal design; personology
D. M. Mead: Highlighted the importance of cross-cultural comparisons.

VIII. Issues to be addressed throughout the course
A. The importance of the unconscious?
B. The definition of the self
C. Unique vs. general approaches to studying people (nomothetic vs. idiographic)
D. Male-female differences
F. Personal vs. situational influences
F. Cultural determinants of personality
C. Usefulness of personality for understanding behavior
H. The value of understanding each individual

This chapter first explains the importance of careful measurement, and goes on to talk about reliability and validity. Response sets and other biases are explained. This chapter then describes the ten basic types of assessment, and provides examples of each.

I. What is sub active assessment? Measurement that relies on interpretation.
A. Problems with subjective assessment: Judges may not agree in their judgments; even when they do agree, they may still he wrong
B. Advantages of subjective assessment. Complex phenomena may be examined and valuable insights gained

II. What is reliability? Consistency in scores or ratings that are expected to be consistent. Random variations in measurement are called ?error of measurement? or ?error
variance. What about different ways of assessing reliability?
A. Internal consistency and split-halt reliability
B. Cronbach’s coefficient alpha for internal consistency
C. Test-retest reliability (measure of consistency over time)

Ill. But what happens when people change? When our environments influence us in different ways? How can we then have ?reliable? personality assessments?
A. Look at personality as an underlying influence that affects behavior– that is,
specific responses or behaviors might change over time, but consistent underlying patterns should be discernible.
B. Look for consistency in the short term, but expect changes when looking over periods of many years. Also, expect to see some changes after life-changing transitions and/or traumatic events.

IV. What is validity? Are we measuring what we think we are measuring? Construct validity is ascertained by finding whether behaviors, attitudes, etc. that are theoretically relevant to the construct can be predicted by the measure
A. Convergent Validity: a measure is related to what it should be related to
B. Discriminant Validity: a measure is not related to what it should not be related to
C. Construct Validity: the extent to which a test truly measures a theoretical construct
D. Criterion-related Validity: the measure can predict important outcome criteria
F. Content Validity: the measure accurately measures the domain it is supposed to
F. Because proper test validation requires the establishment of several different
types of validity, and the assessment of various traits, it is called ?Multitrait-Multimethod”

V. How does one choose items to include in a personality test?
A. Items should discriminate among individuals with varying levels of the measured trait
B. Items should be inter-correlated, but not so highly that they are overly redundant
C. The final assessment should have a normal distribution (individuals very high or very low, well as in the middle, should be measurable with the test)

VI. The problem of response sets and what to do about them
A. An ?acquiescence response set? is the tendency for some people to be more likely to
agree with anything you ask them
1. Some items should be reverse-coded to help eliminate this bias.
B. A ?social desirability response set? is people?s tendency to present themselves in favorable light.
1. Items should be worded as neutrally as possible to avoid this bias
C. Lie scales may be used to pick up random response patterns, or those who are lying
D. It?s best to use several different methods of assessment, since none is without bias

VII. What about problem of biases in psychological testing? All tests must make assumptions about the background, knowledge, and abilities of the person taking the test. Some of these assumptions will be incorrect. This doesn’t mean that tests should not be used, it just means that we must be careful in our interpretations, and context to which results are applied
A. Ethnic bias is one of the most common forms of bias– a characteristic that may be o one culture is perceived as a weakness or deficiency in another
B. Gender bias is also common– characteristics that are strengths for one group, or that are simply not socialized for one group, are perceived as weaknesses or ?missing? for another group

VIII. What are the different kinds of personality tests?
A. Self report tests; these are usually pencil and paper tests (questionnaires). Some examples include the MMPI, MCMI, NEO-PI, and MBTI
B. Another type of self-report test, which may be more flexible than the traditional questionnaire, is the Q-sort. The individual places cards, each with a descriptive word or term, into piles indicating how characteristic the descriptor is of him or her. The piles are arranged into a forced-normal distribution (that is, only a few e cards can he placed in the ?most characteristic? or ?least characteristic? piles).
C. Ratings and judgments; this is when someone else fills out a questionnaire or were questions about the target (participant)
D. Biological measures; early attempts included phrenology and body-typing, while some more modern variations include things like palm reading. More reliable forms of biological assessment include recording brain waves, levels of brain chemicals, and hormones
E. Behavioral observations; these include actually watching people perform various behaviors, as well as experience sampling (such as having a person carry a beeper and then write down what he or she is doing each time the beeper goes off).
F. Interviews; these include unstructured interviews (which are more free and thus
potentially more rich, but also more difficult to assess in terms of validity) and structured interviews (more valid, but also more likely to miss important individual nuances). In general, interviews of any type are easily biased by the pre conceptions and behaviors of the interviewer
1. A nice example of a structured interview is the interview used to assess the Type A behavior pattern
G. Expressive behavior; this involves a careful analysis of how people do things-how they move or talk, for example– rather than what they do. Expressive style is often biased by cultural arid gender-related factors
H. Document analysis; this technique involves careful analysis of an individual?s writings such as letters, diaries, etc. Writings such as these are most useful as supplements to other sources of information, but may be a rich source of data in to their own right
I. Projective tests; these assessment tools require one to draw a picture, complete a sentence, tell a story about an ambiguous stimulus, or interpret an ambiguous stimulus. The goal is to gain access to unconscious motives and concerns, but again there is a lot of room for bias in interpretation
1. Some good examples of projective tests include the Rorschach Inkblot Test, the Thematic Apperception Test, and the Draw-A-Person Test
J. Demographics; this includes gathering information about the person?s age, place of birth, religion, family size, etc. Although these variables are not psychological in nature, they can aid in reaching a more complete understanding of the makeup of an individual

IX. How not to test personality
A. Using the tars to understand personality (astrology) is rarely useful
B. Physical body measures such as phrenology are not valid
C. Palm reading, numerology, and handwriting analysis may be fun, but usually do not tell us ver: much about personality

X. Research Design
a. Case studies
1. A Case study is an in-depth study of an individual
2. Different methods including document analysis, self-report measures, and assessments of expressive behavior may be used in combination to learn at: out an individual
b. Correlational Studies
1. Correlational studies assess the degree of relationship between two variables.
2. Correlations do not tell us anything about causal relationships
c. Experiments
1. Experiments allow us to determine causal inferences
2. In true experimental design, people are randomly assigned to either a treatment group or a control group, and then the two groups are compared
3. Quasi-experimental designs (naturally occurring experiments) are used when circumstances make it impossible (or very difficult) to randomly assign people to conditions

Xl. What are some of the ethical issues in personality testing?
A. Test results will always contain some ?error? and thus will always be somewhat inaccurate
B. When these tests are used to identify those who should be excluded from something (like school, medical treatment, etc.), these errors become very important.
C. The fact that errors do occur should not preclude our making use of the psychological assessment tools that are available.
D. Instead, we must be careful at many points in the assessment process
1. In our interpretation of test results
2. When choosing how to apply our knowledge
3. In the construction of new tests
4. Open to revision of ?tried and true? measures if new information becomes available.

Copyright ? 1995-2002 by Allyn & Bacon A Pearson Company


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