Ch. 3 personality

  1. Trait-descriptive adjectives
    Words that describe traits, attributes of a person that are characteristic of a person and perhaps enduring over time
  2. 3 fundamental questions that guide peopel that study traits
    How should we conceptualize traits?

    How can we identify which traits are the most important from among the many ways that individuals differ?

    How can we formulate a comprehensive taxonomy of traits—a system that includes within it all the major traits of personality?
  3. what is a trait? 2 formulations
    traits as internal causal properties

    traits as purely descriptive summaries
  4. traits as internal causal properties
    Traits are presumed to be internal in that individuals carry their desires, needs, and wants from one situation to next

    Desires and needs are presumed to be causal in that they explain behavior of individuals who possess them

    Traits can lie dormant in that capacities are present even when behaviors are not expressed

    Scientific usefulness of viewing traits as causes of behavior lies in ruling out other causes
  5. traits as purely descriptive summaries
    Traits as descriptive summaries of attributes of a person; no assumption about internality, nor is causality assumed

    Argue that we must first identify and describe important individual differences and subsequently develop casual theories to explain them
  6. Act frequency research program:
    Act nominations
    Designed to identify which acts belong in which trait categories
  7. Act frequency research program:
    Prototypicality judgements
    involves identifying which aces are most central or prototypical of each trait category
  8. Act frequency research program:
    Monitoring act performance
    Securing information on actual performance of individuals in their daily lives
  9. Critique of act frequency formulation
    -Does not specify how much context should be included in the description of the trait-relevant act

    - Seems applicable to overt actions, but what about failures to act or covert acts not directly observable?

    -May not successfully capture complex traits

  10. Atheoretical
    nothing within approach provides guide to which traits are important or explanation for why individuals differ in frequency of act performance over time
  11. Accomplishments of act frequency formulation
    - Helpful in making explicit the behavioral phenomena to which most trait terms refer

    - Helpful in identifying behavioral regularities

    - Helpful in exploring the meaning of some traits that are difficult to study, such as impulsivity and creativity
  12. 3 approaches to identification of the most important traits
    • - lexical approach
    • - statistical approach
    • - Theoretical approach
  13. Lexical approach
    Starts with lexical hypothesis: All important individual differences have become encoded within the natural language over time

    Trait terms are important for people in communicating with others
  14. 2 criteria for identifying important traits: lexical approach
    Synonym frequency

    Cross-cultural universality
  15. Problems and limitations (2): lexical approach
    Many traits are ambiguous, metaphorical, obscure, or difficult

    Personality is conveyed through different parts of speech (not just adjectives), including nouns and adverbs
  16. Statistical approach
    Starts with a large, diverse pool of personality items

    Goal of statistical approach is to identify major dimensions of personality
  17. Factor analysis: Statistical approach
    Identifies groups of items that covary or go together, but tend not to covary with other groups of items

    Provides means for determining which personality variables share some property or belong within the same group

    Useful in reducing the large array of diverse traits into smaller, more useful set of underlying factors

    Factor loading: Index of how much of a variation in an item is “explained” by a factor

    Cautionary note: You only get out of factor analysis what you put in; thus, researchers must pay attention to the initial selection items
  18. Theoretical approach
    • Starts with a theory, which then determines which variables are important
    • Example: Sociosexual orientation

    Strengths coincide with strengths of a theory, and weaknesses coincide with the weaknesses of a theory
  19. Eysenck's hierarchial model of personality
    - Model of personality based on traits that Eysenck believed were highly heritable and had psychophysiological foundation

    - Three traits met criteria: Extraversion-Introversion (E), Neuroticism-Emotional Stability (N), Psychoticism (P)
  20. Extraversion
    High scorers like partiers, have many friends, require people around to talk to, like playing practical jokes on others, display carefree, easy manner, and have a high activity level
  21. Neuroticism
    High scorers are worriers, anxious, depressed, have trouble sleeping, experience array of psychosomatic symptoms, and over-reactivity of negative emotions
  22. psychoticism
    High scorers are solitary, lack empathy, often cruel and inhumane, insensitivity to pain and suffering of others, aggressive, penchant for strange and unusual, impulsive, and has antisocial tendencies
  23. Hierarchical Structure of Eysenck’s System
    - Super traits (P, E, N) at the top

    - Narrower traits at the second level

    - Subsumed by each narrower trait is the third level—habitual acts

    - At the lowest level of the four-tiered hierarchy are specific acts

    - Hierarchy has the advantage of locating each specific, personality-relevant act within increasingly precise nested system
  24. Biological underpinnings- key criteria for "basic" dimensions of personality
    - Heritability: P, E, and N have moderate heritabilities, but so do many other personality traits

    - Identifiable physiological substrate
  25. Biological underpinnings- limitations: Eysenck's theory
    Many other personality traits show moderate heritability

    Eysenck may have missed important traits
  26. Cattell's Taxonomy: 16 personality Factor system
    Believed that the true factors of personality should be found across different types of data, such as self-reports and laboratory tests
  27. Major criticisms of cattell's taxonomy (16 factor peronanlty system)
    Some personality researchers have failed to replicate the 16 factors

    Many argue that a smaller number of factors captures important ways in which individuals differ
  28. The Wiggins Circumplex
    - Started with the lexical assumption

    - Argued that trait terms specify different kinds of ways in which individuals differ: Interpersonal, temperament, character, material, attitude, mental, and physical

    - Wiggins was concerned with interpersonal traits and carefully separated these out

    - Defined “interpersonal” as interactions between people involving exchanges
  29. Wiggins circumplex: 2 resources that define social exchange
    love and status
  30. 3 advantages of wiggins circumplex
    Provides an explicit definition of what constitutes “interpersonal” behavior

    Specifies relationships between each trait and every other trait in the model (adjacency, bipolarity, orthogonality)

    Alerts investigators to “gaps” in work on interpersonal behavior
  31. limitation of wiggins circumplex
    Interpersonal map is limited to two dimensions—other traits may have important interpersonal consequences
  32. 5 factors of Five-factor model
    • 1. Surgency or Extraversion
    • 2. Agreeableness
    • 3. Conscientiousness
    • 4. Emotional Stability
    • 5. Openness/Intellect
  33. five-factor model: baed on
    lexical and statistical approach
Card Set
Ch. 3 personality
chapter 3 psyc stuff exam 1