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act frequency formulation of traits
- starts with the notion that traits are categories of acts.
- e.g. dominance is a trait category with hundreds of acts as members.
act frequency research program
- 1. act nomination
- 2. prototypicality judgment
- 3. recording of act performance
procedure designed to identify which acts belong in which trait categories.
- identifying which acts are most central to, or prototypical of, each trait category.
- panels of raters judge how prototypical each act is as an example of a particular concept.
recording of act performance
securing information on the actual performance of individual in their daily lives.
identifying the most important traits
- lexical approach
- statistical approach
- theoretical approach
- all traits listed and defined in the dictionary form the basis of the natural way of describing differences between people.
- lexical hypothesis: all important individual differences have become encoded within the natural language.
- e.g. dominant, creative, reliable, cooperative, hot-tempered
factor analysis, similar statistical procedures, to identify major personality traits.
researchers use theories to identify important traits.
- if an attribute has not only one or two trait adjectives to describe it but rather six or eight then it’s a more important dimension of indiv difference.
- part of lexical approach
- the more important an individual difference in human transactions the more languages will have a term for it.
- the most observable traits should have a term in almost every language.
- part of lexical approach
- most commonly used statistical procedure to identify the major dimensions on the personality map.
- part of statistical approach
- Goal of statistical approach is to identify major dimensions of personality that covary or go together, but tend not to covary with other groups of items
Steps in a Factor Analysis
- Collect measurements on a large, diverse pool of personality items
- Compute correlations between all pairs of variables
- Extract factors
- Label factors based on factor loadings
- indexes of how much of the variation in an item is explained by the factor.
- indicate the degree to which the item correlates with or loads on, the underlying factor.
- part of statistical approach
- people will seek one of 2 alternative relationship strategies, single committed relationship characterized by monogamy and investment in children or great promiscuity more partner switching and less investment in children
- part of theoretical approach
- developed a model of personality based on traits he believed were highly heritable
- Model of personality based on heritable traits with psycho-physio foundation
- psychoticism, extraversion, neuroticism
- Emotional arousal exaggerates behavioral responses of introverts and extroverts
- People high religiosity tend to score low in psychoticism
- established as one of his goals the identification and measurement of the basic units of personality.
- 16 personality factor scales; traits named with letters
- circular representations of personality; circular model with modern statistical techniques.
- personality map
specifies that traits that are perpendicular to each other on the model are entirely unrelated to each other (0 correlation b/t those traits) e.g. dominant and agreeableness
what people do to and with other people.
- traits bipolar are located at opposite sides of the circle and are negatively correlated.
- e.g. dominant and submissive.
five factor model
- big five
- openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism
the study of other forms of individual differences in addition to personality traits such as abilities, aptitudes, and intelligence.
consistency over time
if you are a high scorer for extraversion when you are 20 you will probably be a high scorer as compared to others also when you are 40
if all people show a decrease in a particular trait at the same rate over time they might sill maintain the same rank order relative to each other.
if behavior differs from situation to situation it must be because of situational factors.
behavior is a function of personality traits and situational forces.
averaging several single observations resulting in a better measure of a personality trait than a single observation of behavior.
person acts in a specific way under particular circumstances.
situations in which nearly all people react in similar ways.
tendency to choose the situations in which one finds oneself.
idea that certain personality traits may evoke specific responses from the environment.
various means by which people influence the behavior of others.
personality traits are average tendencies to behave in certain ways.
The continuities, consistencies, and stabilities in people over time AND the ways in which people change over time.
3 most important forms of stability are
- Rank order stability
- Mean level stability
- Personality coherence
Rank order stability
Maintenance of individual position within a group.
Mean level stability
If the average level of conservatism in a population remains the same with increasing age of the population.
Mean level change
If the average level of conservatism decreases and the population becomes more conservative as they get older
Maintaining rank order in relation to other indivs but changing the manifestations of the trait.
2 defining qualities of personality change
- Internal to the person, not just external like going into another room
- Whether theyre enduring over time
Indiv differences that emerge very early in life, likely to have a heritable basis and often involved with emotionality or arousability.
- Examinations of the same groups of indivs over time.
- Difficult to do
Recording device attached to wrists of children during play times
- (test retest reliability coefficients)
- Correlations b/t the same measures obtained at 2 different points in time.
Correlations b/t different measure of the same trait obtained at the same time.
Personality endurance (application question)
- Pers. Tends to remain moderately stable over time,
- pers at 3 is a good indicator of pers at mid twenties.
- Pers report tends to be accurate whether spouse, self, or other reported
Pers becomes more stable as we age
- The extent to which one perceives oneself as relatively close to being the person one wants to be and/or as relatively distant from the kind of person one doesn’t want to be
- Measured as a difference b/t self description and ideal self description
- Social times in which one lives.
- Changes over time that are attributable to living in different time periods rather than to “true” change.
Predictable changes in the manifestations or outcomes of personality factors over time.
Kelly and Conley study of couples – 3 factors influencing successful marriages
Neuroticism of the husband, impulsivity control of husband, neuroticism of the wife
Similarity b/t spouses
- Highly similar spouses showed personality stability
- Least similar spouses showed most personality change later in the marriage
2 animals of the same sex competing for use of the female pool
Members of one sex choose a mate based on preferences for particular qualities in a mate.
Differential gene reproduction
- Evolution operates by this principle
- Defined by reproductive success relative to others.
Properties of traits
- Stable over time
- Constant across situations
- Indiv differences
inherited solutions to survival and reproductive problems posed by hostile forces of nature; learning how to get along in the environment.
Inclusive fitness theory
- Evolutionary theory based on differential gene reproduction
- Characteristics that facilitate reproduction need not affect the personal production of offspring.
Incidental effects not properly considered to be adaptations.
Random variations that are neutral with respect to selection.
Adaptations designed by the evolutionary process to solve a particular adaptive problem.
Deductive reasoning approach
Theory driven method of empirical research of evolution.
Inductive reasoning approach
Bottom up, data driven method of empirical research of evolution.
Distress or anxiety about being negatively evaluated in interpersonal situations.
Notion that our psychological mechanisms are designed to accomplish particular adaptive goals.
Evolutionary sex differences
- Sexes will differ in precisely those domains where women and men have faced different sorts of adaptive problems.
- Aggression, jealousy, desire for sexual variety, mate preferences
Aggression is a secondary consequence of heritable body build
Few males will sire many offspring whereas some will have none at all.
- Species that show high variance in reproduction within one sex
- Highly different in size and structure.
Restricted sexual strategy
Delayed intercourse and prolonged courtship
Unrestricted mating strategy
- A woman seeking a man for the quality of his genes has less reason to delay sexual intercourse
- Man’s level of commitment to her is irrelevant.
When genetic variation is maintained by selection because different levels on a trait dimension are adaptive in different environments.
sex that invest the least in offspring is predicted to be less discriminating
anything that impedes surival or reproduction.