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The main assumptions of the trait approach (Study well);
The basic assumptions of trait approach: Continuum, consistency and stability.
- -Continuum, a chart that shows number of
- people and that most people have an average amount of traits, some have many and some have few. A trait description places people on a personality continuum relative to others.
- -Consistency- the assumption that our traits and characteristics are consistent across any situation.
- -Stability- The psychologist is interested in relatively stable patterns of behavior that can be measured and categorized along a normal continuum.
Allport: Nomothetic vs. idiographic approaches
two strategies that researchers might use when investigating personality.
Allport and central traits, cardinal traits.
- -Central Traits- 5 to 10 traits that best describe a person’s personality.
- -Cardinal Traits- A single trait that dominates a person’s personality.
The nomothetic vs. the idiographic approaches.
Nomothetic approach- Researchers assume that all people can be described along a single dimension according to their level of, for example, assertiveness or anxiety. They are tested to see how their scores for the trait compares with scores of others. Traits that apply to everyone are called common traits. Indispensable for understanding personality. VS Idiographic approach- rather than forcing people into categories selected beforehand, researchers identify the unique combination of traits that best accounts for the personality of a single individual.
Murray’s psychogenic needs;
- The relative importance and intensity of needs with the individual.
- Personality as the expression of needs.-just needs as the need for food and water, psychogenic needs- readiness to respond in a certain way under certain given conditions. 27 psychogenic needs.
Factor analysis and the search for the structure of personality. The Big Five. Factor analysis: Cattell and his ideas of the basic structure of personality
- He borrowed what the personality was made of from other sciences. Source traits. The basic traits that make up
- personality. What is factor-analysis? Used to determine the
- number of basic personality traits.
- The Big Five- what are they?-Teams of investigators using many different kinds of data repeatedly find evidence of five basic dimensions of personality. The five have showed up in many studied and are known as the big five they are…OCEAN—
- -Neuroticism- High Neuroticism means tend to become angry.
- -Extraversion- very sociable people
- -Openness –interpersonal sense
- -Agreeableness- helpful
- -Conscientiousness- controlled and self disciplined.
The situation vs. trait controversy:
LOOK IT UP!!!
of the trait approach: trait measures do not predict behavior well; little evidence for cross-situational consistency;
LOOK IT UP!
In defense of traits: measuring behavior; identifying relevant traits
The Big Five in the workplace
- People complain that personality test scores should not determine if someone gets a promotion or gets hired. A strong case can be made for hiring people high in Agreeableness. These people are trusting, cooperative, and helpful. They are pleasant to have around the office and probably work especially well in jobs calling for teamwork, Other studies indicate that extraverts often have an edge in the business world over
- introverts and that openness to experience can be beneficial in some job settings. Personality may account for a significant proportion of job performance variance, but it is only one of many important variables that contribute to how well an individual performs the job. Making hiring and promotion decisions on test scores in unwise and unfair.
Self-report inventories, the MMPI, the problems with self-report
- Self-report inventories are the most widely used form of personality assessment. Typically, these are pencil-and-paper
- tests that ask people to respond to questions about themselves. Self-report inventories are used by researchers investigating differences, a quick profile of their client’s personality to aid in making diagnosis. Be familiar with the MMPI, its scales, and problems with self-report inventories.- MMPI= Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. A self-report inventory that
- contains 567 T/F questions. The scales identified by numbers 1 through 0 are Hypochondriasis, depression, and hysteria…
- Problems= participants willingness to answer honestly, faking. “Fake good” There are ways to detect faking though. Patients get bored and don’t read questions. But there is cameras
- watching during test.
Strengths and criticisms of the trait approach.
- -Strengths- allow data to determine theory. Reduces some of the biases. Used to evaluate clients. Match clients with fitting careers.
- -Criticisms- describe people in terms of traits, but do not explain how these trait develop or what can be done to help people who suffer from extreme scores. No single theory ties all theories