Personality

PSYCH 356 - Winter 2018 - University of Waterloo

Richard Eibach

Lecture 1: Jan 3, 2018

What is personality psychology? The science of ##individuality##. Variability, noise. Measuring and explaining patterned individual differences in behaviour, subjective experience, and personal functioning. Generalization: each individual is unique. Challenge: how cna we use scitific methods to study indiividuality? Unique patterns - anecdote, rather than science.

We have to study it at a variety of different angles.

We're going to go through all of these levels. Who we are as actors is establishe dealry in life. Agentic self - emerge in late childhood crystalized in early adulthood. Self as an author - further into adulthood, mature in midlife. Each layer has different intraceptions with developmental periods of life.

Personality evaluation assignment 15% - use personality measures to get a sense of what a person is like. Use it with a partner. Rate acquaintance. Why two different individuals might come to two different conclusions. Midterm - 30% - lecture topics and assigned readings. David funder 7th edition The PErsonality Puzzle. Assigned articles. Personality observation assignment 15% - newer techniques that move away from traditional. Final - 40% - M/C, short answer, latter half, but will have repeat questions. Review sessions.

HEAXCO Personality Traits and Facets. Have a Big 5 model - these psychologicists says there's a missing 6th one - it captures our moral personality.

Assignment 2 - physical spaces to get insights on people. Dorm rooms, inspect. Same physical space for individuals, but how they use that space can be different.

Why study personality?

  1. People are intrinsically interested in individual differences. We wanna know. Which character are you? Get a sense of our own personalities and personalities of people we know. Fused with interest in pop culture. None are science, just games. Personality excites us. We develop our own theories on personality Dog people vs. Cat people. But is there any truth to it? Some support for it.
  2. Correcting mistaken or confused ideas about personality differences. Low self-esteem vs high self-esteem. Self-esteem as a personality dimension. Idea that high self-esteem leads to positive life outcomes. Social problems being tied to low self-esteem. Is there a correlation and if there is, is there a causal relationship? Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold - killed schoolmates and themselves. They recorded their motivations to explain what they were trying to do. It's not low self-esteem, but grandiose high self-esteem. They deserve respect, and the act is oging to get that respect. NPI - Narcissism Personality Inventory - whath they say corresponds to items. An extreme high self-esteem problem.
    Ego-threatened vs. Praise for your essay. Critical threatening vs. oh you're really great. You have opportunity to aggress.Determine how much of a blast of noise you're going to give the individual. When high narcissism + ego threat -> spike in levels of aggression. Not just high self esteem, just certain situations.
    Evidence suggests that people's self esteem has been going upward for a long time. What are the consequences of that? Is aggression going to be more common?
  3. Personality differences predict important life outcomes. Does at least as well as other indicators. Divorce. Corellation between social status, personality measures, and likelihood of divorce. Personality predicts the same as Socioeconomic status. SES predictive element is smaller than personality measures. Neuroticism is reverse scored. Occupational success. Personality traits does at least as good a job than more traditional predictors. Almost as useful as IQ. Better predictor than SES and parental income.Mortality. Personality measures > SES, IQ.

Assessing the reliability & Validity of Personality Measures

Methodologies. How can we assess whether a personality measure is measuring something at all.

We need to decompose our measures into true sources of variability.

Measured Value = True Value + Measurement Error

True differences. Measurement error - noise, random fluctuations. There's some combination of the person's true score and error. We want to disentangle how much is true and reliable and how much is random noise.

Example of Personality Scale Development

. The History of MEmasuring Authoritarianism. Individual differences in people's attraction to very strong forces of authority - authoritarianism. What drew people to authority?

Used psychoanalytic theory to explain who was susceptible to joining fascist movements. Harsh coercive authoritarian households. Habitual pattern of having aggression against minorities as a defence mechanism. I can't aggress against powerful people, so you aggress towards minorities, weaker individuals. Submissive to authority, aggressive to minorities. This was their theory. Developed an F (Fascism) Scale to measure authoritatrian personality.

Found that people with high scores on F-scale. All prejudices cohered together. No logical reason why they prejudice against all minorities - only thing common is that they're minority groups. Consistent family backgrounds. More strict + parental discipline. Parents affection was contingent on good behaviour. Only got love when they behaved well.

Research problems. Key problem: unbalanced scale. All items on scale were worded in the same direction. If you agreed, it would indicate you were more authoritarian. It can produce systematic measurement error - some people who tend to agree with things. If you ask, it sounds reasonable, they'll agree. That means the measure is contaminated. Not studying authortarianism, just studying tendency to agree on things. Another problem: theoretical problems. Based on psychoanalytic theory which has been debunked. Clear problems of the theory behind it.

Sidelined because of its problems. But that's a problem because it's not something we should ignore. Being able to measure + assess is important.

Bob Altemeyer at UofManitoba - brought it back. Late 1970s. Tried to update the F-scale.

Right-wing Authoritarianism. Altemeyer's update. Three core dispositions that combine together to draw people to authoritarian.

We need to measure all three of them. You need items to measure them. 30 Item scale. Included reverse-coded items. Have to assess if he's measuring something reliable/stable and if it's really autoritarianism.

Different tools to assess reliability.

You need to be able to assess correlation. -1 to +1. Negative association to Positive association.

Is it really measuring something real? ##Test-retest reliability## - Look at stability over time. Should get consistent scores over time. But this assumes that there's no change in participant's score over time. RWA. keep taking scale. Test-retest reliability - very positive corellation. slightly weaker but still strong.

##Inter-rater agreement## - whether two different observers come to the same conclusion. If same, then there must be some underlying truth. RWA. Do you and your friend agree in rating your authoritarianism? r = 0.45. There is some relationship - not tight, but reliable. There is some true score even when different judges use the same measure.

##Internal Consistency## - how much error there is across the items in a scale. How well all of the component items point towards the same conclusion. Look at inter correlation of the separate items. ##Average-item correlation## - take item 1 + 2-6, 2+1,3-6, then average them. ##Split-half corerelations## - subdivide scale into two. Look at correlaiton between scores between those subscales. Problem: how do you choose which goes in what stack. ##Cronbach's alpha## - approximate all of the possible split half reliabilities. Average all of split-half possibilities.

Lecture 2: Jan 10, 2018

Personality Judgement - sources of accuracy and error

Pick up on irregularities and form an impression. Want to understand what other people are like. We should have well-developed recognition of patterns. Want to understand the process of personality judgement. How do we go about assessing personality and how accurate are our judgements?

Monty Python and the Holy Grail - debate how to judge whether someone is a witch or not. We need cues to diagnose whether someone is a witch.

A lot of the things we want to study and measure are things we cannot directly observe. We need behavioural cues to judge whether that trait is there or not.

True Value -> Cue X -> Judged Value. We want to find the true value, then look at cues, then see what judged value they are. Actual Witch -> x Peaked hat, x long nose, x wart, + lighter than a duck -> Call her a witch.

Cue Validity: Correlation between actual trait level with presence or absence of cue. Some cues are strong correlates of the thing we're trying to measure, others are poor cues. Those cues would not be reliable indicators. IQ -> . IQ tests, what are the behavioural correlates with whether someone is intelligent or not. .34 - Self-assured expression - of how they interacted with others. -.09 - weight, not correlated. .36 - Standard language - people who followed the rules of language, used grammar. .01 hair length. Want to look at cues and guess how intelligent they are. Had observers look at these people and they formed impression. ##Cue utilization## - the correlation of judged trait level with presence or absence of cue. 0.26 self assured expression. -.25 - weight. 0.06 standard language. 0.07 - hair length. See how well people are using the actual evidence of IQ to form an impression of IQ. Valid use of cue: self-assured expression - correlated with actual IQ, correlated with observer's. Valid discounting of cue - it isn't valid, and observers don't use it for judgement. Invalid use of cue - weight - they thought it made them not as smart, even though it's not a valid cue. Invalid discounting of cue - standard language - observers don't use to infer how intelligent someone is. Overall correlation = 0.38 - some cues used appropriately, but also inappropriately. Some positive correlation,b ut not entirely. General model.

Funder's ##realistic accuracy model## (RAM) - accuracy of judgement depends on how well we follow steps. If any steps break down, or if there's error, then it will reduce the accuraccy of the judgement.

Evidence that we're good at picking up on personality and forming accurate impressions even from minimum information - thin slices of non-verbal behaviour or mere appearance. Recorded a person's non verbal behaviour, removed colour, audio was edited so you could hear tone of voice, but couldn't hear content, length of displays. The correlation of observer's ratings and target's own self ratings (or acquaintance).

Moderators of accuracy

Benchmarks of accuracy

Different kinds of indices. Subjective indices of accuracy - correlation with self-ratings. Assumption that individuals know themselves. Compare someone else's judgements with self's. Correlation with informant ratings - acquaintances, coworkers, friends, family members. Correlation with expert ratings - clinical interviews - professionals. These are all subjective.

Objective indices of accuracy: relation to concrete behavioural criteria, physiological measures, or performance measures.

Most research uses subjective indices as a benchmark of accuracy.

Properties of the Information

Variability in the ##Quality## of the information - relevance to the personality construct. Variability in the ##Quanitity## of information - amount of available/detectable information about the target.

"Good Information" study - groups of 3 strangers, have them interact. Varied content of lab sessions. Afterwards, they had the 3 individuals judge each others' personalities. 1 condition - minimal info condition - no interactive tasks, just hanging out, just visual information, no verbal interactions. 2nd condition - trivia quiz condition - 50 mins - game-like. 3rd condition - 50 min - free to discuss anything they wished - unstructured interaction. 4th condition - long, unstructured interaction - 3 hour version. 5th condition - "getting to knw" interaction - 50 min - task is to learn about the others. Varied quantity and quality of information. Accuraccy criterion: 1. target's self-ratings, ratings by 2 friends of target, every participant had an interview with clinician. Mark, Joanne, Fatima. The accuracy: lowest to highest: minimal (0.3), trivia, short unstr, long unstr, get to know. Quality trumps quantity. Too structured - limits accuracy. Give them liberty - provides opportunities for personality to express themselves. "Good information" example - experimenters collected targets' self-ratings and their friends' ratings of them. Targets participated in 3 interviews that were video-recorded. Cognitive/acffective interview - intervviewre asked target's thoughts/feelings in various situations (how did you feel about that?) 2. Behavioural interview - interviewer asked what target did in various situations and targets were instructed to discuss overt actions 3. Control interview - interview wiht no specified focus. Took videos of these interviews - took one of the interviews and gave to observer and they rated their personality. Predcitions: correspondence of observers' rating with targets' self-ratings and with friends' ratings should be greater if the observers had watched the cognitive/affective interview condition than in the other ones. Predictions consistent. Highest correlation in cognitive/affective interview. Behavioural info did not produce as strong a correlation. Control was similar to behavioural.

Properties of the trait

Traits may differ in the degree to which they express relevant cues that are readily available and correctly interpreted by observers. Some traits may emit more cues that are more readily detectable. Some traits are externally manifested and thusmay be judged as well by others as they are by the self - extraversion. Other traits are internally manifested and thus may be judged better by the self than by others - harder for external observers to use - neuroticism. Observers may be more accurate at judging extraversion over neuroticism. Perceivers may have adaptations to detect and correctly utilize cues of traits that were relevant to reproductive success in our ancestral environment.

Hypothesis from evolutionary psychology. Sociosexuality - individual differences in motivation to pursue short-term mating opportunities (casual sex). Some are choosy and selective, others are less selective. We should be attentive to cues as to how sexually readily available people are. It's important to recognize signs in how readily someone else is to engage in casual sex. If humans have special skills, then after observing a sample of behaviour, then they should become more accurate at judging that trait. To test: heterosexual targets - self ratings - social potency, closeness, stress reacitivity, socio-sexuality. Then the targets were videotaped while being interviewed by an attractive person by the other sex (confederate). Intenrviewed for a potential lunch date. Observers were allowed to view the first minute. Audio was edited out, only saw non-verbal behaviours. Perceivers had to estimate levels of the traits. Looked at correlation between self-ratings and perceiver's ratings. We should see greater accuracy in socio-sexuality judgements. Partial correlations - extracted physical attractiveness of target because more attractive would have more casual sex. 0.4 correlation for siciosexuality opposed to 0.12, 0.15, 0.08 for the rest.

Properties of the target

Qualities of the target. Some poeple may be more readable than others. Targets may differ in the extent to which they express relevant personality cues that make information readily available/detectable to observers. Example, psychologically well-adjusted individuals may be more relaxed and disinhibited.

Groups of strangers - 3 min getting acquanted sessions with every other member of their group. Each interaction participants judged personality traits of others. Participants rated their own personalities and completed measures of psychological adjustment (self-esteem, psychological well-being). Accuraccy measure: correlation of observer's ratings with target's self-ratings. Predictions: well-adjusted targets should be judged more accurately than poorly-adjusted targets. If well-adjusted people are judged more accurately because they're less inhibited in expressing themselves, then the effect of target adjustement on accuracy should be especially strong ofr less readily observable traits. High observability - externally manifesting traits. Low observability - internally manifesting traits. Positive association - more well--adjusted target was, the more accurately observers rated their personalities. Slope was steeper for low observability - well-adjusted are especially read more accurately on traits that are not easily seen. Less-adjusted seem to conceal that stuff.

Properties of the judge

The perceiver themselves. Are there qualities that make some people better judgers? Judges may elcit relevant personality cues from targets. Some people may make people more comfortable in expressing themselves. Some judges may be more attuned in other people, more willing to take other people's perspectives. Judges may differ in their biases. Positivity bias - some poeple just assume the best of everyone.

People induced to feel high power or lower power - how good they are at accurate emotion judging. Cold empathy - acccurately infer emotional states just by looking at external behaviour. Mind in the eyes test (NYT). When you induce people to feel powerful, they become less accurate in reading emotions. High power - less accurate judge of other people's perspectives

Groups of 3 strangers videotaped interacting in lab sessions. they rated each others' personalities. Another group watched the videotapes and coded behaviours of judges and partners. Predictions: judges who make them more comfortable should be able to judge them more accurately cause they can learn more. Videotape viewers who viewed targets that were more comfortable, would have more accurate judgements. Behaviours - compares self to others, more warm, eye contact, emphasizes accomplishments, etc - predictive of judging accuracy. Negative correlates - reduce accuracy of judges - seeking reassurance from partners, trying to undermind/sabotage/obstruct. If mark/joanne were low judges, observers formed least accurate. If one was good judge, then a bit more accurate. If both more accurate, then more accurate. Not only are they good at judging, they make them feel comfortbale os that they elicit more behaviours for better accurate judgements.

Common judgemental biases relevant to personality judgement.

Self-report data - most common source. Questionnaires, surveys, interviews. Advantages - individuals have a large quantity of information across variety of contexts. Introspective information - thoughts, feelings, sensations, not necessarily expressed in overt behaviour. Limitations: biases - self-enhancement, fallibilities - inaccurate recall, introspective illusions - confabulations.

Informant-report data - by people who know the target well. Advantages: based on a large body of observations often in diverse, naturalistic contexts. More than one source can be used to cross-verify judgements. Limitations: restricted range of contexts, limited access to thoughts and feelings, egocentric trait definitions - use self as a standard for judging others.

SOKA Model - high observability: extraversion should be the same in self and other. low observability: intellect - internal, but high evalutiveness - friend > self, friend > stranger - friends can observe better, but no self-evaluation bias. Low observability, low evaluation - neuroticism - self > other, friend > stranger - friends not better than self because of evaluation.

Domain and Traits Observability Evaluativeness Predictions
Extraversion (Talkativeness, Dominance, Leadership) High Low Self = Other
Intellect (Creativity, Intelligence) Low High Friend > Self; Friend > Stranger
Neuroticism (Self-esteem, Anxiety, Impulsivity) Low Low Self > Other; Friend > Stranger

Lecture 3: Jan 17, 2018

Hexaco Personality Inventory

Some judges may be good for some traits, and others good for judging other traits.

Some traits miht be more accurately judged by themselves, and some by an external person. When a trait is low in observability (inwardly expressed), self-ratings should be more valid than informant ratings. The individual has more rich information about these traits. I worry a lot. People won't know unless I tell people.When a trait is strongly evaluative, self-ratings should be less valid than informant ratings. Trait that is socially desired. Want to make the most positive impression of ourselves. Others will have more objectivity.

To test it: need friend groups. Also need them to interact with strangers.

Personality Traits

What a trait is and how psychologisists concepttualize traits. Describing and epxplaining basic dimensions of personality expression.

##The Nomothetic Trait Concept## - Essential features of what we mean by a trait

How do you assess a person's traits? Look at language. What is the variability in patterns of behaviour when we're assessing people's behaviour? How many types of person descriptor there are - construct ratings. Talkativeness -> "Is talkative"

Use statistical analysis to find correlations to identify a smaller set of internally consistent factors - ##FActor analysis##. Try to summarize what the information across all the time is trying to tell us. Which overlap with each other, that tap into the same quality.

The 5 factors are the basic units of personality description. The summary. The "Big 5" (Ocean). Not just one thing, a number of facets.

Moving beyond description - have to explain the patterns. Not just describe. What's causing those patterns? Map big 5 factors, why are they distinct.

Pavlov's dogs. Bullet and Groaner. Names not randomly chosen - described variability that the handlers noticed in the animals. Bullet was bold, lively. Groaner was more timid, cowardly, more withdrawn. Pavlov noticed the differences - thought it was important to understand the differences.

##Behavioural approach system (Bas)## - regulates behaviour that motivates us to approach rewards and achieve goals. Reward sensitivity. Dopaminergic system - regulates our attentional and emotional responseiveness to reward cues. Hypothesis: extraversion describes individual difference sin sensitivity to rewards and strength of reward-seeking motivation.

Extraversion is positively associated with positive feeling sin daily life but is unrelated to negative feelings. Extraverts tend to savour positive experiences more than introverts - lab-induced good moods last longer for extraverts. Extraversion predicts ability to maintain positive mood - induce a mood, it's durable. In 90-day diary study - more positive and overexaggerate positivity.

Mood induction - hypothetical scenario - imagine it. Positive mood condition: winning money and taking vacation. Negative mood condition: expelled from school in embarassing manner, having close friend die from painful incurable disease. Neutral: visiting supermarket then trip on highway. Measure how strong of a positive/negative response. Reported mood states. Introvert: some positivity for positive. Much stronger response of positivity for extraverts.

Prediction: extraversion scores should correlate with neral activity in response to rewarding stimuli but not negative stimuli. Amygdala - responds to motivationally saliient stimuli.

Neuroticism predicts experiencing more negative feelings but is unrelated to experience of positive feelings.

Fight-Flight-Freeze System - adaptive fear responses to negative stimuli. Neurotic-volatility describes individual difference sin fearful reactions to threatening stimili. Individuals high in neurotic volatility are more attentive and emotionally responsive to threatening stimuli compared to those who are low in neurotic volatility. Explains high neurotics' fearfulness and other negative emotionality and their volatile responses

Behavioural Inhibition system (Bis) - regulates other responses to negativity. Inhibits approach behaviours. FFFS is responding to a real threat. BIS is for pending, posibble hypothetical threats that you don't know that are real yet. Anticipates threats/risks. Generates feelins of anxiety when uncertain about the consequences. High in neurotic withdrawal are more responsive to cues of uncertainty and more wary about engaging in approach. They're more cautious, vigilant.

2 facets of neuroticism - Neurotic Volatility - predisposition to be agitated by negative information. Neurotic Withdrawal - predisposition to passively avoid stimuli

High in volatility - amygdala activity should vary as a function of stimulus valence. Greater activation to negative stimuli. High in withdrawak - function of motivational direction - higher activation when approaching stimuli.

Executive Functioning System - Neurophysiological system that functio to enable top down monitoring and control of ehaviour. While engaging in the world, need to monitor if we're doing things correctly. Impulses/habits that generate behaviours that are inconsistent with our values/goals, it detects those errors and inhibits those impulses. Anterior Cingulate Cortex monitors this. Hypothesis: conscientiousne captures differences in this. High in conscientiousness monitor the stream of behaviour more effectively to detect and override eorrors and enable resopnses that are consistent with long-term goals. People low in conscientousness die earlier.

Higher conscientiousness - chroinic would detect errors regardless of whether they got an incentive or not. Low c wshould monitor only when there are strong incentives.

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