Personality assessment Week 3 Todays outline Personality as

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Personality assessment Week 3

Personality assessment Week 3

Today’s outline • Personality as human nature • Trends in personality research • •

Today’s outline • Personality as human nature • Trends in personality research • • • Classification Understanding Prediction Interactionist Biological models • What makes a good personality test? • One remaining but very fundamental issue

Human nature

Human nature

Human nature • People want to understand themselves and others • • Astrology Humors

Human nature • People want to understand themselves and others • • Astrology Humors Phrenology Personality tests • Sometimes driven by external events • WWII • Industrialization

Personality test explosion • 2500 test publishers in the US • US$400 million industry

Personality test explosion • 2500 test publishers in the US • US$400 million industry • SAT, GMAT, GRE, WISC, etc. • Check your Facebook • Color preference and personality

Trends in personality reseach

Trends in personality reseach

Trends in personality research: Classification • (A) Classifying “normals” vs. abnormals • MMPI (next

Trends in personality research: Classification • (A) Classifying “normals” vs. abnormals • MMPI (next week) • Rorsarch (next week) • (B) Analyzing “normals” • MBTI • Misusing tests for (A) onto (B) • This is a clear mismeasure • Suddenly, you see lots of abnormal people around • 47% of the normal Rorschach test-takers will be labeled as having "distorted thinking. "

Trends in personality research: Understanding • Cattell’s 16 PF was originally intended to be

Trends in personality research: Understanding • Cattell’s 16 PF was originally intended to be a ‘periodic table of personality’ • Available here: http: //personality-testing. info/tests/16 PF. php • But it was criticized as having too many PF: Warmth, Reasoning, Emotional stability, Dominance, Liveliness, Rule-consciousness, Social boldness, Vigilance, Abstractness, Privateness, Apprehension, Openness to change, Self-reliance, Perfectionism, Tension • Based on Lexical Hypothesis: If a personality is ‘real’, there must be a word for it ↔ if there is a word for a trait, it must be a real trait

Trends in personality research: Understanding • Others found 5 basic personality traits (i. e.

Trends in personality research: Understanding • Others found 5 basic personality traits (i. e. , Big 5): OCEAN • Recall the questionnaire you completed. That was the Big 5. • Let’s compare the statistical structure of your Big 5 with MBTI • If the MBTI were true, then responses to the Big 5 should be bimodal. • Is that true?

But first, what does ‘bimodal’ mean? • Many traits are approximately normally distributed.

But first, what does ‘bimodal’ mean? • Many traits are approximately normally distributed.

But first, what does ‘bimodal’ mean?

But first, what does ‘bimodal’ mean?

Statistical structure of your Big 5 response Is the distribution bimodal?

Statistical structure of your Big 5 response Is the distribution bimodal?

Implications on MBTI • The MBTI’s claim that people can be (neatly) classified into

Implications on MBTI • The MBTI’s claim that people can be (neatly) classified into types is fundamentally wrong – the data just doesn’t fit theory! • Why is the MBTI so popular? • Politically correct – there’s no need to change oneself or the workplace, because success/happiness depends on fit • Projective tests (next week) are threatening (they claim to analyze your unconscious), but MBTI is comforting • Barnum effect increases believability • Irresponsible arm-chair philosophy?

Trends in personality research: Predicting • Psychologists usually aren’t interested in describing personality, but

Trends in personality research: Predicting • Psychologists usually aren’t interested in describing personality, but predicting/explaining

Make a guess: Which personality trait(s) predict well-being? • (O)penness to Experience • (C)onscientiousness

Make a guess: Which personality trait(s) predict well-being? • (O)penness to Experience • (C)onscientiousness • (E)xtraversion • (A)greeableness • (N)euroticism

Which items measure which OCEAN domain? Let’s have a look <see document uploaded on

Which items measure which OCEAN domain? Let’s have a look <see document uploaded on teachingpsychology. weebly. com>

What does your data say? 7 7 4 3 3 2 1 1 2.

What does your data say? 7 7 4 3 3 2 1 1 2. 0 3. 0 Extraversion 4. 0 R 2 = 0. 1692 Well-being 4 2 7 5 5 4 3 5. 0 R 2 = 0. 383 1. 0 2. 0 3. 0 Neuroticism 7 7 6 6 5 Well-being 5 1. 0 6 6 R 2 = 0. 3931 Well-being 6 R 2 = 0. 108 4 3 4 2 1 1 1 3. 0 4. 0 Agreeableness 5. 0 1. 0 2. 0 3. 0 4. 0 Conscientiousness 5. 0 R 2 = 0. 1427 3 2 2. 0 5 2 1. 0 4. 0 1. 0 2. 0 3. 0 4. 0 Openness to Experience 5. 0

Mismeasures • Personality correlates negatively with creativity • Personality correlates positively with compliance •

Mismeasures • Personality correlates negatively with creativity • Personality correlates positively with compliance • So does personality predict performance? • Both cancel out • Depends on what you mean by performance

Tautology in personality • Tom doesn’t like to socialize • Tom is an introvert

Tautology in personality • Tom doesn’t like to socialize • Tom is an introvert • How do you know Tom is an introvert? • Because he doesn’t like to socialize

Trends in personality research: Interactionist • B Px. E • Behavior is a function

Trends in personality research: Interactionist • B Px. E • Behavior is a function of personality characteristics and environment

The personality construct controversy: Walter Mischel • Personality is by definition something stable in

The personality construct controversy: Walter Mischel • Personality is by definition something stable in that person • But if people’s behaviors are influenced by situational factors… • …doesn’t that mean that personality cannot exist.

Trends in personality research: Biological models • Psychophysiological • Testosterone markers and aggression •

Trends in personality research: Biological models • Psychophysiological • Testosterone markers and aggression • Oxytocin and love, social trust, etc. • Neuroscience • But results are rarely straightforward (see Week 8 on neuroscience)

What makes a good personality test?

What makes a good personality test?

Some personality tests can be faked • Social desirability of self-reports • This makes

Some personality tests can be faked • Social desirability of self-reports • This makes projective tests (next week) attractive – if you are not aware of your unconscious desires, you can’t fake it.

Good personality tests are reliable over time, and valid • Big 5 – 40

Good personality tests are reliable over time, and valid • Big 5 – 40 year olds, over 6 to 9 years, test-retest correlation. 83 • Strong predictive validity • Neuroticism: mental/physical health

One last issue

One last issue

A very fundamental issue • Can we measure personality at all? • Two camps

A very fundamental issue • Can we measure personality at all? • Two camps • Narrative (qualitative) psychology: life story method • Quantitative psychology: questionnaire method • We are always back to the same question we asked thousands of years ago: who are we?