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Assessing & Predicting Personality

Assessing & Predicting Personality

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Assessing & Predicting Personality

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  1. 3/30/11 Assessing& Predicting Personality

  2. Agenda • Finish up slides from Monday • Trait Approaches and Five Factor Model • Measuring Personality • Learning Objective: Identify the strengths and weaknesses of projective and objective personality assessments • Learning Objective: Explain why personality does not always predict behavior

  3. Trait approaches to personality • Emphasize individual traits and how those traits endure over time and across situations • Emphasize that traits exist on a continuum, most people near the middle, few people on the extremes • Trait theories have evolved over time • Number of traits can range from 5 to 18,000 • Five-factor theory = most prominent current theory

  4. Five-Factor Model

  5. Pitfalls in Personality Assessment • P.T. Barnum effect – tendency of people to accept descriptions that apply to almost everyone as accurate • Demonstrates that personal validation (subjective judgments of accuracy) are a flawed method for evaluating a test’s validity • Illusory correlation – the perception of nonexistent statistical associations between variables in personality test results

  6. Measuring Personality Projective Measures Objective Measures “Direct” assessments of personality, usually based on self-report or observation Examples Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI & MMPI-2) California Psychological Inventory (CPI) Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI) Neuroticism-Extroversion-Openness (NEO) Personality Inventory California Q-Sort • Examine unconscious processes by having people interpret ambiguous stimuli • Examples • Rorschach Inkblot Test • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) • Human Figure Drawings • Anatomically Detailed Dolls • Draw-A-Person Test • Graphology

  7. Projective Measures • Pros • Sensitive to unconscious features of personality • Sensitive to information concerning internal conflict • Emphasize the importance of early childhood experiences • Permits considerable latitude in responses • Cons • Poor testability (reliability & validity) • Inadequate empirical support • Extremely subjective

  8. Objective Measures – MMPI-2 • 567-item test • Assesses emotions, and behaviors • 3 validity scales • Detect falsification, malingering, defensive/guarded responding • 10 clinical scales • Paranoia, depression, mania, hysteria, schizophrenia

  9. Objective Measures • Pros • Lots of empirical support • Evidence that these factors emerge across cultures, although there are some differences • Cons • Doesn’t account for other important domains of personality (e.g., religiosity, honesty, self-awareness, etc) • Self-reporting can lead to deliberate deceptions, social desirability bias, or response sets • Limited range of responses

  10. Predicting Personality • Close acquaintances may be more accurate at predicting your behavior than you are • Situationism - behaviors are determined as much by situations as by personality traits • Personality can predict behavior over time and across many circumstances, but it sensitive to its social context

  11. For Next Time… • Pick up your writing assignment and/or in-class exercise #8 on your way out • We will be coving the Adulthood section in Ch. 11 • Read p. 512-519 if you have not done so already • Start Studying! Exam 3 is next Monday, April 4th