Trait I: Chapter 4 Introductions and Person-Situation Debate What is the trait approach? ? Major Themes Consistency ? Changes overtime? Social dominance, agreeableness and emotional stability Instability/inconsistency across situations? Individual Differences - No absolute traits ? (have it or don?t have it) ?. Comparison to others more or less Groups formed What is a trait? Definition Characteristic that is a relatively stable and long-lasting attribute of personality Quantitative vs. Type Quantitative ? Type ? Distinct classes of people? What is a trait? ? Continuum ? Trait - Behavior ? Normal Distribution - Fundamentals of the Approach Mere Existence ?. Not interested in WHY ? Not concerned with change - Theoretical/Empirical ? Looked to other theories - Tested differences Hierarchical ? Gordon Allport: Taught 1st college course on Personality (1924) Believe that there were conscious reasons for behavior ? Needed to be tested before probing into the unconscious Freud was ignoring the obvious 1st to talk about personality traits Personality: A Psychological Interpretation (1937) ? outlines his theory of traits Nomothetic vs. Idiographic Nomothetic - single dimension Based on what researcher is interested in knowing ? May be central or secondary Idiographic ?unique combination of traits Usually reveals central traits Person-Situation Debate: Predict behavior. S-data and I data able to predict behavior? ? Situationalist says NO! Walter Mischel (1968) ? The Situationist Argument ? Three basic arguments inability of traits to predict behavior consistently Situation is more important People?s intuitions about the self and others wrong. Counterarguments ? Unfair literature review Real-life situations Predict important life outcomes: I.e.) Type A personalities ? Type A Personality Competitive Impatient; Time-pressured Quick to anger Type B Personality Easygoing Relaxed Laid back Predictive power - Situational influence is no bigger Small? From Meyer et al, 2001 ? small effect size, r = 0.1-.23; medium, r = 0.24-.36; large, r = 0.37 or larger Debate resolution Situational: Personality : They interact with each other: high in aggressiveness that is put in a frustrating situation Person-by-situation approach
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