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									       The science of personality research

• Opinion vs. science (i.e., If it was on Oprah, is it necessarily true?)
• Science = the accumulation of knowledge
• Knowledge is accrued in the area of personality psychology in a variety
    of ways, but not all are equally rigorous
Note both pros & cons of each approach
1. Introspection – one person is both subject and researcher
2. Case study – in depth analysis of a small number of individuals
3. *Survey - broad, cross-sectional analysis of a large number of
4. Longitudinal survey – surveys administered at different points in time
5. Experiment–manipulation of variables/random assignment

* Description (1 & 2), Explanation (1, 2), Prediction (3 & 4), Control (5)
      The tools of science - theories

• Why do we need them?
• To provide a rationale for research (i.e., why the
  study is being conducted) vs. a series of random
• Allow for different experiments to be considered
  in conjunction (how the findings of various
  studies relate to one another)
• * Allow for a priori & specific predictions (strong
  inference). Theories must be falsifiable (do not
  rely on post hoc explanations)
    The tools of science - assessment
• A wide variety of tests are used to assess personality
  (questionnaires completed by the target or others who
  know them, behavioral observations, interviews,
  biological measures, etc.)
• Properties of a test
   – Construct validity (demonstrated through criterion,
     convergent & discriminant validity)
   – Reliability (consistency) – over time, between raters,
     and within the measure itself
   – There are sources of error in every test (social
     desirability bias, acquiescence bias, assuming
     additive effects, etc.)
 Psychology is replete with terminology. Here are
            some that didn‟t make it.
• Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
• Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of
   later getting sex.
• Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.
• Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these
   really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's
   like, a serious bummer.
• Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an a--hole.
• Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the
   person who doesn't get it.
• Personality: a stable pattern (over time and across situations)
   of affect, cognitions and behavior.
   Thematic Apperception Test-TAT

• On a blank piece of paper, write a pseudonym
  and the last 4 digits of your ID
• After looking at the picture provided on the
  overhead, please write a story that:
  – Indicates what is happening in the picture
  – Describes the thoughts and feelings of the
  – Describes what led up to the events depicted
  – Describes what is the most likely outcome
     Explaining all behavior (Freud)
• Determinism - driven by energy (libido) of a
  sexual and aggressive nature
  – Explain all behavior using these two basic motives?
• Conflict – within (id and superego), and
  between the individual and society
• Unconscious - aspects of ourselves that are

• What information is contained in the
• What did Freud think was contained in the
• According to Freud, we are not aware of most of
  our motives (these are unconscious)
• Conscious – limited aspects of the self that are
• Preconscious – Information that moves from the
  unconscious to the conscious passes through
  the preconscious (material you can be made
  aware of by directing attention to it)
  – Now referred to as the “cognitive unconscious”
     Evidence for the unconscious?

• A large number of studies to address the
  issue “Is there an unconscious”
• Two key questions:
  – Do we have the ability to cognitively take-in
    information without knowing it?
  – If so, does this information influence our
    subsequent actions?
     i.e., Was Freud correct?
    Can you remember these numbers after a
              500ms exposure?
6         8        4       9       1

5         2        3       7       0

5         0        9       6       9

0         1        7       8       8

5         3        6       2       4
   Recall of visual or auditory information

• Short-term memory (also known as “working
  memory”) can hold a limited amount of
  information, but only if it is rehearsed.
• Otherwise, most of the information we are
  exposed to stays in the sensory register
   – Unlimited capacity, but very short duration
   – Approximately 2-3 seconds for both iconic
     (visual) and echoic (auditory) memory
     • about 5 numbers can be recalled from the 25
  – Therefore, most info. is lost (this is adaptive)
What if you are asked to recall a specific number
      after seeing the list? (500ms expos.)

6        8         4          9         1

5        2         3          7         0

5        0         9          6         9

0        1         7          8         8

5        3         6          2         4
- Recall the number where the “X” appears

    Summary of visual recall experiment

• All of the information is in your sensory
  register so you can recall any one of the
  25 numbers within 2-3 seconds.
  – e.g., X = ?
• A simple memory experiment
  demonstrates we are not fully aware of all
  information in memory.
• But does this info influence our behavior?
            Unconscious priming
         Klinger & Greenwald, 1995
• 80 college students (40 males & 40 female) recruited
   from introductory psychology class
• all participants took part in a computerized task in which
   they had to indicate whether pairs of words presented
   several seconds apart were associated (yes/no response
   with RT recorded)
• Between the presentation of the two words, a picture
   was flashed briefly on the screen and in half of the trials
   the picture was related to the words while for the
   remaining trials the picture was unrelated
Related: “duck” Picture of birds          “Sparrow”
Unrelated: “duck” Picture of cars         “Sparrow”
         Unconscious priming - cont
• All pictures were masked (50ms) or legible (500ms)
• Reaction times (RTs) for correct responses were used to
  quantify speed of judgments
• Results indicate that RTs were faster for related pictures
  vs. unrelated pictures
• RTs were faster for masked (unconscious) vs. legible
  (conscious) pictures - Why?
• The priming effect for the pictures only exists if the prime
  occurs within a short period of time (approx. 3s) of the
  first word, and the second word occurs immediately after
• Could salience of stimulus increase effect duration?
  Some clinical data on long term unconscious effects…
   Childhood experiences and adult functioning

• Can childhood trauma serve as the stimulus that later
  influences adult behavior?
• Theory for Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID, formerly
  MPD) – child is physically or sexually traumatized and
  they depersonalize the event and develop other
  identities to protect themselves (an unconscious event).
• This example would (in theory) involve a long term effect
  of the unconscious
• Clinical data (retrospective accounts) indicate that 96%
  have been sexually or physically abused (repressed)
• Research?
  Recovery of repressed memories vs.
       false memory syndrome
• Prospective research suggests that the incidence of DID
  is 1-4% for those children having been abused (no
  greater than that observed in the general pop.). Why?
• Memories are inaccurate (more so as time passes and
  info. is imputed from other experiences) & the method of
  recovery can enhance the inaccuracies (e.g., witness a
  car wreck; attack of a professor)
• Iatrogenic effect vs. longitudinal studies
• Loftus – research shows that recovered memories are
  very inaccurate; especially details, but also their
    More on Freud: Theoretical structures

• Id – pleasure principle, initial focus of libido, primary
  process thinking, no contact with reality (completely
• Superego – last of these three structures to develop,
  internalized morality, no contact with reality (completely
• Given the characteristics of the above two structures,
  how can they be satisfied?
• Ego – reality principle, secondary process thinking,
  exists at the unconscious, preconscious, and conscious
  levels, employs defense mechanisms to mediate
  between the id and superego and reality
         Some defense mechanisms
• Denial – repression of material into the unconscious (it is
  the most basic defense and is at the heart of all other
• Projection – attribute to others what is denied in the self
• Reaction formation – expressing the opposite feeling of
  what is being experienced
• Displacement – expression towards a safer object
• Intellectualization - rationalizing so as to minimize the
  affective experience
• Sublimation – higher level of defense whereby one
  redirects anxiety towards something productive
• Research on the defenses?
          Adams, Wright, & Lohr, 1996

• Much research focuses on defense against
  libidinal wishes (sex and/or aggression).
• Using the Index of Homophobia (a standardized
  measure), they identified male students who
  scored either high (n=35) or low (n=29)
• Exposed everyone to erotic videos depicting
  heterosexual, male homosexual and lesbian
• Arousal measured via a self report questionnaire
  & plythysmograph (blood volume)
       Adams, Wright, & Lohr, ‟96 - continued

• Both groups of males were aroused by heterosexual and
  lesbian erotic videos (both physiological and self-report)
• Neither group self-reported arousal to homosexual male
• There was, however, a physiological response to the
  male homosexual video but only for homophobic males
• Individuals could be unaware (denial?) and/or
  expressing the opposite feelings (reaction formation?)
    Adams, Wright, & Lohr, ‟96 - continued 2

• Confounds in the study?
  – Unknown if this generalizes to females?
  – Small N, college students only, limited range
    of ages, all Caucasians from the U.S.A., etc.
  – Missing any control groups?
• Strengths: both physiological and self-
  report measures; manipulated variables
        Arousal itself = confound?

• A confound with other types of arousal such as
  anxiety? See “misattribution of arousal” effect
• Dutton & Aron, 1974: Female RA, male Ss
  – 2 bridges over the Capilano River, in BC, Canada
  – 230ft drop, unstable rope, with low hand supports
  – 10ft drop, stable, with high wood hand rails
• Ss completed questionnaire, wrote a story about
  a female (graded for sexual content), & given
  phone # of RA
• Note: Ss were NOT randomly assigned to bridge
  conditions (Why? Consequence of this?)
       Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
           – Examining “projection”
• Developed by Murray in 1938
• Follows from other projective tests such as the word
  association task (Jung) and the Rorschach Ink Blot test,
  & all are commonly used in clinical settings
• Assumption that vague stimuli will require you to add
  material in order to complete the task (e.g., write a story)
• This process will require that you draw from your own
  personal experiences, biases, etc.
• Projection is also assumed to occur because the context
  is safer (appears less self-relevant), thus the client
  should be less defensive
     Scoring of Projective tests
• Projective tests allow for a broader range of
  responses (e.g., as opposed to a T/F format)
   – Impossible to anticipate the variety of responses
   – Subtle (qualitative) differences between responses
     are difficult to detect and quantify
• Typically results in lower reliability (consistency)
   – test-retest and inter-rater
   – Lower reliability limits validity
• Tests vs. Techniques?
   – Tests require standardized administration, scoring,
     and interpretation (reliability and validity)
       Psychosexual stages of development

• Also referred to as “erogenous zones” as they denote the
  changing focus of libido throughout the lifespan
• 1. Oral – “I want”; experience the world through the mouth
  by biting, licking, tasting (most sensitive)
   – oral aggressive vs. oral dependent (timing of the weaning)
• 2. Anal – “I control”; experience/learn to control
   – anal expulsive vs anal retentive (extreme approaches re: control)
  Article: Character and anal eroticism
   –   Meaning of expressions: “Brown noser” and “Kiss my ass”
   –   Orderly – clean (why?), conscientious, trustworthy
   –   Parsimony – avarice (greed) – why connect it with money?
   –   Obstinacy – defiance, rage, vengefulness
    Psychosexual stages of development - cont

• 3. Phallic – Gender identity; incestuous feelings that
  should eventually result in identification with same sex
   – Heterosexual vs. “homosexual impulse”
   – See complexes (next slide)
• 4. Latency – sublimation of development to activities
• 5. Genital – mature adult relationships (ideally the
  superego is fully developed, and this leads one to pursue
  appropriate relationships)
          Oedipus/Electra Complex
• Phallic – Gender identity; incestuous feelings that should
  eventually result in identification with same sex parent
   – Heterosexual vs. “homosexual impulse”
• Males
• desire mommy & see daddy as competition/threat
      • Experience castration anxiety
• identify with daddy to resolve the complex
• Females
• desire mommy, but switch to daddy due to “penis envy”
• How can this complex be resolved?
• Research?
    Subliminal Psychodynamic Activation (SPA)

• Research to examine the Oedipus complex
• Assumes: subliminal information activates Oedipal
• Subliminal = stimuli detected less than 50% of the time
• Given the results of the previous research on the
  unconscious, it is clear that subliminal information exists
• Can it influence our behavior over extended periods of
• Advertisers seem to think so… (overheads & slide)
    SPA research – Silverman et al., 1978

• SPA research attempts to activate the Oedipal conflict in
  males (e.g., competition between fathers and sons)
• Theory: All adult competition is interpreted as reflecting a
  re-experience of this event
• Recruited 90 male college students
• All threw darts to get a baseline score
• Then they were randomly assigned to view one of three
  messages using a tachistoscope (flashes messages)
   – “Beating daddy is wrong”
   – “Beating daddy is OK”
   – “People are walking”
       Silverman et al., 1978 – continued

• All participants then threw darts a second time
  (advantage of having all throw darts twice?)

Condition    Pre           Post         Difference

“walking”    439.0         442.3         + 3.3
“ok”         443.3         533.3         +90.0
“wrong”      443.7         349.0         -94.7

• Problems with the research? Confounds?
    Does the Silverman study support Freud‟s theory?

• Not directly.
• It does demonstrate that the subliminal message
  improved performance, but this does not demonstrate
  the role of the Oedipus complex (nor that it exists)
   – e.g., the messages themselves may differ in their affective tone
     (pleasant vs. unpleasant vs. neutral) and that alone may have
     influenced performance (e.g., research on sports and colors)
• Research using the phrase “Mommy and I are one.”
   – Same limitations as above
   – e.g., patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who are assigned to
     this condition are more likely to show some remission of
     symptoms; also in females with eating disorders
       Concluding remarks on Freud

• No body of research has (or ever will) prove or disprove
  all of Freud‟s theories (too complex to test)
• All behaviors can be explained by referring to either
  conscious motivation or unconscious (undetected)
• Science requires that a theory be falsifiable (Popper)
• However, specific aspects of Freud‟s theories can and
  have been tested, and the findings indicate that some of
  his work merits consideration.
• Freud‟s views are still espoused by approximately 4% of
  modern day psychologists
• His theories sparked a variety of responses
          Jung‟s personality types

Two attitudes:
1) Introversion – express libido towards inner
  experiences (collective unconscious)
2) Extraversion - express libido towards external
Four functions: sensing, intuiting, feeling, thinking
• Results in 8 “types”
• Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
• Express our personality in conscious daily
  experience and in the collective unconscious
  Carl Jung – structures of consciousness

• Ego - conscious awareness
• Personal Unconscious - small portion of the
• Collective Unconscious - shared unconscious
  represented in recurrent themes (dreams, art,
  literature, etc.)
  – Archetypes – powerful emotional symbols that
    reoccur in life (e.g., anima/animus, hero/demon,
    mother/wise old man, etc.
                    Why do we dream?

Jung‟s views on dreaming:
• Creative outlet (principle of equivalence)
• Release of unconscious conflicts
• Paranormal experiences accounted for through dreams?

Modern day views on why we dream:
• Cognitive consolidation (creation of or strengthening of neural
• Random neural activity of the brain that is reinterpreted (after the
  fact) to be more cohesive
• A purely restorative function (REM sleep)
     Psychodynamic Interpretation of Dreams

Most commonly occurring dream themes for college
• falling, being chased, sex, and a being late
Psychodynamic interpretations:
• Manifest (Jung) vs. Latent (Freud) content
• running = escape wish (someone/something)
• climbing = attempts to achieve something
• falling = insecurity
• body parts = fixations (e.g., teeth = aggress)
• persons of same sex and demo is you
       Significance of Dream Content

• Most dreaming occurs during REM sleep
• Bizarre dreams are more likely to occur
  during REM dreaming
• Jung believed that dreaming reflected our
  ability to connect with the collective
  – This would be reflected in traits like creativity.
      Research on dreaming and creativity

• Klueger (1977) collected 2-week dream diaries from 40 college
  students. Subjects also completed a standardized measure of
  creativity (questionnaire)
• Judges, blind to the creativity scores of the subjects, scored each
  dream report for its archetypal content
• The frequency of archetypal images in dreams was shown to
  correlate positively with scores on the measure of creativity
• Confounds?
• No control for the dreamers tendency to embellish their dream
  content (creative people are more likely to provide a creative recall
  of their dream) – when controlled, the relation no longer exists
• How can we explain other paranormal experiences as they relate to
  dreams?       e.g., reports of precognition?
• Do such outcomes occur at rate greater than chance?
    Paranormal experiences from dreams?

• Numerous studies have tested for the presence of ESP in dreaming
  with mixed results (i.e., a small number of researchers have
  concluded that there are significant findings, but these are not
  replicated by others)
• Blackmore (1995) evaluated the psychic abilities of a well-known
  English psychic (Chris Robinson) who claims to have precognitive
• An object was placed in a box in the subject‟s home for a week. The
  subject recorded his dreams and then guessed which object from a
  list was in the box based on the dreams
• Hit rate was 2 out of 12 (approx. 17%). Because there were 6
  options to choose from, this did not differ significantly from the “hit”
  rate expected by chance (1 in 6 = 17%).
• Numerous other studies have likewise failed to show a significant
  effect in controlled experimental settings.
                         Alfred Adler
• Social interest - gemeinschaftsgefuhl
   – transcending our own needs to identify with the needs and
      concerns of others
   – fundamental need to interact with others
• Compensatory strivings to offset “organ inferiority” (a perceived
  rather than a real weakness)
• Emphasized perception of reality (recall bias obscures the direction
  of causality from childhood events to present)
• Emphasis on conscious awareness, but still highlights the
  importance of childhood
• Key is sibling relationships (vs. parental)
• First borns as more likely to achieve (see research on intelligence,
  success, etc.), more likely to be conservative & authoritarian.
   Born to Rebel: Birth order (Sullaway, 1996)

• Can historical events be determined by
  intra-familial relationships?
• Thesis: Older children (1st borns) are
  likely to more closely identify with parents
  and adopt a conservative approach while
  latter borns will rebel
• Examine historical events to conform this
                 Birth order (cont)

• Analysis of astronauts (a highly creative and dangerous
  job or does it represent a conservative model?)
• Analysis of King Henry‟s wives (assumes that being
  sexual unavailable is a risky strategy and would result in
  being beheaded)
• Do we behead King Louis? (standing with the King
  meant opposing the people of France and could cost one
  their life – risky choice) – French revolution
• The supreme court of the U.S. (liberal decisions in the
  1970s vs. conservative decisions in the 1980s)
    Confounds in B.O. research
• What variables may confound the effects of birth order
  (i.e., Why might Adler‟s or Sulloway‟s theories not apply
  to you?)
• Difficulties defining which action is “risky”
• age between siblings
• gender of child and his/her siblings (1st born male vs. 1st
  born female)
• cultural variations
• changes in the family structure (more prominent today)
• * SES and the number of children in a family
• * B.O. can‟t be manipulated (NOT CAUSAL)!
 Karen Horney: Feminist perspective – last
            slide for exam 1
• Everyone experiences basic anxiety as an infant and
  deals with it in one of three ways
   – moving against (aggression)
   – moving towards (affiliation or dependency)
   – moving away (isolation)
• Continue to deal with anxiety in the same way as adults
• Women differ from men in how they deal with anxiety
• Other fundamental differences between male and female
  personality is determined by societal pressures
   – Anatomical factors were emphasized by Freud whereas Horney
     reinterpreted penis envy as “repressed womanhood” (an early
     social psychological model). What does the penis represent?
   – Modern day examples; glass ceiling, presidency, etc.
    Gender Differences in Personality
• Freud: “Anatomy is destiny!”
• Horney‟s reinterpretation of penis envy as “repressed
  womanhood” (an early social psychological model)
Modern day social psychological research on gender
• School teachers (Sadker & Sadker, 1986): qualitative
  and quantitative differences in interactions by gender
• Differential media pressure - effects on body satisfaction
• Research by Jennings-Walstedt, Geis, & Brown (1980)
  on role reversed commercials
   – Female college students were randomly assigned to
     either 4 traditional or 4 role reversed commercials,
     then took part in an Asch-type conformity test and had
     self-confidence rated when giving a speech.
        Hormones and gender differences

23rd chromosome determines gender
• XY (male) - At approx. 6 weeks gestation the testes develop and
   begin producing progesterone & estrogen, and larger amounts of
• XX (female) – At approx 12 weeks, the gonad buds develop into
   ovaries. The absence of the testes results in larger amounts of
   progesterone & estrogen production.
• Animal research: Injection of androgens into animal fetuses results
   in more aggressive behavior later in life
• Human research: Incidence of XYY inmates, though later
   determined that this occurs at the same rate in the general pop.
• Menstrual cycle: Estrogen drops halfway through the cycle and
   again at the end. Progesterone increases after ovulation & drops
   before menstruation if egg is not fertilized. Changes in hormonal
   levels have been related to mood changes.
• Note: Complex behaviors are not explained by a single hormone.
            Sociobiological theory
• Consider how males and females differ in their
  personalities as they are expressed in relationships
• Evolutionary pressures differ by gender
• Females have high investment in children so should be
  more selective (traits they seek?)
   – Why is there a need to ensure paternal certainty?
• Males have relatively short temporal investment so no
  need to be selective (what traits should they seek?)
• What might “physical attractiveness” represent in
  addition to beauty?
• Health (i.e., reproductive potential)
         Sociobiological theory - p.2

• Various species demonstrate increased sexual potency
  (shorter refractory period) for males when new females
  are introduced (vs. repeated copulation with the same
  female); quantity
   – Known as the “Coolidge Effect”
• Females need to have paternal certainty (access to
  resources) and must be selective based on parental
  investment theory (more time required & less fertile time
  across the lifespan)
          Sociobiological theory - p.3

• Are there different search criteria employed for short and
  long term relationships?
• For males it‟s sexual availability and fertility, respectively
• For females, it‟s sexual availability and ambition/earning
  potential, respectively
• Note: Promiscuity is seen as desirable by both genders
  for short-, but not for long-, term relationships
Over 10,000 individuals from 33 countries (Buss, 1992)
• Among the top traits for both men and women in short term
  relationships was promiscuity (sexual availability)
• For long term relationships the top trait for both groups is physical
• For females, earning potential was consistently rated high
  (noteworthy, given the population sampled)
Examination of personal ads (Kenrick & Keefe, 1992)
• Females seek males who are older than themselves and are
  economically established. Their own ads emphasize their beauty.
• Males emphasize their own economic achievements and seek
  younger attractive women
                Jealousy by gender
• “Would you experience more distress over sexual
  infidelity or emotional infidelity?” (Buss et al., 1999)
   – Imagine partner falling in love with someone else vs. Imagine
     partner trying different sexual positions with someone else.
• 83% of females more jealous of emotional infidelity vs.
  40% of males
• males show greater physiological arousal to imagined
  sex of partner with someone else
• Why are males more jealous about sexual infidelity?
• Because it threatens paternal certainty
• Why are females more jealous of emotional infidelity?
• Because it threatens access to resources
     Critique of sociobiological theory

• Studied almost exclusively in college students
• Do dating and mating involve the same motives?
• Sociobiological theory (like evolutionary theory) does not
  predict specific future behavior, it explains events post
   – this is a major weakness (recall that Freud could likewise explain
     anything after the fact)
   – e.g., long vs. short-necked giraffes
• Evolutionary drift - some events are a consequence of
  adaptive behavior but are not themselves adaptive
                       Attachment Styles

• A model that generalizes across species and links the evolutionary &
  psychodynamic perspectives
• Based on theories and research forwarded by John Bowlby (1969) on
  mammals showing how off-spring separate from parent(s)
• Importance of initial strong attachment in mammals: maximize survival
• During separation: 1. separation protest 2. silence 3. re-attachment
• Ainsworth (1979; Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991) studied infants and their
  unique responses to their mothers to classify individual differences in
  attachment (see p. 175)
• secure, avoidant, and anxious-ambivalent babies
   – Confounds: No inter-rater reliability for child behaviors, the stranger
      is no longer a stranger after 1st session, small sample, little info.
      regarding the nature of the room, the interactions, etc.
    Adult attachment types; Hazen & Shaver, 1987

You do not need to know (or write down these three types) – p. 470
A: I find it relatively easy to get close to others and am comfortable depending
   on them and having them depend on me. I don‟t often worry about being
   abandoned or about someone getting too close to me.
B: I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others; I find it difficult to trust
   them completely, difficult to allow myself to depend on them. I am nervous
   when anyone gets too close, and often love partners want me to be more
   intimate than I feel comfortable being.
C: I find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry
   that my partner doesn‟t really love me or won‟t want to stay with me. I want
   to merge completely with another person, and this desire sometimes
   scares people away.
• Distribution in the population: A = 55%, B = 30%, C = 15%
• Attachment styles appear to be stable across the lifespan (20 yr. Studies)
• predicts well-being, health, and mortality also longevity and happiness in
   adult romantic relationships
  Erikson‟s Developmental Stages (lifespan model); p.144

1. Trust vs. mistrust      4. Industry vs.             7. Generativity vs.
- infant learns to trust   Inferiority                 stagnation
parents for survival       - trial and error with      - Have you achieved
needs                      mastery, learn which        anything productive?
                           tasks you can do.
2 Autonomy vs shame        5. Identity vs. Role        8. Integrity vs. despair
- learn to act             confusion                   - Happiness with
independent of             - self identity begins to   one‟s life, though
parents                    form (why now?)             resigned to the fact it‟s
3. Initiative vs. guilt    6.Intimacy vs isolation     Numerous ego crises
- learn to initiate        -adult relationships        occur throughout
actions, thoughts, and     - “decision” is often       (e.g., adolescence,
emotional experiences      made more than once         midlife, late life)
    Summary of recent research on stages

• Little support for the idea of a “crisis” marked by stress
  and turmoil in either adolescents or adulthood (only
  about 20% of individuals experience it) – Erikson
  emphasized identity formation
• Difficult to experimentally differentiate early internal
  experiences (stages)
• Erikson‟s stages represent conflicts of theoretical
  interest, not necessary/invariant developmental
• Recent research has emphasized the last stage due to
  the increase in the population of that age
       Regrets - predict well being only in the elderly

• Omission – regret not doing something
• Commission – regret doing something
• Which are more salient?
   – Mr. Paul sells stocks in Co. B to buy stocks in Co. A: - $1200.
   – Mr. George owns stocks in Co. A and is thinking of changing to
     Co. A, but doesn‟t: - $1200. Who feels more regret? (Tversky)
• Regrets of commission appear costlier in the present,
  but regrets of omission affect us more in the long term
  (note: there are more of the latter)
• Number of regrets are not predicted by age
• Regret saliency & whether you had control over the
  regret is more relevant to well-being (Lecci et al. 1994)
                    The self-concept

• When is your spit no longer your spit? (G. Allport)
• A permeable boundary that defines what is and is not “ours” has always
  been central to the self-concept.
• A sense of one‟s personal identity; also referred to as self-awareness
• When does it develop? How do we know?
   – Darwin (1877): self-awareness achieved when child recognizes self
     in the mirror (physical awareness = self-concept)
   – Researchers covertly dabbled rouge on participants‟ noses before
     placing them in front of a mirror (Gallup & Suarez, 1986).
   – 15-18 months old children will, upon seeing the red spot, touch their
     noses (self-directed behavior)
• Self-directed behavior in the mirror
   – Primates viewing mirror image with object on head
   – Dolphins touched with marking and non-marking markers
           The self concept – appearance & voice

Diverging views of the self
• Appearance – we perceive ourselves differently than do
  others . (never look quite right in photos)
• Study of incoming freshman at the U. of Wisconsin (Mita
  et al., 1977). Participants photographed and they and a
  close friend were shown the photos and reverse image
   – Friends preferred the actual photo, participants preferred reverse
     images. These represent what we are accustomed to seeing.
• Sound funny on tape? Recordings of subject‟s voice is
  rated as more familiar by friends when compared to self
  ratings (also identified faster).
          Expanding the self-concept

• Beginning with simple self-awareness, the self-concept
  elaborates to include psychological components.
   – e.g., we define ourselves in terms of gender, group
     membership, traits, etc.
• Self-concept relates directly to our actions
   – e.g., children with a positive self-concept tend to be
     more confident, independent, optimistic, & assertive
     (Maccoby, 1980)
• One self concept vs. Multiple selves (“I wasn‟t myself.”)
   – Multiple selves to deal with unfavorable self-discrepancies
       Theories on the self (William James, 1890)

• The self as “I” (awareness, current knowledge)
• The self as “me” (defined in descending order of
  – 1. spiritual me (values, attitudes)
  – 2. social me (all relationships)
  – 3. material me (all possessions & your body)
• Multiple selves compete for a limited resource
                    Carl Rogers

• Strive in life to reach our “ideal self” and
  congruence between actual and ideal self
   – Cognitive distortions (denial) may be used
• Emergence of the true (ideal) self requires
  “unconditional positive regard”
   – unpleasant behavior occurs only when absent
• Self assessment using Q-sort technique
   – card deck sorted as “like me” and “not like me”
• Autobiographical statement
• Biased to maintain self-concept (look for
  congruent info and discount incongruent info)
      Self-congruence research (Swann, 1991, 1992)

• Participants (90 college students) do a computer task
  and are given the opportunity to compare their
  performance to that of novices or experts
   – Likely outcome of such comparisons?
• Those with low self-esteem were more likely to compare
  to experts, whereas those with high self-esteem prefer
  comparisons to novices
   – i.e., Self-congruence bias – we seek out and prefer info that is
     consistent with our self-concept
   – Most individuals show a tendency for positive self-enhancement
     in everyday life (downplay failure in favor of success)
• Research on marital couples: Those with negative self-
  concepts were more committed to spouses who thought
  poorly of them (vs. those who thought well of them)
             Possible Selves (Higgins)

• Actual - Ideal self discrepancies determine self-
  esteem and well-being
• Possible selves - activated by cues in the
     environment (infinite number)
  – valence - positive or negative
  – temporal - past, present, or future
• Differences between Private & Public self?
  – greater discrepancies seen in individualistic cultures
    (similar in collectivistic cultures)
       Research on public-private self (Triandis, 1987)

• Scenario involving a friend who is hospitalized 60 miles from your
   – Do you visit him/her? (private vs. public)
   – Would you enjoy doing this or would you simply feel obligated to
     do this? (private vs. public)
• What are some reasons why you would not smoke? (private vs.
• Responses differed for collectivistic vs. individualistic cultures
   – My health, money, etc. vs. bad example for children & 2nd hand
• Survey of professional athletes
   – Prefer league MVP (individualistic) vs. league championship
   – Observations of “team” play at the international level
• Note: Limitations of survey research
                Eastern View of the Self

• Self as Tao or “no mind”
• All that which cannot be known (unconscious?)
   – e.g., “I am ____.” Create list. Remove these things,
      and you are that which is left. By definition, you are
      what you cannot conceive.
• West: Define the self by summing all the known
  constituent parts vs. East: defining the self by eliminating
  all of the constituent parts
• You cannot know yourself because of your unique
   – paradox - This sentence contains an error.
   – Both knower and known (see also W. James)
                 East meets West
• Maslow‟s Need Hierarchy
  – physiological, safety, belongingness/love, esteem (all
    of these are deficiency needs)
  – self-actualization as transcendence of the self (a
    sufficiency need)
• Gestalt Psychology (Fritz Perls)
  – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts (i.e., one
    cannot know the self by merely understanding the
  – taking responsibility for ones‟ actions (wont vs. can‟t)
    and living for the moment
  Shaped or Inherited?: A behavioral approach

• “Give me a dozen healthy infants, and I
  will make them at random…” (Watson)
• Do we have free will or are we the slaves
  of our environment?

• Are artists born or made? (see Cohen et
  al, 2002)
• Read Skinner‟s article “Man”
          Classical conditioning
   – reflexive actions/learning by temporal associations
• The story of Pavlov, a dog, & serendipity
   – Unconditioned stimulus (UCS) - a stimulus that produces a
     response without learning
   – Conditioned stimulus (CS) - a stimulus that produces a response
     after learning
   – Unconditioned response (UCR) - a response to a stimulus that
     occurs without learning
   – Conditioned response (CR) - learned response
   – neutral stimulus - any stimulus that does not produce a response
     (all CS were neutral at one time)
• Before conditioning: food = UCS, salivating = UCR,
      bell = neutral stimulus
• After conditioning: bell = CS, salivating = CR
                 Key concepts
• What happens if we keep ringing the bell?
• Extinction - CS no longer produces the CR
• Spontaneous recovery - after a break, the previously
  extinct CS produces the CR
• Higher order conditioning - a CS is paired with another
  CS to get the CR
• What happens if we make a sound that is similar to the
  bell? (a lesson from alcohol poisoning)
      Key concepts - continued

• Generalization - producing the same CR for a similar CS
  (e.g., all alcohol; anything that sounds like a bell)
• Discrimination - produces a CR for only a very specific CS
  (e.g. only “Mad Dog” wine; high pitched bell)
• One time conditioning (Garcia effect) - learning occurs
  after a single pairing of neutral & unconditioned stimulus
   – Why would this be adaptive for aversive CRs?
   – This can occur even for reinforcers and lead to non-
     productive behavior (e.g., superstitious behavior)
• In order to explain most of your day-to-day behavior it is
  also necessary to consider non-reflexive actions (not just
  salivating & fears)
          Operant conditioning
• non-reflexive actions
• Law of effect – every behavior has a consequence, and
  the consequence determines if the behavior will re-occur
  (temporal association is no longer required)
• Reinforcement - anything that increase the incidence of
  the behavior to which it is linked
• Punishment - anything that decreases the incidence of
  the behavior to which it is linked
• Positive - to add
• Negative - to remove
• Examples?
           Possible examples of reinforcers and punishers

                 Reinforcer            Punisher
            To give praise, love,   To give a shock, a
            attention, money,       spanking, a fine, etc.
Positive    etc.

         To remove an               To remove
         aversive stimulus          something valued
Negative like pain, noise, etc.     like freedom,
                                    attention, etc.
         Schedules of reinforcement & punishment

• Continuous - best way to acquire a new behavior (or
  extinguish an existing behavior)
   – Why not ideal to maintain the new learning?
• Ratio - number of responses for the reinforcement
• Interval – there is an interval of time before the next
  response is reinforced/punished
• Variable - changing schedule
• Fixed - stable schedule
                    Example schedules

               Fixed                    Variable
           Pay checks, boss         Real estate agent,
           who “checks in” at       busy phone line, etc.
Interval   9am and 4pm, etc.        - slow but steady
           - lengthy breaks until   rate (busy phone)
           interval approaches
           (bursts of activity)
Ratio      Assembly line            Slot machines
           worker                   - most productive
           - substantial            schedule with
           decrease in work         minimal pausing
           after reinforced
         Behavioral Applications
• Biofeedback – controlling automated functioning (mixed results)
• Treatment of simple phobias – Phobias are intense fears (or non-
  normative fears) that lead to dysfunction
    – Systematic desensitization – developed by J. Wolpe
        • Establish a fear hierarchy – from least feared to most feared
        • Systematically expose the individual to each stimulus on the
          fear hierarchy beginning with the lowest (up to several
        • Must be in a relaxed state while exposed to the stimulus
        • Must NOT remove the feared stimulus until fear is diminished
          otherwise the fear is reinforced
        • Fears can be reinforced without ever being exposed to the
• If fears are acquired through random pairings, why are some fears
  (e.g., spiders, snakes) so common?
   Preparedness for phobias, Ohman et al., 1985

• Learning may not occur randomly, rather we may be
  predisposed to learn some associations more easily
   – e.g., Are we prepared to acquire some fears more easily?
       Most common fears…(adaptive?)
• 70 male and female participants with no known history of
  phobias were recruited
• half of the subjects were assigned to a condition pairing
  flowers & faces with shocks while others paired shocks
  with snakes and spiders
• All participants had arousal (fear) assessed using GSR
  and EEG readings
• stimuli were paired with the shocks until a fear response
  was acquired. The findings…
          Rates of acquisition – GSR & EEG

       High                             Guns &
                        Flowers &       Knives

                        Spiders &


                 Time (number of pairings)
                Rates of extinction



                *Guns/                      Spiders/Snakes

  Preparedness for phobias, Ohman et al., 1985 (cont.)

• no difference in acquisition times
• significant difference in extinction rates (faster
  for flowers and faces)
• Repeated the study for guns and knives and
  found acquisition and extinction curves similar to
  those found in flowers and faces
      Preparedness for phobias, Ohman et al., 1985

• Evolutionary adaptiveness confirmed?
• Employed self-report and physiological measures of fear
• Used two physiological measures (GSR and EEG)
• Tested both acquisition and extinction times
• Other qualitative differences between guns/knives and
       New evidence: Cook, Hodes, & Lang, 1986

• Replicated Ohman‟s study using cardiac
  response instead of GSR and EEG
• Also found that acquisition of fear for phobia
  relevant stimuli (spiders and snakes) was faster
  when relying on cardiac response
• extinction curves were equal across conditions
  when subjects were told that shocks would stop
       Evidence for belongingness

• Acquisition and extinction curves appear to be
  related to the extent to which the stimuli belongs
  with the aversive event (does the sensory
  modality for the UCS match that for the
  previously neutral, but now conditioned,
  – e.g., shock (tactile) for spiders and snakes (tactile)
  – e.g., aversive odor (olfactory) for a skunk (olfactory)
          Autobiographical statement
• Did the autobiography leave you with any questions?
• Consider: 1) content (emphasis on what is included), 2)
  what is omitted, and 3) the form (how it is conveyed)
   – e.g., Does the statement/person focus on the past, present, or
     future? What is the valence (pos/neg)? What aspects of life
     appear most salient (family history, accomplishments, current
     relationships, goals, etc.)? Definitiveness vs. uncertainty?
• Simplest assessment in terms of administration, but
  most difficult in terms of scoring & amount of work by the
  the respondent
   – Open-ended so difficult to standardized and compare results
• Provides access to self-perceptions (your view of who
  you are) and the factors that you believe influenced you
  Explaining more complex behavior – last
              slide for exam 2
• Shaping through successive approximations
  – e.g., a bear riding a motorcycle
• Approach-approach conflicts
  – Stimuli that provide two equally desirable consequences
  – Attraction increases for the stimulus you have not selected and
    decreases for the one you have selected. Why?
  – Examples?
• Avoidance-avoidance conflicts
  – Stimuli that provide two equally undesirable consequences
  – Fear increases for the stimulus you have selected and
    decreases for the stimulus you have not selected (moving away
  – Examples?
       Conflict from a single stimulus
• Approach-avoidance conflicts (Dollard & Millar)
   – The same stimulus provides both reinforcing and
      punishing qualities and both increase in intensity as
      you move toward it.
   – Examples?
       • Semi-starved rat seeking cheese on electrified grid
       • The phone call
• The rate at which fear and attraction increase/decrease
  is not the same and varies as a function of the distance
  to the target.
   – See diagram
              Graph : Arousal by distance

High                                    Fear (avoidance)


                                       Note: The avoidance gradient
                                       is steeper than the approach
Low                                    gradient
          Further                              Closer
                    DISTANCE FROM TARGET
                Cognitive Perspective
• Mental representations of objects and their significance
• Each is idiosyncratically defined with a great deal of complexity
• Evolution has moved the environment into the brain (perception vs.
  “reality”) – No direct experience of the environment (e.g., eye).
• Mediated by perception of the environment, and this is decidedly a
  cognitive event (mediated by expectancies, motivation, etc.)
• This perspective can more easily explain complex behaviors (most
  human action) and does not deny the presence of cognitive
  processes (thoughts & feelings)
• For example, when considering approach/avoidance conflicts, it is
  possible to examine individual differences in how one cognitively
  construes the same event (e.g., Is a test as a potential for success
  or failure?)
   – Less variability for the semi-starved rat considering food/shock
      Social learning/cognitive theory
• Behavior = Behavioral expectancy (regardless of the
  reinforcing or punishing contingencies, do you expect the
  consequence?) X reward value (idiosyncratic value one
  places on the reinforcer or punisher)
   – Julian Rotter, 1970s
• Modeling/imitation: learning in the absence of
  reinforcement for either the target or the model
• Modeling occurs in other species as well (e.g., fear of
  snakes in monkeys reared in captivity after exposure to
  monkeys reared in wild)
• Survey research as well as experiments have examined
  this process
     Effects of violent/aggressive models

• Effects of aggressive models on children? (see Bobo doll
  experiment; Bandura, 1973)
   – Modeling is most effective when it is a similar model
Media coverage as a source of modeling
• Huston & Cofer, 1986, reviewed the literature on violent
  TV viewing in childhood (survey research)
• Found it to prospectively predict adult aggressive
  behavior. Confounds for this survey research?
• Findings persist even after controlling for SES, level of
  supervision, and aggression as a child
• What are the effects of aggressive models on adults?
   – Behaviors are less overt; a readiness for aggressive behavior
   – Weaker modeling effects for pro-social behavior
      Self-regulatory theory (Mischel)
• 1. Reward value – differential value for certain rewards &
  punishers (different between individuals & over time)
• 2. Expectancies – typically based on previous
• 3. Encoding strategies – how information is interpreted
  by the individual (exam feedback), framing effects, etc
• 4. Competencies – actual ability mediates these
  processes (self-efficacy beliefs – see also Bandura)
• 5. Self-regulation – how goals influence/regulate all of
  the previous four factors
   – research by Kunda (1990) examining motivated reasoning - an
     event with a 60% likelihood of occurring can be described as
     “not very likely” (get cancer) to “somewhat likely” (get an “A”)
   – e.g., how goals influence the interpretation of a test grade
          George Kelly (1955)
• Construct theory
• Humans as scientists
• Where did your “experiments” begin?
• Personal theories = constructs
• Used to explain the present and predict the
• “Ask them, they might just tell you.” (credible
  approach that emphasizes the subjective
  appraisals of individuals
    Fundamental Postulate and Corollaries

• How you represent the environment is affected by the
  anticipation of events
• assume replication; oriented to the future
• uniqueness of your construct system
• finite number of dichotomous constructs
• range of convenience for any construct
   – If events can‟t be explained by any construct, this leads to
• choice of constructs and their ordinal association (you
  can have any theories, but the theories you choose limit
  what you‟ll find)
            Repetory Grid (Kelly)

• P. 1: Identify the important people in your life
• P.2: Think about the three individuals and how
  two are alike on some trait and yet different from
  the third person on the same trait.
   – e.g., 2 of the 3 are really organized while the
     third person is really disorganized
                Cognitive complexity
• Kelly defined cognitive complexity as having many
  superordinate (or core) constructs
   – Patient with single core construct of “Army – not Army”
• Greater cognitive complexity is associated with better
  adaptiveness as it means you have more ways of
  interpreting events (vs. being very limited in how you
  view things)
• Tetlock & Suedfeld have studied the cognitive complexity
  of communications and how it predicts conflict. Lower
  complexity = maladaptive (conflict)
   – e.g., examined UN communications between countries and
     could predict times of conflict
    Cognitive perspectives on depression

• Maladaptive cognitions & attributions e.g., learned
  helplessness in a dog restrained (failure to acquire new
  learning) – Seligman, 1978
• Cognitive triad (Beck)
   – 1. negative thoughts about the self (“I suck”)                 -
     internal vs. external attributions
   – 2.neg. thoughts about the everyone else (“no one loves me”)      –
     general vs. specific conclusions
   – 3. Negative thoughts about the future (“things will never change”)
     – stable vs. changing
• Stable differences in control beliefs (Rotter‟s LOC scale)
• Cognitive interventions are one of the most effective
  treatments for depression (equal to medications)
    Biological: Humoral theory (Galen, 450BC)

• Influence of early medicine on trait theory
• Body fluids can determine dispositions
   – Sanguine (blood) - cheerful
   – Melancholic (black bile) - depressive
   – Choleric (yellow bile) - irritable
   – Phlegmatic (phlegm/mucus) - unemotional
• Blood/fluid letting to “treat” personality
• Why would this model persist over time? (primary targets
  of intervention?)
      Modern-day Versions of Humoral Theory

• Galen‟s melancholic temperament has been equated
  with low levels of serotonin (Hamer & Copeland, 1998)
• Likewise, low levels of serotonin have been associated
  with irritability in animals (Depue, 1995) and depression
  in humans (Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Serzone, etc.)
• *Today we still do not understand the mechanisms
  affecting depression (Kirsch et al, 2002 for a critique of
  SSRIs – no better than placebo based on all FDA data)
• Blood type and personality (Eysenck)
   – AB - extraversion; B – neuroticism
   – Attempts at replicating a blood type – personality
     connection have been unsuccessful (e.g., Cramer &
     Imaike, 2002)
    Hans Eysenck (research from 1967- 1997)

• There are reliable differences in personality observed
  around the world
• Suggested biological determinants of personality
   – Blood type – there are also reliable differences in
     blood types observed around the world and these are
     the cause of different personality types (often
     mistaken for cultural influences)
      • few findings emerged to support this perspective
   – Brain activity – activation in certain parts of the brain
     predicts different behavioral patterns associated with
      • more support for this model, especially for the traits of
• Differences in cortical activity in the ascending reticular
  activating system (ARAS) predict different behavior
• Theory (Eysenck, 1967):
   – Extraverts are chronically under aroused and seek
     stimulation for the brain (ARAS)
   – Introverts are chronically over aroused and seek to
     avoid stimulation (ARAS)
• Research:
   – Performance and exposure to loud/soft music
   – Preferred and optimal volume of background music
     for a dual attention task
   – No difference at baseline, but response to stimulation
     differs (greater for the extravert)
        Eysenck‟s model for activating the brain

• Proposed that we can stimulate our brains through our interactions
  with others
• Extraverts seek out stimulation while introverts avoid it
• Interpersonal interactions result in increased brain activity, and this
  can be heightened by minimizing personal distance/personal space
• Differences in preference for personal space have been observed
  worldwide (e.g., UK = approximately 6 feet, African nations =
  approx. 2 feet, US = approx. 4 feet
• When people interact, they are attempting to reach their preferred
  personal space. This is difficult when different people have different
  personal space preferences
• Eysenck studied interactions at meetings of the United Nations (“UN
          Summary of Eysenck‟s work
• Differences in cortical activity in the ascending reticular activating
  system (ARAS) predict different behavior
• Theory (Eysenck, 1967):
   – Extraverts are chronically under aroused and seek stimulation
      for the brain (ARAS)
   – Introverts are chronically over aroused and seek to avoid
      stimulation (ARAS)
• Research (by Eysenck and colleagues):
   – Performance and exposure to loud/soft music, optimal volume of
      background music for a dual attention task (No difference at
      baseline, but response to stimulation differs)
• Use of personal space to regulate level of stimulation
      Other factors that effect personal space?

• Spacing follows predictable patterns as individuals fill a
• What circumstances will allow us to violate our personal
  space preferences?
• Environmental: Crowding conditions allow us to tolerate
  personal space violations for short periods of time
• Self determined: Altering eye contact can be used to
  either minimize physical closeness or increase it
• Intimacy of the relationship (generally only permit
  violations of personal space for those emotionally close
  to you)
        How else do we stimulate our brains?

• Activities that are considered high in sensation seeking
  or “need for stimulation” (Zuckerman)
   – skydiving, driving fast down a tight road, confrontations or other
     intense interactions with others that minimize personal distance,
     ingesting caffeine, sugar, nicotine, etc.
• There is general support for the fact that such activities
  alter brain activity and that there are individual
  differences in the brain‟s responsiveness
• Some inconsistent findings may be due to how brain
  activity is quantified
   – intensity, duration, speed of neuronal response following
     exposure to the stimulus, may each indicate different findings.
                BIS/BAS (J. Grey)

• A broader model that has recently received more
  empirical support involves more diffuse brain activation
   – behavioral activating system (approach motivation)
   – behavioral inhibition system (avoidance motivation)
• BAS – individuals are focused on reinforcers not
  punishers (heightened neuronal sensitivity)
• BIS – individuals are focused on punishers not
  reinforcers (heightened neuronal sensitivity)
• Related this to anxiety, depression, and several other
  disorders like alcoholism
      Biological evidence for abnormal behavior

• Schizophrenia is one of the disorders with the strongest biological
   – 48% incidence for those having both parents or an identical twin
      (MZ) with the disorder
• Evidence at the neuroanatomical level (enlarged ventricles) and
  neurochemical level (dopamine)
• For depression, there is also some neurochemical evidence
  (seratonin and epinephrin)
• Questionable research on genes that underlie disorders such as
  alcoholism, criminality, sexual identity, etc.
• The exact mechanisms in all cases are not fully understood (recall
  Humoral theory!)
              Understanding genetics

• Genes are arranged along chromosomes = strands of paired DNA
• Human cells have 46 chromosomes (except sperm cells and egg
  cells, each of which have 23 chromosomes)
• The union of the sperm & egg cells creates a 46 chromosome cell
  with a somewhat random selection of genetic material from each
• Children will share 50% of their genetic composition with each
  biological parent.
• Full siblings also have a 50% genetic overlap as they .25 chance of
  sharing a gene from mother and .25 from father
• Monozygotic twins (identical) – have 100% genetic overlap as they
  come from the same sperm and egg
• Dizygotic twins (fraternal) – have 50% genetic overlap as they are
  formed from two sperm and two eggs (same as full siblings)
• Examine overlap of personality traits as a function of genetic overlap
      Do genetics underlie personality?
• Temperament – stable individual differences in emotional reactivity
   – Commonly studied in children (i.e., how does one respond to
      various stimuli such as a hug, loud noise, etc.)
• Use of twin studies to determine aspects of temperament that are
  due to genetics vs. environment (heritability coefficient - .4 to .6 for
  most traits)
   – Dunn & Plomin, 1990 found heritability coefficients of .4 to .6
      depending on the trait (e.g., neuroticism is highest, openness to
      new experience/creativity is lowest)
• Comparison of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins (if there
  is twice as much overlap for the MZ twins relative to DZ twins then
  this suggests the role of heredity as MZ twins are genetically
  identical – twice that of DZ twins)
   – e.g., genes affect temperament (aggression) and this might
      influence if one plays a sport like football (vs. an athletic gene).
      Do MZ vs. DZ twins tell the whole story?

• If MZ twins are reared apart, does that mean that all
  similarities are due to genetics? (this is assumed)
   – e.g., DZ twin with schizophrenia – 17-24% incidence MZ twin
     has a 48% incidence
• Similarities due to the fact that each person engenders
  similar responses from the environment (Phelps et al, „97)
• Monochorionic (MC) MZ twins – have a single placenta
  and circulation system (about one third of cases)
• Dichorionic (DC) MZ twins - have two separate single
  placenta and circulation systems
• Consider the in utero environment (shared = MC)
   – MZ twins – 48% when MZ is MC (drops to 28% when DC)
• More is due to environment than we thought
                Sokol et al., 1995
• Compared MC and DC MZ twins at ages 4 through 6
  using the Personality Inventory for Children.
• MC MZ twins were more similar on all 20 of the
  personality scales measures by the Personality Inventory
  for Children (13 were statistically significant)
• The observed differences can not be due to genetics
  since these are MZ twins (genetically identical), so
  differences must be due to the effects of the pre-birth
• Note: Also found differences between MC and DC MZ
  twins with regard to intelligence scores, incidence of
  schizophrenia, etc. (greater similarity for the MC twins)
                  Course Outline
• MC MZ twins were more similar on all 20 of the
  personality scales measures by the Personality Inventory
  for Children (also for IQ, incidence of schizophrenia, etc)
   – Sokol et al., 1995
• Theories – we‟re done!
• Assessment – measuring personality
   – Completed the TAT, autobiographical statement, and
     Repetory Grid (PPA and NEO-PI still to come).
• Personality disorders

An example personality assessment…
                Roots of Assessment
• Astrology - stars as gods vs. planets
   – shift from religious to scientific explanations
• Palm reading
• Biorhythms - physical, mental, emotional
• Barnum effect - broad and slightly positive statements;
   – Most non-standardized, unreliable, and non-validated
     procedures rely on the Barnum effect
   – Stock statements - true in all circumstances
   – Fishing statements – general statements that can be interpreted
     in many ways (“you‟ve experienced a loss”)
   – Research (Glick, 1985) suggests that people are more likely to
     believe Barnum-type false feedback vs. real personality
           Morphological Assessment

• Criminality (Lombroso) - physical features that predict
   – L‟uomo delinquente
• Phrenology (Gall) - skull morphology advanced the field
  of assessment (see example)
   – localization
   – Quantification
   – standardization
           From the head to the body
• Sheldon‟s body types (1950)
   – Based on photographs of all incoming freshmen at Ivy league
      schools in the 1930s
   – Endomorph – jolly/happy, lazy
   – Mesomorph – dominant, athletic
   – Ectomorph – smart, shy
   – Not theoretically derived
   – Based on physical stereotypes
   – Can stereotypes affect your personality?
• Pelvic distance (Schlegal, 1982) – provides some theory as it relates
  to hormonal (estrogen) release during adolescence
   – Pelvic distance does correlate with the endorsement of
      prototypically masculine and feminine traits on self-report
       Assessment in the 20th century
• Psychodynamic methods: word association, TAT,
  Rorschach, etc.
   – Minimal standardization (see recent exception for the Rorschach
     – Exner‟s, 1987, scoring system)
• MMPI - developed in 1940 using an empirical approach,
  revised in 1989 (MMPI-2) and has 567 T/F items
   –   Most widely used personality inventory in clinical settings
   –   items generally lack face validity
   –   validity scales (lie, defensiveness, infrequency)
   –   Assesses m/f, Si, D, Hs, Pa, etc. (psychopathology= personality)
   –   T/F answer format requires many items
• Today, Likert (e.g., 0-4) scales allow for fewer items and
  items have face validity (for the non-clinical population)

• Descriptors used to predict behavior
• Locus of Control (LOC; Rotter)
   – Internal - control over one‟s own destiny
   – External - fatalistic, chance outcomes
• Most individuals are internals in NA culture. This is more
  adaptive as well.
• Implications for school/work re: effort
• Relationships
• Health
       Control/predictability and stress
• Glass & Singer 1972
• Uncontrollable and aversive noise and its effects on performance
   – Two conditions: one with “control button” and one without
   – Assessed persistence with anagrams, and performance in a
      follow-up task
• Benefits reflected in sustained effortful behavior and outcomes
• None of the participants ever actually pushed the button, so there
  were no differences in exposure to the loud aversive sounds
   – Emphasis is perceived rather than real control
• Ultimately, the researchers stopped hooking up the button (dummy
• What if the participants had tried to push the button?
• Higher cost for thinking you have control then realizing you don‟t vs.
  never thinking you had it (we rarely have the opportunity to assess
  control beliefs in everyday life; that‟s why perception is key)
       Experimental research on control

• Studies in old age homes (Langer, 1983; Rodin, 1986) to
  assess the effects of predictability and control
   – 3 conditions (control, predictability, neither)
   – equal time in all visits, and everyone does so within
     regular visiting hours
   – predicted health and mortality within the next year
   – implications/applications?
   – Strengths/limitations of this study relative to Glass &
     Singer (1972) and other survey studies?
• Similar research in work settings involving control over
  how to do tasks; in prisons involving control over TV
  programming, chair locations (Ruback et al., 1986;
  Wener et al., 1987)
             Optimism and pessimism
• Perceptions do not reflect actual difference in the experience of life
  events (see also NA and PA)
   – Differ in the interpretation, recall, & experience of real and
     hypothetical life events so as to reinforce their initial views
   – Their affective experience is to be happier and to reconstrue
     events in a positive light (i.e., rationalize)
   – e.g., you get rejected from 1 school & accepted by UNCW. How
     do you now evaluate UNCW and the rejecting school?
• Healthier?
   – Most are survey studies of health and optimism.
   – Heart patients matched prior to surgery on prognosis and
     preoperative health. Optimism (and LOC) predicts mortality and
   – Hole punch of medical students to assess rate of healing; related
     to optimism and LOC (Glaser, 1996)
          Other traits linked to health

• Type A vs. Type B personality
   – Cluster of traits such as competitive, goal oriented, driven, quick
     to anger vs. calm and less work oriented
   – health is better in Type Bs
   – Short term life satisfaction is higher in Type A
   – Recent research on other “Types”
• Hardiness and stress
   – Cluster of traits (e.g., commitment, control) that predict how well
     one handles stress (e.g., Kobassa, 1977)
   – Typically stress results in physical illness (Selye‟s General
     Adaptation Syndrome), but not for high hardiness individuals
                  Trait Revolution
• Mischel shock (Personality and Assessment; Mischel, 1968)
    – 1. Traits account for only 9% of behavior
        • Personality vs. situation debate (data on school children in
           different settings – predicting behaviors like lying)
    – 2. Traits are just labels.
• Attempts to address the 1st critique with new measures, but more
  difficult to counter the 2nd critique
• Modern personality inventories can go beyond 9% (see NEO-PI)
• * Problematic to predict a single instance of behavior from general
  trends (S. Epstein), but we can predict behavioral tendencies
• Traits predict best in situations without clear “situational scripts”
    – e.g., first date behavior vs. seventh date behavior
• A theoretical model linking individual behaviors to traits & factors
    The construction of personality factors from everyday
    experiences (higher level factors are the least modifiable)

                                 Extraversion                4. Type/Factor

            Sociability        Impulsivity      Liveliness   3. Trait

Going out         Smiling           Waving                   2. Habitual
      Smiled at Mary      Smiled at person
      yesterday           seated next to you                  1. Individual
                 Organizing traits
• From 450 B.C. to present
• Organizing structure for personality
• Eysenck‟s three personality “factors” to describe all
  relevant personality traits
   – 1. extraversion/introversion -ARAS
   – 2. neuroticism/emotional stability -limbic system
   – 3. psychoticism (abnormal personality) /ego
      strength (tolerate stress, reality focus)

- Circumplex model (for the normal population)
           Other ways of organizing traits

• Allport‟s cardinal, central, secondary
• Cattell‟s 16 PF
• The Big Five (Costa & McCrae, 1985)
    – Neuroticism - emotional stability/instability (very stable)
    – Extraversion - sensation seeking/pos emotions (very stable)
    – Openness - to new experience (creativity)
    – Agreeableness - quality of interactions
    – Conscientiousness – responsibility
• Research suggests that N & E are more related to biological factors
  (i.e., highest heritability coefficients – approximately .6)
• Within person variability predicted by situations, whereas within
  person stability is predicted by trait scores on the NEO (Fleeson,
         Scoring the NEO-FFI
•   Recode items (see last page of handout)
•   Sum columns to get five total scores
•   Compare your scores to norm values
•   See overhead and descriptions
         Big Five and Everyday life
• NEO profile that best predicts school/work performance?
   – High C, N, and O (adaptive application of N)
• O is related to productivity as a function of the structure of the
  setting (high O works best in less structured settings)
• Low C and low A generally predict poor productivity in a variety of
  school and work-related settings
• High N is a general predictor for psychological problems
  (depression, anxiety, etc.), and the more extreme the score, the
  more likely the problems
• Costa & McCrae suggest that psychopathology is defined by
  extreme scores on the NEO
   – Some research suggests that these traits are observed across
      species such as dogs, chimps, & hyenas (Gosling & John, 1999)
      Responses to Mischel‟s critique

• New trait measures such as the NEO (validated at the
  item and scale level, Likert ratings, face valid)
• Act-frequency approach (Buss & Craik, 1983)
   – Identify actions that reflect the trait of interest
   – Rate the extent to which each represents the prototype for that
     trait (prototypicality ratings)
• Personal goal assessment
   – The idiosyncratic expression of basic motives (hunger vs.
     “truffles for the wedding”)
   – Traits in context (LOC vs. control over the relevant experiences
     in your life; e.g., goal to “get married” or “get a degree”)
    Gordon Allport (1930) – last slide for exam 3

• Consider how traits and motivation (goals) each assess different
  (unique) aspects of personality
• “Havings” and “Doings” of personality (Allport, 1930; Cantor, 1990)
   – stable features (traits) and more dynamic features (goals)
• Traits (havings) can reflect biological predispositions that may limit
  the opportunities for what one can do.
• Goals can determine how their traits manifest in their actions (goals
  are the doings of personality)
• Both predict behavior: Traits predict about 20% of university grades
  and goals relating to both school and non-school activities can
  account for an additional 10-20% (Little, Lecci, & Wadkinson, 1992)
            Goal assessments
- continuing with a 3rd response to Mischel‟s critique
• From more fleeting/transient experiences to life long
    – Current Concerns (Klinger, 1977)
    – Personal Projects Analysis (Little, 1983)
    – Personal Strivings (Emmons, 1986)
    – Life Tasks (Cantor, 1987)
    – Goal Systems Assessment Battery (Karoly &
      Ruehlman, 1995)
• Intersection of motivational and cognitive perspectives;
   “Hot Cognitions”
      Important features of goal construal

• PPA = Personal projects Analysis (Little, 1983)
• Adults average about 14 personal goals
• Content may be significant
   – e.g., Health goals for hypochondriacs
   – Most common goal across settings & populations: “lose weight”
5 factors used to interpret the PPA
• Meaningfulness (importance, enjoyment)
• Efficacy (progress, outcome, skills)
• Structure (control, initiation, time adequacy)
• Stress (stress, difficulty, challenge)
• Social Support (visibility, other‟s view)
            Meaning-Efficacy trade-off
• Molecular goals (time focused & concrete)
   – high efficacy but low meaningfulness
• Molar goals (broad, life long pursuits)
   – low efficacy but high meaningfulness
• Anxiety can be predicted from goals with hi meaning & low efficacy
• Research on college students and their goals shows that depression
  is marked by low efficacy & low meaningfulness (Lecci et al., 1994)
• Depression can also be marked by the failure to disengage (Kuhl,
  1986) from unsuccessful projects - depression as “information”
• Goals also linked to hypochondriasis (more illness prevention goals
  with low efficacy and hi stress; Lecci et al., 1996), life satisfaction
  (Palys & Little, 1993), health (Emmons & King, 1988)
• Project system coherence comes from a balance of projects or from
  “Project spin”
             Ipsative scoring for the PPA

• Ipsative scoring refers to comparisons within the individual (no need
  for a norm group, though normative scoring can be done)
• Goals can be scored by comparing your own score at one time to
  scores from obtained from another time
   – Only meaningful if scores can change (traits are supposed to be
      stable, so any changes on the NEO are considered error in
   – Your goals, however, can change.
• Goals can also be scored by comparing ratings across different
  content domains (e.g., social vs. academic) – look at your scores
• Most clinical work and counseling interventions with goals adopt the
  ipsative scoring procedures (goal of intervention can be perceived
  changes in the goal system)
• Goals can also be scored normatively (see next slide)
  Normative scoring for the PPA e.g.,
      academic vs leisure goals
• Academic goals                 • Leisure goals
  – Importance:                     – Importance:
     • High = 10                       • High = 9 or >
     • Low = 5 or <                    • Low = 4 or <
  – Enjoyment                       – Enjoyment
     • High = 7 or >                   • High = 9 or >
     • Low = 2 or <                    • Low = 6 or <
  – Stress                          – Stress
     • High = 9 or >                   • High = 5 or >
     • Low = 3 or <                    • Low = 1 or <
  – Other‟s view of importance      – Other‟s view of importance
     • High = 10                       • High = 8 or >
     • Low = 4 or <                    • Low = 1 or <
   Class “cocktail” party – don‟t write this down

• Please complete the top half of the self
  assessment form & print your name on the
• Once finished the assessment, please stand in
  line to get drinks (bring your books with you)
• You will be assigned to groups of 6-7
• After getting drinks, sit together somewhere
• You need to be familiar with the names of those
  in your group, find out what they are doing this
  summer and their long term plans.
    Self vs. Peer Ratings – include in class notes

• High degree of consistency between self ratings and the ratings of
  others even after only a brief interaction
   – Almost as accurate as assessments from those who know you
     very well
• How does social desirability effect ratings? Social constraints? The
  short time period of the assessment?
• Which traits will show the greatest discrepancies?
• Do discrepancies necessarily reflect problems with the self-report?
   – Real differences between internal and external presentation may
     be meaningful
   – When evaluating others, people tend to attribute behavior to
   – When evaluating our own behavior, we tend to attribute it to the
     situation (Why? - baserates)
        What is Abnormal Behavior?
• Deviance - from societal norms
   – If too deviant (rare) then not identified as a disorder.
   – If too common, then it is no longer non-normative.
• Dysfunction - relationships and work
• Distress - affective discomfort (experienced by the
  individual or created in others)
• Danger - to self (e.g., suicidal) or others
• Pervasive - impacting all aspects of life
• Longstanding - at least early adulthood
• Note: Each of the above are neither necessary nor
                  Psychiatric Disorders
• Diagnostic criteria defined by the DSM-IV
• AXIS I defines clinical syndromes
• AXIS II defines the personality & developmental disorders
• 60% chance of having an AXIS II disorder if one has AXIS I disorder
• Those with one personality disorder are 5 times more likely to have a
  second PD
• Enduring pattern of inner experience or behavior that deviates from the
  individual’s culture in at least 2 of the following 4 areas:
   – cognition: perception of self, others & events
   – affect: range, intensity, and appropriateness
   – interpersonal functioning (occupational)
   – impulse control
               Personality Disorders

• Incidence of 10-15% in the population

Problems diagnosing personality disorders. Why?
• Typically diagnosed secondary to AXIS I disorder(s)
• Extensive symptom overlap among the PDs
• PDs reflect a stable pattern with a long duration that can be
  traced back at least to adolescence or early adulthood (i.e.,
  PDs should not be diagnosed in children)
   – e.g., conduct disorder >>>> Antisocial PD
   – e.g., identity disorder >>>> Borderline PD
       Myth of mental illness? (Szasz)

• Criteria used to define “mental illness” change as a function of
  shifts in cultural values and normative experiences over time
   – e.g., earlier version of the DSM considered homosexuality as a
     disorder, now consider PMS as a disorder,
   – Other examples of changing criteria: MPD, Pseudocyesis, etc.
• Mental illness = Disease (medical) model or is it a myth?
   – “Myth of Mental Illness” (1968)
• Can patterns of behavior, affect, or cognition be an illness?
   – e.g., conservativism?
   – e.g., suicide? (“Cruel Compassion”)
                 AXIS II: Cluster A
• All three involve odd or eccentric behavior
• Paranoid PD – hostile & threatening interpretation of the
  actions and intentions of others, suspiciousness, quick
  to anger
• Schizoid PD – flat affect with no desire for interactions,
  and limited interests, few pleasures, isolative, indifferent
  & detached
• Schizotypal PD – some paranoia, unusual perceptions,
  odd behaviors/beliefs, inappropriate affect, isolative,
  ideas of reference, social anxiety

• More commonly diagnosed in males, typically single,
  with jobs resulting in minimal interpersonal contact.
• All cluster A PDs generally result in isolation of the
  individual, but for different reasons (cf. Avoidant PD)
              Analysis of “Bob”

• Unusual behaviors in the interview?
• Examples?
    Applying theories to PDs (e.g., Paranoid PD)

• Biological – recall the twin data suggesting the strong genetic link
  between those with schizophrenia and those sharing a genetic
  history (according to the ICD-10, cluster A personality disorders are
  just milder forms of schizophrenia)
• Cognitive – reasoning errors associated with paranoia (e.g.,
  paranoid individuals require less information to come to a decision
  compared to non-paranoid individuals: Hemsley & Garety, 1986
  study on colored balls)
• Psychodynamic – paranoia is an unconscious defense against the
  “homosexual impulse” (reaction formation and projection: I love a
  man - I hate him - He hates me. i.e., paranoia.)
• Behavioral – a failure to receive positive reinforcers for prosocial
  behavior, so one resorts to bizarre behavior to get attention. Also
  paranoid explanations may be more appealing than alternative.
                     AXIS II: Cluster B
• All involve dramatic/emotional presentations
• Borderline PD – instability of affect and relationships, para-
   suicidal behavior (suicidal gestures with high visibility but low
   lethality), frantic attempts to avoid abandonment, intense &
   inappropriate emotions, affective extremes are common
• Narcissistic PD – seeks attention, lacks empathy, vulnerable to
   criticism, grandiose self view, requires admiration, exploitive
• Histrionic PD – seeks attention, sexualizes all interactions, use
   of physical appearance for attention, rapidly shifting shallow
   emotions, theatrical, shallow speech, focus on physical symptoms
• Antisocial PD – deceitful, criminality, impulsive and reckless,
   little remorse, irritable and aggressive, irresponsible

• Cluster B PDs are typically involved in relationships, but they are
  problematic. Diagnosed more in females (except antisocial)
          Analysis of Candy Johnson

• Unusual behaviors in the interview or
• Examples?
     ASPD: Two theoretical perspectives

• “Sociopath” - refers to the hypothesized social factors
  that underlie this disorder
   – Early problems with learning right/wrong (behavioral)
   – “Mani sans deliria” - Mania without delirium
   – Moral insanity - illustrated by lack of remorse
• “Psychopath” - refers to the presumed physiological
  causal factors
   – research (Lykken,1957) on ASPD‟s attenuated
     response to positive punishers relative to non-ASPDs
   – Response to negative punishers and rewards is
     similar to that of non-ASPDs (Schmauk, 1970)
                    AXIS II: Cluster C
• All Cluster Cs involve fear and anxiety
• Avoidant PD – fear of criticism from others, social phobia may
  occur, isolative, views self as inept, unlikely to be in a relationship
• Obsessive-compulsive PD – perfectionistic, unwilling to
  delegate, inability to meet deadlines, preoccupied with details, rigid,
  hordes money
• Dependent PD – unable to act alone on any decision, needs
  others, subservient and may place themselves in humiliating
  circumstances, difficulty expressing disagreement, fear of
  abandonment, always in a relationship
• PD NOS – not meeting the criteria for any one PD, but they have
  features of several; can refer to more than one PD
          Analysis of Julian Robbins

• Unusual behaviors in the interview?
• Examples?
      Comparison of Personality Assessments

• TAT (& Rorschach)- subjective scoring, socially
  desirable response sets are less obvious, assumes
  unconscious processes
• Rep Grid – perceptions, social networks, socially
  desirable response is less obvious
• NEO - objective scoring, representative norms, straight
  forward assessment
• Autobiographical statement – most open-ended (broad)
  and most consistent with the subjective experience, but
  hardest to score and compare
• PPA - straight forward, normative & ipsative scoring,
  samples everyday behavior. (see normative scoring)
• How would different PDs do on each test?

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