What is one of personality psychologys biggest advantages over other areas of psychology?

Which of the following is NOT an advantage of self-report data?

Participants always provide accurate accounts of their personalities.

Personality psychology’s biggest advantage over other areas of psychology is that

the psychology of whole persons is taken into account.

Of the four types of data, which ones call for individuals to directly answer questions about themselves or other people?

informant reports and self-reports

The principle behind the Spearman-Brown formula in psychometrics states that because random errors tend to cancel one another out, the __________ errors your measurements have, the __________ of them you need.

When patterns of behavior are extreme, unusual, and problematic, personality psychology overlaps with

The biggest disadvantage of L data is that

it is extremely difficult to establish connections between personality and life outcomes because life outcomes can have so many causes.

The trait approach to personality psychology best describes what situation?

a psychologist focusing on ways that people differ from one another in behavior and disposition, and how these differences might be measured

According to the text, what is the central principle behind the use of S data?

People are the best experts on their own opinions and behaviors.

__________, a hybrid of S data and B data, consist(s) of participant reports of what they think they would do under various circumstances.

The different approaches to studying personality __________ rather than __________ each other.

A psychologist who is concerned primarily with a person’s conscious experiences follows the __________ approach.

Reliability is important to successful research, but every measurement involves a certain amount of error. Which of the following lists describes some factors that commonly undermine reliability?

low precision, variation in the participant and environment, state of the experimenter

Generalizability allows us to do what?

apply our results to populations or situations outside of an experiment

A personality psychologist who is concerned primarily with people’s unconscious mind and internal conflict follows what approach?

One disadvantage of creating “One Big Theory” of personality psychology is that

It would explain some parts of behavior well and other parts not as well

Personality psychology emphasizes individual differences. How does this focus serve as one of the discipline’s strengths?

It leads personality psychologists to be extremely sensitive to the fact that people really are different from each other.

Is “stubbornness” a good personality trait to have?

Yes and no; it can be a strength in some situations and a weakness in others

Validity can most simply be defined as the degree to which

a measurement actually reflects what it is supposed to be measuring.

A psychologist who is concerned primarily with how a person’s genes, physiology, and brain anatomy are related to his or her personality follows the __________ approach

Both experimental and correlational methods assess the relationship between variables. The two methods are different in that

the variable that is thought to be causal is manipulated in the experimental method, whereas it is measured without being manipulated in the correlational method.

I. The Place of Personality Psychology Among All of the Subfields of Psychology

    1. Unlike most subfields of psychology, which study specific topics such as perception, memory, emotions, or relationships, personality psychology strives to study the whole person.
    2. Personality psychology addresses both consistencies and inconsistencies in what is called the psychological triad: how people think, feel, and behave.
    3. Personality psychology is most closely aligned with clinical psychology, which studies abnormalities within the whole person, but also integrates material from social, cognitive, developmental, and biological psychology.

II. The Goals of Personality Psychology

    1. The textbook defines personality as "an individual's characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior, together with the psychological mechanisms—hidden or not—behind those patterns."
    2. Trying to understand everything about the whole person at once is a virtually impossible mission, so personality psychologists have specialized into basic areas that ask limited questions.
      1. The trait approach asks how people differ and how we can measure these differences.
      2. The biological approach asks how genes, neurotransmitters, hormones, and brain structure evolved and how they affect personality.
      3. The psychoanalytic approach asks how the unconscious—the part of our mind of which we are unaware—influences our thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
      4. The phenomenological approach asks how our conscious choices and interpretations of reality lead to creativity, freedom, happiness, and a meaningful life.
      5. The learning and cognitive processes approach asks how experiences change us and how we adapt to new situations.
    1. Because the founders and followers of each approach argue that their approach is the best, the five approaches seem competitive. But in reality they ask different questions and are complementary.
    2. To date no psychologist has come up with the One Big Theory (OBT) that integrates all of the approaches.
    3. Just as a person's greatest strength can also be his or her greatest weakness, the advantages of personality psychology as a whole over other subfields and the advantages of each approach are also disadvantages.

III. The Plan of the Textbook and This Course

A. After this introductory chapter, the book is divided into six parts. Part I (chapters 2 and 3) cover research methods. Parts II through VI cover the five basic approaches to personality psychology. Chapters 8 (anatomy and physiology) and 16 (personality processes) will not be assigned in the course, although you are certainly welcome to read these chapters.

B. Following the sections on the five basic approaches, two final chapters are presented as a way of summing up what we have learned in the course. Chapter 18 considers a topic that can be viewed from all five approaches: the extreme and problematic personality disorders. Chapter 19 revisits the need for different approaches to personality and reviews the major contributions each has made.

C. In addition to highlighting each chapter's main points, the commentary for each chapter will also provide insights and examples from the instructor's experience as a professional personality psychologist. These insights will include:

    1. The difficulty in being objective about personality and the way in which the cultural background, personal experiences, and needs of psychologists can affect their thinking.
    2. The "root ideas" (motivation, personality development, self-knowledge, unconscious processes, psychological health, and the relationship between the individual and society) are issues that every major personality theory has something to say about, although theories from the different approaches tend to emphasize some root ideas and ignore others.
    3. Personality theories shape our perceptions of facts about personality.
    4. Taking personality tests favored by the different approaches and engaging in other activities will help you better understand personality psychology. Therefore some of the assignments will include taking tests and engaging in activities as well as writing out answers to questions.

IV. Pigeonholing versus Appreciation of Individual Differences

  • Some feel uncomfortable with the idea of measuring personality and describing people with trait or type labels because it seems to pigeonhole and dehumanize people.
  • Yet the potential weakness of categorizing and labeling people can be seen as a strength in its sensitivity to the fact that people differ from one another. Other subfields of psychology assume that people are basically the same and regard differences as measurement error.

What are personality psychology's biggest advantages over other areas of psychology?

Personality psychology's biggest advantage over other areas of psychology is that: The psychology of whole persons is taken into account. One of personality psychology's biggest advantages over other areas of psychology is that it: Has a broad mandate to account for the psychology of whole persons.

What is a major advantage of using a basic approach to study personality psychology?

What is a major advantage of using a basic approach to study personality psychology? It is a systematic way to study specific patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

What is the importance of personality in psychology?

Understanding personality allows psychologists to predict how people will respond to certain situations and the sorts of things they prefer and value.

What are personality psychologists most interested in?

Personality psychologists are psychologists who are interested in the study of how an individual's major psychological subsystems—motives, emotions, the self, and others— function together to create a person's life patterns.