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Self report


Is a method of assessing personality that involves asking an individual about his or her behaviors, thoughts and feelings + then inferring that individuals personality on the basis of the responses

--> allows an accurate + efficient measurement at a low cost


Self ratings

Is basically the same method as self reports just that the person is asked to rate his individual level of the trait on a given scale

ex.: 1-10


Are self ratings more accurate than self reports ?

Not necessarily,

the rating might be a more direct indication of the trait

BUT: people might differ in their understandings of a certain trait

ex.: misinterpreting impulsivity as a king of spontaneous tendency


Observer/Informant report


Is a method that involves asking a third party for a certain individuals behaviours, thoughts and feelings


What are the advantages vs disadvantages of the observer report ?

Advantage: An individuals personality might be judged more objectively



a) The person might be inclined to present a good or bad impression for that individual

--> enhancement vs diminishing bias

b) some feelings + thought might never even be observed

c) expensive + time-consuming


Direct observation

(Behavior- data)

Is a method where a persons behavior is directly observed

--> the trait is measured by observing the frequency or intensity with which the individual performs those behaviors

ex.: how frequently you talk on phone, visit friends etc. --> to assess sociability




Is a method where some records of the persons life, which seem likely to be relevant to an individuals personality, are obtained


ex.: speeding ticket

--> recklesness


What are advantages vs disadvantages of obtaining biodata ?


They are objective indicators of behavior



Not always clear if it is an accurate indicator

--> Interpretation might not always be correct


Why are self reports and observer reports more commonly and widely used ?

They provide extremely quick + cheap methods of measuring a wide array of traits with generally good levels of reliability + validity


Which four methods can be used to assess personality traits ?

1. Self report

2. Observer report

3. Direct Observation

4. Biodata


Brunswiks lens model

States that elements in the environment can serve as a kind of lens through which observers indirectly perceive underlying constructs

--> involve cue utilization + cue validity


Cue utilization (Brunswik lens model)

Refers to the link between the observable cue + observers judgment

ex.: organized desk --> conscientiousness


Cue validity (Brunswik lens model)

Refers to the link between the observable cue + the occupants actual level of the underlying construct


According to Brunswiks model the mechanisms linking individuals to the environments they inhabit fall into 2 categories.

Which are they ?

1. Identity claims

a) self directed

b) other directed


2. Behavioral residue

a) interior

b) exterior


Self-directed identity claims

Refer to symbolic statements made by the occupants for their own benefit, intended to reinforce their self views

ex.: decorating ones room in a way that reflects ones personality, hobbies etc


Other directed claims

Refer to symbols that have shared meanings to make statements to others about how they would like to be regarded

--> intentionally communicating ones attitudes +values to others

ex.: office may be designed in a way that suggests to others a conscientious, hard working disposition


Interior behavioral residue

Refer to the physical traces of activities conducted in ones immediate environment (at home), reflecting past or anticipated behaviors

ex.: unopened bottle of wine + chairs arranged in a circle

--> awaiting guests


Exterior behavioral residue

Refer to the physical traces of activities conducted outside of ones immediate environment (outside)

ex.: ski pass

--> knows how to ski


What is the "2-Step inference process" to form impressions about a person ?

1. Observers infer behaviors that created physical evidence


2. Observers infer the dispositions that underlie the behaviors

--> assuming that no stereotypes intervene

ex.: organized workspace

  1.  person organizes his/her belongings
  2. high levels of conscientiousness


How do stereotypes impact the judgements of a person ?

The stereotype might be associated with a whole set of traits, some of which may have no direct link to the evidence in the environment

ex.: noticing asian books on a shelve will activate asian stereotypes



Is a microcassette recorder that tracks ambient sounds in peoples environments by recording them over a period of up to 4 days

--> it therefore adopts the unique observer perspective of lived-day studies


What are personality constructs ?/ What is a personality ?

It refers to inferred characteristics or traits of a person


What are possible biases that one might encounter when self reporting ?

1. Response bias

2. Acquiescent responding

3. Extreme responding

4. Self perception

--> will impede the validity of the self report measure


Response bias

Responding in a way that will present the self in a more favorable light


Acquiescent responding

Agreeing with response without considering what the question is asking


Extreme responding

Giving extreme ratings on scales

--> over-exaggeration


Why might our own self perception provoke biased responding ?

Because, people are predisposed toward self enhancement or trying to maintain positivity of the self at the expense of being unrealistic or simply wrong

--> requires a person to fully know his/herself


Principle of aggregation

States that in receiving a number of judgments from many people, the reliability of the results will increase

--> supports Informant reports


What are Multiple methods ? Why can they be helpful ?

1. Utilizing more than one method to measure a concept

2. May help demonstrate construct validity + increases the accuracy of results


Fundamental attribution error

Underestimating situational factors/circumstances but overestimating personal factors