This lesson is going to look at assessments that can be used in personality psychology by covering:
Personality psychology is the study of people's individual patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving over time. How do we determine what those patterns are for each person?
An assessment, or a test, is a way to help to measure the various different traits and aspects of a person's personality. There are different tests for different kinds of theories.
There could be one test for trait theories, one for psychodynamic, and one for humanistic; however, they could be applicable to a wide range.
Each one of these different types of assessments has different strengths and limitations. Two important assessments are:
These are two types of assessments that are more qualitative in nature. That means they are based on descriptions and observations themselves, and they are a little subjective. The questions depend more on the subject and on the psychologist, and are not necessarily the same for each person.
An interview is a face-to-face conversation that a person has with a psychologist. They are asked questions by a psychologist and share information about their psychological history, their current status, and their personality in general. Interviews can take two different forms:
Interviews do have some weaknesses. They can be affected or biased by the subject or interviewer's preexisting beliefs.
What the subject looks like might affect how the psychologist is rating the person within the system.
There's also what we call the halo effect. The halo effect is the tendency to view a person as generally positive or negative based on things like attractiveness or on age.
It's been shown that when a person is physically attractive, a person is generally more likely to look at them as being intelligent or more worthwhile than other people.
Favorable view based on partial information or first impression, can complicate later information. Within an interview, a person can also lie, and that can affect the information as well.
The second type of assessment is direct observation. Direct observation means watching the subject within a naturalistic sort of setting to gather information about them.
A person might go to a school and watch a child playing and interacting with other children. This can give us information about that child's personality and their social interactions.
Direct observations can give more in depth information, like interviews, about the subjects. They can also provide more accurate information because it's within a natural setting, so they're not being affected by being in a room with a psychologist or in some kind of strange environment.
However, direct observation can be affected by observer bias, which is to say preexisting beliefs or ideas might be what they're looking for in other ways.
If you think that teens are more argumentative, then you tend to look for more times that they're being argumentative than the times that they're not.
To prevent that, a lot of direct observations have different tools that help to control. They might use a rating scale, which is a list of traits or behavioral aspects that guides the observations and prevents misinterpretations. It tells the researcher what to look for so they don't necessarily miss it within those situations.
Researchers can also do what's called a behavioral assessment. This is when a observer records how many times they observe certain kinds of behaviors. Instead of trying to measure the internal processes that are going on or the different personality traits, they can just say each time they see a behavior that they're looking for. Then they mark it in one category, and each time they see different behaviors.
How many times a person mentions a subject in a conversation.
Keep up the learning and have a great day!
Source: This work is adapted from Sophia author Erick Taggart.
Evaluating the frequency of specific behaviors.
Individual is asked to perform a team project together, interviewers watch the candidates' behavior and take notes but don't interact.
Favorable view based on partial information or first impression, can complicate later information.
Evaluator asks a series of questions, face-to-face, about qualities, traits, their response to different scenarios, etc.
Evaluation depends on a checklist of qualities wanted, some may be more important than other qualities.