past0073: April 2012 Archives

Personalities Matter

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One part of Psychology 1001 that I found particularly interesting was the section on personalities. My interest in this had a lot to do with the activity we did in our discussion section where we had to plan a vacation for our group. We were placed in in groups based on our levels of extroversion and conscientiousness. Seeing how differently all the groups' planning strategies were was incredibly interesting. The groups with high conscientiousness carefully thought out details, while the group with high extroversion and low conscientiousness made decisions more on impulse, without much attention to detail. The reason I think I will remember this is because of how pertinent it is to daily life. Whether it is work, school, or just social life, knowing both your personality and the personality of those around you can be extremely important, mostly for situations like we had in discussion. When you're working with a group toward a common goal, it is important to understand where peoples' opinions are coming from, and how that can affect the group as a whole. The best example of this that I can think of is noticing when someone in your group suggests something that might give them an advantage in some way, rather than being a positive decision for the group. Being aware of the motives and personality types in others can make a huge difference! As an example of why it is so important to be aware of these different personality types, enjoy this video of one of the strangest personalities on television:

P.S. My apologies for the non-video. The embedding feature was disabled on this video, but it's a funny one.

What's With This IAT Test?

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I chose to take a demonstration IAT test that was associated with age. The test has the participant put their fingers on two keys on the keyboard, and then has them sort pictures of young and old faces. It then associated the word good with young, and bad with old, then has you again categorize the faces. The terms are then switched to young being associated with bad, and old being associated with good. Your preference is based on how long it took you to categorize them in each trial. After finishing the test, my results were that I have a "moderate preference toward young people." This test, and others like it (some of the other test options were weapons, religions, race, weight, sexuality) are designed to measure some of our unconscious prejudices. In my case, I supposedly prefer young faces to old. Some of the other tests measure a variety of prejudices including racism, sexism, and homophobia. I would encourage you to try one of the tests yourself:

Keep in mind though, when reviewing your results that it is still unclear as to whether the IAT actually measures stereotypes, or simply the awareness of these stereotypes. So, while these research methods do make some sense in their ability to recognize these prejudices, they still lack complete validity because the scores and their findings could be based on a handful of participants with extreme scores. Nevertheless, it is an interesting and worth while site to visit.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by past0073 in April 2012.

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