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Describe how Psychologists have attempted to measure personality

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Sports Psychology- Personality Section A a) Describe how Psychologists have attempted to measure personality (6) Recently, since the beginning of the 20^th century, more reasonable and scientific ways of measuring an individual's personality have been proposed as opposed to those put forward back in 400 BC by Hippocrates, who attempted to measure differences between the psychological characteristics of individuals by defining four basic temperament types of each of which could be accounted for by a predominant body fluid, for example. An example of a more modern method includes the psychodynamic, approach, which uses projective tests as a way of measuring an individual's personality. It is a way of trying to reveal what the individual's unconscious desires are since human behaviour, according to the psychodynamic theory, is considered to be driven by unconscious processes. Therefore psychoanalysts are unable to assess the individual's personality directly and thus use indirect methods, trying to predict underlying motives for behaviour. It is based on the phenomenon of projection, described by Freud as a mental process with a tendency to attribute to others personal feelings or characteristics that are too painful, for example, to acknowledge. ...read more.


b) Evaluate attempts made by Psychologists to measure personality (10) One such attempt is the Rorschach inkblot, classified as a projective test, which is used by psychoanalysts to measure personality as an indirect method of revealing an individual's unconscious desire, which, according to the psychoanalysis approach drives human behaviour. The individual's responses are interpreted solely by the psychoanalyst, which is a disadvantage since different testers may hold different opinions regarding the response given by the individual. The data collected is qualitative; it can be attacked for its lack of objectivity. This indicates that this type of test is low in inter- rater reliability, which refers to how consistent a method measures within itself. The measures in the Rorschach test are not standardised and can give distorted final outcomes. Different interpretators using the same observation/ interpretational definitions/ techniques simultaneously may interpret the individual as having different personality traits. For example, one psychoanalyst may perceive the response given by an individual to be aggressive and another psychoanalyst may think that the individual they are analysing may be not aggressive at all- it is an opinion. ...read more.


to appear in good light for example, can be detected and eliminated from the results so the honest answers can be considered. Furthermore, to support the validity of this test, Eysenck arranged for 700 people who were diagnosed as neurotics to complete his EPQ to see if the results indicated that they were stable neurotics, which is exactly what was discovered, reinforcing the high validity. Interviews, another attempt to measure one's personality, can be criticised greatly. They are face-to-face conversations between the researcher and the individual, which means that experimenter effect is a possibility, which is where the researcher can affect the answer given by the participants, thus affecting the validity of the study. The researcher may unwittingly communicate his or her expectations to the participants. This could happen through only small changes in the body language or tone of voice. This may result on socially desirable answers being given and not honest ones. Unlike Eysenks high in validity study, which makes use of a lie detector to eliminate any, dishonest answers being given, and similarly to projective tests interviewers cannot pick up on whether the individual is lying and thus record and analyse answers which are invalid. ...read more.

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