In the following report the author will compare and contrast the various personality methods and the validity of each method. Moreover, the author will undertake one of these methods to assess their own personality and evaluate the outcome and the methodology used to assess their personality. Furthermore, the author will provide a brief evaluation of the theory behind the assessment and critically evaluate the theoretical assumptions of the study, relating to other approaches to personality. Assessment methods
There are various methods to assess personality. In measuring personality 'cheating' can become a problem. It is less difficult to pretend you are different from the way you really are. The methods used to assess personality by psychologists today include case studies, interviews, observational techniques and experimental studies. (Nevid, 2007) “The two major types of personality tests are objective personality inventories and projective tests.” (Nevid, 2007:p.506) Methods
Self-report questionnaire.Self report personality inventories measure personality traits or characteristics by having people respond to a set of questions about themselves using a limited range of response options that allow the test to be scored objectively. (Nevid.2007)
| * Fast and easy to complete. * Inexpensive to administer and score as many can be machine scored and interpreted by computer. * Each individual carrying out the test knows themselves best to answer the questions of the test.
| * Social Desirability (Bias) Individuals may distort their answers to present a favourable impression, according to what they believe is most socially acceptable. * Fixed questions. Limited responses (yes or no) (strongly agree, strongly disagree.) * Misunderstand what the questions asking them.
| Ratings.Observers provide information about other people’s behaviour.The ratters’ are given a different set of behaviours that they have to rate individuals in different situations.(Eysenck, 2004)
| * Good reliability rate * Social desirability does not apply to observers ratings. * Outside view point * Consensual validity.
| * Different behaviour to be rated is interpreted differently by different ratters’. * Bias viewpoint * Only seen in specific circumstances.
| Objective tests.Measure behaviour under laboratory conditions.
| * Are not aware that the personality is being assessed. So have no particular motivation to respond in one way or the other.
| * Results difficult to replicate. * Most objective tests have Low reliability and validity and so are not of the same value in terms of assessing personality.
| Projective tests.Participants are given an unstructured task.E.g. “devising a story to fit a picture.”(Eysenck,2004:p.458)The underlying basis of projective tests is that people confronted by such unstructured tasks will reveal their innermost selves.(Rorschach inkblot tests Introduced by Hermann Rorschach (1921) & Thematic Apperception tests) Introduced by Henry Murray (1935)
| * Helps to reveal inner thoughts and motivational conflicts and measure the subconscious. * Participant able to ask questions. * Psychologist can assess based on answers they receive.
| * respondent's answers can be heavily influenced by the examiner's attitudes or the test setting * Social Desirability Bias.Psychologist could misunderstand the response. * Lack both reliability/validity
| Case studies.A case study involves gathering detailed information about one individual or group it would typically involve history of participant E.g.Employment, education, family details ,Socio economic status and relationships. (Coolican, 2004)
| * Takes a lot of time * In-depth. * Examining * Can be flexible
| * Take weeks to * Accumulate and gather the data. * Difficult to maintain conditions. * Participants can guess research aim and can act in a socially desirable...
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