job analysis When assisting a business in hiring for a particular job, a psychologist typically starts by kinesthetic figural afte effect (KFA)
In Petrie's kinesthetic figural aftere fect (KFA), subjects are blindfolded and presented with different sized wooden blocks. One block is a long wedge, and subjects can slide the fingers of on hand up and down the wedge. Using the other hand, participants are presented with wooden rectangular blocks of different size. Participants are asked to feel the width of a rectangular block with the other hand, and slide their other hand up the wooden wedge until they judge that the width of the wedge is equal to the width of the wooden block in their other hand. The KFA is a measure of individual differences in sensory reducing-augmenting. 400
latency stage The latency stage is the fourth stage in Freud's psychosexual stages of development. This stage occurs from around the age of six until puberty. Freud believed few specific sexual conflicts exist during this time, and was thus a period of psychological rest or latency. Subsequent psychoanalysts have argued that much development occurs during this time, such as learning to make decisions for oneself, interacting and making friends with others, developing an identity, and learning the meaning of work. The latency period ends with the sexual awakening brought about by puberty. 308
latent content The latent content of a dream is, according to Freud, what the elements of the dream actually represent. 311
learned helplessness Learned helplessness refers to the finding tha animals (including humans), when subjected to unpleasant and inescapable circumstances, often become passive and accepting of their situation, in effect learning to be helpless. Researchers surmised that if people were in an unpleasant or painful situation, they would attempt to change the situation. However, if repeated attempts to change the situation failed, they would resign themselves to being helpless. Then, even if the situation did improve so that they could escape the discomfort, they would continue to act helpless. 407
leukocyte A leukocyte is a white blood cell. When there is an infection or injury to the body, or a systematic inflammation of the body occurs, ther is an elevation in white blood cell counts. Surtees et al., in a 2003 study, have established a direct link between hostility and elevated white blood cell counts. 616
lexical approach The approach to determining the fundamental personality traits by analyzing language. For example, a trait adjective that has many synonyms probably represents a more fundamental trait than a trait adjective with few synonyms. 67
lexical hypothesis The lexical hypothesis—on which the lexical approach is based—states that important individual differences have become encoded within the natural language. Over ancestral time, the differences between people that were important were noticed and words were invented to communicate about those differences. 67, 581 libido Freud postulated that humans have a fundamental instinct toward destruction and that this instinct is often manifest in aggression toward others. The two instincts were usually referred to as libido, for the life instinct, and thanatos, for the death instinct. While the libido was generally considered sexual in nature, Freud also used this term to refer to any need-satisfying, life-sustaining, or pleasure-oriented urge. 289
life-outcome data (L-data) Life-outcome data, or L-data, refers to information that can be gleaned from the events, activities, and outcomes in a person's life that are available to public scrutiny. For example, marriages and divorces are a matter of public record. Personality psychologists can sometimes secure information about the clubs, if any, a person joins; how many speeding tickets a person has received in the last few years; whether they own a handgun. These can all serve as sources of information about personality. 38 Likert rating scale In using questionnaires, participants answer each item using the response options provided. These response options are in the form of various rating scales. One example is "true or false" as a rating scale. A common rating scale is called the Likert scale, and it provides numbers that are attached to descriptive phrases, such as 0 = disagree strongly, 1 = disagree slightly, 2 = neither agree nor disagree, 3 = agree slightly, 4 = strongly agree. 28 limbic system The limbic system is that part of the brain responsible for emotion and the "flight-figh reaction. If some individuals have a limbic system that is easily activated, then we might expect such persons to have frequent episodes of emotion, particularly those emotions associated with flight (such as anxiet , fear, worry) and those associated with fight (suc as anger, irritation, annoyance). Eysenck postulated that the limbic system was the source of the trait of neuroticism. 442
locus of control Locus of control is a concept that describes a person's perception of responsibility for the events in his or her life. It refers to whether people tend to locate that responsibility internally, within themselves, or externally, in fate, luck, or chance. Locus of control research started in the mid-1950s when Rotter was developing his social learning theory. 404 longitudinal study A longitudinal study examines individuals over time. Longitudinal studies have been conducted that have spanned as many as four and five decades of life an have examined many different age brackets. These studies are costly and difficult to conduct, but the informatio gained about personality development is valuable. 145
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