Personality Assessment
Haverford Psychology 212h

Spring, 1999
Doug Davis
Department of Psychology
Haverford College
Sharpless 310
Phone: 896-1236
The Class
Class Projects
The Discussion Group

Handgun Control, a lobbying organization in Washington, offers the following astonishing fact: "In 1996, handguns were used to murder 2 people in New Zealand, 15 in Japan, 30 in Great Britain, 106 in Canada, 213 in Germany and 9,390 in the United States." (Bob Herbert, The New York Times, 4/22/99)

This "HyperSyllabus" is intended not only to provide you with a variety of local course resources in an easily-accessible way, but also to acquaint you with the World Wide Web, a user-friendly subset of the Internet. This document also contains pointers to other Psychology resources on the Net. To get the most from the HyperSyllabus, you should acquire Web resources appropriate to your situation (Mac/Wintel, direct dorm or dial-in connection). Some geek skills are now essential, and I'll help you acquire these.

Syllabus updates and breaking news will be noted at the end of this document.

You should open this HyperSyllabus at least once before each class, click on each unexplored link, and read the relevant materials. I welcome your reactions and suggestions, which may be communicated to me verbally, posted to the class discussion group on Haverford's Web Forum, or sent as electronic mail to I also invite you to communicate directly with Lisa Richman, TA for this course, and with David Mintzer, who will be helping me with Web and multimedia resources.

Prerequisite: Psychology 109g: Foundations of Personality, or consent of instructor.

Week 1: Person-ality: Stories of the self

M March 15 (Lab):

Tu March 16: Person-ality and its discontents:

W March 17: (Lab): Creating Web pages and forms

Th March 18 Apperception: Schafer's Stories, Murray's Earnst

Week 2: Personality consistency: traits, situations, development

M March 22 (Lab): A practice projective/questionnaire study

Tu March 23: A penny for the old guys

W March 24 (Lab): Web pages completed

Th March 25: the "situationist" debate

Week 3: Bias, Barnum, and Bayes

M March 29 (Lab): Processing data from Web forms

Tu March 30: Labeling and Diagnosis: Rosenhan (1973), Langer & Abelson (1974), Chapman & Chapman

W March 31: Base Rates and Better Judgments: Davis (1976, 1979), Langer & Abelson (1981), Meehl (1956)

Th April 1: (Lab): Researching computer use

Week 4: Persons, Numbers

M April 5 (Lab): Planning a study of personality at Haverford

Tu April 6: Five Factors Two Ways: F&O: Costa & McCrae (pp. 163-172)

W April 7 (Lab): Gathering, exporting, analyzing data

Th April 8: Persons, numbers

Week 5: Intelligent Persons

M April 12 (Lab): The Class of '79

Tu April 13: Intelligence: Cronbach

W April 14 (Lab):

Th April 15: Herrnstein & Murray, The Bell Curve:

Week 6:

M April 19 (Lab): The Final Projects

Tu April 20: Culture and Personality Assessment I

W April 21 (Lab): Final Project Groups

Th April 22: Culture and Personality Assessment II

Week 7:

M April 26 (Lab): Final Project Groups

Tu April 27: From anxiety to method . . . ?

W April 28: (Lab): The final projects presented

Th April 29: Course Review

The 1999 Final


Funder, D.C., & Ozer, D.J. (1997). Pieces of the personality puzzle: Readings in theory and research. New York: W.W. Norton. F&O

Other Readings

Non-linked assigened materials are available in the 304 Sharpless lounge in two xeroxed copies. Please sign out any document you remove for xeroxing, and return the original asap. Have a reaction/question regarding the reading? Why not share it with the class discussion group?

Baron, J., & Siepmann, M. (1999): Techniques for creating and using web questionnaires in research and teaching University of Pennsylvania.

Bennahum , D.S. (1999). Hide the Geek. Educom Review, March/April, 1999. (excerpted from Extra Life: Coming of Age in Cyberspace)

Bouchard, T.J. (1995). Breaking the Last Taboo. Contemporary Psychology, 40.

Carlson, R. (1971). Where is the person in personality research? Psychological Bulletin, 75, 203-219. (copies in 304)

Chapman, L. J., & Chapman, J. P. (1971). Test results are what you think they are. Psychology Today. (copies in 304)

Chapman, L. J., & Chapman, J. P. (1969). Illusory correlation as an obstacle to the use of valid psychodiagnostic signs. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 74, 271-280.

Cronbach, L.J. (1975). Five decades of public controversy over mental testing. American Psychologist, 30, 1-14. (copies in 304)

Davis, D.A. (1976). On Being Detectably Sane in Insane Places: Base Rates and Psychodiagnosis. Journal ol Abnormal Psychology, 1976, Vol. 85, 416-422.

 Davis, D.A. (1987). Formal operational thought and the Moroccan adolescent. In J. Valsiner (Ed.) Cultural context and child development: Towards a culture-inclusive developmental psychology. Hofgrefe, 1988.

Davis, D.A. (1979). What's in a name? A Bayesian rethinking of attributional biases in clinical judgment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47, 1109-1114.

Devereux, George. (1967). From anxiety to method in the behavioral sciences. The Hague: Mouton & Co. excerpt.

Dibbell, Julian. (1998). My Tiny Life. Chapter One: A Rape in Cyberspace (Or TINYSOCIETY, and How to Make One)

Dorfmann, D.D. (1995). Soft Science With a Neoconservative Agenda. Contemporary Psychology, 40.

Fenton, Norman. Common fallacies in reasoning due to misunderstanding of probability. This is part of a collection of resources concerned with Bayesian belief nets and probability.

Herrnstein, R.J., & Murray, C. (1994). The bell curve: Intelligence and class structure in American life. New York: The Free Press. (Preface, Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 13). (copies in 304)

Holland, N.N. (n.d.). The Internet Regression. Free Associations.

Krause, R., et al. (1998). Internet Paradox: A Social Technology That Reduces Social Involvement and Psychological Well-Being? Amercican Psychologist, Vol. 53, No. 9, 1017–1031.

Langer, E.J., & Abelson, R.P. (1974). A patient by any other name...: Clinician group differences in labeling bias. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 4-9. (copies in 304)

Langer, E.J., & Abelson, R.P. (1981). Reply to Douglas Davis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 49, 132-133. (copies in 304)

Murray, H.A. (1940). What should psychologists do about psychoanalysis? Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

Meehl, P. E. (1956). Wanted: A good cookbook. American Psychologist, 11, 263-272. (copies in 304)

Meehl, P.E. (1973). Why I do not attend case conferences. In P.E. Meehl, Psychodiagnosis: Collected papers. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press. notes

Meehl, P. E. (1978). Theoretical Risks and Tabular Asterisks: Sir Karl, Sir Ronald, and the Slow Progress of Soft Psychology. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 806-814.

Reade, W.K., & Wertheimer, M. (1976). A Bias in the Diagnosis of Schizophrenia. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 44, 878.

Revelle, William. (1995). Personality Processes. Annual Review of Psychology.

Rosenhan, D. L. (1973). On being sane in insane places. Science, 179, 250-258. (copies in 304)

Schafer, R. (1958). How was this story told? Journal of Projective techniques, 22, 181-210. (Reprinted in R. Schafer. (1967). Projective techniques and psychoanalysis. New York: International Universities Press, pp. 114-169.) excerpt

Serpentelli, Jill. (1992). Conversational Structure and Personality Correlates of Electronic Communication. Haverford College Psychology Thesis.

Stone, Allucquere Rosanne. (1993). Violation and Virtuality : Two cases of physical and psychological boundary transgression and their implications.

Wolf, J., Munoz, M., Kuperman, C., & Davis, D.A. (1998). Self-presentation in IRC. (internal access only).

Course Notes and Updates:
4/29/99: The 1999 Final's linked. Let me know of corrections or concerns.

3/25/99Study 1 is ready to go. Let me know if you find errors in the Web form.

3/21/99: Copies of the readings listed above as being in Sharpless 304 are in fact now in 304, in the top file drawer of the left-more cabinet straight ahead of the door. I've taped a sheet of yellow legal pad paper to the top of this cabinet. Should you need to take a reading briefly downstairs for xerox or next door to 303 while you make notes on it, be sure to sign it out on this log so classmates will know where it is.