so I want to tell you
I want to make a little announcement first.
I'm going to do a series of lectures, I think, starting in May.
Maybe at the Isabel Bader Theatre?
We're trying to look into booking that. On a, I'm
going to do a psychological interpretation of the bible from beginning
to end. That's the plan anyway. So I'm going to do that once a week.
So if you are interested in that,
I would recommend that you... (and maybe your not an that's fine obviously)
but, if you go onto my Twitter account
you can just, there's a place you can sign up
It doesn't mean that you'll attend. I'm just
trying to see if there are people who are interested. I've been
interested in doing that for a long time and so I think I'm going to try it and so.
That's the announcement. Then, is that about it?
I guess so. OK! So look we are going to switch gears today.
Um. The first half of this course, as you've
no doubt already err gathered, is...
because it's grounded essentially in clinical theories
of personality it tends more
towards the philosophical. And I told you that the reason for that was that
I regard clinical psychology as a branch of engineering
rather than a branch of science.
It's Human Engineering obviously; and because of that
it's an applied science and so that means it straddles the
ground between a science and a practice and
and it, because it's, it
involves human beings,
it necessarily involves value because
we live inside value structures;
and so the logical consequence of that is that
investigation into the philosophy of value
is necessary in order to understand clinical
Because really what you are trying to do as a clinician,
you could say that you are trying to do two things; one is to help people
have less terrible lives. But you are also trying to help them
have better lives. and there is obviously a value structure
that is inherent in that attempt
because you are moving from something of less value to something of more value
and so.. and it's best to just
to face that and all the complexities
that come along with that, head on. Now!
I think that what you do as a clinician,
to overcome what ever tendency you might have to
impose your value structure on someone is you do an awful lot of listening
And so my basic practise with people
is to say to them. "Well; obviously you are here
because you would like things to be better. But that's OK.
We can use your definition of what constitutes better.
We can use your definition of what constitutes worse.
Or we can establish that through dialogue, and negotiation.
What are you aiming at? How would you like things to be better
a year from now say? If you could have what you wanted,
if your life was put together what would that look like?
And you can have a very straight forward
discussion with people about that if you are not cram
the way that they are orienting the world into your particular perspective.
Now. That's one of the dangers of being the adherent of
a given psychological school. Now having said that.
There was research done many years ago, showing that
if you were an eclectic psychotherapist
which means that you sort of pick and chose from different therapeutic schools.
You tended to not be as effective as you were if you were the
dedicated adherent of a given school
and I think that the reason for that is
that there are so many schools of psychological thought
that if you say that you pick an choose from all of them, what that
really means is that you don't know anything about any of them.
And then there's also the additional
(maybe, you might call it) that
if someone comes to you and they're very chaotic and confused.
Helping them impose ANY STRUCTURE
onto their life is likely to be an improvement over no structure at all.
And you can think about that in a Piagetian sense, is that
you know you’re going to be happier playing a game, rather than no game.
And there's many games that you can play
that are better than no game. And so if you go to
a therapist that has a particular view point
and they help you structure your understanding of the world
within the confines of a given clinical model;
and you came in there very chaotic and uncertain,
then maybe that's going to be a lot better for you than just floundering.
And I think that there's some real truth in that.
And I think that that's part and parcel of the same, er;
of another, what, you might call it
"reasonable observation about maturation" is that
it's very necessary for people at some point in there life
to dedicate themselves to a single game, of some sort.
Which is kind of what you are doing at University.
You Know, you have to become 'one thing' at some point in your life;
and the sacrifice of course is that you give up all the other things that you could become.
But you don't really have a choice because
if you don't decide voluntarily to become one thing. You know
to become a disciplined adherent of some specific
practise or profession or view point
then you risk just ageing Chaotically
And you don't get away with not ageing.
So you might as well age into something
that's actually something
rather than just becoming an old child
Which is really... Which is not a good thing.
It's not a good thing to see. Especialy when people
hit about 40. It's not, it's not pretty,
For them or anyone else.
And even at 30, it's getting pretty old at that point.
40; it's like almost irreparable at 40.
And the reason for that is, you start running out of opportunities
when you're young and stupid people don't care
because they think, you know, whatever. You've got decades of
of possibilities still ready to unfold in you,
but if you are in the same unspecified position at 40
people are much less forgiving
especially if they are going
to hire someone who doesn't know
what's going on. Or employ them or sorry engage them is some sort of
They might as well take a chance on someone young and full of
potential rather than someone
who has really lived more than half of their life already
because of course you have, by the time you are 40. OK.
So, anyway, so that is with regards to putting the first
half of the course to bed so to speak.
The second half
is more scientific.
and there is a bit of a gap and
it's a bit of a gap I am trying to resolve conceptually
because now we move into more biological models
and into models that are psychometric and Psychometrics
is the psychological study of the study
of psychological measurement. And now if you are a scientist
there's a couple of things that you are
obliged to do if you are a scientist
one is to utilise the scientific method that's usually the
experimental method where you take 2 groups
randomly selected, apply a
manipulation to one of them and not
equivalent manipulation of a different sort to another;
hypothesize about what the outcome is likely to be and then test it
ah, that's the technical experimental model anyways
you're also obliged as a scientist
to come up with
a measurement of your, of your
to come up with a measurement, let's just put it that way
that's reliable and valid. Okay, and what a
reliable measure is one that measures the same way
across multiple measurements. So, for example,
you wouldn't want to take a ruler that's made out of flexible
rubber to measure things with because it
wouldn't give you the same measurement if you put it in different situations
That's reliability, and it's a term you need to know. It means that the
measurement tool produces stable results across
different instances of the measurement. Without that,
you don't have a measurement. And the other
factor with regards to
a measurement is that it has to be valid, which means that
it actually has to measure what it preports to measure and it
actually has to be usable for an array of
different purposes as a consequence, so,
you might think well the purpose of scientific endeavor is to predict and to
control, you could say understand, predict, and control but
understanding, prediction, and control are all
manifestations of the same underlying
throughly designed comprehension. Now,
here's what's happened with the measurement of personality
It's a funny
story in some sense, a peculiar story, because
in many ways, what we've come to understand about personality
from a scientific perspective, developed
in a very atheoretical manner. It's not very common
in scientific endeavor that that occurs, is that
what we know about personality emerged
from, I would say, statistically rigorous observation,
without it being the consequence of any real model.
So, often, what happens,
in scientific endeavor is that someone generates a model first, a theoretical understanding,
and then they generate measurement tools based on that theoretical understanding
and then they test the measurement tools to see if
well if the measurement tools perform properly, and if they
fail at least to invalidate the underlying theory
That isn't what happened with psychometrics.
Except in a loose way, so here's the loose
theory, and you've got to get this exactly right
to understand this properly. You've got to get it exactly right, and it's
really important, because, insofar as you guys
are interested in psychology, especially in the
experimental end of psychology, measurement is everything
and so much of what psychologists publish and
write about is incorrect, and the reason it's incorrect
is cause they do not have their measurements properly
instantiated. It's a massive
problem especially in social psychology. In fact it's
probably a fatal problem, in that most of the things that
social psychologists measure don't exist.
And social psychology has been rife with scandals for the last
4 or 5 years, and there's good reason for it
but a big part of the problem is is that, the measurement
that people are not stringent and careful enough about their measurements
so we're going to walk through this very very carefully, so I'm going to
set forward a set of propositions and you have to
think about it, cause each of them are...they're axiomatic, so you
sort of have to accept them before you go on to the next step.
And there's certainly room to question them.
But here's the bare bones of the psychometric model of personality
so we'll call it roughly the big 5 model
and the reason it's called the big 5 model is because
the psychometric investigations have indicated that
you can specify human personality along 5
basic dimensions. You might ask well what
exactly is personality, and well
that's partly what we have been trying to wrestle with in the entire course so far
and I would say
umm what exactly is a trait. Think of an trait as an element of
personality; and I think the best way to think about a trait is
as a sub-personality.
So you are made up of sub-personalities
that are integrated into something
vaguely resembling a unity. But the unity is diverse.
There are describable stable elements that characterize you.
That are elements of your being.
So for example, here are some common ones.
I would say, are you so sure ,or would you rather be alone?
So here is a good question for you to define
decide whether you are an extrovert or an introvert.
It's pretty straightforward. It is the first major dimension.
Basically if you take any set of questions,
about, any set of questions that
could be applied descriptively to a human being,
and you subject them to a statistical process
called factor analysis.
You can determine how they group together. So, what I would be interested in,
Let's say I ask you a hundred questions.