Essay Example on Studying individuals behaviour and trying to link underlying personality characteristics

Personality traits and characteristics are how we can define our behavior to people and our environment on a daily basis. Studying individual's behavior and trying to link underlying personality characteristics to why we do things either beneficial or unfavorable is a continuing interest for psychologists. Adorno et al 1950 and Allum 2011 have both undertaken research studies that provide insight on personality types and the potential effects it may have to societies around much of the world. This essay will layout similarities and differences between these two studies concentrating on their methods and these personality types that influence individuals life choices Adorno et al 1950 research study was influenced by the events of World War 2 and the researcher's curiosity into what kind of a person could carry out such devastating acts. Measuring attitudes was the beginning of this study. Three sets of scales were designed after identifying attitudes towards Jews as well as ethnically different people and then presented to the white middle class. Americans from San Francisco as a questionnaire. This then led to the creation of another scale known as the F scale which measured the potential for fascism and in turn led to measuring personality characteristics that were fundamental to their study McAvoy 2012. These questionnaires were scored by researchers with a point system of 1 7 Participants who scored high were most likely to be showing signs of an authoritarian personality. This quantitative method allowed a large scale of over 2000 people to take part and provide quick and systematic data that guided them to Phase 2 of their study. Allum 2011 had three hypotheses to find support for in his research.

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He used data from Special Eurobarometer 224 and 225 Surveys Europeans Science and Technology Social Values Science and Technology European Commission 2005a 2005b cited in Allum 2011 that explores some of the reasons why some people think that astrology is scientific and how astrology is viewed in relation to other knowledge-producing practices Allum 2011 p 341. This was conducted in 25 European countries at that time to over 30 000 people. This data was displayed in Allum's report as graphs of different forms to support his theory and the variables conducted. Both these studies show similarity in the use of questionnaires to gather information from large numbers to come to their respective conclusions on personalities and attitudes that could be analyzed numerically The F scale was made up of statements such as on obedience and authority. Those who scored high were described but not limited to as having respect to obedience and authority strict traditional values and tend to be more superstitious. This suggested to the researchers how some people viewed the world and their behavioral responses McAvoy 2012. In Allum 2011 study he found empirical support for authoritarian type values. Allum says those who value conformity obedience and tend towards uncritical acceptance of in group moral authority will be more likely to give credence to the claim of astrology Allum 2011 p 347. Here again the two studies share a similarity where an outlook of the personality characteristic that believes in a higher power or authority attributes to their relative studies. In addition, these two studies have similarly led us to believe how these personality traits highly influence decisions made in life.

Concerns were raised about the level of seriousness people took in beliefs in astrology or horoscopes. Using these star signs to decide on marital or financial affairs Allum 2011 pp 341 3 and Adorno et al 1950 suggested that people who scored high in the authoritarian personality scale would be the ones to support tolerated prejudiced ideas and be easily swayed if right-wing ideologies were to be more socially acceptable McAvoy 2012. There is a difference however in the full methodology of both research studies. Now Allum 2011 used only a quantitative method for his research measuring each hypothesis using different indicators with variables such as variation in beliefs between citizens and variation in beliefs between countries in Europe about astrology. While Adorno et al 1950 may have used questionnaires they also carried on to qualitative methods in Phase 2 of his study. He carried out interviews to a selected 150 respondents from the original group that took part in the questionnaire. This allowed a deeper understanding of the individuals and their family life that may or may not have impacted on their values and perspective of life. Although both these studies have contributed to the awareness of personality characteristics they do so with a different purpose. Allum 2011 main focus was on why people believe in astrology as a science. The confusion of the credibility of astrology and horoscopes was reflected on the lack of scientific literacy as well as the link of authoritarian type values both within Eastern European countries and its citizens While Adorno et al 1950 concentrated on actions and latent attitudes that could possibly lead to prejudices and actions towards minorities. Motivated by the movement of Nazis in the Second World War they studied as far back as childhood and one's upbringing.

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