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Trait Approaches to Personality. Lecture contents. From cardinal to basic traits Issue 1: What and where are traits? Issue 2: What use are traits?. Traits: The gist. Personal (‘internal’) rather than situational (‘external’) Stable rather than transitory (across time)

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lecture contents
Lecture contents
  • From cardinal to basic traits
  • Issue 1: What and where are traits?
  • Issue 2: What use are traits?
traits the gist
Traits: The gist
  • Personal (‘internal’) rather than situational (‘external’)
  • Stable rather than transitory (across time)
  • Consistent rather than inconsistent (across ‘similar’ situations)
  • General rather than specific (across ‘different’ situations)
  • Universal dimensions: Individual differences (across people)
manifest latent or manifest because latent
Manifest, latent, or manifest because latent?
  • Potential vs. actual
  • Internal vs. interactive
  • Explanation vs. description
  • Behaviours vs. motives, affects, cognitions
an early definition
An early definition
  • “generalized and personalized determining tendencies - consistent and stable modes of an individual’s adjustment to his environment”
  • Allport & Odbert (1936, p. 26)
behavioural traits and individual differences from
Behavioural traits and individual differences from
  • Situational preferences
  • Cognitive styles
  • Expressive styles
traits and individual differences attenuated by
Traits and individual differences attenuated by
  • Strong situational constraints
  • Trait combinations
  • Trait conflicts
    • Other traits
    • Motives
    • Temporary moods
    • Roles
allport s non common traits
Allport’s non-common traits
  • Cardinal traits
    • Single defining traits that characterise some, but not all, individuals.
  • Central traits
    • Typically 5-10 traits: “those usually mentioned in careful letters of recommendation … or in brief verbal descriptions of a person” (Allport, 1937).
  • Secondary traits
    • Like central traits but more specific to particular stimuli or particular responses.
cattell s 16 pf 5th edition
Cattell’s 16 PF (5th Edition)
  • A. Warmth Reserved Warm
  • B. Reasoning Low High
  • C. Emotional stability Reactive Calm
  • E. Dominance Deferential Assertive
  • F. Liveliness Quiet Energetic
  • G. Rule consciousness Expedient Dutiful
  • H. Social boldness Shy Socially bold
  • I. Sensitivity Logical Sensitive
  • L. Vigilance Trusting Vigilant
  • M. Abstractness Practical Contemplative
  • N. Privateness Forthright Private
  • O. Apprehension Self-assured Apprehensive
  • Q1. Openness to change Traditional Free thinking
  • Q2. Self-reliance Affiliative Independent
  • Q3. Perfectionism Unexacting Perfectionist
  • Q4. Tension Relaxed Tense
have i read you right
Have I read you right?
  • You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.
the 16pf5 global factors
The 16PF5 (Global Factors)
  • Tough-Mindedness/Receptivity
  • Low Self-Control/High Self-Control
  • Introversion/Extraversion
  • Independence/Accommodation
  • Low Anxiety/High Anxiety
eysenck s e xtraversion
Eysenck’s Extraversion

Extraversion

Sociable

Lively

Active

Assertive

Carefree

Dominant

Surgent

Venturesome

Sensation-seeking

eysenck s n eutroticism
Eysenck’s Neutroticism

Neuroticism

Anxious

Depressed

Tense

Irrational

Shy

Moody

Emotional

Low self-esteem

Guilt-

feelings

for fun only
For fun only
  • Answer the following questions using a scale of 1 (not at all) to 5 (very much)
  • 1. Do you stop to think things over before doing anything?                                                  
  • 2.  Would being in debt worry you?
  • 3.  Do you lock up your house carefully at night?
  • 4.  Would it upset you a lot to see a child or animal suffer?
  • 5.  Do you believe insurance plans are a good idea?
  • Add the scores together.
eysenck s p sychoticism
Eysenck’s Psychoticism

Psychoticism

Aggressive

Cold

Egocentric

Impersonal

Impulsive

Unempathic

Creative

Anti-social

Tough-

minded

p en evaluation
(P)EN Evaluation
  • E & N result from almost all factor analyses
  • Measures (e.g., EPQ-R) are generally accepted as psychometrically impressive
  • Each factor score correlates with different biological stuff
  • Genetic contributions to E and N scores
  • Systemmatic mean differences across highs and lows, e.g., Introverts vs. Extraverts
  • I want to know more about:
    • predictive/criterion validity
    • comprehensiveness
    • Utility generally
fundamental lexical hypothesis
Fundamental Lexical Hypothesis
  • The ‘Big Five’
  • “the most important individual differences in human transactions will come to be encoded as single terms in some or all of the world’s languages”
  • (Goldberg, 1990, p. 1216)
  • Single-trait words reveal factors I-V in US, UK, Japan, China, etc
the five factor model ffm
The Five-Factor Model (FFM)
  • Costa & McCrae (1992)
  • Openness (Curious and unconventional)
  • Conscientiousness (Ordered and persistent)
  • Extraversion (Exuberant and sociable)
  • Agreeableness (Caring and considerate)
  • Neuroticism (Emotional and anxious)
ffm o penness to experience
FFM: Openness to experience

Openness

Fantasy

Aesthetics

Feelings

Ideas

Actions

Values

ffm c onscientiousness
FFM: Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness

Dutifulness

Competence

Order

Deliberation

Self

Discipline

Achievement Striving

ffm e xtraversion
FFM: Extraversion

Extraversion

Gregariousness

Activity level

Assertiveness

Warmth

Excitement Seeking

Positive Emotions

ffm a greeableness
FFM: Agreeableness

Agreeableness

Trust

Altruism

Modesty

Compliance

Straight-forwardness

Tender-mindedness

ffm n euroticism
FFM: Neuroticism

Neuroticism

Anxiety

Depression

Vulnerability

Impulsiveness

Self-consciousness

Angry

Hostility

consensus on 5 basic traits
‘Consensus’ on 5 ‘basic’ traits
  • 16PF5 Big 5 FFM
  • Tough-Mindedness/Receptivity   Intellect    Openness
  • Low Self-Control/High Self-Control Conscientiousness Conscientiousness
  • Introversion/Extraversion    Surgency    Extraversion
  • Independence/Accommodation Agreeableness    Agreeableness
  • Low Anxiety/High Anxiety    Emotional Stability Neuroticism
  • Remember the two crucial skills of factor analysis:
    • Factor labeling
    • Input variable selection
ffm evidence
FFM Evidence
  • Cross cultural replication
    • using translation
    • Using lexical method
  • Self-other correlations
  • Biological
    • Genetic inheritance
    • Evolutionarily consistent
    • Cross species
    • Neurological
  • Diagnosis
  • Prediction
what is being claimed
What is being claimed?
  • The claim that the FFM is comprehensive does not mean that it exhaustively measures individual differences in personality, any more than a comprehensive examination asks every single question a student should be able to answer on a topic. What the model hypothesizes is that almost every personality trait is substantially related to one or more of the five factors, and that any remaining traits…form a miscellaneous category rather than covarying to define a sixth or subsequent factor.
  • Costa & McCrae (1995, p. 218, f. 1)
evaluation
Evaluation
  • Description more than explanation.
  • Conceptual fuzziness.
  • Little prediction or control.
  • Person-situation controversy continues.
  • However, the Five Factor approach does seem well grounded and the best trait taxonomy currently available.