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Trait Theory. Chapter 11. Key Concepts. PERSONALITY TRAITS are permanent characteristics each of us has Taken together, they make up our personality Traits influence how we perceive the world and respond to it Trait theorists agree on what a personality trait is

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trait theory

Trait Theory

Chapter 11

key concepts
Key Concepts
  • PERSONALITY TRAITS are permanent characteristics each of us has
    • Taken together, they make up our personality
  • Traits influence how we perceive the world and respond to it
  • Trait theorists agree on what a personality trait is
    • Disagree on which are most important & how they are observed
  • Trait theories are concerned with describing what personality is rather than where personality comes from.
gordon allport
Gordon Allport
  • Theory starts with common terms used to describe people
    • Honest, dominant, outgoing, etc.
  • Three categories of traits
    • Stronger and most often expressed  weaker, less commonly expressed
traits
Traits
  • Cardinal Traits
    • Extremely strong personality characteristics
    • Expressed in almost all activities
    • “Ruling Passion”
    • Quite rare
      • Hitler; Mother Teresa
  • Central Traits
    • Highly characteristic; apply to most situations
    • Described by 5-10 of them
    • Contains what we think of as traits
      • Optimistic, decisive, etc.
traits cont
Traits cont.
  • Secondary Traits
    • Weakest, least characteristic
    • Appear only in certain situations
    • Do not describe someone well
      • Aggressive only when others attacked
  • Nomotheitc approach
    • Study large groups of people searching for general laws
  • Idiographic approach
    • Studying individuals to understand uniqueness
hans eysenck
Hans Eysenck
  • Factor Analysis
    • Describes the extent to which personality variables are related
  • There are only 2 dimensions necessary to describe personalities
dimensions
Dimensions

Extraversion

Emotional Stability

Opposite: emotional instability

How much a person is affected by feelings

  • Opposite: Introversion
  • Scaled from very outgoing to very quiet
raymond cattell
Raymond Cattell

Surface Traits

Source Traits

Underling trait

Produces behaviors we can see

Source trait from example: submissive

16 total source traits

  • Describe regular behavior
  • Friend constantly gives in, never takes a stand
  • Traits cluster together because of underlying trait
the five factor model
The Five-Factor Model
  • Twin studies have shown that five personality factors seem to be inherited
  • Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, Openness to experience
    • Found across cultures
  • Tend to be relatively set throughout life
    • Established early, set by our 20s
effects of the environment
Effects of the Environment
  • Personality theorists believe ~50% of personality is heredity
  • Environment is not strictly “good” or “bad”
    • Seemingly same environment vastly different for different kids
    • Reacting differently to the same things
    • Example: Birth order
  • Interactions with siblings carry more weight on our personality than interactions with parents