PSYCH 2B03 – (6) Eysenck's PEN Theory.docx

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11 Jul 2014
PSYCH 2B03 – Personality – October 29th
He is the third most talked about psychologist. His theory consists of many different views. He came
up with a simple factor analytic trait theory. Three factors, defined as collections or correlations of
traits, one dimension of extroversion or introversion. The second dimension was neuroticism and
stability. Then looked at prisoners, added psychotism and ego control. Most people who scored high on
psychotism aren’t always psychotic. Wanted to understand down to the neural mechanisms.
Hierarchy of constructs of personality:
A single act (A) – a physical act or a mental act, a thought or interpretation. Tiniest atom is like an
action. A number of these acts will correlate or occur repeatedly are habits, the next higher level.
Habits themselves are intercorrelated that occur over and over, set of them are traits. His theory is like
trait theory. But traits themselves are intercorrelated which are factors or dimensions of personality.
Factors are the most influential part of his theory.
- The way in which personality develops…. Factors and traits are largely built in and innate.
Factors are genetically determined. Start from the top  bottom. Factors and intercorrelated trait
positions. Those traits lead us to put ourselves in certain situations rather than others, to prefer
certain circumstances over others. We will then learn certain habits and actions due to our traits.
The lower level acts are based on experiences and learning. Factors and its intercorrelated traits
it contains shape the situations in which we will put ourselves. We will learn certain things in
those situations, only in those situations and not others. Biological inheritance and then
experience & learning shapes it from there. Our experiences in those situations shape through
learning the kinds of habits and acts we will engage in. Slightly behavioralist, both genetics and
environment, depending on the level you are looking at.
- Will look at Factors in PEN Dimensions. Each factor is a set of intercorrelated traits.
Eysenck’s PEN Dimensions:
It was not better to be one dimension over the other. We now know its not good to be in one section of
the extreme. The extremes like stability cannot be always good. Like no emotions in stability. Cannot
completely describe some personality with just two factors… introduced psychoticism.
first dimension is the Extraversion ---------- Introversion.
He borrow this from Jung. Based on data, he concluded one of the fundamental dimension of
personality. On this continuum, we look at (sociability, activity, assertiveness, sensation-
seeking, dominance, venturesomeness, carefree-ness) with extroversion. Low levels of this
relates to introversion.
Stability -------- Neuroticism
Of neuroticism or stability. We can see (anxiousness, depression, low self esteem, shyness,
moodiness, tenseness, irrationality, emotionality) all neuroticism. Low levels of this are
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stability. Your position on the first E  I is UNRELATED (ortongonal) to the position
Neuroticism ^ Imagine also independent.
Psychoticism ---- Ego Control. It only applies to that special population. (Aggressiveness,
coldness, egocentricity, impulsivity, antisociality, unempathetic, tough-mindedness, creativity)
is all psychoticism. Mostly in prisons. Low levels of this is ego control.
- He developed the EPI, esyneck personality inventory, assessed only the first two points. Simple
yes or not statements. When he discovered psychoticism, and revised his inventory – EPQ,
esyenck personality questionnaire, this included all 3 points and similar statements. This is for
psychopaths. Normal people would not get high on this.
- When he looked at stable introverts, etc. It matched other type approaches as well.
Stable Extrovert – Sanguine – very easy going, optimistic (from Hypocritz, and Galen’s model)
Neurotic Extroverts – Choleric - easily aroused, very active, negative, aggressive, easily angered
Stable Introvert – Phlegmatic – stable, calm, quiet, retiring
Neurotic Introvert – Melancholic – easily depressed, easily upset, down on himself a lot
This all accommodated that there were types. Everyone had a type. These are only the
EXTREMES. People in the middle wouldn’t fit these descriptions. Listed are the extremes!
- Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) – measures only extraversion, neuroticism. 57 questions
oFew but special friends? Introvert
oPeople think of you as lively? Extravert
oAttacks of shaking or trembling? Neuroticism
- Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) – measures all factors. 90 items.
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