PSYB30H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Conscientiousness, Test Anxiety, Big Five Personality Traits

25 views9 pages
23 Feb 2013
PSYB30 – Lecture 2 Purple Text – Profs Speech
PSYB30 Lecture 2 Purple Text Prof’s Speech
Trait Approach: Part I
Trait = a consistent pattern of behavior, emotion, and thought
- Not just behaviour
- each trait can be thought of as a way of relating to the environment
- explains/emphasizes the idea of stability over time and situations and distinctiveness
between people
Personality = sum of all traits
Trait theories provide descriptions for the way people behave that must be explained by other
- the descriptions theories provide do not explain why people behave that way, or any
developmental aspect, and don’t explain subconscious factors – they look at things close
to the surface
Theorists try to establish:
framework within which any and all persons can be described
taxonomy – (classification scheme) of traits
Approaches to discovering traits
Lexical – takes words that describe traits and tries to figure out which ones are the most
Statistical (Empirical) – start from data collected from people, use data to try to figure out
differences between people
Theoretical – starting from theory
Common Traits and Trait Continua
Common traits = traits shared by all, traits that everyone has more or less of
Trait continuum – each person can be placed somewhere on the continuum
Behaviours can be represented on trait continuum
Scores assumed to be normal distributed - fewer people score in the extreme on any trait
Ordering people along these dimensions is nomothetic approach used in most trait
Compares people along the same personality dimensions
Contrast with idiographic approach
In-depth study of individuals
Gordon Allport
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 9 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
Key Ideas
Advocate of Idiographic approach
Individual Uniqueness = Combination of traits
Use of diaries, interviews, behavioural observations, q-sort etc. to assess
Internal structures that render many stimuli functionally equivalent and yield similar
adaptive and expressive behaviours.
A personality trait is something inside the person that makes external stimulus seem the
same to that person
Ex. A shy person might see all social situations as threatening and react with
Traits express what a person generally does across situations, not what they’ll always do
Inconsistency does not mean that traits doesn’t exist - situations also have
Ex. Lack of sociability at a funeral
Allport specified Three types of traits…
A single characteristic that directs most of a person’s activities; everything that
that person does; has a strong influence over their life
Few people have them
i.e. Mother Theresa – caring, sacrificed much
Superman – helpful
Main characteristics of an individual – how you describe someone
Usually 5-10 central traits that a person has
This is how people tend to describe people at this level because there is a balance
of very general and very specific;
Ex. Extraverted vs. sociable vs. Talks a lot
Affects behavior in fewer situations
Less central
Doesn’t have that much impact on the person’s behavior
Easier to change
Easier to modify
Ex. Preference of dark chocolate, preference of rap music
Raymond Cattell
One of the founding individuals of trait psychology
Empirical approach to trait theory
Started off with some lexical work that Gordon Allport had done
Allport had gone through a dictionary and looked for words related to
traits (his lexical contribution)
There was a list of 4500 trait words that Allport developed
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 9 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
And Catell used those to develop a taxonomy of 16 personality factors
Reduction of 4,500 trait words (left by Allport) to 16 most basic personality dimensions
Catell removed the synonyms
Collected ratings on the remaining traits
Used factor analysis to reduce the amount of traits that he had
Catell had three Major Divisions of Traits
Constitutional (biological) vs. environment-mold (learned)
Biological based – either genetic or in some way part of the fact that we are
Ability vs. temperament vs. dynamic
Surface vs. source vs. second-order
Ability vs. temperament vs. dynamic traits
Ability Basically concern the ability to deal with complexity
More or less equivalent to intelligence (or very similar)
Skill in dealing with complexity
= intelligence
Catell described two types of intelligence
Ability to think and reason
Not learned
Might to some extent learn better techniques to think and reason
But Catell said that it was innate, not learned
Stuff that you learn
Memory, facts
General traits that appear early
Used in the same way as developmental psychologists
Usually with infants, temperament falls into 3 categories: easy, difficult or slow to
warm up
Catell used the idea of temperament traits to describe something that appears very
early in someone’s development when that person is still an infant
Concerns things like energy level, how sociable they are, and how regular
their daily cycles are, moodiness, interest in others
Dynamic traits
Ambition, competitiveness, etc.
Things that drive you or prevent you from making progress in certain
areas are dynamic traits
Surface vs. Source Traits
Where Catell’s data reduction comes into play
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 9 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get OneClass Notes+

Unlimited access to class notes and textbook notes.

YearlyBest Value
75% OFF
$8 USD/m
$30 USD/m
You will be charged $96 USD upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.