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LECTURE 02 Trait Approach Part 1 Lecture Outline (1).docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Connie Boudens

Trait Approach Part ITraita consistent pattern of behavior emotion and thought each trait can be thought of as a patterntraits have stability over time and situationsthey help us distinguish distinctiveness between peoplePersonalitysum of all traitsTrait theories provide descriptions that must be explained by other theoriesthey dont explainincorporate developmental aspects ie how you came to be theway you areTheorists try to establishframework within which all people can be explained through different forms taxonomyof traits classification schemeApproaches to discovering IDENTIFYING traits what theorists do1 Lexical takes words that describe personality traits determining which are best to capture variability between people Eg going through the dictionary and building a list of similar trait descriptors and choosing the best ones INVOLVES WORDS AND LANGUAGEGORDON ALLPORT 2 Statistical Empirical working from data collected on people Contrasts lexical which is based on words and language in statistical you determine differences between people through data analysis INVOLVES DATA ANALYSISCATTELL expanding on Allports lexical approach 3 Theoretical starting from theory Someone has already set the foundation for your approach through a theory Eg work on introversionextroversion is essentially an extension of Jungs Theory INVOLVES A BASIS IN THEORYEYSENCK Common Traits and Trait ContinuaCommon traitstraits shared by all to a greater or lesser degreeBehaviours can be represented on trait continuumeach person can be placed along it not discreet categories Scores assumed to be normal distributed fewer people score in the extreme in any traitOrdering people along these dimensions is nomothetic approach used in most trait theories Nomothetic approach compares people along the same personality dimensionsCompares people large groups along the same personality dimensions placing them on a continuumEg Canadians vs Americans on riskaversion Contrast with idiographic approach
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