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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

HAPTER 14 PERSONALITY -research on human personality requires two kinds of effort: identifying personality characteristics and determining variables that produce and control them TRAIT THEORIES OF PERSONALITIES Personality Types and Traits Earliest explanation for individual differences in personality proposed by Hippocrates in 4th Century B.C.E. refined by Galen in 2nd Century CE Based on medical belief that the body contained 4 humours: yellow bile, black bile, phlegm, blood People classified according to the disposition supposedly produced by predominance of one of the four humors. Yellow Bile bad tempered, irritable Black Bile melancholic, gloomy, pessimistic Phlegm sluggish, calm, unexcitable Blood cheerful, passionate This was later discredited, but the notion of personality types persisted Most investigators conceive of individual differences in personality as difference in degree not kind Personality Types: different categories into which personality characteristics can be assigned based on factors such as developmental experiences or physical characteristics Personality Trait: An enduring personal characteristic that reveals itself in a particular pattern of behaviour or in a variety of situations Personality traits are not just patterns of behaviour, they are factors that underlie the patterns and are responsible for them Identification of Personality Traits Allports Search For Traits Gordon Allport one of first psychologists to search systematically for a basic core of personality traits Searched a dictionary for words that described aspects of personality found 18,000, then conducted analysis to eliminate temporary states (such as flustered) and evaluations such as (admirable), leaving only stable personality traits Believed traits were neuropsychological properties that led to behavioural consistency In 44 year longitudinal study, researchers found creativity and some aspects of personality remained consistent (Fiest and Barron) Not all traits have equal influence, the most powerful are cardinal traits which are rare but have a strong unifying influence on behaviour Central Traits are less singular but capture important characteristics Secondary Traits include characteristics that have minor influence (i.e. persons tendency to change jobs frequently) Most modern theories trace back to Allports theoretical work Modern trait theorists maintain we can only explain personality once we know how to describe it Cattell: Sixteen Personality Factors Raymond Cattell took Allports 18,000 words and narrowed it down to 171 adjectives that he believed was a complete set of distinct surface traits Then used factor analysis to identify clusters of these traits that represented underlying traits, and by analyzing thousands of questionnaire responses, identified 16 personality factors (referred to as source traits) 16 Personality Traits: reserved/warm, concrete/abstract, reactive/emotionally stable, deferential/dominant serious/lively, expedient/rule-conscious, shy/socially bold, utilitarian/sensitive, trusting/vigilant, grounded/abstracted, forthright/private, self-assured/apprehensive, traditional/open to change, group-oriented/self-reliant, tolerates disorder/perfectionist, relaxed/tense Eysenck: Three Factors Also used factor analysis to devise theory of personality, identified three important factors that are bipolar dimensions: Extroversion, Neuroticism, Psychoticism extroversion: Tendency to seek company of others, to be spontaneous, and to engage in conversation and other social behaviours with them Introversion: the tendency to avoid company of other people, to be inhibited and cautious; shyness Neuroticism: the tendency to be anxious, worried, and full of guilt Emotional Stability: the tendency to be relaxed and at peace with oneself Psychoticism: the tendency to be aggressive, egocentric, and anti-social Self-Control: the tendency to be kind, considerate and obedient of laws and rules Eysenck argued the most important aspect of a persons temperament is determined by combination of the three dimensions Also emphasizes the biological nature of personality more than most other trait theorists Believed the functioning of a neural system in brain stem produces different levels of arousal in the cerebral cortex. (i.e. Extroversion vs. Introversion (according to Eysenck based on optimal arousal in brain) Introverts have high levels of cortical excitation and do not look for external stimuli while Extroverts have low levels of excitation and need the external stimulation to maintain optimal arousal level The Five-Factor Model Led to by analysis of distinctions in personality by Tupes and Christal (replicated by Norman) Five-factor Model: theory personality is composed of five primary dimensions: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness.(mnemonic OCEAN) Measured by the Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) NEO-PI-R consists of 240 items that can potentially describe person being evaluated can be done by person or someone who knows the participant well Regarded by many psychologists as robust model of personality, originated with Cattells factor analysis, includes some of Eysenck traits (neuroticism and extroversion) and has considerable cross-culture applicability DeNeve and Cooper showed 5factors can predict subjective well being Vollrath found moderate predictability for responses to daily hassles
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