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Personality Final Exam Review
Chapter 8: Evolution of the Trait Concept
- The lexical approach is based on the assumption that the more important a disposition is, the
more often it will be referred to in ordinary language.
- Many researchers think of aggression as an important disposition.
- The theoretical approach looks to theory to suggest which human dispositions are the most
central or important.
- Some dispositional theorists propose as traits tendencies that seem to them to have important
implications for personality and understanding individual differences.
- The statistical approach analyzes very large collections of data about many people to identify
the basic factors that underlie the data set. Factor analysis has been a favourite tool of
researchers who use the statistical approach.
- ALLPORT believed that traits are the basin units of personality. ALLPORT developed 8 assertions
o Traits have more than nominal existence, they are part of the person
o Traits are more generalized than habits
o Traits are dynamic and determine behaviour
o Traits may be established empirically
o Traits are only relatively independent of other traits
o Traits are not synonymous with moral or social judgements
o Traits may be viewed either in the light of the personality that contains them
(ideographically) or in the light of their distribution in the population (nomothetically)
o Acts and even habits that are inconsistent with a trait are not proof of the nonexistence
of the trait.
- A cardinal disposition is the pervasive traits that dominate the individual.
- Central dispositions are the relatively small number of traits that tend to be highly characteristic
of a person; they might be thought of as the characteristics we would mention when writing a
detailed letter of recognition for example.
- Secondary dispositions are characteristics that operate only in limited settings. Preferences for
particular kinds of food, specific attitudes, and other peripheral or situational determined
characteristics are included in this category.
- The nomothetic-idiographic distinction is to think of traits as characteristics that are unique to a
person and do not invite, or even permit, comparison with other people.
- Common traits often have a normal distribution; they are dispositions that allow direct trait
comparisons across people.
- Patterned Individuality is the assumption that each person has a unique inner organization of
motives, traits, and personal style.
- Individual traits refer to those important characteristics of the individual that do not lend
themselves to comparison across persons.
- Type A behaviour pattern is a pattern of responding characterized by high competitive drive
coupled with a continuous rush to meet deadlines; it is predictive of later heart attacks.
- Type B behaviour pattern is a pattern of responding characterized by an easygoing and relaxed
- Type is a broad grouping of personality characteristics that tend to co-occur.
- Raymond CATTELL proposed that 3 broad sources of data are required for an analysis that aims
to uncover all the major dimensions of personality. These are:
o L-data – are gathered from a person’s life records
o Q-data – are gathered from questionnaires and interviews, people answer direct
questions about themselves based on personal observations and introspection.
o T-data – are obtained through objective testing situations
- Univariate research is when the researcher changes one variable (independent) and examines
its effects on the other variable (dependent).
- Multi-variant approaches examine many variables simultaneously.
- Factor analysis is a statistical tool that takes a highly sophisticated mathematical approach to
- The correlation matrix is a table that shows the exact relationship between each measure and
every other measure.
- Data that is reduced to small numbers of relatively homogeneous dimensions are called factors.
- The correlation of a measure with a particular factor is called factor loading; a variable is said to
load onto a particular factor to the extent that it is correlated with that factor.
- Factor analysis consists of collecting data, producing a correlation matrix, extracting factors,
determining factor loads, and naming the factors.
- Source traits (CATTELLS 16 personality traits) are the building blocks of personality, source traits
can only be discovered through factor analysis.
- Personality types (EYESNCK) are dimensions on which all persons differ from one another.
- EYESNCKS model of personality is hierarchical; types are at the top of the personality structure
and therefore exert the most commanding influence. Types are composed of traits; traits are
composed of habitual responses. At the most specific level, specific responses are the elements
from which individuals form habits.
- Psychoticism includes a disposition toward psychosis (a mental disorder characterized by poor
contact with reality and inability to effectively perform routine tasks or activities of daily living)
and a degree of sociopathy (characterized by an absence of real loyalists to any person, group,
or ethical or moral code). Those high in Psychoticism tend to be impulsive, the opposite of
Freud’s superego strength.
- Carl Jung was the first to offer a description of the introversion-extraversion dimension of
personality. He believed that extraverts focus their psychic energy outward, toward the world
beyond themselves. In contrast introverts focus their attention and energy inward, toward the
self and internal private events in the forms of thought, feelings, emotions, and fantasy.
- Neuroticism in EYESNCKS scheme is a measure of emotional stability-instability, with high
neuroticism characterized by greater instability.
- EYESNCK described the neurotic pole as characterized by anxiety, moodiness, restlessness,
irritability, and aggressiveness.
- Openness is a personality factor including a disposition toward originality, creativity,
independence, and daring.
- Evaluative – based on value judgements or subjective worth.
- Substantive – Palpable, having solid mass, important, existing of its own, independent of other
- The FFM holds that the common variance among almost all personality trait constructs can be
summarized in terms of the 5 recurrent factors of neuroticism, extraversion, and openness to
experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The FFM offers a powerful conceptual tool
for distinguishing between nominally similar constructs and recognizing the similarities among
apparently different constructs.
- The DSM defines personality traits as enduring patterns of perceiving relating to, and thinking
about the environment and oneself, which are exhibited in a wide range of important social and
- Externalizing problems are behaviour problems involving acting out (aggression, etc.)
- Internalizing problems are problems focused inward (anxiety, etc.)
Chapter 9: The Biological Approach
- Neuro-chemistry (chemical actions in the nervous system) has a prominent role in the theorizing
of the biologically based approach to personality.
- The argument is that no feature of personality is devoid of hereditary influences, direct or
- KRETSCHMER noted a relationship between physique and specific types of mental disorders.
- SHELDON described 3 basic temperament types:
- Endomorph associated with Viscerotonia, Mesomorph associated with Somatotonia, and
Ectomorph associated with Cerebrotonia.
- Stabilizing selection are a species with greater variability have a greater chance of surviving and
reproducing in changing environments, thus variability within species is adaptive and may be
favored over uniformity.
- Theory of natural selection (DARWIN) is based on Darwin’s idea that chance genetic variations
producing adaptive reproductive and survival advantages will increasingly characterize a species
- The human nervous system regulates all body functions.
- The Central Nervous system – brain and spinal cord.