Course: PSYC*1000 (DE)
Professor: Harvey Marmurek
Schedule: Summer, 2012
Textbook: Psychology Tenth Edition in Modules authored by David G. Myers
Textbook ISBN: 9781464102615
Module 42: Trait Theories, Social-Cognitive Theories, and the Self
How do psychologists use traits to describe personality?
In psychology, trait researchers attempt to define personality in terms of such stable and enduring behaviour partners
(such as unwavering loyalty and optimism).
Gordon Allport, 1919, interviewed Freud who was most interested with finding hidden motives. Allport
describes personality in terms of fundamental traits peoples characteristic behaviours and conscious motives. Allport
defines personality in terms of identifiable behaviour patterns. He was concerned less with explaining individual traits
than with describing them.
Isabel Briggs Myers & mom Katharine Briggs attempted to sort people according to Carl Jungs personality
types. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), counts test-takers preferences, labels them as indicating types of thinking
or personality or other and feeds them back to test-taker in a positive way. Although research on the MBTI has been
accumulating since those cautionary words were expressed, the test remains mostly a counselling and coaching tool,
not a research instrument.
There are almost 18,000 descriptions of people.
Factor Analysis: a statistical procedure used to identify clusters (factors) of test items that tap basic
components of a trait (such as, for intelligence, spatial ability, or verbal skill). Such a statistically correlated cluster of
behaviours reflects a basic factor, or trait in this case, extraversion (outgoing). The two Eysencks believed that we
can reduce many of our normal individual variations to two or three dimensions: extraversion-introversion and
emotional stability-instability. Eysenck Personality Questionnaire.Biology and Personality: Brain-activity scans indicate that extraverts seek stimulation because their normal
brain arousal is relatively low. PET scans show that a frontal lobe area involved in behaviour inhibition is less active in
extraverts than in introverts. Our genes have much to say about the temperament and behavioural style that help define
our personality. Jerome Kagan has attributed differences in childrens shyness and inhibition to their autonomic nervous
system reactivity. Given a reactive autonomic nervous system, we respond to stress with greater anxiety and inhibition.
Samuel Gosling reports personality differences among dogs are evident. Selective breeding.
Which two primary dimensions did Hans and Sybil Eysenck propose for describing personality variation?
Introversion Extroversion and Emotional Stability Instability
What are personality inventories, and what are their strengths and weaknesses as trait-assessment tools?
Several trait assessment techniques exist some provide quick assessments of a single trait. Personality inventories
longer questionnaires covering a wide range of feelings and behaviours assess several traits at once.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): classic personality inventory assesses abnormal
personality tendencies rather than normal personality traits but illustrates a good way of developing a personality
inventory. Empirically derived (testing pool of items and then selecting those that discriminate between groups).
Todays MMPI-2 also has scales assessing, for instance, work attitudes, family problems, and anger.
In contrast to the subjectivity of most projective tests, personality inventories are scored objectively. Objectivity
does not guarantee validity.
How to be a successful astrologer or palm reader correlations may be perceived, under close scrutiny; read cues,
The Big Five Factors
Which traits seem to provide the most useful information about personality variation?
Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Openness, Extraversion (CANOE)
The Big Five are todays common currency for personality psychology. Big Five has explored various questions:
How stable are these traits adulthood, quite stable, increasing
How heritable are they generally 50% or