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Chapter 4

PSYC 305 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Big Five Personality Traits, Civil Rights Act Of 1964, Personnel Selection

Course Code
PSYC 305
Katherine Rogers

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Chapter 4 – Theoretical and Measurement Issues in Trait Psychology
Theoretical Issues
Traits theories share 3 important assumptions about personality traits.
Meaningful individual differences
Stability or consistency over time, and
Consistency across situations
Meaningful Differences among Individuals
Ways people are different from each other
Trait psychology is sometimes called differential psychology, because of its emphasis on the
study of differences among people. Includes the study of personality, abilities, aptitudes and
Concerned with accurate measurement
Of all the perspectives and strategies for studying personality, trait approach is the most
mathematically and statistically oriented
Three primary colours: red, green, blue
Every personality is the product of a particular combination of a few basic and primary traits
Consistency over Time
Traits and personality traits show consistency but not attitudes (interest and opinions)
Although a trait might be consistent in time, the way in which it manifests itself in actual
behaviour might change substantially
Criminal tendencies usually decrease with age.
Rank order if people show a decrease in a particular trait at the same rate over time, they might
still maintain the same rank order relative to each other.
Consistency Across Situations
People who are always friendly might not be that friendly in a library
Low cross situational correlations for traits like helpfulness and self-control
Walter Mischel
created a book called Personality and Assessment and concluded that “behavioural
consistencies have not been demonstrated, and the concept of personality traits as
broad predisposition is thus untenable”.
Explained that personality psychologist should focus more on situations than traits
Situationisma young woman may be friendly at school with people she knows but may
not care whether he excels in sports
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