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PSYB30H3 (485)
Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Notes

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Marc A Fournier

Chapter 4 Personality Traits Fundamental Concepts and Issues THE IDEA OF TRAITWhat is a trait Traits are internal dispositions that are relatively stable over time and across situationsNext traits are conceived in bipolar terms Third different traits are generally seen as additive and independent Finally personality traits refer to broad individual differences in socioemotional functioning Overall personality traits refer to individual differences between people in characteristic thoughts feelings and behavioursRead textbook for the four positions of the nature of traits page 110 the first positionsuggests that traits have a biological reality the second points to the dispositional nature of traits the third suggests that traits connect to functionally similar behaviours and the fourth points out that trait labels are useful in everyday social cognitionMan personality psychologists have adopted a compromised view that is closest to the second positionA brief history of traitsGalen developed the theory of four humors and a humor being a bodily fluid associated with a particular behavioural trait Blood was associated with the sanguine personalitybold confident and robust in temperament Black bile connected to the melancholic typedepressed and anxious pessimistic and brooding Yellow bile corresponded to the choleric personrestless irritable Phlegm was associated with the phlegmatic personaloof apathetic cold and sluggishGordon Allport Allport defined trait as a neuropsychic structure having the capacity to render many stimuli functionally equivalent and to initiate and guide equivalent forms of adaptive and expressive behaviour Two things to noteAllport insisted that trait labels were more than mere semantic conveniences Second he insisted that traits account for consistency in human behaviourTwo senses of the term trait Common traits are dimensions of human functioning upon which many different people are likely to differ Personal disposition is a trait that is especially characteristic of a given individual and is therefore instrumental for depicting that individual persons uniquenessPersonal dispositionsCardinal dispositionvery general and pervasive trait for a given person so general and pervasive that it seems directly or indirectly involved in a wide range of the persons activitiesmost people dont have this or very few at them ostCentral dispositionswide range of dispositions that may be characteristic for a given person and called into play on a regular basis and most people have between 5 and 10 of these
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