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Chapter 4

Chapter 4

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Marc A Fournier

Chapter 4: Personality Traits: Fundamental Concepts and Issues What is a Trait? Traits as internal dispositions that are relatively stable over time and across situations Traits typically conceived in bipolar terms o Traits often couched in language of opposites: friendliness vs unfriendliness, extraversion vs introversion Different traits generally seen as additive and independent Personality traits usually refer to broad individual differences in socioemotional functioning Individual differences between people in characteristic thoughts, feelings, behaviours 4 positions of nature of traits o Traits literally exist in central nervous system, Allport call neuropsychic structures o Traits exists as dispositions that exert a significant impact on behaviours Both view traits as causal mechanisms in human functioning Traits- be they neuropsychic structures or behavioural dispositions- are instrumental in causing behaviour to occur and in accounting for consistency in behaviour across situations and over time o Buss and Craik- act-frequency: traits merely language categories for organization of discrete behavioural acts Traits are behaviour, not influence behaviour o Traits do not exist in any objective sense, even in sense of act categories Both argue traits do not really cause behaviour but exist instead as convenient categories for describing the behaviours that people show A Brief history of Traits Most famous ancient system for personality traits attributed to Greek physician Galen o Theory of 4 humours- bodily fluid associated with particular behavioural trait o Blood, black bile, yellow bile, phlegm o Blood- sanguine personality, bold, confident, robust in temperament o Black bile- melancholic, depressed, anxious, pessimistic, brooding o Yellow bile- choleric, restless, irritable, want to explode in anger o Phlegmatic- aloof, apathetic, cold, sluggish Balanced and ideal temperament resulted from harmonious mixture of 4 humours Kretschmer and Sheldon, theory of constitutional psychology o 3 body types with 3 corresponding trait profiles on MEN o Endomorph- round, soft, overdevelopment of fat, undevelopment of muscle and bone Easy going, affable, very desiring of social approval, oriented toward relaxation and comfort o Ectomorph- thin and boney, underdevelopment of fat and muscle Restraint, privacy, introversion, self-consciousness o Mesomorph- muscular, not round or skinny Aggressive, dominant, adventurous, courageous Gordon Allport Traits are major structural units of personality- account for consistency and coherence of human behaviour 2 senses of the term traits o Common trait- dimensions of human functioning upon which many different people are likely to differ o Personal disposition- trait that is especially characteristic of given individual and instrumental for depicting that individuals uniqueness www.notesolution.com
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