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AP Psychology TRAIT PERSONALITY THEORIES Individual characteristics that define a person.

Trait Personality Theories

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Trait Personality Theories . AP Psychology. Individual characteristics that define a person. Trait. Trait : Tendency toward certain behaviors or emotions, no matter the situation Believe that these traits are stable & predictable over time. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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AP PsychologyTrait Personality Theories

Individual characteristics that define a person.TraitTrait: Tendency toward certain behaviors or emotions, no matter the situationBelieve that these traits are stable & predictable over time.

Trait Perspective focus on individual differences rather than similarities like previous theories.

Trait theories seek to identify, describe and measure these individual differences.Ancient Greek TraitsHippocratesAncient Greek physician suggested four humors or personality traits related to physiological changes in the body.

Blood - Sanguine (cheerful)Black Bile - Melancholic (depressed)Yellow Bile - Choleric (irritable)Phlegm - Phlegmatic (unemotional)

Felt these were caused by humor (body fluids)Gordon Allport (1897-1967)First to try to list & describe fundamental human traitsStudied the English dictionary and found more than 18,000 words describing specific personality traits. Eliminated synonyms to get the list to 171Assumed traits are inherited and fixed in the nervous system.

Allports TheoryPersonality made up of:Cardinal Trait single defining characteristic that is dominant across all situations (few of us have this)

Source Traits (Central Traits) 5-10 traits that form the core of our personality

Surface Traits (Secondary Traits) present but not as defining of a person

A good way to distinguish between source and surface traits is through the following statement, On the surface (traits that are easy observed by others) he seemed like a nice guy, but as I got to know him (the source of who he is) he turned out to be liar- (source traits take more time to identify and are an indication of who someone is)

Surface vs. sourceRaymond Cattell (1905-1998)Used factor analysis to reduce the list of personality traits.Came up with 16 key personality dimensions (source traits) or factors to describe personalityProposed Each factor was measured on a continuumGenerally considered as too many traits

The 16PF, developed by Raymond Cattell, is a self-report inventory that contains 185 items like those shown in part (a).

Cattells 16 Personality Factors

When scored, the 16PF generates a personality profile.In part (b), personality profiles of airline pilots and writers are compared. Cattell (1973) found that pilots are more controlled, more relaxed, more self-assured, and less sensitive than writers

Cattells 16 Personality Factors

Hans Eysenck (1916-1997)German psychologist who researched the genetically-influenced dimensions of personalityHad 3 different source traitsPsychoticismExtroversionNeuroticismRemember as P.E.N.Generally considered as too few traits

Psychoticism: Emotional Empathy or Caring

High no remorse, or feelings for another person;Unconcerned about othersLow has feelings for other peopleWarm and caring

Hans Eysenck-3 source traits

Extroversion: Introversion-extraversionDegree to which a person directs their energies inward toward themselves (introvert) or outward onto others (extrovert).ExtraversionOutgoing, likes to go out, and being around other people IntroversionSomeone who stays at home and likes quiet timeHans Eysenck-3 source traitsNeuroticism: Emotional stability- Instability (Stable Unstable)A persons predisposition to become unpredictable & emotionally upset (unstable) or stay composed, rational and emotionally even (stable).NeuroticismA person who is moody Emotional StableA person who is not overly emotional, Hans Eysenck-3 source traitsEysencks Personality Factors

Eysencks Personality Factors

Eysencks Personality Factors

Eysencks Personality Factors

Eysencks Personality Factors

Eysencks Personality Factors

Eysenck is similar to Hippocrates

CholericSanguineMelancholicPlegmaticWilliam Sheldon & body types

(1898-1977)Your body type determines your personality

Sheldons endomorph

Love of foodLove of comfortSociableGood-humoredRelaxed Tolerant Sheldons ectomorphSelf-consciousPrivate Introverted Intense Artistic Restrained

Sheldons mesomorphAdventurous DominantCourageousIndifferentCompetitive Risk-taker

Is Sheldons Theory Accurate?No, It is based on Stereotypes.Most popular trait theoryRobert McCrae and Paul Costa developed the Big Five Personality Source Traits, which are considered the building blocks of personalityEssential building blocks of personality can be described in 5 basic personality dimensions.

The Notorious BIG 5 Theory

The Notorious BIG 5 TheoryHuman behavior is the result of interaction between traits and situations.

Described somewhat differently among researchers but can be found cross culturally.

Research shows them to be stable over time & consistent over different situations.

O.C.E.A.N. (or C.a.n.o.e.)OPENNESS How open you are to new experiences & learning?CONSCIENTIOUSNESS The degree to which one is responsible, hard working, reliable (dependability)EXTROVERSION How outgoing, expressive, active & social are you?AGREEABLENESS How honest, considerate, likeable & tolerant are you?NEUROTICISM How anxious, self-conscious or impulsive are you?The Big Five Traits

The Big Five Traits

The Big Five Traits

The Big Five Traits

The Big Five Traits

Trait Theories of PsychologyEvaluating Trait perspectiveEvaluation of Trait PerspectivePsychologists generally accept that people can be described & compared in terms of basic personality traits.Trait Personality Tests are used to match people together and with appropriate jobs.

BUT Trait TheoryDoesnt really explain where personality comes from, simply describe the behaviorsFails to address how issues such as motives, unconscious, or beliefs about self affect personality developmentNature vs. NurtureBehavioral genetics compare identical twins raised apart and together or compare identical twins & fraternal twins.

Findings:Extraversion & Neuroticism seem genetically linked. Identicals are more alike in these areas even when raised apart. Also true to lesser extent in Openness to Experience & ConscientiousnessEnvironmental factors influence personality traits identical twins more alike earlier in life rather than later.