Advances in Personality Theory and Research.pdf

Advances in Personality Theory and Research.pdf - Advances...

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Advances in Personality Theory and Research Robert M. Stelmack School of Psychology, University of Ottawa Accepted: July 12, 1991 This paper briefly describes important advances in personality research that have been achieved during the past 20 years in the development of a fundamental personality typology and in the determination of the heritability of personality traits. Research conducted at the University of Ottawa that has contributed to the exploration of the biological bases of the extraversion trait is summarized. Keywords: personality, extraversion, psychophysiology Cet article decrit brievement les developpements importants survenus durant les 20 dernieres annees dans la recherche sur la personnalite, notamment quant a l'elaboration d'une typologie fondamentale de la personnalite et a la determination de l'heritabilite des traits de personnalite. II presente un resume des travaux menes a l'Universite d'Ottawa qui ont contribue a l'exploration des bases biologiques de l'extroversion en tant que trait de personnalite. Mots ck6s: personnalite, extraversion, psychophysiologie During the past 20 years, there has been significant progress in three important domains of personality research: personality classification, the heritability of personality traits and the biological bases of personality traits. A personality typology has been achieved in which sociability (extra- version; positive affect) and emotional stability (neuroticism; negative affect) emerge as robust superfactors in the large scale factor analysis of personality tests and items. There is also an emerging consensus on a third superfactor impulsiveness/constraint (psychoticism; toughminded; sen- sation seeking). What is remarkable is the widespread acceptance that this typology commands (Brand and Egan 1989). The heritability of these three dimensions has been confirmed and dramatically demonstrated in a series of studies that examined the concordance of personality traits for identical and fraternal twins raised together or apart, for close relatives, and for parents and their natural and adopted children. Research on the biological bases of Address Eprint requests to: Robert M. Stelmack, Ph.D., School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, 125 University Private, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada KIN 6N5. personality has not yet achieved the same dramatic success as work on the classification and heritability of personality. With our current knowledge of the biological bases of psychological processes and with the methods of physio- logical and neurochemical psychology that are presently applied in this endeavor, such success may be deferred for some time. Nevertheless, there have been some advances along this path. In the present paper, the current advances in the description and in the heritability of personality traits are briefly summarized. A perspective on the biological bases of personality that is the principal focus of our research program at the University of Ottawa is outlined and the implications of this work for personality theory are noted.
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