Reading Notes B

Reading Notes B - Chapter 7: Trait Approaches to...

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Chapter 7: Trait Approaches to Personality: Allport, Eysenck, & Cattell - Trait: describes people’s typical styles of experience and action, hierarchically organized, from specific to general responses - Most theorists use factor analysis to develop classification of traits - Eysenck: basic dimensions of personality are introversion-extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism. - Questionnaires usually developed to assess people along trait dimensions - Trait theorists such as Allport, Eysenck, and Cattell share an emphasis on broad dispositions to respond as central to personality. However, their approaches differ in many ways, most importantly concerning the use of factor analysis to discover traits and the number of traits to be used in the description of personality Chapter 8: Trait Theory: The Five-Factor model; Applications and Evaluation of Trait Approaches to Personality - Over 5000 English words that describe personality traits - Researchers in 1980s and 90s focused on organizing them into a coherent structure - Five broad dimensions are generally agreed upon. The “Big Five” – named for breadth and abstraction - Support for these five came from factor analyses, cross-cultural research, and trait questionnaires - OCEAN: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, ad Conscientiousness - Fundamental Lexical Hypothesis: over time humans have found some individual differences particularly important in their interactions and have developed terms for easy reference to them - Cross-culturally, the five have been supported, although Openness has the weakest replicability - NEO-PI-R is a very elaborate and widely used questionnaire that measure the five factors o Found to correlate with scores on other personality measures o Can be self-reports or completed by others - Costa & McCrae also divided each factor into 6 or more specific facets o Argued these factors are biologically based, most likely to argue nature side of debate, uninfluenced by the environment, o Problems with the theory: hard to link trait theories with personality processes, biological development of these traits is unidentified, research findings suggest that social factors do influence traits - Age differences: Older adults score higher in N, E, and O and lower in A and C. Traits stabilize after age 30, seven factors have been found in children, personality is more stable over short periods of time and during adulthood - Those high in C live longer, less likely to die violently, by accident. Also less likely to smoke and drink heavily, more likely to exercise and eat right,
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- Those with abnormal behavior score on the extremes of the big five - Big five can also be used when considering treatment options and career paths - Problems with the model: offers no therapeutic approach, doesn’t explain psychopathology in detail - Person-situation Controversy: basic human capability to discriminate between different situations and to vary one’s actions in accord with the
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Reading Notes B - Chapter 7: Trait Approaches to...

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