Outline_Part_Three - Part Three TRAIT VIEW of PERSONALITY 1...

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Part Three TRAIT VIEW of PERSONALITY 1. Personality as the qualities that form the person’s “essence” Personality as traits and their inter-relations 2. Ancient “types” as distinct, discontinuous categories Contemporary use of “type” as “super-trait” encompassing several more specific traits Eysenck: super-trait is a combination of many simpler traits together Eg. Extraversion incorporates sociability It no longer separates, but is a continuous distribution of differences among people 3. Trait: summary label for some aspect of a person (not interchangeable with type) A hypothetical construct that summarizes some aspect of a person’s behavior, thoughts and feelings Eg. Words that describe a person (outgoing, hostile, introverted) Trait dimension : a variable with many different values; applies to the whole dimension, not a singular trait Eg. Anxiety (trait dimension) vs anxious (trait) 4. Trait dimension as a variable with many possible values Unipolar traits, from zero to a lot of some quality One end point where the dimension runs from a total absence to a total existence Eg. Hostility |---------------------------------------------------------------| 0 1 Bipolar traits, with zero in middle, 2 end with opposite qualities Content at both ends with zero in the middle; conveys content in an affirmative way Eg. Temperature |-------------------------------|-------------------------------| very warm 0 very cold 5. Goals of trait personality psychologists 1. Determine what traits exist and are important 2. Figure out how to locate where individuals fall on trait dimensions 6. Deciding what traits matter (Theoretical pathway , earlier) Learning assessment = theoretical (using some existing principal to decide what matters) Most trait theorists are wary of theoretical pathway Empirical pathway : informed by events
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Means based in events or based in data Different approach than theoretical pathway Idea: let reality tell you what traits exist and matter rather than just “deciding” Collect many descriptors of personality Descriptors used to apply to people Assumption : language is important source of information about people Collect ratings of individuals on those descriptors Have people rate themselves (or someone else) on the descriptors |--------------------------|----------------------------|------------------------| not at all a little somewhat totally Procedure called factor analysis , to distill the underlying latent similarities Resembles correlation, but many variables , not just 2 Very complicated (complex and technical) Looking for latent dimensions Tells which groups of items tend to be correlated (clumps similar) Underlying dimensions give traits 7. Five-factor model (5 very broad traits) For many decades, disagreement on how many dimensions More recently an emerging consensus on a 5-factor model Know where you stand on each of these, have a good idea of who you are Using large item sets to assess the person’s location on all dimensions indentified Results in a patterned display of a person’s personality Extraversion Sociable, talkative, dominant, fun-loving Introvert =keeps to self Neuroticism (negative emotions) Anxious, insecure, worrying, guilt prone Opposite =calm, no worrying
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