iii. Facets of Traits (subtraits) 1. Lower-level units of personality are often called facets 2. Facets can be useful because they provide more specific descriptions of what a person is like. 3. The five traits a. Openness to New Experiences i. Fantasy prone, open to feelings, open to diversity, etc. b. Conscientiousness i. Competent, orderly, dutiful, etc. c. Extraversion i. Gregarious, warm, assertive, active, etc. d. Agreeableness i. Trusting, straightforward, compliant, etc. e. Neuroticism i. Anxious, angry, depressed, etc. iv. Other Traits Beyond the Five-Factor Model 1. Hans Eysenck suggested that Extraversion and Neuroticism are most important. a. Eysenck believed that by combining people’s standing on these two major traits, we could account for many of the differences in personality that we see in people b. Eysenck attempted to link these two major dimensions to underlying differences in people’s biology. i. For instance, he suggested that introverts experienced too much sensory stimulation and arousal, which made them want to seek out quiet settings and less stimulating environments. 2. More recently, Jeffrey Gray suggested that these two broad traits are related to fundamental reward and avoidance systems in the brain a. Extraverts might be motivated to seek reward and thus exhibit assertive, reward-seeking behavior
i. People high in neuroticism might be motivated to avoid punishment and thus may experience anxiety as a result of their heightened awareness of the threats in the world around them 3. HEXACO model a. Honesty-Humility as a sixth dimension of personality. i. People high in this trait are sincere, fair, and modest, whereas those low in the trait are manipulative, narcissistic, and self-centered. v. The Person-Situation Debate and Alternatives to the Trait Perspective 1. Personality and Assessment (1968). a. In this book, Mischel suggested that if one looks closely at people’s behavior across many different situations, the consistency is really not that impressive. b. Furthermore, Mischel suggested that observers might believe that broad personality traits like honesty exist, when in fact, this belief is an illusion. 2. The debate that followed the publication of Mischel’s book was called the person-situation debate because it pitted the power of personality against the power of situational factors as determinants of the behavior that people exhibit. 3. Mischel thought that specific behaviors were driven by the interaction between very specific, psychologically meaningful features of the situation in which people found themselves, the person’s unique way of perceiving that situation, and his or her abilities for dealing with it. 4. Indeed, research conducted after the person-situation debate shows that on average, the effect of the “situation” is about as large as that of personality traits. 5. To best capture broad traits, one must assess aggregate behaviors, averaged over time and across many different types of situations.
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