Describing words with words is hard enough quantifying them with numbers is

Describing words with words is hard enough

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mistakenly undertaken, the data set would become impossibly complicated. Describing words with words is hard enough; quantifying them with numbers is kidding oneself. Beyond the questionable basis of the research, what do the findings really describe? The fact that the study has not been perfectly reproducible in foreign tongues proves what I think should have been a predictable outcome from the start: the theory is a cultural one, not a natural one. It is very interesting in itself to study the nature of how we speak about personality in this culture, and I think it could reveal some things directly and indirectly about our personalities (what kind of people talk about neuroticism?). It would be even more interesting to study the similarities and differences that the research would show in doing many cross-cultural cross-linguistic studies. So what does the theory say as it is? It says what we as a culture think it is important and appropriate to talk about in regards to personality. What does this give us? It gives us a way to see how we analyze and discuss each other, and how we might be discussed. It points out characteristics that we see as important. It is, however, very possible that we are not good judges of what is important. It is possible that we know what is important, but that (for reasons of politeness or otherwise) we do not speak of it. For these reasons, I think that the theory fails to say definitively what characteristics are important. Peer Commentary 26
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Contradictions Lead to Disbelief Timothy Tasker Northwestern University Popkins has put forth a compelling argument for the idea of the five-factor model. The only problem becomes what is the five-factor model? This representation of the five-factor model is so riddled with contradiction and confusion that one feels more befuddled after reading this article than before one started. Specifically, Popkins begins this paper with an abstract that states "[The theory] falls somewhat short of being a great theory in personality because it is not truly a theory." Then, under two paragraphs later, he states, "Thorough critical attention is given to the proposal that the five-factor model is in fact a great theory." Which statement are we to believe? In one Popkins says it is not a theory, but in another Popkins will prove that it is not only a theory, but a great one at that. Further, I found that there was a reference to Cattell more than half way through the article under the heading of Compatibility. "As mentioned before, Eysenck developed his PEN model from Cattell's sixteen-factor model." However, upon closer inspection I discovered that this is the first occurrence of Cattell's name in the whole article. How can we rely on information that is either missing or does not exist? An issue with which I have a more substantial argument is the choice of wording. At times, Popkins argues that it is not a theory, yet refers to the idea as the five-factor theory. Essentially, the use of model, theory, and idea are used interchangeably. I believe that there needs to be an important distinction made among these words because they are
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