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Exam 3: Chapter 7 - Trait Theories of Personality - Flashcards

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Class:PSYC 130 - Personality Theories
Subject:Psychology
University:California State University - Sacramento
Term:Fall 2013
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Types Traits (Types vs. Traits)
  • Types categorizing people
  • Traits is a normal distribution in the population (low, medium, or high on every trait
  • in language trait terms are more common
  • trait is for whole life
Assumptions of the Trait Approach
  1. Intern
  2. Intraindividual Temporal Stability
  3. intraindividual, situational, consistency
Assumptions: 1. Intern Individual variability, differences between individuals
  • personality is the product of a combo of a few primary traits
  • traits are innate
  • people differ in amount of traits
  • differences can be measures
Assumptions: 2. Intraindividual Temporal Stability Stable over time (research indicates consistency over time for broad traits
  • what if behavior changes over time
  • how do we understand developmental changes
  • what does change over time
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Assumptions: 3. Intraindividual, Situational, Consistency
  • In contrast, a situation assumes situations control how people behave (Michel, 1968)
  • are all traits equally consistent?
  • both, trait and situation are relevant
  • give up traits, focus on situations
  • critique led to both sides more integrated approaches
Methodologies
  1. lexical
  2. Theoretical
  3. Empirical
Lexical Methodologies
  • fundamental lexical hypothesis (Goldberg, 1990)
  • two strategies for identifying traits: synonym frequency and cross-cultural university
  • limitations: too may terms, need simplification, many traits are ambiguous, metaphorical, and obscure
Theoretical Methadologies
  • starts with the theory, which determines which variables are important
  • strengths and weaknesses of this approach reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the theory used
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Statistical/Empirical Methodologies
  • May begin b/lexical approach or a theoretical approach
  • statistical approach - factor analysis to study how items covey, so that they can be grouped into categories/brad traits
  • goal: identify major dimensions of personality
Gordon Allport (1897-1967)
  • "The person who confronts us possesses inside his skin generalized action tendencies (or traits) and that is our job scientifically to discover what they are." (Allport, 1966)
  • Followed older brother Floyd to Harvard (psychology)
  • Not interested in areas of psychology that were mainstream at the time
Allport's Approach and Contributions
  • both nomothetic and idiographic are important and valid
  • idiographic approach: individual traits
  1. cardinal: single defining trait (ruling passion)
  2. central: three to ten trait that is most relevant to certain contexts
  • patterned individuality: inside inner organization of motives, traits, and personal style 
Allport's Approach and Contributions (cont.)
  • Heuristic realism: personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psycho-physical systems that determine his characteristic behavior and thought
  • Trait: basic unit of study of personality
  • Nomothetic approach - common traits; help us compare people or groups
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Functional autonomy and Proprium
  • Freud: adult motives for behavior reflect childhood motives
  • Allport: disagreed, behavior may become functionally autonomous 
The proprium
  • Allport's term for everything that defines your sense of self

Raymond B. Cattell (1905-1998)
  • influenced by WWI
  • worked with Spearman (correlation, STAT)
  • ended up in the US, true success began in midlife
Cattell's Approach and Contribution
  • defined personality as "that which permits a prediction of what a person will do in a given situation."
  • combine scores form trait assessments, weighted for relevance to a behavior, in order to predict if a person will show the behavior: B = ..... (answering questions might be a function of intelligence, talkativeness, and boldness)
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Cattell's (information from three sources)
  1. L-data: score record, any traces, records, diaries, rates
  2. Q-data: questionnaire, personality interview
  3. OT-data: objective test data, solve maze, taste-giving
Cattell's (surface traits)
  • perseverance behavior (studding long hours)
  • conscientiousness behavior (checking references)
  • punctuality behavior (showing up early to work)
  • more interested in source traits (all of the above surface traits might be dues to a source trait of ambitiousness)
Cattell's (top three traits)
  1. Factor A: Interpersonal Warmth (Warm/Outgoing vs. Reserved/Aloof)
  2. Factor B: Intelligence (Abstract/efficient information processing vs. Concrete/inefficient information processing)
  3. Factor C: Emotional Stability (Ego thought; emotional vs. calm)
Factor Analysis Strategy for data-grouping and data-reduction
  • collect data
  • calculate a correlation matrix
  • identify factors that best summarize the complexity of data 
  • calculate a factor matrix by using additional statistical procedures to identify how each behavior or item related on each factor
  • name your factors!
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Eysenck (1916-1997)
  • Left Germany to avoid being compelled to join Nazis, but wouldn't join British forces because he was German
  • Controversial, productive scholar; challenged efficacy of psychotherapy (especially psychoanalysis)
Eysenck Theory of Personality Hierarchical organization of the structure of personality:
  • specific response level
  • habitual response
  • trait
  • supertrait
Eysenck Theory of Personality (cont.)
  • Major dimensions of personality (originally 2, now 3)
  • Extroversion - Introversion
  • Neuroticism (High vs. low tendency to respond emotionally; slow vs. quick)
  • Psychoticism (3rd dimension; high egocentric, cold, odd, rude)
Eysenck Theory of Personality (biological)
  • extroverts
  • introverts
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Eysenck (the three factor theory) Psychopathology and Behavioral Change
  1. Avoid traumatic situations
  2. Unlearn fear responses
  3. Learn appropriate social conduct
Personality Traits Psychological characteristics that are stable over time and across situations
Factor Analysis (Eysenck and Cattell) The statistical procedure is used to identify the most basic individual differences in personality traits
Trait Theorist
  • Differ from the Freudian and Rogerian perspectives
  • Trait theorist emphasize that a central feature of the silences is measurement
  • constructs to serve at lease two, and sometimes three, scientific functions: description, prediction, and explanation

Generated by Koofers.com
Allport Theory
  • trait are the basic units of personality
  • traits exist and based in the nervous system
  • traits can be defined by three properties: frequency, intensity, and range of situations
Traits: Personality Structure in Allport's Theory
  • Traits are different from states 
  • Chaplin, John, and Goldberg replicated his theory into three categories: traits, states, and activities
  • addressed distinguishing among cardinal traits, central traits, and secondary dispositions
Cardinal Traits Allport: Expresses a disposition that is so pervasive and outstanding in a person's life that virtually every act is traceable to its influence; generally, people have few , if any, such cardinal traits
Central Traits Allport: Express dispositions that cover a more limited range of situations that is true for cardinal traits (honesty, kindness, assertiveness)
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Secondary Disposictions Traits that are the least conspicuous, generalized, and consistent; people possess traits with varying degrees of significance and generality

Functional Autonomy (Allport)
  • The motives of an adult may have their roots in the tension-reducing motives of the child, as Freud suggested, the adult grown out of the early motives. 
  • in adult life, motives become independent or autonomous from earlier tension-reducing drives

Idiographic Approach (Allport)
  • focuses on the potentially unique individual
  • individual persons are viewed as a path for learning about people generally
  • universal set or personality traits
The Factor-Analytic Trait Theory of Cattell
  • He provided two conceptual distinctions among the multiplicity of personality traits:
  1. surface traits
  2. source traits
Generated by Koofers.com
Surface Trait (Cattell)
  • represent behavioral tendencies that are literally superficial, "on the surface" and can be observed
Source Trait (Cattell)
  • internal psychological structures that were the source or underlying cause (40 traits are not statistically independent, he identified 16, and grouped these traits into 3 categories:
  1. ability traits
  2. temperament traits
  3. dynamic traits

Ability Trait
  • refer to skills and abilities that allow the individual to function effectively (like intelligence)
Temperament Trait
  • involve emotional life and the quality of behavior (work quickly versus slowly)
Generated by Koofers.com
Dynamic Traits
  • Concern the striving, motivational life of the individual (more or less motivated)
Three different sources of data about personality (Cattell)
  1. L-data: life record data
  2. Q-data: self-report questionnaire data
  3. OT-data: objective-test data
Ability, temperament, and dynamic traits
In Cattell's trait theory, these categories of traits capture the major aspects of personality



Cardinal Trait Allport's concept for a disposition that is so pervasive and outstanding in a persons life that virtually every act to its influence

Generated by Koofers.com
Extraversion In Eysenck's theory, one end of the introversion-extroversion dimension of personality characterized by a disposition to be sociable, friendly, impulsive, and risk taking

Factor Analysis A statistical method for analyzing correlations among a set or test items in order to determine those variables or test responses that increase or decrease together; used in the development of personality tests and of some trait theories
Functional Autonomy Allport's concept that a motive may become independent of its origins; in particular, motives in adults may become independent of their earlier base in tension reduction
Introversion In Eysenck's theory, one end of the introversion-extroversion dimension of personality characterized by a disposition to be quiet, reserved, reflective, and risk avoiding
Generated by Koofers.com
L-data In Cattell's theory, life-record data relation to behavior in everyday life situations or to ratings of such behavior
Neuroticism In Eysenck's theory, a dimension of personality defined by stability and low anxiety at one end and by instability and high anxiety at the other end

OT-data In Cattell's theory, objective test data or information-about personality obtained from observing behavior in miniature situations
Psychoticism in Eysenck's theory, a dimension of personality defined by a tendency to be solitary and insensitive at one end and to accept social custom and care about others at the other end

Generated by Koofers.com
Q-data In Cattell's theory, personality data obtained from questionnaries
Secondary Disposition Allport's concept for a disposition to behave in a particular way that is relevant to few situations

Source Trait In Cattell's theory, behaviors that vary together to form an independent dimension of personality, which is discovered through the use of factor analysis
State Emotional and mood changes (anxiety, depression, fatigue) that Cattell suggested may influence the behavior of a person at a given time; the assessment of both traits and states is suggested to predict behavior

Generated by Koofers.com
Trait A disposition to behave in a particular way, as expressed in a person's behavior over a range of situations
Superfactor A higher-order or secondary factor representing a higher level of organization of traits than the initial factors from factor analysis
Surface Trait In Cattell's theory, behaviors that appear to be linked to one another but do not in fact increase and decrease together
Generated by Koofers.com

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 Types Traits (Types vs. Traits)
  • Types categorizing people
  • Traits is a normal distribution in the population (low, medium, or high on every trait
  • in language trait terms are more common
  • trait is for whole life
 Assumptions of the Trait Approach
  1. Intern
  2. Intraindividual Temporal Stability
  3. intraindividual, situational, consistency
 Assumptions: 1. InternIndividual variability, differences between individuals
  • personality is the product of a combo of a few primary traits
  • traits are innate
  • people differ in amount of traits
  • differences can be measures
 Assumptions: 2. Intraindividual Temporal StabilityStable over time (research indicates consistency over time for broad traits
  • what if behavior changes over time
  • how do we understand developmental changes
  • what does change over time
 Assumptions: 3. Intraindividual, Situational, Consistency
  • In contrast, a situation assumes situations control how people behave (Michel, 1968)
  • are all traits equally consistent?
  • both, trait and situation are relevant
  • give up traits, focus on situations
  • critique led to both sides more integrated approaches
 Methodologies
  1. lexical
  2. Theoretical
  3. Empirical
 Lexical Methodologies
  • fundamental lexical hypothesis (Goldberg, 1990)
  • two strategies for identifying traits: synonym frequency and cross-cultural university
  • limitations: too may terms, need simplification, many traits are ambiguous, metaphorical, and obscure
 Theoretical Methadologies
  • starts with the theory, which determines which variables are important
  • strengths and weaknesses of this approach reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the theory used
 Statistical/Empirical Methodologies
  • May begin b/lexical approach or a theoretical approach
  • statistical approach - factor analysis to study how items covey, so that they can be grouped into categories/brad traits
  • goal: identify major dimensions of personality
 Gordon Allport (1897-1967)
  • "The person who confronts us possesses inside his skin generalized action tendencies (or traits) and that is our job scientifically to discover what they are." (Allport, 1966)
  • Followed older brother Floyd to Harvard (psychology)
  • Not interested in areas of psychology that were mainstream at the time
 Allport's Approach and Contributions
  • both nomothetic and idiographic are important and valid
  • idiographic approach: individual traits
  1. cardinal: single defining trait (ruling passion)
  2. central: three to ten trait that is most relevant to certain contexts
  • patterned individuality: inside inner organization of motives, traits, and personal style 
 Allport's Approach and Contributions (cont.)
  • Heuristic realism: personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psycho-physical systems that determine his characteristic behavior and thought
  • Trait: basic unit of study of personality
  • Nomothetic approach - common traits; help us compare people or groups
 Functional autonomy and Proprium
  • Freud: adult motives for behavior reflect childhood motives
  • Allport: disagreed, behavior may become functionally autonomous 
 The proprium
  • Allport's term for everything that defines your sense of self

 Raymond B. Cattell (1905-1998)
  • influenced by WWI
  • worked with Spearman (correlation, STAT)
  • ended up in the US, true success began in midlife
 Cattell's Approach and Contribution
  • defined personality as "that which permits a prediction of what a person will do in a given situation."
  • combine scores form trait assessments, weighted for relevance to a behavior, in order to predict if a person will show the behavior: B = ..... (answering questions might be a function of intelligence, talkativeness, and boldness)
 Cattell's (information from three sources)
  1. L-data: score record, any traces, records, diaries, rates
  2. Q-data: questionnaire, personality interview
  3. OT-data: objective test data, solve maze, taste-giving
 Cattell's (surface traits)
  • perseverance behavior (studding long hours)
  • conscientiousness behavior (checking references)
  • punctuality behavior (showing up early to work)
  • more interested in source traits (all of the above surface traits might be dues to a source trait of ambitiousness)
 Cattell's (top three traits)
  1. Factor A: Interpersonal Warmth (Warm/Outgoing vs. Reserved/Aloof)
  2. Factor B: Intelligence (Abstract/efficient information processing vs. Concrete/inefficient information processing)
  3. Factor C: Emotional Stability (Ego thought; emotional vs. calm)
 Factor AnalysisStrategy for data-grouping and data-reduction
  • collect data
  • calculate a correlation matrix
  • identify factors that best summarize the complexity of data 
  • calculate a factor matrix by using additional statistical procedures to identify how each behavior or item related on each factor
  • name your factors!
 Eysenck (1916-1997)
  • Left Germany to avoid being compelled to join Nazis, but wouldn't join British forces because he was German
  • Controversial, productive scholar; challenged efficacy of psychotherapy (especially psychoanalysis)
 Eysenck Theory of PersonalityHierarchical organization of the structure of personality:
  • specific response level
  • habitual response
  • trait
  • supertrait
 Eysenck Theory of Personality (cont.)
  • Major dimensions of personality (originally 2, now 3)
  • Extroversion - Introversion
  • Neuroticism (High vs. low tendency to respond emotionally; slow vs. quick)
  • Psychoticism (3rd dimension; high egocentric, cold, odd, rude)
 Eysenck Theory of Personality (biological)
  • extroverts
  • introverts
 Eysenck (the three factor theory)Psychopathology and Behavioral Change
  1. Avoid traumatic situations
  2. Unlearn fear responses
  3. Learn appropriate social conduct
 Personality TraitsPsychological characteristics that are stable over time and across situations
 Factor Analysis (Eysenck and Cattell)The statistical procedure is used to identify the most basic individual differences in personality traits
 Trait Theorist
  • Differ from the Freudian and Rogerian perspectives
  • Trait theorist emphasize that a central feature of the silences is measurement
  • constructs to serve at lease two, and sometimes three, scientific functions: description, prediction, and explanation

 Allport Theory
  • trait are the basic units of personality
  • traits exist and based in the nervous system
  • traits can be defined by three properties: frequency, intensity, and range of situations
 Traits: Personality Structure in Allport's Theory
  • Traits are different from states 
  • Chaplin, John, and Goldberg replicated his theory into three categories: traits, states, and activities
  • addressed distinguishing among cardinal traits, central traits, and secondary dispositions
 Cardinal TraitsAllport: Expresses a disposition that is so pervasive and outstanding in a person's life that virtually every act is traceable to its influence; generally, people have few , if any, such cardinal traits
 Central TraitsAllport: Express dispositions that cover a more limited range of situations that is true for cardinal traits (honesty, kindness, assertiveness)
 Secondary DisposictionsTraits that are the least conspicuous, generalized, and consistent; people possess traits with varying degrees of significance and generality

 Functional Autonomy (Allport)
  • The motives of an adult may have their roots in the tension-reducing motives of the child, as Freud suggested, the adult grown out of the early motives. 
  • in adult life, motives become independent or autonomous from earlier tension-reducing drives

 Idiographic Approach (Allport)
  • focuses on the potentially unique individual
  • individual persons are viewed as a path for learning about people generally
  • universal set or personality traits
 The Factor-Analytic Trait Theory of Cattell
  • He provided two conceptual distinctions among the multiplicity of personality traits:
  1. surface traits
  2. source traits
 Surface Trait (Cattell)
  • represent behavioral tendencies that are literally superficial, "on the surface" and can be observed
 Source Trait (Cattell)
  • internal psychological structures that were the source or underlying cause (40 traits are not statistically independent, he identified 16, and grouped these traits into 3 categories:
  1. ability traits
  2. temperament traits
  3. dynamic traits

 Ability Trait
  • refer to skills and abilities that allow the individual to function effectively (like intelligence)
 Temperament Trait
  • involve emotional life and the quality of behavior (work quickly versus slowly)
 Dynamic Traits
  • Concern the striving, motivational life of the individual (more or less motivated)
 Three different sources of data about personality (Cattell)
  1. L-data: life record data
  2. Q-data: self-report questionnaire data
  3. OT-data: objective-test data
 Ability, temperament, and dynamic traits
In Cattell's trait theory, these categories of traits capture the major aspects of personality



 Cardinal TraitAllport's concept for a disposition that is so pervasive and outstanding in a persons life that virtually every act to its influence

 ExtraversionIn Eysenck's theory, one end of the introversion-extroversion dimension of personality characterized by a disposition to be sociable, friendly, impulsive, and risk taking

 Factor AnalysisA statistical method for analyzing correlations among a set or test items in order to determine those variables or test responses that increase or decrease together; used in the development of personality tests and of some trait theories
 Functional AutonomyAllport's concept that a motive may become independent of its origins; in particular, motives in adults may become independent of their earlier base in tension reduction
 IntroversionIn Eysenck's theory, one end of the introversion-extroversion dimension of personality characterized by a disposition to be quiet, reserved, reflective, and risk avoiding
 L-dataIn Cattell's theory, life-record data relation to behavior in everyday life situations or to ratings of such behavior
 NeuroticismIn Eysenck's theory, a dimension of personality defined by stability and low anxiety at one end and by instability and high anxiety at the other end

 OT-dataIn Cattell's theory, objective test data or information-about personality obtained from observing behavior in miniature situations
 Psychoticismin Eysenck's theory, a dimension of personality defined by a tendency to be solitary and insensitive at one end and to accept social custom and care about others at the other end

 Q-dataIn Cattell's theory, personality data obtained from questionnaries
 Secondary DispositionAllport's concept for a disposition to behave in a particular way that is relevant to few situations

 Source TraitIn Cattell's theory, behaviors that vary together to form an independent dimension of personality, which is discovered through the use of factor analysis
 StateEmotional and mood changes (anxiety, depression, fatigue) that Cattell suggested may influence the behavior of a person at a given time; the assessment of both traits and states is suggested to predict behavior

 TraitA disposition to behave in a particular way, as expressed in a person's behavior over a range of situations
 SuperfactorA higher-order or secondary factor representing a higher level of organization of traits than the initial factors from factor analysis
 Surface TraitIn Cattell's theory, behaviors that appear to be linked to one another but do not in fact increase and decrease together
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