Trait Perspective

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Trait Perspective. Trait Perspective. Describe personality in terms of fundamental traits Not trying to explain why these traits exist, only describe them and classify them. Trait Perspective. Trait = a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and act - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Trait Perspective

Trait PerspectiveTrait PerspectiveDescribe personality in terms of fundamental traits

Not trying to explain why these traits exist, only describe them and classify themTrait PerspectiveTrait = a characteristic pattern of behavior or a disposition to feel and acte.g. introvert, outgoing, cheerful, anxious,

How do we describe and classify traits?According to typesMany different systems have been used

Classifying TraitsAncient Greeks: according to the four body humors- Melancholic (depressed)- Sanguine (cheerful)- Phlegmatic (unemotional)- Choleric (irritable)

Sheldons Body Types:- Mesomorph- Ectomorph- Endomorph

Ancient Greek Humors

Sheldons Body TypesClassifying traitsMyers-Briggs Types:Classifies personality according to four dichotomies (opposites)Extrovert IntrovertSensing IntuitionThinking FeelingJudgmentPerception

How do we know which systems is the best?

Classifying TraitsFactor Analysis: statistical procedure to identify clusters of behavior that are related, and reflect a basic trait

e.g. outgoing people tend to say they like excitement and practical jokes, and dislike quiet readingTrait = extraversion

Eysenck Personality Questionnaire:

Classifying TraitsThe Big Five:Slightly expanded set of factors that is still considered the standard in describing personality

Emotional StabilityExtraversionOpennessAgreeablenessConscientiousness

THE BIG FIVEClassifying TraitsMore recent research has revealed:

Characteristics of the Big 5:More stable in adulthood50% hereditaryCross-CulturalCan be used to predict behavior

Assessing TraitsPersonality Inventories: long questionnaires where people respond (T/F) to items designed to gauge a wide range of feelings and behaviors

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)Compared responses to hundred of questions between normal and disordered peopleRetained any statements that differed from normale.g. Nothing in the newspaper interests me except the comics indicative of depression

Evaluating the Trait PerspectivePerson-Situation Controversy:Remember: Is our behavior influenced by our personal disposition, or situational context?Do personality traits persist over time and across situations?Time: Personality trait scores correlated well over timeChildren (0.31), Collegians (0.54), 30-Year olds (0.54), Over 70 (0.74)YESSituation: little correlation between behavior in one situation and the next.NOAssessing the Trait PerspectiveTherefore, scores on personality tests only mildly predict behaviorExample: If one test determines you are an extrovert, it does not predict how you will act in each social situation

But, we can use personality tests to predict the average of our traits.

The best indicator = people who know us well! Online Personality TestThis test is based on Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers typological approach to personality:

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm

Lemon TestAre you an introvert or an extrovert?