Trait Theories: Allport, Eysenck, & Cattell

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Trait Theories: Intro., Allport, Eysenck, & Cattell

trait = consistent patterns in the way that people think, act, and feel.

Emphasizes inherent qualities

Views on traits:

1. nomothetic approach

2. idiographic approch


a. stability of personality

b. differences between people
Approaches to studying traits:

1. Many-trait approach

2. Single-trait approach

e.g. authoritarianism

e.g. self-monitoring
3. Essential-trait approach

 Murray (20+ needs)

 Cattell (16 traits)

 Eysenck (3 traits)

 The Big Five (or Five Factor Model)

Gordon Allport (1897 - 1967)
 ideographic approach

 interactionism

Structure of personality - heirarchy

3. Cardinal traits - ruling passions

2. Central traits
3. secondary traits

Proprium = the self

functional autonomy- behavior becomes independent of original motive

Hans Eysenck (1916 - 1997) PEN Model
Three types:

1. Introversion/Extraversion

2. Stability/Neuroticism

3. Impulse control/Psychoticism -

Inhibition Theory:

Why do people differ on these types? Eysenck postulated:

A. heredity (research:)
B. cerebral cortex differences in CNS

C. research in support of Eysenck=s inhibition theory

Furnham & Bradley (1997)
Furnham et al. (1994)
Cambell & Hawley (1982)

Landrum (1992), Bullock & Gilliland (1993)

In-class application:

Based on what you know about yourself, are you an introvert or an extravert? Given your classification as an introvert or extravert, what types of study conditions are likely to maximize your academic performance? Does this match with how you currently study?

Cattell (1905 - 1998)

Based on language. Used factor analysis to reduce trait words.

Used a multivariate statistical approach.

1. Multivariate

2. Bivariate

3. Clinical approach

Sixteen Personality Factor (16 P.F.) Questionnaire

marriage counseling

 career testing
16 personality factors:

reserved vs. warm

reactive vs. emotionally stable

deferential vs. dominant

serious vs. lively

shy vs. socially bold

trusting vs. vigilant

practical vs. imaginative

traditional vs. open to change
In-class Integration of material:

Compare the views of Allport, Eysenck, and Cattell on the trait concept, emphasizing similarities and differences.

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