What kind of person are you?• Two typical approaches: i) a „type‟ of person (e.g. quiet type, outgoing type) ii) give a description of their characteristics (e.g. studious, shy, friendly)• Both approaches involve describing themselves in terms of relatively stable features of their behaviour (as a type or certain traits)
Trait• A trait:• Is a dimension of personality used to categorise individuals according to the degree to which they show a particular characteristic.• Is assumed to be stable across situations.• Is assumed to be normally distributed.
The Trait Approach• Less concerned with understanding one person than in understanding how people at certain points on the trait distribution behave.• Attempts to describe average group behaviour.• Attempts to describe personality variables and predict behaviour (rather than explain it).• Advantage – allows comparison across people.
Background• March 4, 1916 – September 4, 1997• Raised by grandmother (parents divorced when he was two)• Left Germany at the age of 18, when Nazis came to power• In England - received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of London in 1940• During World War II - psychologist at an emergency hospital• Post-war - taught at the University of London• 75 books, 700 articles!• Retired 1983
Eysenck‟ contributions• Major contribution to personality psychology is his work on identification of traits and what he calls types, or supertraits.• Eysenck divided the elements of personality into various units that can be arranged hierarchically.• Concluded that all traits can be listed within three basic personality dimensions.
The Hierarchal Model• 4 levels:Specific Response – consists of specific behaviours (e.g. spending an afternoon talking and laughing with friends)Habitual – Regular/frequent engagement of the specific behaviours (e.g. many afternoons)Trait – exhibition of trait (not just afternoons, weekends too! Not just his/her friends, strangers too! Sociability!)Type/Supertrait– the major „type‟ in which the trait level falls under (e.g. Extraversion)
4 levels: Specific Response – consists of specific behaviours (e.g. spending an afternoon talking and laughing with friends)Habitual – Regular/frequent engagement of the specific behaviours (e.g. many afternoons) Trait – exhibition of trait (not just afternoons, weekends too! Not just his/her friends, strangers too! Sociability!) Type/Supertrait– the major „type‟ in which the trait level falls under (e.g. Extraversion)
The upertraits• How many?• Originally – two basic dimensions: neuroticism and extraversion-introversion. Neurotic Introverted Extraverted Stable
Dimensions of Personality Neurotic Indicative of overreactivity. Position on the scales High scoring tend to be emotionally Would be determined overresponsive and have difficulties Via the EPQ in returning to a normal state after (Eysenck Personality emotional experiences” Questionnaire) (Eysenck&Eysenck, 1968, p.6) Introverted Extraverted X A person with a low E score and a slightly Low N score would be At X Stable
List down possible traits for eachquadrant/combination of Supertraits… N I E S
The Third upertraitPSYCHOTICISM: High scorers are described as“egocentric, aggressive, impersonal, cold, lacking inempathy, impulsive, lacking in concern for others, andgenerally unconcerned about the rights and welfare ofother people” (Eysenck, 1982, p.11)
Where would you put thePSYCHOTICISM DIMENSION? NeuroticIntrovert Extravert Stable
Eysenck‟s biological theories• Suggested that:• Extraverts have a lower resting cortical arousal rate than introverts. (understimulated)• People whose autonomic nervous system is highly reactive is likely to develop a neurotic disorder.
Very Moderatel Neither Moderatel Very Unlikely y unlikely likely y likely likely or unlikely1. Start a conversationwith a stranger2. Make sure others arecomfortable and happy3. Use difficult words4. Prepare for things inadvance5. Feel blue or depressed6. Plan parties or socialevents7. Insult people8. Think aboutphilosophical or socialquestions9. Let things get into amess
Scoring• For all questions other than 7 and 9: Very unlikely = 1 Moderately unlikely = 2 Neither likely or unlikely = 3 Moderately likely = 4 Very likely = 5• For questions 7 and 9: Very unlikely = 5 Moderately unlikely = 4 Neither likely or unlikely = 3 Moderately likely = 2 Very likely = 1
Scoring• Sum up your score from the individual questions as shown below: O = Q3 + Q8 C = Q4 + Q9 E = Q1 + Q6 A = Q2 + Q7 N = Q5 + Q10• 2, 3 and 4 are low scores, 5 and 6 are low-medium, 7 and 8 are medium-high, and 9 and 10 are high scores.
Basic Dimensions of Personality• Research conducted for decades found that people had five key dimensions of personality.• Costa & McCrae (1985)• Five-factor Model (FFM), also known as “The Big Five”
The Dimensions• Openness to experience• Conscientiousness• Extraversion• Agreeableness• Neuroticism
Openness to experience• A person‟s willingness to try new things.• High scorers = creative, artistic, curious, imaginative, non-conforming. Low scorers = conventional, down-to-earth, uncreative, simple, maintains status quo
Conscientiousness• Refers to a person‟s organisation and motivation.• High scorers: punctual, careful with belongings, organised, neat, reliable, ambitious, responsible, self-disciplined Low scorers: unreliable, lazy, careless, negligent, spontaneous
Extraversion• One‟s need to be with other people• High scorers: outgoing, sociable, talkative, optimistic, affectionate Low scorers: prefer solitude, reserved, stays in the background
Agreeableness• The basic emotional style of a person.• High scorers: easygoing, pleasant, friendly, good- natured, trusting and helpful Low scorers: grumpy, crabby, difficult to get along with, rude, uncooperative, irritable, aggressive, competitive
Neuroticism• Degree of emotional stability or instability.• High scorers: worrying, insecure, anxious, temperamental Low scorers: Calm, secure, relaxed, stable
Revisit your results• The test taken is the Newcastle Personality Assessor (NPA), used to assess people on the big five personality dimensions.• There are copious online versions that are also based on the Big Five.
Cross-Cultural• FFM has been studied and tested by numerous researchers.• Cross-cultural studies have found evidence of the Big Five in 11 different cultures, including Japan, the Philippines, Germany, China and Peru (McCrae et al., 2000)
Evaluation of Trait Approach• In groups of four or five, brainstorm as many strengths and weakness about the trait approach so far.
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