TRAITS By naorem binita devi, date5.12.2012 ,www.slideshare.net
Content:• TRAITS: Introduction• THE TRAIT CONCEPT• WHAT IS A TRAIT?• BASIC VIEWS SHARED BY TRAIT THEORISTS• ALLPORT (1897-1967)VIEWPOINT• EYSENCK’S VIEWPOINT (1916-1997)• CATTELL’S VIEWPOINT (1905-1998)• THE BIG FIVE CONSIST OF FIVE BROAD PERSONALITY TRAITS: ( McCrae,Costa and Piedmont,1993
TRAITS: Introduction• Traits are those personality characteristics that are stable over time and across situations, so it’s a good but that somebody who is sensitive and kind today will also be sensitive and kind a month from now.• How can we characterize the consistent ways in which individuals differ in their feelings, thoughts, and behaviour?• How many different traits are needed to adequately describe these personality differences?• To what extent do individuals differences have a genetic, inherited basis?• If individuals can be described in terms of their characteristic traits, how are we to explain variability in behaviour across time and situations?
THE TRAIT CONCEPT• People love to talk about personality. We can spend hours discussing the characteristics of individuals, such as the grumpiness of our boss, the cheerfulness of the plumber, and even the loyalty of our dog. When people talk about personality, they often use traits.• Personality researchers associated with the trait approach consider traits as the major units of personality.
WHAT IS A TRAIT?• Personality traits refer to consistent patterns in the way individuals behave, feel, and think. It implies that traits may serve three major functions:• They may be used to summarize, to predict, and to explain a person’s conduct.• Traits are many things to many theorists (Wiggins,1997,p.98).
BASIC VIEWS SHARED BY TRAIT THEORISTS• The basic assumption of the trait point of view is that people possess broad predispositions, called traits, to respond in particular ways i.e., likelihood of their behaving, thinking or feeling in a particular way.• Traits theorists agree that human behaviour and personality can be organized into a hierarchy. Eysenck suggests that at its simplest level behaviour can be considered in terms of specific responses. However, some of these responses are linked together and form more general habits. Again, we generally find that groups of habits tend to occur together to form traits.• In sum, trait theorists suggest that people have broad predispositions to respond in certain ways and that there is a hierarchical organization to personality.
ALLPORT (1897-1967)VIEWPOINT• Allport defined a trait (common trait)as a “neuro-psychic structure having the capacity to render many stimuli functionally equivalent, and to initiate and guide equivalent (meaningfully consistent) forms of adaptive and expressive behaviour”(1961,p.347).• A personal disposition trait is defined as a “generalized neuropsychic structure (peculiar to the individual) with the capacity to render many stimuli functionally equivalent, and to initiate and guide consistent (equivalent) forms of adaptive and stylistic behaviour”.(1961,p.373).• Cardinal, central and secondary dispositions:• A cardinal disposition is so general that almost every act of a person who possesses one seems traceable to its influence. This variety of disposition is relatively unusual and not to be observed in many people.
Continue:1• Central dispositions, which represent tendencies highly characteristic of the individual, are often called into play, and are very easy to infer. Allport suggested that the number of central dispositions by which a personality can be fairly accurately known is surprisingly few-perhaps 5 to 10.• The secondary dispositions is more limited in its occurrence, less crucial to a description of the personality, and more focalized in the responses it leads to, as well as the stimuli to which it appropriate.• In simpler terms, a trait is a predisposition to act in the same way in a wide range of situation.• Allport’s theory predicts that a person’s behaviour is relatively stable over time and across situations.• Traits are psychological entities that render many stimuli as well as many responses equivalent. Many stimuli may evoke the same responses, or many responses (feelings, perceptions, interpretations, actions) have the same functioning meaning in terms of the trait.• For Allport, traits are not linked to a small number of specific stimuli or responses; rather, they are relatively generalized and enduring.
Continue:2• Shortly before his death, Allport (1966) published an article entitled “Traits Revisited” in which he summarized all that he had learned in response to the question, “what is a trait of personality? In this article, he proposed that eight basic criteria define a personality trait:• A trait has more than nominal existence;• A trait is more generalized than a habit;• A trait is dynamic or at least determinative in behaviour;• A trait’s existence may be established empirically;• A trait is only relatively independent of other traits;• A trait is not synonymous with moral or social judgment;• A trait may be viewed in light of either the personality that contains it or its distribution in the population at large.• Acts or even habits that are inconsistent with a trait are not proof of the nonexistence of the trait.
EYSENCK’S VIEWPOINT (1916-1997)• Eysenck distinguishes between the concept of trait and type.• A trait refers to a set of related behaviours that covary or repeatedly occur together. A person with a trait of sociability goes to parties, talk with friends, likes to spend time with people and so on.• A type is a higher order or superordinate construct comprised of a set of correlated traits.• The distinction is that a type is more general and inclusive. Eysenck’s model of personality includes three basic typological dimensions:• Introversion vs Extraversion;• Neuroticism vs stability;• Psychoticism vs Impulse control.
Continue:1• Traits making up the type concept of Neuroticism, Extraversion and Psychoticism.•• N•• Anxious shy Guilt feeling Moody• Depressed• Irrational emotional tense Low self esteem••• E• Sociable••• Lively carefree active sensation seeking Dominant• Assertive surgent venturesome•• P••• Aggressive cold antisocial tough-minded egocentric•• Unempathic creative Impersonal•
Continue:2• Eysenck provides the following description of the “typical” extravert and introvert:• “the typical extravert is sociable, likes parties, has many friends, needs to have people to talk to, and does not like reading or studying by himself. He craves excitement, takes chances, often sticks his neck out, acts on the spur of the moment, and is generally an impulsive individual. He is fond of practical jokes, always has a ready answer, and generally likes change; he is carefree, easy- going, optimistic, and likes to “laugh and be merry.” He prefers to keep moving and doing things, tends to be aggressive and lose his temper easily; altogether his feelings are not kept under tight control, and he is not always a reliable person.”
Continue:3• The typical introvert is a quiet, retiring sort of person, introspective, fond of books rather than people; he is reserved and distant except to intimate friends. He tends to plan ahead, :looks before leaps” and distrusts the impulse of the moment. He does not like excitement, takes matters of everyday life with proper seriousness, and likes a well-ordered mode of life. He keeps his feelings under close control, seldom behaves in an aggressive manner, and does not lose his temper easily. He is reliable, somewhat pessimistic, and places great value on ethical standards. (H.J. Eysenck,1975,p.5).
Continue:4• Eysenck describes neuroticism:• The typical high N scorer as being an anxious, worrying individuals, moody and frequently depressed. He is likely to sleep badly, and to suffer from various psychosomatic disorders. He is overly emotional, reacting too strongly to all sorts of stimuli, and finds it difficult to get back on an even keel after each emotionally arousing experience. His strong emotional reactions interfere with his proper adjustment, making him react in irrational, sometimes rigid ways….. if high N individual has to be described in one word, one might say that he is a worrier; his main characteristic is a constant preoccupation with things that might go wrong, and a strong emotional reaction of anxiety to these thoughts. The stable individual, on the other hand, tends to respond emotionally only slowly and generally weakly, and to return to baseline quickly after emotional arousal; he is usually calm,even tempered, controlled and unworried. (H.J.Eysenck and Eysenck,1975,p.5).
Continue:5• Eysenck describes psychoticism:• A high scorer, then, may be described as being solitary, not caring for people; he is often troublesome, not fitting in anywhere. He may be cruel and inhumane, lacking in feeling and empathy, and altogether insensitive. He is hostile to others,even his own kith and kin, and aggressive,even to loved ones. He has a liking for odd and unusual things, and a disregard for danger: he likes to make fools of other people, and to upset them. this is a description of adult high Pscores; as far as children are concerned, we obtain a fairly congruent picture of an odd, isolated troublesome child; glacial and lacking in human feelings for his fellow-beings and for animals; aggressive and hostile, even to near-and –dear ones. Such children try to make up for lack of feeling by indulging in sensation-seeking “arousal jags” without thinking of the dangers involved. Socialization is a concept which is relatively alien to both adults and children: empathy, feelings of guilt, sensitivity to other people are notions which are strange and unfamiliar to them (H.J.Eyseck and Eysenck,1975,PP.5-6).
CATTELL’S VIEWPOINT (1905-1998)• For Cattell, traits are relatively permanent and pervasive tendencies to respond with consistency from one situation to another and from one time to another.• Or Traits are hypothetical mental structures inferred from behaviour which predispose the person to behave uniformly across various circumstances and across time.• Traits reflects the person’s stable and predictable characteristics and are by far the most important of Cattell’s concepts.• Surface traits versus source traits:• A surface trait is represented by a set of behavioural characteristics that all seem to “hang” together.• For example, the observed characteristics of inability to concentrate, indesicion, and restlessness may cluster together to form the surface trait of neuroticism.
Continue:1• Source traits are the basic,underlying structures which Cattell views as constituting the building blocks of personality. They represent the unitary dimensions or factors that ultimately determine the consistencies in each person’s behaviour. In effect, source traits exist at a deeper level of the personality and are the causes of behaviour in diverse domains over an extended period of time.• 16 pf is based on source traits which constitute the underlying structure of personality.• ( A,B,C,E,F,G,H,I,L,M,N,O,Q1,Q2,Q3,AND Q4).• Cattell maintains that source traits can be divided into two subtypes---depending on their origins.• Constitutional traits---derive from the biological and physiological conditions of the person.• For example, recovery from cocaine addiction may cause a person to be momentarily irritable, depressed, and anxious. Cattell would contend that these behaviours result from changes in the person’s physiology and thus reflect constitutional source traits.
Conitnue:2• Environmental-mold traits are determined by influences in social and physical environment. These trait reflect learned characteristics and styles of behaving and form a pattern that is impaired on the personality by the individual’s environment.• Source traits can be further divided in terms of the modality through which they are expressed. Ability traits determine the person’s skill and effectiveness in persuing a desired goal. Intelligence, musical aptitude and hand eye coordination are a few example.• Temperament traits relate to other emotional and stylistic qualities of behaviour. For example, people may either work quickly or slowly on a task or respond calmly or hysterically to a crisis.
Continue:3• Cattell considers temperament traits to be constitutional source traits that determine a person’s emotionality. Finally, dynamic traits reflect the motivational elements of human behaviour. These are traits that activate and direct the person toward particular goals. Thus, person may be characterized as ambitious,power-oriented or interested in acquiring material possessions.• Dynamic traits in Cattell’s system are of three kinds: attitudes, ergs and sentimenrs.• Ergs correspond roughly to biologically based drives; sentiments focus on a social object; such as one’s college or mother or country. They are acquired through learning and they serve as “subgoals on the way to the final ergic goal.” (Cattell, 1985.,p.14).• Attitudes are dynamic surface traits; they are the specific manifestations or combinations of underlying motives.•• Cattell again classified traits as either common or unique trait.• A common trait is one that is shared in varying degrees by all members of the same cultures. Examples include self-esteem, intelligence and introversion. Unique traits are those shared by few or perhaps no other people. Cattell suggests that unique traits are especially evident in the areas of interest and attitudes.
THE BIG FIVE CONSIST OF FIVE BROAD PERSONALITY TRAITS: ( McCrae,Costa and Piedmont,1993)• 1.Extraversion (E);• 2. Agrreableness (A);• 3. Neuroticism (N);• 4. Conscientiousness (C) ;• 5. Openness (O ).
Continue:1• EXTRAVERSION: The first factor ‘extraversion’, has also been called ‘dominance-submissiveness, and ‘surgency’ (John,1990).• Description of high scorer on Extraversion: talkative, passionate, active, dominant, sociable,.• Description of Low scorer: quiet, unfeeling, passive.• AGREEABLENESS (A): it sometimes called adaptability or likability (John,1990), indicates a friendly, compliant personality, one who avoids hostility and tends to go along with others.• Description of high scorer on A: Good-natured, soft- hearted, trusting.• Description of low scorer on A : Irritable, ruthless, suspicious.• NEUROTICISM (N): it describes people who frequently are troubled by negative emotions such as worry and insecurity (MacCrae and Costa,1987).• Description of high scorer on N: worrying, emotional, vulnerable, anxious.• Description of low scorer on N: calm, unemotional, hardy, self- controlled, sense of well being.
Continue:2• OPENNESS (O): The factor openness is perhaps the most difficult to describe, since it doesnot correspond to everyday language as well as the other factors (macCrae,1990). Experts have given this factor various names: culture, Intellect, Intellectual Interests, Intelligence, and Imagination (John,1990; sneed, MacCrae and Funder,1998).• Description of high scorer on O: creative, Imaginative, prefers variety.• Description of low scorer on O: Uncreative, down-to-earth, prefers routine.• CONSCIENTIOUSNESS ( C ): IT , also called dependability, Impulse control, and will to achieve (John,1990), describes differences in people’s orderliness and self-discipline.• Description of high scorer on C: conscientious, hardworking, ambitious, responsible.• Description of low scorer on C : negligent, lazy, aimless, irresponsible.• ( adapted from MacCrae,1990,p.402 and MacCrae, Costa, and Piedmont,1993).
Continue:3• SPECIFIC FACETS OF THE BIG FIVE FACTORS OF PERSONALITY:• Factor :• Extraversion (E): facets are warmth, gregariousness, assertiveness, activity, excitement- seeking, positive emotions.• Agreeableness (A ): facets are Trust, straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty, tender- mindedness.• Neuroticism (N ): facets are anxiety, hostility, depression, self- consciousness, impulsiveness, vulnerability.• Openness (O ): facets are fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas, values.• Conscientiousness ( C ): facets are competence, order, dutifulness, achievement striving, self- discipline, deliberation.• (adapted from Costa and MacCrae and Dye,1991).•