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Eysenck three personality trait theory


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Eysenck three personality trait theory

  1. 1. INTRODUCTIONHans J. Eysenck was born in Germany in 1916. He left Germany for France in 1934 and eventually established a life for himself in Britain. Eysenck was one ofthe first psychologists to relate biology to personality and has developed an extensive range of theories on many topics and published over 40 books, many ofwhich he has co-written with his wife Sybil B.G. Eysenck. He has also completed publications with his son Michael W. Eysenck; a psychologist who specialises inmemory. Hans Eysenck decided to retire in 1983 but continued writing until he died in September 1997. Eysenck’s Trait Personality Theory is based onbiological explanations (Eysenck, 1990). Eysenck believed that an individual’s personality traits, or what Eysenck referred to as ‘temperament’, are causeddirectly by a person’s genetic make-up (Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham, 2005). There have been many studies that support biological explanations of Eysenck’strait personality theory; these include, twin studies (Eaves & Eysenck, 1975, and Eysenck, 1990) and brain imaging (Canli et al., 2001). STABILITY EYSENCK’S 3 MAIN PERSONALITY TRAITS Eysenck created a model of personality traits, it initially consisted of the continuums of Extraversion and Neuroticism, later adding Psychoticism creating the PEN Model (Eysenck, 1990). EXTRAVERSION INTROVERSION The three traits are on a spectrum: Psychoticism → Ego Control Extroversion → Introversion Neuroticism → Stability UNSTABLE Eysenck believes everyone exists somewhere on the spectrum of all three personality traits. EXTRAVERSION PSYCHOTICISM NEUROTICISM The extraversion dimension is widely seen as aThe psychoticism dimension is a Last is neuroticism. Individuals exist on this spectrum continuum ranging from extroversion tomore recent addition and is less to varying degrees. Eysenck (Matthews & Gilliland, introversion (Maltby & Macaskill , 2010).well defined than neuroticism and 1999) claims that neurotics are best explained asextraversion. Psychoticism is at individuals who are unstable. Those HIGH on extroversion (extroverts) are:one end of the continuum and •  Sociablesuper-ego control is at the other Those HIGH on neuroticism (emotionally unstable) •  Impulsive(Carducci, 2009) are: •  Like Excitement •  Exaggerated or unsubstantiated fears, including •  Directed towards external realityThose HIGH on psychoticism are: objects, places, animals or even certain individuals •  Lively•  Non-conformist •  Impulsive or obsessive behaviours •  Active•  Tough-minded •  Excess fear and anxiety •  Assertive•  Willing to take risks •  Depression •  Sensation-Seeking•  Unconcerned about the rights •  Feelings of guilt •  Carefree and welfare of others •  Low self-esteem •  Dominant•  May engage in antisocial •  Tension behaviours •  Irrationality Those LOW on extroversion (introverts) are: •  Less sociableThose LOW on psychoticism are: Those LOW on neuroticism (emotionally stable) are: •  Quiet•  Warm •  Calm •  Introspective individuals•  Sensitive •  Even-tempered •  Directed towards inner reality•  Concerned about others •  Less likely to feel tense •  Like to live a well ordered life EYSENCK’S HIERARCHICAL TRAIT THEORYEysenck describes personality in a hierarchy of constructs. Acts are organised into Habits, then to Traits, FACTOR  then to Factors (Eysenck, 1990). HEL P! TRAIT   TRAIT  For ExampleAct – Buy foodHabit – Buy food for party HABIT   HABIT   HABIT  Trait – Has party’s frequently and is often seen with groups of peopleFactor – They are on the extravert side of the extraversion–introversion continuum ACT   ACT   ACT   STRENGTHS OF THE THEORY WEAKNESSES OF THE THEORY The PEN model is a combination of descriptive and causal aspects of personality, which makes itEysenck’s theory, although extremely popular, has more distinct than other theories, such as the Five Factor Model (Costa & McCrae, 1992: Eysenck,however been criticised due to its failure to produce 1991). The Pen model offers causal explanations, as well as simply describing personality traits.evidence that introverts and extroverts conditiondifferently, (Gross,R, 2009). The PEN model offers clear and concise levels, which are easy to understand and do not over lap each other like other models do. The PEN model discriminates intellectual processes fromThere has also been criticisms in the usefulness of a emotional ones (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985).trait approach theory to personality, some suggestingthat personality traits are not a good predictor of The PEN model offers a strong experimental approach to the study of personality, which means itfuture behaviours (Mischel, 1973) is a testable theory and as a result of this has served as a good role model for many other personality theories (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985).Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) was “PORKY PIG” “TAZ-MANIA”criticised by Heim (Heim, 1970, as cited in Gross, “DAFFY DUCK” “BUGS BUNNY” WHICH •  Hostile1990). She stated that yes and no questions could CHARACTER ARE YOU? •  •  Very self aware Quiet and reserved •  •  Warm Cheerful •  Recklessnot possibly be thorough enough to even begin to •  Anxious in large groups •  Learns well through •  Talkative •  Lacks Common •  Moody •  Enjoys beingunderstand the many different aspects of personality. •  Jealous observation centre Sense •  Tends to keep of attention •  Shows 1916 •  Envious emotions •  Seeks novelty inappropriate -­‐199 private and excitement emotional expression 7