Psychology & Psychiatry

Personality changes predict early career outcomes

Data analysis of a 12-year longitudinal study examining the importance of personality changes during young adulthood indicates personality growth has real-world career benefits. Kevin Hoff, assistant professor of industrial-organizational ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Are we the same person throughout our lives? In essence, yes

A psychobiological study led by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) on personal identity and its modification over time in parallel with the changes that individuals experience has shown that the essence of our being ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Why can't some people admit defeat when they lose?

When US President-Elect Joe Biden and Deputy Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris gave their victory speeches on Saturday evening, local time, the tally of Electoral College votes showed they had decisively passed the crucial ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Personality traits affect shelter at home compliance

A worldwide survey conducted during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic found that people with certain common personality traits were less likely to shelter at home when government policies were less restrictive, according ...

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Trait theory

In psychology, Trait theory is a major approach to the study of human personality. Trait theorists are primarily interested in the measurement of traits, which can be defined as habitual patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion. According to this perspective, traits are relatively stable over time, differ among individuals (e.g. some people are outgoing whereas others are shy), and influence behavior.

Gordon Allport was an early pioneer in the study of traits, which he sometimes referred to as dispositions. In his approach, central traits are basic to an individual's personality, whereas secondary traits are more peripheral. Common traits are those recognized within a culture and may vary between cultures. Cardinal traits are those by which an individual may be strongly recognized. Since Allport's time, trait theorists have focused more on group statistics than on single individuals. Allport called these two emphases "nomothetic" and "idiographic," respectively.

There is a nearly unlimited number of potential traits that could be used to describe personality. The statistical technique of factor analysis, however, has demonstrated that particular clusters of traits reliably correlate together. Hans Eysenck has suggested that personality is reducible to three major traits. Other researchers argue that more factors are needed to adequately describe human personality. Many psychologists currently believe that five factors are sufficient.

Virtually all trait models, and even ancient Greek philosophy, include extraversion vs. introversion as a central dimension of human personality. Another prominent trait that is found in nearly all models is Neuroticism, or emotional instability.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA