Psychology & Psychiatry

I, you, or we: Pronouns provide hints to romantic attachment styles

Sometimes people wish they had greater insight into how their partner really feels. Recent work in social and personality psychology dives into the stories people tell about their romantic relationships, and finds that those ...

Genetics

Owning a dog is influenced by genetic make-up

A team of Swedish and British scientists have studied the heritability of dog ownership using information from 35,035 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry. The new study suggests that genetic variation explains more ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Brain wiring differences identified in children with conduct disorder

Behavioural problems in young people with severe antisocial behaviour—known as conduct disorder—could be caused by differences in the brain's wiring that link the brain's emotional centres together, according to new research ...

Genetics

Happy in marriage? Genetics may play a role

People fall in love for many reasons—similar interests, physical attraction, and shared values among them. But if they marry and stay together, their long-term happiness may depend on their individual genes or those of ...

page 1 from 23

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