Psychology & Psychiatry

Internet addiction and quality of life: The role of neuroticism

Quality of life is an ancient concept dating back to at least Aristotle, although the philosopher equated a good life or doing tasks well with happiness, rather than what we refer to today as quality of life. There is much ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

How can we handle stress and stay positive during a pandemic?

A lot of people are experiencing more stress than usual. People have concerns not only about COVID-19, but about related financial challenges, changes in routine, and spending too much time (or not enough) with friends and ...

Neuroscience

Personality traits found to be protective in Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease, the main cause of dementia in the elderly, is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the irreversible destruction of neuronal networks in certain brain structures affecting memory. While some risk factors ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Owners of high-status cars are on a collision course with traffic

Why do BMW and Audi owners often seem to drive like idiots? Is it the car that makes them behave aggressively behind the wheel, or are specific types of people drawn to such cars as well being more likely to break traffic ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

How personality predicts seeing others as sex objects

Several personality traits related to psychopathy—especially being openly antagonistic—predict a tendency to view others as merely sex objects, finds a study by psychologists at Emory University. The journal Personality ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Can you change your personality? Scientists say 'maybe'

It has long been believed that people can't change their personalities, which are largely stable and inherited. But a review of recent research in personality science points to the possibility that personality traits can ...

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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