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Flashcards in Traits theory Deck (31)
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What are the main premises of the traits approach

- personality exists
- has quantitative and qualitative properties
-systematically describes psychological differences between and within individuals
- emphasises the need of a scientific useful taxonomy
- probabilistic system


What were the foundations of the traits approach?

- hippocrates: four humours (bodily fluids)
- Kant: 2- feeling (N), Activity (E)
- Wundt: 4 temperaments (after rotation)


What are traits?

- general dispositions that people possess
- cannot be observed directly (LATENT) but inferred from patterns of behaviour & experience that are known to be valid trait indicators


What is personality

- dynamic and organised set of characteristics possessed by a person


What are some of the premises of the trait concepts?

- every human possesses all traits but different intensities
- development assumed to end in early adulthood (longitudinal studies show this isn't true)
- relatively stable over time and situation
- hierarchically arranged
- dimensionally arranged


What are the forces of traits?

- biology and genetics
- cognition
- evolution
- environment


What is temperament?

- characteristic REACTION PATTERNS present from early age
- biologically- based elements
- present in infancy & childhood
- inherited sub-class of personality dimensions


What are states?

- (moods) refer to the condition (arousal) of the corresponding traits at any given point in time


What is the hierarchical arrangement of personality?

- specific responses
- habitual responses (habits)
- temperament
- traits
- personality dimensions


How do we measure traits?

- statistics & psychometrics
- brain scans, EG, HR, twin-studies
- psychometric questionnaires


What are the common assumptions of

- personality space is made of dimensions
- dimensions are ORTHOGONAL
- dimensions are FINITE
- can discover these dimensions by decomposing the matrix


What are some issues with the traits approach?

- how many
- heavily dependent on statistics and probability
- traditionally dependent on self- reports
- idiographic vs. nomothetic
- do traits exist?


What are the advantages of the traits approach?

- scientific theories
- testable
- cross-cultural validity
- occupational/educational psychology
- used in forensic psychology
- psychopathology


What were the core ideas in Allport's theory?

- personality is real (and not a construct or abstraction)
- personality is greater than the sum of its traits


What was the main focus of Allport's theory?

- the emphasis is on the UNIQUENESS of the person and importance of INDIVIDUALITY


What were some core ideas of personality in Allport's theory?

- personality is real (assumes traits are real and can be studied empirically)
- personality is greater than the sum of its traits (traits are ADDITIVE)


What is the difference btw nomothetic and idiographic approaches to personality?

NOMOTHETIC: looking at universal group laws of human fning e.g. intelligence testing
IDIOGRAPHIC: attempt to identify the unique combination of traits that can best describe individuals e.g. case studies


According to Allport, how to traits come about?

- both biology and environmental habits


ALLPORT: Traits vs. temperament

TEMPERAMENT:closely linked to biological determinants and therefore limited changes in development.


ALLPORT: Traits vs. habits

HABITS: S-R (learned)
TRAITS: arises in part by biology by integrating several habits associated with a trait e.g. cleanliness


ALLPORT: Traits vs. attitudes

ATTITUDE: e.g. climate change is crap
TRAITS: e.g. Scepticism of scientific findings


According to Allport, what do traits do in response to diverse stimuli?

- e.g. TRAIT: friendliness
- will render diverse stimuli functionally equivalent
- indicators of a person's characteristic behaviour and thought in diverse circumstances


What are different types of traits according to Allport?

CARDINAL:pervasive, outstanding, not everyone has them
CENTRAL: super traits that best describe an individual e.g. responsible, friendly
SECONDARY: peripheral to an individual's personality e.g. musical taste
NB: can fall into any category depending on important for the individual


What were later traits introduced

COMMON TRAITS (Universal norms, group norms)
INDIVIDUAL TRAITS (idiosyncratic traits)


What were Allport's ideas of personal experience?

- personal experience of the self and sense of purpose are unifying aspects of personality
- humans are normally rational, creative, active and self-reliant


What is the proprium (The Allportian self)

- bodily self
- self identity: self-continuity
- self esteem
- extended self: what thought it yours/someone elses
- self - image: own appraisal
- self-as-a-rational-coper: rationality
-self-as-proprietor (knower): awareness of being and existing


What did Allport say about motives?

- adult motives not necessarily result of fixations, infantile motivation or unconscious needs (in contrast to Freud)


What is Allport's functional autonomy?

- permits a relative divorce from the past
- focus on CONTEMPORARY SYSTEMS--> focus on present state, current situation and feelings


What are Allport's different types of functional autonomy?

- PERSEVERATIVE FUNCTIONAL AUTONOMY: self repeating motives that depend on feedback mechanisms e.g. addictions
PROPRIATE FUNCTIONAL AUTONOMY: motives developed as direction expression of goals e.g. interests


What are some positives of Allport's theory?

- founder of personality --> traits
- proposed distinction btw idiographic vs. nomothetic
- humans as active agents against FREUD
- inspired Maslow and humanistic approach