Trait Approach To Personality Essay Title

New Research in Personality Theory

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Personal Psychology

Describe and discuss the nature-nurture dichotomy as it relates to personality psychology; the key associated areas of research; and the key research findings.

The study of personality progresses in tandem with advances in neuroscience and behavioral studies, fields that reflect the nature-nurture dichotomy of human development. The word dichotomy is misleading in that it describes a division between two mutually exclusive and contradictory elements or conditions. Yet, contemporary research in personality indicates that there is not an actual nature-nurture dichotomy. Instead, experts assert that, "Both genetic and environmental factors are important to personality" (Krueger & Johnson, 2008, p. 287). Indeed, new conceptual and methodological advances have shifted research questions from a focus on which influences are the strongest in personality development and expression to a focus on determining how "genetic and environmental influences actually come together to shape personality" (Krueger & Johnson, 2008, p. 287).

A molecular psychology…… [Read More]


Canli, T. (2008). Toward a "Molecular Psychology" of Personality. In O.P. John, R.W. Robins, R.W., and L.A. Pervin, Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research. (3rd ed.) (pp. 311-323). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Krueger, R.F. And Johnson, W. (2008). Behavioral genetics and personality: A new look at the integration of nature and nurture. In O.P. John, R.W. Robins, R.W., and L.A. Pervin, Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research. (3rd ed.) (pp. 287-310). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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Essay on The Trait Theory of Personality

2121 Words9 Pages

The study of personality traits is beneficial in identifying the many variables that exist from human to human; the combinations of these variables provide us with a true level of individuality and uniqueness. In the field of psychology, trait theory is considered to be a key approach to the study of human personality (Crowne, 2007; Burton, Westen & Kowalski, 2009). This paper aims to identify a number of significant contributors who have played crucial roles in both the development and application of trait theory. This paper then moves focus to these theorists, outlining their theory and analysing both the strengths and weaknesses of those theories. An illustration of the methods used in trait measurement is given and includes the…show more content…

Cardinal traits were rare and included traits that dominated a person, central traits were more general and descriptive of the individual, secondary traits were situational and related to an individual’s attitude and preference (Srivastava, 2005, p. 231). According to Buchanan (2010), German born psychologist Hans Eysenck devoted much of his career to both personality and intelligence research with much of this time spent in British universities. According to Haggbloom (2002), Eysenck’s research was thoroughly respected with him being the most regularly cited psychologist in science journals at the time of his passing. In 1947 Eysenck’s first book outlined what Eysenck viewed as the two central factors of personality; neuroticism and introversion/extraversion. Five years later Eysenck added another factor; psychoticism (Buchanan, 2010, p. 73). According to Carnivez & Allen (2005), British born psychologist Raymond Cattell centred his studies on factor analysis. His work observed him meticulously reduce Allport’s list of traits to less than two hundred. Applying his factor analysis knowledge, Cattell developed the 16PF questionnaire in 1949. Now in its fifth edition, it is still in wide use to this day (Boyle, Matthews & Saklofske, 2008). According to Tucker (2009), Cattell argued that while Eysenck’s three factor approach to personality was simpler, his own method was more thorough.

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