Factors affecting personality
Personality and individual differences
Main targets of the study of personality are constructing a coherent picture of a person and his major psychological processes; the study of individual differences, examination of human nature.
Gordon Allport theory states that the nomothetic and the idiographic ways are two major ways to study personality.
Nomothetic psychology seeks general laws that can be applied to many different people, such as the principle of self-actualization, or the trait of extraversion.
Idiographic psychology is an attempt to understand the unique aspects of a particular individual.
The concepts of trait approach
According to the DSM classification, personality traits are enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal contexts.
Traits are relatively stable over time; differ among individuals, and influence behaviour. Traits are statistical generalizations that do not always correspond to an individual's behaviour.
Trait models are descriptive, not offering explanation of personality factors. Trait models often underestimate the effect of specific situations on people's behaviour.
Main controversial dimension is extraversion vs. introversion.
Gordon Allport’s dispositions of traits: Central traits are basic to an individual's personality, while secondary traits are more peripheral.
Common traits are those recognized within a culture and may vary from culture to culture.
Cardinal traits are those by which an individual may be strongly recognized.
Raymond Cattell's research proposed a two-tiered personality structure with sixteen “primary factors” (16 Personality Factors) and five “secondary factors”.
Holland Codes (John L. Holland's RIASEC vocational model) proposed 6 personality traits that lead people to choose their career paths.
Hans Eysenck’s theory proposed3 traits - extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticism. Hans Eysenck proposes biological mechanisms as driving traits. Modern behaviour genetics researchers have demonstrated a clear genetic substrate to them.
Building on the work of Cattell and others, Lewis Goldberg proposed a five-dimension personality model, the “Big Five”: OCEAN or CANOE.
The "Big Five" model includes:
Extraversion (outgoing and stimulation-oriented vs. quiet and stimulation-avoiding),
Neuroticism (emotionally reactive, prone to negative emotions vs. calm, imperturbable, optimistic),
Agreeableness (affable, friendly, conciliatory vs. aggressive, dominant, disagreeable),
Conscientiousness (dutiful, planful, and orderly vs. laidback, spontaneous, and unreliable),
Openness to experience (open to new ideas and change vs. traditional and oriented toward routine).