Personality Trait Theory

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‘Personality traits are relatively stable, cognitive, emotional and behavioural characteristics of people that help establish their individual identities and distinguish them from others.’(Holt, Bremner, Sutherland, Vliek, Passer, Smith, 2015, p645) Some examples of such traits or characteristic include funny, outgoing or shy. As with many areas of psychology there are many theories and perspectives on development and approach to personality. I will discuss some of these theories, some of which are still used today. Psychodynamic psychologists such as Freud would argue that adult personality is influenced mainly by childhood experiences whereas humanistic psychologists might argue that personality depends on a person’s experience as an adult…show more content…
Holt et al (2015, p645) ‘Trait theory suggests that individual personalities are composed of these broad dispositions’. (, 2015) Put simply, words we might use to describe ourselves or a friend. Personality differentiates one person from another. ‘Trait theorists attempt to define a person’s personality in terms of the degree to which they possess a particular characteristic’ therefore a ‘trait theorist’s measure where a person sits on a trait dimension of personality’. (Holt et al 2015, p645) So for example a person is not simply neurotic but to what degree is a person…show more content…
Extraversion being a personality factor based on sociability and impulsiveness. For example, a person who is introvert may be quiet and enjoy spending time alone whereas an extravert might prefer to spend time surrounded by people. Neuroticism based on negative emotional experience a level of stability or instability emotionally, for instance a person who is a worrier or anxious. A person who is high on the spectrum of psychoticism may be aggressive and show a lack of caring for example an individual may be egocentric and hostile whereas a person who is low on the psychoticism spectrum might be caring towards others and non-aggressive. Eysenck (2010, p272) Eysenck focused on ‘a small number of uncorrelated or independent factors which are quite separate from each other’. (Eysenck 2010,

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