DSE212 Key Terms 5

  1. Trait theories of personality
    • Formal theories that aim to identify common traits that can be used to describe personality in a population
    • Personality is organised into hierarchies of higher-order traits that are made up of surface traits
    • Traits describe characteristics that are relatively stable in people across time and circumstance
    • Examples: Cattell’s 16PF, Costa and McCrae’s NEO-PI and Goldberg’s Big 5

    • Importance
    • Maps personality for populations which can predict behaviours in individuals
    • Psychometric tests arising from trait theories are used for job selection etc
  2. Psychometrics
    • Measurements of behavioural and psychological characteristics of an individual using standard tests
    • First investigated by Galton (1884
    • Enable large datasets to be built, typically using questionnaires
    • Hans Jurgen Eysenck (1967) Eysenck Personality Questionnaire
    • Psychometric tests are expensive to construct, and access to them is carefully controlled by their owners.

    • Importance
    • Psychometric tests add to scientific and empirical assets of psychology
    • Tests are very influential
  3. Heritability
    • Extent to which genetics are responsible for variability of a characteristic in a particular population
    • Statistical concept so does not apply to individuals· Remainder of effect attributed to environment, e.g. 0.3 heritability implies 0.7 environment
    • Studies carried out in behaviour genetics with most research studying twins, since we know the proportion of genes they have in common
    • Assumption that shared environments are always the same is flawed

    • Importance
    • Show a high biological/genetic influence on temperament and personality
    • Measures the relative combination of genetics and environment
  4. Extraversion
    • An outgoing, sociable personality type. Often incorporates risk-taking, active, sensation-seeking behaviour
    • The tendency to direct ones energy outwards and to be concerned with or derive pleasure from the physical and social environment
    • Outgoing, sociable personality type
    • Often risk-taking, active, sensation-seeking
    • Tendency to direct ones energy outwards
    • Eysenck’s type theory of personality suggests that personality can be expressed on two dimensions, one of which is extroversion-introversion

    • Importance
    • Important characteristic as shown by appearance in many personality theories
    • Universality may suggest that there is a biological basis for extraversion.
  5. Implicit personality theories
    • Informal theories that we have about what kinds of personality exist
    • Lexical hypothesis states everyday language contains the words that we find most meaningful to describe characteristics
    • The surface factors influence behaviour and beliefs

    • Importance
    • Used in everyday life to describe ourselves and others
    • Used to understand what people do, and to predict what they might do, aiding smooth social interaction
    • Implicit trait theories form a foundation for formal personality trait theories
Card Set
DSE212 Key Terms 5
DSE212 Key Terms 5