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Personality

Kelly theorised that human development depends on the individual’s innate ability to acquire information to maximise one’s comprehension of the world. Kelly also attributed the foundation of one’s personal constructs as a way of achieving this goal. In addition, that our social interaction and reinterpretation of any situation helps us to construct corollaries to anticipate and to predict human behaviour. Kelly referred to this psychological alignment of individuals who perceive and understand the world, in the same way, have a greater opportunity to interact within the world more successfully. For example, consider a child’s development as they are subjected to new experiences Summer Infant Classic Comfort Wood Bassinet, Bedtime Blossomduring the first few years of school. Moreover, Kelly suggested that as we grow we engage in what she called the ‘circumspection,’ ‘pre-emption’ and ‘control system.’

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Meaning, that individuals first construct their understanding of a situation and how this examination of these events involves the implementation of ‘proportional constructs’ that we have accumulated from prior experiences. Noticeably, this process allows the individual to discard any constructs that are less likely to yield a positive desirable outcome. The next stage, the ‘pre-emptive’ stage filters out any additional constructs that are unable to succeed in solving one’s current situation. The last stage, the ‘control’ stage in Kelly’s view is designed to allow the individual to choose which construct is suitable for the given situation. In conclusion, the consistent evolving and re-evaluation of the world is what Kelly referred to as the development of one’s personality.

Rational Emotional Behavioural Therapy Model, Elis (2001)

Elis conceptualised that mental health and happiness depends on the individual’s ability to maximise their rational thoughts and behaviour. Moreover, to minimise and irrational thoughts that might influence the individual’s emotions or feelings in a negative way. With this in mind, according to Ellis growth occurs as a result of being goal orientated.

Goals in his view that are flexible and not restricted by time. Elis illustrated his ‘Rational Emotional Behavioural Therapy’ principles within his A, B, C, D, E model which is outlined below.

A) Represents the ‘Activating’ event B) Represents the ‘Client’s Belief’ system C) Represents the emotional & behavioural ‘Consequences’ that occurs after an event D) Represents the individual’s ‘dysfunctional beliefs’ E) Represents the individual’s ‘education’

Logically, one would assume that A) causes C), however, as pointed out by Ellis it’s our belief system that dictates to our emotions or behavioural response. Moreover, that individuals have free-will and the ability to make decisions for themselves. Let’s look at one example of this principle.

Joe received a phone call from his boss and was asked if he could work today.

Joe replied, “Yes, that would be fine.”

However, it was only after the conversation when Joe acknowledged a not on the table that was addressed to him.

The note read, “Hi Joe I’ve borrowed the car to help my sister move house. I’ll be home in a few hours, Alex.”

Joe initial feelings of anger towards his was founded, after all, Alex’s timing was bad. In this simplistic example, the ‘activating’ event (A) has occurred followed by Joe’s emotional response (C). Here is where Ellis’s ‘Rational Emotional Therapy’ is explained. Joe’s response is based on his ‘dysfunctional belief’ that he is unable to work because his mate ‘Alex’ has borrowed the car. Rational thought would dictate otherwise as Joe could simply ask Alex to return the car, or Joe could catch a bus, or even call a friend to pick him up. Joe, in other words, has the free-will to decide his own course of action, his belief system can, therefore, be altered to achieve his goal.

Ellis (1996) acknowledged that a self-defeating belief system is problematic and dysfunctional, whereas a rational belief system is not. A key component in Ellis’s approach to emotional behavioural therapy relies on the education of the individual to reinforce the A), B), C), D), E) model, and to ensure that the individual is held accountable for their actions. Ellis pointed out that this might be achieved by asking the individual to research emotional behavioural therapy on a more in-depth level.

In doing so it ensures a greater knowledge and understanding of the therapy. It will also reinforce the principles that have been mentioned so far.

Source of Psychological disturbances according to Kelly

Kelly (1984) identified irrational thoughts as the source of ‘psychological disturbances.’ Moreover, that it originates from one’s ego or ‘discomfort disturbance.’ In addition, Kelly labelled ‘disturbance’ as the demands that one places upon oneself and others that are not realised. With this in mind, Kelly suggested it also relates to a person’s belief and core expectations, furthermore, if these expectations are not met then they label themselves as being useless, as being incapable of achieving success. Knowing of this, Kelly’s research revealed that individuals who are incapable of learning from their mistakes will often focus their mental energy towards their failures.

Discomfort disturbance

Once again demands are placed on one’s self and others within the world. Noticeably, these dogmatic demands infer that goals can be achieved without too much difficulty and that the individual will tolerate discomfort in order to achieve their goals. These tolerances in Kelly’s view are what makes the individual disturbed. Kelly’s rational alternative is to set goals that will benefit the individual’s health and happiness in the long term.

Maslow’s (1954) theory of Self-actualisation

Human behaviour according to Maslow is driven by one’s innate desire for ‘healthy growth and development.’ Maslow labelled this innate behaviour as one’s ‘instinctual tendencies.’ Tendencies in his view which can be easily weakened by one’s negative environment. Maslow, therefore, conceptualised that if a child is cultivated they can acquire instinctive tendencies like ‘honesty,’ ‘generosity,’ and ‘kindness’ towards others. Transversely, Maslow acknowledged the opposite can also be true, that a negative environmental influence can impact on a child’s development.

A child under these circumstances might, therefore, display outward signs of self-defeating or self-destructive mannerisms. Moreover, Maslow suggested that we are driven by what he termed ‘deficiency’ and ‘growth motives,’ or ‘B-motives’ that motivates the individual to fulfil basic instinctual needs like avoiding hunger and pain while trying to develop their true potential. With this in mind, Maslow indicated that one’s personal growth and motivation is driven by one’s thirst for knowledge and new experiences.

Maslow also pointed out that deficiency motives can create a negative state of mind which can only be altered by satisfying our primal needs for survival. In Maslow’s view, these needs also included one’s desire for ‘food,’ ‘hydration,’ and the avoidance of emotional and physical pain. In contrast, ‘growth motives,’ or ‘B-motives’ fulfils the individuals desire to achieve while creating a positive motivational state of mind. Maslow also acknowledged that human motivation is complex and hierarchical in nature.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs in descending order

The need for self-actualisation

‘Self-actualisation’ is one’s ability to be happy, satisfied and content in life, it also occurs according to Maslow after our basic instinctual drives have been met. In other words, when we have achieved economic and social power within the community. It also relates to but is not limited to our ability to find work, love and success in relationships.

The esteem needs

Seeing ourselves as being competent and the ability to acquire admiration from others are two basic needs according to Maslow (1970).

Belongingness and the need for love

What motivates us after one’s basic safety and physiological needs have been met is our needs for belongingness. In other words, to be accepted by our friends, family and the community. This is in Maslow’s view why we join social clubs and seek social interaction. Furthermore, once our basic needs have been satisfied it’s only then that we become consciously aware of our loneliness and absence of love. Moreover, Maslow divided love into two distinctive needs, one being D-love and the other B-love. Maslow referred to ‘D-love’ as being one who is deficient in love, in other words, that there is a void inside us that must be met. Maslow also indicated that one’s manipulative behaviour is displayed as the individual seeks sexual arousal an affection. In contrast, Maslow defined ‘B-love’ as respecting and accepting the individual for who they are. Noticeably, Maslow defined B-love as a sign of maturity and as one who is heading towards ‘self-actualisation.’

The Safety Needs

Maslow (1970) recognised that individuals are driven by a psychological need to seek security and safety in any given situation or environment, in addition, that individuals are habitual in nature and motivated to alter their behaviour in order to feel safe. Maslow, therefore, observed that this need is due to one’s perception of environmental threats. Threats that might include ‘political,’ ‘economic,’ or ‘social’ factors. As a result, the individual might according to Maslow place boundaries or restrictions on themselves as a way of coping with change and to feel secure on a daily basis.

The physiological needs of the individual

One’s ‘physiological needs’ are based on our depletion of sleep, hunger, oxygen and hydration according to Maslow (1968). It also includes the elimination of waste products from the body and to satisfy our depletion of sex. Knowing this gratification is based on fulfilling these needs.

Overview of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

As acknowledged by Maslow his oversimplistic self-actualisation theory does not allow for the complexity of human nature or human motivation as there is always an exception to the rule. Therefore, his framework for human needs is not rigid or static. It is however universal in its application and is according to Maslow a humanistic trait. Furthermore, Maslow suggested that individuals react differently to different situational factors and that these factors can influence one’s instinctual tendencies.

In addition, that there are two fundamental differences between Maslow’s self-actualization theory and Freud’s psychological theory that must be acknowledged. Firstly, Maslow’s observations were based on healthy psychological individuals, this is in contrast to Freud’s analytical analysis of abnormal individuals. Secondly, Maslow’s theory was future orientated as the individual seeks self-actualisation. Whereas, Freudian theory dictated the opposite, that the individual’s abnormal mental state of mind is the result of past experiences and one’s deficiencies in psychological development.

Profile of Carl Rogers

C. R. Rogers was born on the 18thy of January in Illinois Chicago and was raised by strict ethical and religious parents. This upbringing resulted in Rogers being disciplined but also feeling isolated. However, Roger soon applied this discipline to many academic fields like Agriculture, History and Religion, but it was the discipline of the scientific method that interested Rogers the most. In 1931 Rogers obtained his PhD from Columbia University, moreover, it was also during his doctoral work when Rogers engaged himself in the field of child psychology. Later in 1939 Rogers lectured at the University of Rochester where he produced a paper on ‘The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child.’ In addition, this research also enabled Rogers to form the foundation of his ‘Central-Persons Theory.’

A theory that recognised the potential of the patient to resolve their own psychological problems. It was also inspired by another post-Freudian psychoanalyst Otto Rank. Rogers continued to publish and complete his second book ‘Counselling and Psychotherapy’ in 1942 while acting as the professor of Clinical Psychology at the Ohio State University. Understandably, it wasn’t long before Rogers was recognised as a prominent psychoanalyst as he was appointed as the Professor of the American Academy of Psychotherapists.

However, it was Roger’s book on ‘Becoming a Person’ in 1961 that gave Rogers his notoriety. Moreover, in the same year, Rogers was also offered a fellowship with the American Academy of Arts and Scientist before continuing to teach at the University of Wisconsin. Rogers continued to write and practice psychotherapy up until his untimely death on the 4th of February 1987. Rogers was nominated for the ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ for his Central Approach Workshops which focused on one’s personal growth, one’s self-empowerment and one’s ability to accept cross-cultural differences and social change. Sadly, Roger’s nomination arrived only a few days after his death.

Carl Roger’s ‘Person-Centred Theory

Carl Rogers like Maslow acknowledged that individuals have the power to shape their own lives. In fact, Rogers (1951) recognised the therapist within the individual and the role in which the person must play in order to facilitate a desirable outcome. Noticeably, Roger’s ‘person-centred theory’ was based on the individual’s perception and interaction of reality. A reality that is not objective as emotions and previous experiences can influence the individual’s personal construct of any situation.

Therefore, in Roger’s view, the only person who has the knowledge and insight to resolve any psychological problem is the individual themselves. With this in mind, Roger’s definition of self-actualisation is the same as Maslow’s, that each individual since birth has an innate positive drive to achieve their full potential. In addition, Rogers also agreed with Maslow, that one’s capacity to become self-destructive is the result of one’s adverse and difficult circumstances during one’s developmental stage. This might in Roger’s view result in the person developing anti-social behaviour.

The role society plays on self-actualisation

‘Self-actualisation’ according to Rogers is one’s ability to obtain enough life experiences for optimum development. In other words, that individuals are social creatures who need to be liked and loved by others. Rogers referred to this as one’s ‘unconditional positive regard.’ That is, to accept someone for who they are and to acknowledge the value of the person for being themselves. This unselfish B-love on one’s behalf places the other person’s needs above our own. This is considered to be rare in Roger’s view as love is rarely unconditional. Therefore, one’s acceptance is often based on one’s positive reinforcement by others. For example, friends, as well as family members, will often inform you if something is socially unacceptable, be it in reference to themselves or others. Moreover, Rogers refers to our social behaviour as our ‘condition of worth.’ That we modify our behaviour in order to meet our need for social acceptance.

In addition, as recognised by Rogers, conditions of worth can challenge one’s actualising tendencies. That is, that two conflicting beliefs might result in a person feeling obligated to fulfil certain conditions in order to feel socially accepted. Here is one example, a person might go to church to gain favourable regard from their partner, however, the person’s actualising tendency is that they are not religiously minded. Furthermore, according to Roger’s we conceptualised during our development a sense of who we are individuals. Rogers termed this realisation process as one’s ‘self-concept.’ In addition, that we continuously re-evaluate ourselves by the ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ feedback from others. In Roger’s view this is problematic, that is, if one’s condition of worth is in conflict with one’s self-concept on a regular basis. Therefore, Rogers explains how the individual’s response or behaviour might be modified to override one’s condition of worth to fit one’s original self-concept.

For example; socially acceptable practices like public speaking and corporate challenges can be seen as examples of conditions of worth. However, if one’s self-concept includes that they are introverted then the chances of participating in such activities to gain acceptance is unlikely to occur. Transversely, Rogers also acknowledged that one’s condition of worth is why some individuals find it difficult to change, in other words, they find their behaviour acceptable to gain favourable regard from others. To summarise, we judge ourselves by the judgement of others and that we modify our behaviour to find acceptance within the community. In addition, that our ‘self-worth’ is modulated depending on the degree of acceptance. Furthermore, that one’s psychological health depends on the balance of one’s ‘condition of worth’ and one’s ‘self-concept.’

A parent’s self-concept and how it influences the development of a child

In Roger’s view individuals who have experiences, considerable amounts of ‘unconditional positive regard’ are less likely to place ‘conditions of worth’ upon themselves and others. In addition, according to Rogers it also indicated that a person would be more self-accepting and accurate in their assessment of the world. Therefore, Roger’s believed that these individuals would be less judgemental and defensive in their approach to life. Noticeably, ‘lower-functioning adults,’ as recognised by Rogers might be individuals who have lower levels of self-esteem and who impose higher levels of conditions of worth on others.

To summaries, Rogers argued that one’s self-concept and conditions of worth is directly related to what is acceptable by the parent from the child. Meaning, that ‘higherfunctioning adults’ might place fewer conditions of worth on a child and ‘lower-functioning adults,’ therefore, in Roger’s view might impose higher amounts of conditions of worth onto their children. In addition, Rogers (1993) stated that children who learn in a non-judgemental and trusting environment are able to determine by self-actualisation what is good for them and what is bad for them.

This learning experience in Roger’s view also allows the child to develop self-confidence when making decisions. It is, therefore, an ideal environment for optimal growth according to Rogers as it gives the child the freedom to make choices and to be creative. Noticeably, it also reflects Roger’s person-centred theory, that is, that a person can be their own psychoanalyst and that they develop their own personality during the course of their lifetime. This theory is in contrast to Freudian theorist as Roger’s ‘fully-functioning person’ was the sum of a person’s lifetime of experiences. Meaning, that a person with high self-esteem and self-acceptance will place little if any conditions of worth on themselves and others.

Personality Traits

How do we define what is meant by personality traits? If we consider a trait as being a core unit of personality then it’s easy to accept Burger’s (1977) definition, that a ‘trait is a dimension of personality used to categorise people according to the degree to which they manifest a particular characteristic.’ Hence, a person might appear to be withdrawn and quiet if they are perceived as being an introvert. This trait according to Burgers will be enhanced or magnified depending upon one’s situation but will always remain consistent as it reflects the individual’s true personality. However, before we can accept this definition we must first reflect upon other psychologists like William Sheldon, Gordon Allport, Raymond Cattell and Hans J. Eysenck as they have all contributed to our modern day understanding of the personality of personality traits.

Sheldon’s Physique and Temperament Theory.

Sheldon (1970) identified three types of body structure which he referred to as ‘soma-types’ and correlated them with one’s temperament. Sheldon’s results indicated that a person who processes an Ectomorphic, Mesomorphic or Endomorphic physiques is likely to have a Cerebrotonia, Somatotonia or Viscertonia temperament respectively. An ‘Ectomorphic’ physique according to Sheldon is a lightly boned individual of sight musculature appearance.

This individual will also in Sheldon’s view process an innate need for privacy and would be restricted or inhibited in their behaviour. Sheldon referred to such an individual as having a Cerebrotonia temperament. Transversely, a ‘Mesomorphic’ physique as referred to by Sheldon is a large-boned individual of musculature appearance who also exhibits physical assertiveness and confidence in any physical activity. Sheldon referred to such a person as having a Somatonian temperament.

The last physique and temperament correlation made by Sheldon defined an Endomorphic physique with a Viscertonia type of temperament. Sheldon defined an Endomorphic physique as a person’s body type that is rounded and fat in appearance, it also correlated in his view to a person who enjoys socialising and who has a loving relaxed disposition. Although Sheldon’s research revealed a correlation between certain body types and temperaments, it must be noted that Sheldon’s results were based on the anatomy of males. Therefore, his results can be seen as being inconclusive.

Gordon Allport’s lexical approach to Personality Traits

In 1936 American psychologist Gordon Allport and his college, Odbent had identified approximately 4500 synonyms within the English dictionary that described one’s personality. These synonyms were then placed into five categories, they are ‘Openness,’ ‘Conscientiousness,’ ‘Extraversion,’ ‘Agreeableness,’ ‘Neuroticism.’ However, Allport acknowledged the limitations of predicting one’s traits, this was due to the inconsistencies in one’s behaviour and the complexity of each situation according to Allport. It also reinforces Allport’s ‘unified personality’ theory which dictated that a person’s personality evolves over time with new experiences. Moreover, that ‘common personality traits’ as termed by Allport (1961) are unable to describe the uniqueness of the individual. This concept is critical as Allport conceptualised that one’s unique characteristics are the sum of one’s ‘personal disposition.’ Meaning that there are key traits that identify the individual’s personality. Moreover, one key trait, or ‘Cardinal trait’ as coined by Allport is a trait that is dominant, consistent and enduring over time.

It’s also in Allport’s view a trait that influences one’s behaviour the most. In contrast, ‘Central traits’ are 5-10 traits that generally describe a person’s personality. Allport also theorised that a child is unable to conceptualise the meaning of self. That one’s personality and individuality develop overtime with a lifetime of experiences. He also hypothesised that self-identity evolves as the child interacts within different social environments. From a child’s integration into the family to other social situations like schooling, clubs and adulthood relationships. Allport used the synonym ‘proprium’ to constitute all aspects associated with ones-self.

Profile of Raymond Cattell

Raymond Bernard Cattell was born on the 20th of March in 1905 near Birmingham England. Cattell’s academic achievements included degrees in both physics and chemistry as well as a PhD in Psychology from the University of London. Cattell was also privileged to be the understudy of Charles Spearman who was the inventor of factor analysis. This rigorous analytical approach to research by Spearman had influenced an enhanced Cattell’s clinical experience as he applied factor-analysis to his research methodology.

Cattell was also known as a prolific writer with no less than 30 books to his name, he also had over 425 journal articles accredited to him. Moreover, Cattell’s appointments throughout his career included Clark University, Columbia University and Harvard University where he was able to formulate over 30 standardised tests. These tests included but was not limited to Cattell’s ‘Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire’ (16 PF-test). Noticeably, Raymond Bernard Cattell died on the 2nd of February in 1998 at the age of 82.

Raymond Cattell’s analytical approach to Personality.

Factor (A) – Refers to a person who is ‘Outgoing’ or ‘Reserved’ in their mannerisms or temperament. Cattell also identified and acknowledged this factor as being the most influential trait associated with his personality questionnaire. In addition, that these humanistic traits were critical historically in determining if a person was to be hospitalised for a mental disorder.

Factor (B) – Relates to one’s ‘Intelligence’ and is a predictor of human behaviour according to Cattell. Moreover, that it is the second most influential trait within his ‘Personality Questionnaire.’

Factor (C) – Refers to one’s ‘Emotional Stability’ or one’s high and low ego strength. Meaning, that it relates to one’s control of impulses and one’ ability to solve problems while maintaining calm. Noticeably, Cattell placed these traits on the positive end of the scale while one’s inability to resolve problems and to remain calm was placed on the opposite and therefore negative end of the scale.

Factor (E) – Relates to one’s ‘Assertiveness’ and one’s ability to be humble, or if you like one’s dominance or submissiveness respectively. Dominant surface traits according to Cattell are traits that display one’s wilfulness, aggression, forcefulness or one’s self-assertiveness. In contrast, if one is humble then one’s surface traits might reflect a modest, quiet and obedient individual. Therefore, with this in mind, Cattell scored assertiveness, positively and humbleness negatively on the scale.

Factor (F) – Relates to one’s ‘happy-go-lucky’ or one’s ‘sober’ disposition. As defined by Cattell (1980) ‘Surgency’ refers to a happy go lucky individual who processes a sociable, witty, humorous, energy and talkative disposition. In contrast, in Cattell opinion, if one is considered to be sober or desurgent then they are also perceived as being pessimistic, reclusive and acceptable to depression.

Factor (G) – Conscientiousness, Expedient, Cattell (1965) correlated one’s self-control, conscientiousness and reliability to Freud’s interpretation of the superego. Transversely, that one’s expediency or low superego as identified by Cattell was motivated by one’s principles and therefore was located at the opposite end of the scale.

Factor (H) – Venturesome, Shy as acknowledged by Cattell (1965) as one’s parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system that accounts for one’s ‘venturous’ or ‘shy’ behaviour respectively. It also in Cattell’s view related to one’s ability to remain calm when faced with a potential threat, and one’s ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response to a stressful situation. Noticeably, Cattell defined a venturous individual as someone who is adventurous, bold and genial. Whereas, a shy individual according to Cattell was someone who is aloof, timid and self-contained in their mannerisms.

Factor (I) – Tender-minded – Tough-minded, according to Cattell the term ‘protected emotional sensitivity’ defines one’s tender-mindedness or one’s gentle immature and demanding behaviour. This is in contrast to Cattell’s understanding of ‘hard realism’ which relates to one’s ‘tough-mindedness’ or one’s mature, self-sufficient and independent-minded disposition.

Factor (L) – Suspicious – Trusting, Cattell (1951) correlated one’s ‘projections’ of ‘suspicious’ thoughts and feelings with individuals who indicated outward signs of ‘jealously’ and ‘tension.’ Noticeably, these individuals according to Cattell were also perceived as being excluded from society. In addition, Cattell scored these individuals high on his Fact L scale, whereas, individuals with a ‘trusting’ composed and understanding disposition scored low and were therefore placed on the opposite end of the scale.

Factor (M) – Imaginative – Practical, Unconventional and imaginative individuals with little if any regard for social practices is often perceived as being ‘autia’ or ‘autistic’ in nature. Cattell scored such individuals highly on his personality trait questionnaire, whereas, practical concerned individuals with a logical, conventional and conscientious frame of mind scored lower.

Factor (N) – Skewed – Forthright, ‘Skewed’ individuals are insightful astute and worldly according to Cattell & Kline (1977). This is in contrast to a spontaneous forthright individual who is perceived as being naïve and unpretentious.

Factor (O) – Apprehensive – Placid, Cattell & Kline (1977) recognised ‘guiltproneness’ as a negative trait, moreover, a trait in their view that’s also associated with drug users, criminals and alcoholics. In addition, that it relates to a person who can suffer from manic depression. Therefore, resistant, self-confident placid individuals scored low and were placed on the opposite end of the scale.

Note: As indicated by Cattell the following factors, namely Q Factors are not accurate predictors of one’s behaviour, however, they do contribute to the understanding of one’s personality.

Factor (Q1) – Experimenting – Conservative, arguably conservative individuals generally are fearful of the unknown, this uncertainty in Cattell’s opinion is why they opt for what’s established or well-known. Radical individuals, however, are non-conventional and disregard social norms more frequently.

Factor (Q2) – Self-sufficient, group-tied, self-excited individuals are self-sufficient and endeavour to go it alone. Other individuals who seek ‘group-adherence’ prefer the social interaction within the dynamics of a group.

Factor (Q3) – Controlled – casual, Compulsive individuals are highly predictable as they subscribe to a controlled environment. Noticeably, these individuals also scored high on Cattell’s Q3 scale. Conversely, relaxed undisciplined individuals scored lower on the scale as they prefer a disorganised social environment.

Factor (Q4) – Tense – Relaxed, Cattell scored individuals who are tensely motivated and driven scored low and therefore were placed on the opposite end of the continuum.

Within the field of ‘Psychology’ personality theorists focused on the development of theories, this is in contrast to experimental Psychologist who is concerned with producing empirical based evidence from quantitative experimental procedures. Hans Eysenck suggested that a sound personality trait theory would include the integration of these two lines of thought. It would also be based on conventional wisdom that personality is the result of environmental factors. Eysenck included parenting styles, one’s physiology and genetic inheritance as factors within his personality trait theory.

These contributing factors according to Eysenck (1970) would define one’s personality as being the organisation of one’s intelligence, temperament, character and physical nervous system that is enduring and relatively stable over time. This theoretical framework of one’s psychological development also reinforces the concept that babies start off with a blank slate, that one’s personality is formed as a result of one’s cognitive ability to process information. It also depends on in Eysenck’s view of one’s physical disposition, namely, the development of one’s motor skills. Eysenck also acknowledged the complexity of determining one’s personality, therefore Eysenck applied factor analysis to quantify his personality trait theory.

Eysenck’s hierarchical model of Personality

Eysenck’s hierarchical model of personality is based on one’s initial ‘specificresponse’ to a ‘stimuli’ within a ‘social setting.’ These habitual responses as identified by Eysenck can be similar in nature. Eysenck, therefore, theorised that certain habitual responses if grouped together can form one’s ‘super-trait’ or ‘personality type.’ With this in mind, Eysenck research identified three types of personality. The first of which was measured by one’s sociability level. Such individuals as pointed out by Eysenck are also known for their impulsive obsessive neurotic behaviour. Furthermore, Eysenck identified ‘psychopaths’ as his third and last personality type. Psychopathic individuals in Eysenck’s view are anti-social in their behaviour as they seldom adhere to social norms. Noticeably, such individuals are also indifferent to the consequences or punishment handed out for their actions. Note: Listed below are the traits associated with each personality type according to Hans Eysenck.

Extraversion – extraverted individuals exhibit traits that include sensation seeking, being social, carefree, lively, dominant, active, assertive and venturesome.

Neuroticism – Relates to traits that include being tense, anxious, irrational, depressed, shy, guilt feelings, moody, low self-esteem and emotional.

Psychoticism – Associated traits include being impulsive, aggressive, un-empathetic, cold, creative, egocentric, tough-minded, impersonal and anti-social.

A lexical approach to Personality

As previously mentioned Raymond Cattell’s 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire was based on factor analysis. This lexical approach to personality is largely due to the research was undertaken by Gordon Allport and his college Odbent (1995) who discovered 4500 trait names within the Oxford English Dictionary. Noticeably, Costa & McCrae had recognised many synonyms within this list. As a result, they identified and divided these traits into five major factors.

Costa & McCrae’s ‘Big Five Factors’

Costa & McCrae’s five factors are; Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. These five factors or dimensions of personality can also be represented by the following acronym: O-C-E-A-N.

Openness, this factor relates to independent thinkers who are intellectually curious when it comes to new ideas. These individuals also process an active imagination and are considered to be unconventional in their thoughts and mannerisms. Others who prefer the conventional, the familiar scored lower and were placed on the opposite end of the openness scale.

Conscientiousness, individuals who process a high degree of self-discipline and self-control scored highly on the conscientious scale. Such conscientious individuals are also considered to be in Costa & McCrae’s view organised, determined and motivated to achieve. This is in contrast to others who are easily distracted and unable to complete set goals.

Extraversion, This factor relates to one’s sociability, optimism and energetic assertiveness. It is then by definition one’s personality trait that refers to one’s friendliness on a personal, interpersonal level. Conversely, introverts, as identified and labelled by Eysenck, are uncomfortable socialising as they are considered to be independent.

Agreeableness, agreeableness is a personality factor that refers to one’s sympathetic, trusting and helpful disposition.

Neuroticism, Costa & McCae (1992) referred to neuroticism as one’s measure of emotional stability. They suggested that it’s directly correlated with one’s emotional state of mind. Therefore, the greater the variance in behaviour the more unstable the individual appears to be.

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