Dimensions of Personality: A Record of Research Carried out in Collaboration with H.T. Himmelweit [and Others]

Dimensions of Personality: A Record of Research Carried out in Collaboration with H.T. Himmelweit [and Others]

Dimensions of Personality: A Record of Research Carried out in Collaboration with H.T. Himmelweit [and Others]

Dimensions of Personality: A Record of Research Carried out in Collaboration with H.T. Himmelweit [and Others]

Excerpt

The work here presented is the result of a concentrated and co‐ operative effort to discover the main dimensions of personality, and to define them operationally, i.e. by means of strictly experimental, quantitative procedures. More than three dozen separate researches were carried out on altogether some 10,000 normal and neurotic subjects by a research team of psychologists and psychiatrists. Such success as we may have achieved is in large measure due to their unselfish help and co-operative attitude; for such faults as remain, the author must take full responsibility.

A number of the studies here reviewed have already appeared in print, and are referred to in the appropriate place. This fact has made it possible to avoid the minute description of many experimental and statistical details of the experiments, which the interested reader can find in the various research papers and articles, and to stress rather the broad lines of the picture which emerges from our work. In spite of this fact, it has not been possible to eliminate all technical and statistical discussion from these pages; the reader whose interest lies mainly in the results and not in the methods will find little difficulty in omitting the offending pages.

Little novelty is claimed for most of the experimental procedures adopted, or the theories advanced. In my view, the time has come when the preliminary surveys of isolated traits, and the exploratory studies of small groups, must give way to work planned on an altogether larger scale; while small-scale exploratory studies will, of course, always retain their value in opening up new fields, such exploration must ultimately lead to consolidation if its full fruits are to be reaped. Similarly, while the large number of theories which has emerged in the past few decades has done much to stimulate interest in the scientific study of temperament and personality, these theories have been so divorced in the main from operational definition and experimental control that simplification and ruthless discarding appeared more necessary than an attempt to add to the confusion.

No claim is made that we have been able to do more than advance a very small distance toward the goal which we set our-

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