Personality Traits

By Gerald Matthews; Ian J. Deary et al. | Go to book overview

5
Alternatives to trait theory

Thus far, we have outlined the general case for approaching the study of personality via the trait concept. Before developing this argument, we must look briefly at the relationship between trait theories and other approaches to personality, such as psychoanalysis and humanistic psychology. There are two main reasons for so doing. First, trait theory has not developed in isolation from alternative theories. Allport (1937), for example, explicitly stated that his trait theory was an attempt to unify the diverse personality theories of this day. It is important to identify, first, those features of trait theories which are distinctive from other approaches, and, second, areas of common ground between trait theories and the alternatives. An issue of particular importance is consistency of behaviour. As we shall see, the idea of temporal stability in behaviour and mental life is not exclusive to trait psychology. Second, our thesis in this book is that trait psychology is becoming the dominant paradigm for personality research. This chapter offers some reasons why the trait approach may be more successful than competing ones, such as its use of the scientific method, and its ability to accommodate empirical data on behavioural consistency and stability.

Some disclaimers are necessary at this point. This chapter is not an attempt at a general survey of personality theory, and we assume the reader has an introductory knowledge of the main strands of personality research, such as psychoanalysis. Any of the standard texts on the Hall of Fame of influential personality psychologists (e.g., Hall and Lindzey, Phares, Engler) will suffice to provide the necessary background. The structure of the chapter reflects the broad issues introduced in the previous paragraph, and we refer to specific theories as they relate to these issues. Hence, there is no attempt to provide a name check for all the members of the Hall of Fame. First, we describe how we might conceptualise traits within psychodynamic theory, referring mainly to Freud's psychoanalysis. Second, we review recent studies of unconscious processes that use rigorous experimental methods, and consider what light they may shed on personality. Third, we survey phenomenological and humanistic approaches to personality, such as those of Rogers and Maslow. We also consider how some humanistic themes have been picked up in contemporary studies of motivational dispositions and positive psychology.

-112-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Personality Traits
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Figures x
  • Tables xiii
  • Boxes xvi
  • Preface to the First Edition xix
  • Preface to the Second Edition xxiii
  • I - The Nature of Personality Traits 1
  • 1 - The Trait Concept and Personality Theory 3
  • 2 - Persons, Situations and Interactionism 39
  • 3 - Personality Across the Life Span 58
  • 4 - Stable Traits and Transient States 77
  • 5 - Alternatives to Trait Theory 112
  • II - Causes of Personality Traits 133
  • 6 - Genes, Environments and Personality Traits 135
  • 7 - The Psychophysiology of Traits 166
  • 8 - The Social Psychology of Traits 204
  • III - Consequences and Applications 239
  • 9 - Stress 241
  • 10 - Traits and Health 273
  • 11 - Abnormal Personality Traits? 294
  • 12 - Personality, Performance and Information-Processing 325
  • 13 - Applications of Personality Assessment 357
  • 14 - Conclusions 391
  • References 411
  • Author Index 482
  • Subject Index 487
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 493

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.