Traits are biological patterning in the central nervous system that cause behavior to occur and account for the consistencies in the socioemotional functioning from one situation to the next.
(McCrea and Costa, 1990)
Traits are tendency to act, think, or feel in consistent ways that interact with external influences, such as cultural norms and situational variables, to influence a person's functioning.
(Buss & Craik, 1983)
Traits are descriptive summery categories for behavioral acts. Acts that have the same functional properties may be grouped together into families, with some acts being more prototypical or representative of the general family features than others.
(Harre & Gillett, 1994)
Traits are convenient fictions devised by people to categorize and make sense of the diversity of human behavior and experience. Traits do not exist outside of the mind of the observer, and therefor they can have no causal influence. through social interaction and discourse, people construct meanings for trait terms.
Allport's term for any trait that is especially characteristic of an individual. From the standpoint of the idiographic examination of the single case, the psychologist may search for a handful of personal dispositions that express the particular person's uniqueness
L-data (life data)
One of the three data sources for Cattell; information pertaining to a person's real-life behavior, such as ratings of the person's behavior made by peers or spouse. Contrast to Q-data and T-data.
Q-data (questionnaire data)
One of three data sources for Cattell;self-report data on questionnaires, such as self-ratings and scores on self-report personality questionnaires. (Contrast to L&T-data)
T-data (test data)
One of three data sources from Cattell; observation of behavior under controlled conditions, as in a laboratory . (Contrast to Q&L-data)
A statistical procedure through which various items (as on a self-report questionnaire) are correlated with each other to determine the empirical cluster of the items.
Cattell's term for the many readily observable traits that can be found as clusterings of related behaviors. Underlying the many surface traits are a smaller number of source traits.
Cattell's 16 basic factors underlying the many different surface traits that might be identified.
(Cattell's) sixteen personality factor questionnaire
Cattell's self-report inventories designed to measure individual difference in the 16 source traits.
The idea that the most important individual difference in personality functioning are encoded in language. Most researches working with the lexical hypothesis have argued for a five-factor model of personality.
Five factor modal (big five)
A conception of personality traits that has become increasingly accepted in recent years, indicating the traits can be grouped into 5 basic categories.
Circumplex modal of traits
A circular arrangement of traits, proposed by Wiggins and others, in which trait terms are organized structurally according to the 2 independent dimensions of the strength (dominance or submissiveness) and warmth (cold vs warm)
A procedure in test construction whereby the investigator determines the relative contribution of each item to the total score on the test.
The extent to which different measures of the same construct relate to each other ( Contrast to discriminant validity)
the extent to which different measures of different constructs do not relate to each other.
the extent to which a test measures the construct that it is theoretically intended to measure. Construct validity increases as empirical support is garnered for the various propositions contained in the construct's nomological net. Construct validity is the most basic and encompassing form of validity, and other forms of validity can be seen as derivatives of it.
The consistency of a particular measure. Three forms of reliability are test-retest, split-half, and interscorer.
The extent to which a test's results are consistent over time.
The extent to which a test's results are consistent across different part of the test, that is, the extent of the internal consistency in the test.
Self-report questionnaires containing many personality-trait scales.
minnesota multiphasic personality inventory (MMPI)
A widely used personality inventory, containing 550 true-false statements and 10 different clinical scales.
A method of test construction employed with the (MMPI), in which items are chosen solely for their differential endorsement by subjects in different criterion groups.
California psychological inventory (CPI)
A popular personality inventory for normal samples providing scores of 20 trait scales.
On the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) the name employed for the various trait scales to denote categories of personality that arise naturally out of human interactions in most, if not all, societies. Examples of the folk concept scale include "responsibility," "Socialization," and "flexibility."
Personality research form (PRF)
A personality inventory assessing individual differences in 20 of Murray's psychogenic needs.
NEO-PI-R (Neuroticism, Extraversion-openness, personality inventory-revised)
The Neuroticism, Extraversion-openness, personality inventory-revised, developed by Costa and McCrae. The NEO-PI-R is a 240 item self-report inventory designed to measure the big five traits of Openness, conscientiousness, extra-version-introversion, agreeableness, neuroticism. For each of the five traits there are 6 subscales assessing individual facets of that trait.
Multidimensional personality questionnaire (MPQ)
A personality inventory that assess individual differences on 11 traits. Factor analysis of the responses to the MPQ yield three large factors of the personality: positive emotionality, negative emotionality, and constraint.
A lasting pattern of behavior and inner experience that markedly deviates from a person's culture and indicates problems such as inappropriate emotions and cognitions, lack of impulse control, and chronic deficiencies in interpersonal functioning. The current diagnostic manual for the American Psychiatric Association lists 10 different personality disorders.
Schizoid personality disorder
A rare disorder in personality marked by extreme isolation and an in ability to enjoy interpersonal and bodily experiences.
schizotypal personality disorder
A personality disorder marked by a detached interpersonal style and bizarre and eccentric thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
paranoid personality disorder
A personality disorder characterized by extreme suspiciousness, hostility, and the inability to establish trust and intimacy ith others.
histrionic personality disorder
A personality disorder characterized by a flamboyant but superficial style of relating to others, often manifest through sexually seductive behavior
Narcissistic personality disorder
A personality disorder characterized by grandiosity, lack of empathy, and a need for excessive admiration.
antisocial personality disorder
Some call it "psychopathy" or "sociopathy" A personality disorder characterized by cruel and extreme aggressive behavior and resulting, oftentimes, in criminal activity such as armed robbery, extortion, mugging, and rape
borderline personality disorder
An extremely severe personality disorder characterized by instability of emotions and interpersonal relationships that are in a deep fear of abandonment. Boarderlines often engage in self mutilating behavior and can be a high risk for suicide.
dependent personality disorder
A personality disorder characterized by a passive and submissive style of relating to others that is rooted in a strong need to be taken care of.
avoidant personality disorder
A personality disorder characterized by a profound fear of criticism and/or feeling of inadequacy, which results in social withdrawal.
A personality disorder characterized by a rigid concern for rules, routines, and details and by excessive desires for perfection and control, which may lead to "workaholism" and the inability to relate to others in authentically human ways.
Fundamental attribution error
A general tendency for people to overemphasize traits and underemphasize situations in explaining the causes of other people behavior.
A general point of view, linked to social learning theory and the impact of experimental social psychology, that behavior is best explained and predicted by reference to the situation within which the behavior occurs. the person-situation.
a general view that behavior is a function of the interaction of the person and the environment.
The principle in psychological measurement that urges an investigator to collect many different samples of the same behavior across many different situations and/or overtime in order to obtain a reliable estimate of personality and behavioral trends.
The procedure of partitioning the variance in behavior into that accounted for by the person, by the situation, and by the person-situation interaction. (Contrast withreciprocal interactionism)
the viewpoint suggesting that behavior, the person, and the environment influence each other through repeated and mutual transactions. (Contrast with mechanistic interactionism)