Critically Evaluate the Three Theories of Personality Using Examples from Pe and Sport.

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Critically evaluate the three theories of personality using examples from PE and Sport.

The three theories of personality are; Trait Theory, Social Learning Theory and Interactionist Theory. All three have a different perspective of how each individual’s personality is formed.

Trait theory suggests that personality is made up of certain stable and enduring characteristics which stay with a person from birth and do not change. They are inherited and passed down through genes from the individuals parents. Therefore the equation for this theory is, Behaviour = function of Personality or B = F (P). One strength of trait theory is that it can be easily measured through questionnaires, quizzes, interviews etc. The most well known questionnaire for trait theory is one designed by Eysenk. The questionnaire allowed Eysenk to calculate a number for the individual which he would then plot onto a graph and be able to label them into two dimensions; extrovert/introvert and neurotic/stable. However, this theory does not take into account the influence of the environment on personality. This theory can be put into context when looking at extroverts and introverts in sports. Extroverts tend to play in team sports, where they can be sociable, lively and are able to take some leadership. However, introverts generally prefer to take part in individual sports as they are more unsociable, shy and nervous.

Social Learning Theory implies that personality is simply formed through life experiences and environmental influences. Therefore the equation for this is Behaviour = Function of personality (environment) or B=F(E). The fact that this theory, unlike Trait theory, takes into consideration the effect of the environment gives it an entirely different perspective. Despite this, the theory doesn’t give any thought to inherent traits and therefore is relatively simplistic as personality seems to all be down to the environment and a person’s experiences. To put this theory into...
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