Short Outline of the strengths and weaknesses of the trait and biological approaches to the study of personality

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Trait Approach:

· Definition: the theoretical view of personality that focuses on individual differences in personality and behavior, and the psychological processes behind them.

· Strengths: descriptive emphasis; assessment; intuitively appealing; involves a lot of research; provides a way to evaluate attributes

· Weaknesses: lack of explanation; measurement of traits is difficult; ignores situational factors; poor reliability due to one's constant change in behavior

Biological Approach:

· Definition: the view of personality that focuses on the way behavior and personality are influenced by neuroanatomy, biochemistry, genetics or evolution.

· Strengths: explanatory emphasis; attempts to find causal mechanisms; scientific; practical applications are said to be extremely effective

· Weaknesses: reductionism; has not explained how mind and body interact
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