The big five theory

Topics: Big Five personality traits, Personality psychology, Trait theory Pages: 4 (1419 words) Published: May 7, 2014
The Big Five Personality Traits: The Five Factor Model
Gordan Allport, a psychologist in 1936 found that an English language dictionary contained more than 4,000 words that described different personality traits. He separated these traits into three levels: Cardinal traits, Central Traits and Secondary Traits. Cardinal Traits are the dominate traits in a person’s life, often to the point that the person becomes known specifically known for these traits. Central Traits are the general characteristics that form the basic foundation of personality. And the Secondary Traits are the traits that are sometimes related to attitudes or preferences and often appear only in certain situations or under specific circumstances. With the help of Allports research Raymond Cattell, a trait theorist reduced the number of main personality traits from the initial 4,000 characteristics down to 171. After identifying closely related terms he reduced his list to just 16 personality traits, he thought these 16 traits are the source of all human personality. He developed one of the most widely used personality assessments known as the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire. A British psychologist Hans Eysenck also developed a model of personality based upon three universal traits. Introversion/Extroversion, a person high in Introversion might be quiet and reserved and a person high in Extroversion might be sociable and outgoing. Neuroticism/Emotional Stability trait is related to moodiness versus even-temperedness , and Psychoticism was developed after studying individuals suffering from mental illness, individuals who are high in this trait tend the have difficulty dealing with reality and may be antisocial , hostile , non-empathetic and manipulative . Both Cattell’s and Eysenck’s theories have been the subjected to research. Some theorist believe that Cattell focused on too many traits and Eysenck focused on too few. As a result, a new trait theory emerged, known as “The Big Five...
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