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Trait Approach Of Personality Analysis

The aim of this essay is to describe the trait approach and critically evaluate its contribution to our understanding of personality. Personality is said to address many issues but the three main ones are, Human universals, individual uniqueness and individual difference. Personality scientists define the word personality in a very different manner then what we use in an everyday context, personality psychologists say that personality may refer to “psychological qualities that contribute to an individuals enduring and distinctive patterns of feeling, thinking and behaving” (Pervin and Cervone 2010). This means that personality characteristics are consistent over time and over a wide range of situations, people have personalities that are…show more content…
The most common shared assumption is that people are predisposed to responding in certain ways to situations depending on their characteristics. Another shared assumption that is related but different is the idea that there is a correspondence to the person’s performance in a related trait and their possession of a corresponding trait. The assumption that both human behaviour and personality are on a hierarchy is also shared in the trait approach, for example Hans Eysencks, diagrammatic representation of hierarchical organization of personality, which easily represented this in a way that both trait psychologists and the general public could…show more content…
“Narrow dispositions would also not cross situations, such that a person might be friendly in public but may or may not be friendly in private” (Fleeson and Jayawickreme 2015). Another criticism was that the words used with in the ‘Big Five’ model are all brought in with an English speaking context that may limit the effectiveness of the ‘Big Five’ model, a context which can be hard to recreate in other languages with the same meaning. It can also cause issues because of the cultural context of the words, it is thought that some of the questions provided might not be ones that are usually discussed in certain cultures and languages that would lead to an imposition of psychological factors with in respondents from another culture. This means that the translation of words must be translate in a culturally appropriate way as to not skew the results nor to confuse the respondents, this leads to slight variations in the model in each language which may limit the notion that the ‘Big five’ model can be considered a universal model when it comes to personality traits. There is also the argument that the ‘Big five’ has missed out on another very important factor to personality traits, the trait of humility and honesty, this can lead to people having very similar results on the ‘Big Five’ model but in reality being very
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