The Theory Of Personality Development Essay

752 Words Jan 24th, 2016 4 Pages
The desire to understand personality development led early theorists to search for characteristics that describe and define personality. Their pursuit became the foundation for the psychological approach of trait theory. From early studies identifying dictionary terms that described personality traits, theorists condensed the list to commonly repeated personality traits, notably Gordon Allport who arranged the most widespread and significant traits into a hierarchy from most important at the top to least at the bottom Hoffman and Dowdell, 2015, p. 418). Using factor analysis, subsequent psychologists refined the list of possible personality traits even smaller: Raymond Cattell condensed the list to 16 basic traits, Hans Eysenck to 3 (Hoffman and Dowdell, 2015, p. 418). Over time certain behaviors or preferences repeatedly arose across different personality tests and researchers identified the “Big 5”, five basic traits that not only describe and organize personality, but can predict certain behaviors or preferences: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. From these five traits the Five Factor Model personality theory was born, the first comprehensive personality system that measures each trait across a continuum and predicts real-life behaviors and preferences using the minimum number of traits (Hoffman and Dowdell, 2015, pp. 419-420). In brief, the five traits can be characterized as
• Openness reflects 'open-mindedness ' and interest…

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