Trait Theory: Hans Eysenck's Trait Theory
Hans Eysenck was one of the most important yet, controversial trait theorists. Eysenck was a behaviorist who believed learned habits of great importance but that personality grew out of genetic inheritance (Boeree, 2006). Therefore, he was very interested in temperament. As a trait theorist he focused on how personality is understood through the context of a person’s characteristic ways of behaving. What set him apart was that his approach was more quantifiable (“Allport 's, Cattell 's, and Eysenck 's Trait Theories of Personality”, 2016).
Introduction To The Theory
During World War II, Eysenck compiled a series of questions about behavior. He applied those to soldiers who were treated at the Maudsley psychiatric hospital …show more content…
Therefore, the total of all potential behavior, as determined by heredity and the environment, originated from four main sectors: cognitive sector, the conative sector, the affective sector and the somatic sector (“Eysenck 's Trait Theory”, 2014). Trends or habits eventually emerged from a person’s responses. He labeled habits as a cluster of specific behaviors and traits as a collection of related habits (“Eysenck 's Trait Theory”, 2014). Consequently, Eysenck proposed the Three Factor model which includes the three major …show more content…
In extraversion vs introversion, extraverts are sociable and crave excitement and change. Meanwhile, introverts are more reserved and inhibited (McLeod, 2014). Eysenck hypothesized that extraversion vs. introversion was a matter of the balance of excitation and inhibition in the brain. Excitation is the brain getting alert and into a learning state while inhibition is the brain calming itself down and protecting itself in the case of overwhelming stimulation (Boeree, 2006). Both excitation and inhibition are a part of the autonomic nervous system. So, in relationship to brain arousal an extravert has low critical arousal and is under stimulated while an introvert has high cortical arousal and is over stimulated (“Eysenck 's Trait Theory”, 2014).
In Eysenck’s neuroticism vs. stability, the focus is on the contrasting positions of instability and stability. Neurotics or ‘unstables’ tend to be anxious and moody. They are overly emotional and find it difficult to calm down once upset (McLeod, 2014). They can be described as worried, tense and Moody (“Eysenck 's Trait Theory”, 2014). In stark contrast are those who are stable. ‘Stables’ or those who are low neuroticism are emotionally calm, unreactive and unworried (McLeod,