The aim of the topic is to distinguish Eysenk’s theory with the theories of other trait theorists. Eysen’s believe in statistical interpretation to indicate the presence of traits in human, where as other theorists, tend to demonstrate theories on their personal believe mainly. Thus, by keeping this point in mind, it is further important to analyze the theories explicitly based on the theorists’ views .Trait Theorists tend to believe that people posses certain traits, which exhibits their ways of behaving such as whether they are sociable or shy. The traits also help to determine the passiveness, aggressiveness, optimism or pessimistic behavior in a person. According to the views of Diagnostic and Manual based on statistics of the American Psychiatric Association, traits of personality are the conspicuous aspects of personality, which display a wide range of social and personal characteristics. These traits are the trends in attitude, which presents a man in an environment regardless of any situations (Fleeson & Jayawickreme, 2015).
Different Trait Theorists have come up with their views of classification of traits and behavior in a human being such as Eysenk’s theory is based on the personality consisting three dimensions: Extroversion vs. Introversion, Stability vs. Neuroticism and Socialization vs. Psychoticism. On the other hand, trait theorist Gordon Allport organized traits into three levels and they are Central traits, Cardinal Traits and Secondary Traits. Raymond Cattell produced sixteen dimensions of human personality traits, known by the name 16 PF. Freudian principles of traits based on three factors: IG, ego and super ego, and the BIG FIVE focused on five important features of trait (Chamorro & Furham, 2014).
Eysenck’s personality theory is based on the results of the statistical analysis of individual’s answers on personality questionnaires, where he identified the three dimensions of personality of extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticism. He believed that personality is governed by biology most of the times and according he made classifications in his theory(Eysenk, 2012).According to the theory he proposed, people exhibiting the character of extroversion, are gregarious in nature and could connect with others easily. Whereas people displaying introversion, are tend to stay isolated by limiting their interactions with others. Having the characteristics of neuroticism or stability dimension, individuals who suffer from neuroticism are anxious, they tend to overreact due to the presence of sympathetic nervous system and with low stress, they emotional stage tend to go have a fight or flight reaction. Paradoxically, people who have stability, need to galvanize their stimulating power and thus would consider to have attained more stability emotionally. In the dimension of Psychoticism or socialization of Eysenck’s theory tend to think more independently, antisocial, aggressive and nonconformist. People high on socialization, tend to suffer from high impulse control and these individuals are more philanthropic, ordinary, cooperative and empathetic (Eysenk, 2012).
The purpose of Eynseck’s model that he was the first to make a quantifiable approach, therefore, it is considered to be more legitimate. However, Eynsenck’s theory has been criticized for not having broader perspectives. Unlike Allport’s and Cattle’s models, the theory have chosen a narrow path to elaborate the traits (Eysenk, 2012)
Eysenck traced out three traits would be sufficient to elaborate human personality whereas Cattell delineated there are different kinds of traits influencing the human behavior. He produced sixteen factors to understand the personality of human traits. Those sixteen actors are abstractedness, warmth, emotional, openness to change, intelligence, consciousness, stability, tension, sensitivity,vigilance, social boldness, perfectionism, apprehension, dominance, privateness and self- reliance. This is known by the name 16PF(Cooper & Socha, 2013). Differences also emerged due to the application of different ways to analyze the emerging factors. Cattell focused on applying oblique form of factor analysis while Eysenck focused on orthogonal form to analyze the same (Cattelle, 2012).
Eysenck believed in that the human traits are inbuilt and they are governed by the biologically but on the other hand, Gordon Allport stated that the traits of a human are bing shaped due to the influence of external and internal environment. Allport like Cattelle also gave a broader perspective in analyzing the human trait. Moreover, Gordon Allport displayed a wide comprehensive process of judging the character of a human being. He organized the traits into three levels and they are Cardinal Traits, which is dominated by only a single trait. A few people have this personality or else maximum people are composed of multiple traits. Central Traits as described by Allport having general characteristics varying in degree in every person. Secondary Traits are present only under specific circumstances include attitudes and preferences. Unlike Eysenck and Cattell, Gordon Allport did not use factor analysis to determine the traits in a human. Being a trait psychologist, he developed 4500 words related to trait and accordingly organized into three levels or hierarchies of traits (Schultz & Schultz, 2016).
Eysenck was a hardcore critic of the Freudian variety. Freudian personality theory talks about the interaction of instinct and environment in the first five years of the life. This theory is driven by certain factors – instinctual drives like food , aggression, Unconscious process and influences on childhood , specially the parents. Freud tends to believe that traits develop out of the conflicts among three important structures of the human mind and they are id, ego and superego (Eysenk & Wilson, 2013). Jeffrey Allan Gray, former learner under the guidance ship of Eysenck made a comprehensive understanding of psychological data analyzed by Eysenck. Gray came up with the traits in the Big Five Model and they are
- Openness to experiences
- Agreeableness (Cherry, 2013)
Other than Neuroticism and Extraversion, Eysenck’s personality did not approach the openness to experience as Eysenk focused on the genetic development of traits which has been inherited. Thus, to determine the traits a statistical or mathematical calculation should be done to demonstrate the in-built traits in a human.
Therefore, Eysenk mainly concentrated on narrowing down the traits into three-dimensional aspects. He believed in factor analysis based on acute mathematical concepts, and this could only judge a person’s behavior accordingly. Allport came up with 4000 traits and considered these traits dominate a person’s behavior. Later on Raymond Cattell narrowed it down to 16 main personality traits as 4000 traits believed to be impractical for applications. Again Eysenck made specified the traits by making two introversion-extroversion and emotional stability and Neuroticism. However, in the latter stage he added on psychoticism (Eysenk & Wilson, 2013).Finally the BIG 5 points as mentioned earlier, argued that Eysenk’s perspectives was too simplified but the psychologists continuing to come up with repeated theories and traits that only a few became commonly accepted. Unlike Eysenk, many psychologisst focused on personal interpretation. However, with time, psychologists did many researches to generate accurate personality results (Schultz & Schultz, 2016).
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Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Furnham, A. (2014). Personality and intellectual competence. Psychology Press.
Cherry, K. (2013). The Big Five Personality Dimensions. Overview of the Big Five Personality Dimensions.
Cooper, C. A., Golden, L., & Socha, A. (2013). The big five personality factors and mass politics. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43(1), 68-82.
Eysenck, H. J. (Ed.). (2012). A model for personality. Springer Science & Business Media.
Eysenck, H. J., & Wilson, G. D. (2013). The Experimental Study of Freudian Theories (Psychology Revivals). Routledge.
Fleeson, W., & Jayawickreme, E. (2015). Whole trait theory. Journal of Research in Personality, 56, 82-92.
Schultz, D. P., & Schultz, S. E. (2016). Theories of personality. Cengage Learning.