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Paper Topic:

Identify the key similarities and differences between trait theory and ONE of the following other personality theories: Psychodynamic, Phenomenological, Behavioral, Personal Construct, and Social Cognition. Which of the two models do you think best acco

On Trait Theory and Behaviorism

Trait Theory View of Personality

Trait theory (Costa McCrae ,

. 27 , a comprehensive and widely researched theory of personality , seems to be a logical point from which to consider the issue of normal personality variation and the Rorschach for several reasons (a ) Cross-validation studies examining the Rorschach method have led to the suggestion that research which is theory or hypothesis driven is more informative (Archer Krishnamurthy pp . 43-52 , and (b ) trait theory has proven to be remarkably robust Years of personality research has suggested that five

global domains are both necessary and reasonably sufficient (McCrae Costa ,

. 1001 for describing the major features of personality . Costa and McCrae (p 23 ) labeled these five factors Neuroticism , Extraversion , Openness to Experience , Agreeableness , and Conscientiousness . Each domain can be further subdivided into more specific facets , but generally Neuroticism refers to emotional stability , Extraversion to sociability and assertiveness , Openness to intellectual curiosity and independence of judgment , Agreeableness to the interpersonal tendency to be altruistic and empathic , and Conscientiousness to the tendency to be obsessive (Ibid , pp . 67-69

Longitudinal studies have demonstrated that these five general domains or traits remain relatively stable across the life-span , although specific facets do show situational . Thus , Rorschach age changes as a result of alterations in personality functioning would not be expected Of interest , however , is the manner in which these five traits influence the Rorschach response process . Costa and McCrae (p . 201-210 ) did investigate longitudinal age changes in the Holtzman Inkblot Technique a projective test in which response number is a constant , rather than a variable , since only one response per card is permitted . In this cross-sectional study of persons aged 25 to 90 , little evidence of maturational ' change in the HIT variables was discovered , nor was there any relationship between specific HIT variables and Neuroticism Extraversion , and Openness as assessed on the NEO Inventory (Ibid , pp 214-215

Myers (pp . 33-45 ) data on the MMPI-2 and the Rorschach suggests that individuals high in Openness and low on Neuroticism would provide , at the very least , a greater number of responses than individuals low on Openness and high on Neuroticism . Given that Extraversion is thought to represent an individual 's temperamental level of energy and enthusiasm and that Agreeableness is a dimension that contrasts trust and cooperation with cynicism and antagonism , it would seem that persons high in both factors would demonstrate more eagerness and less apprehension when approaching the task of the Rorschach , yielding more productive protocols both qualitatively and quantitatively

Indirect evidence for the latter assumption can be found in the study by Dollinger and Leong (p . 127 , which found that people high in Agreeableness , Openness and Extraversion were more likely to volunteer personal information , as well as consent to be followed longitudinally in a hypothetical psychological experiment . Other research has demonstrated openness to experience to be highly negatively correlated with political conservatism since the features of conservatism include a lack tolerance for the unfamiliar and a dislike of uncertainty persons low in Openness...

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