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What is the support for a global personality factor?

What is the support for a global personality factor?


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The Big 5 is a popular framework for describing major factors of individual differences in personality. More recently, I've been hearing people talking about the utility of conceptualising personality in terms of a single factor of personality. The idea might be to map the Big 5 on to one global factor with high conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, and openness combined with low neuroticism.

Questions

  • How has such a global factor been conceptualised?
  • How much variance is typically explained by this factor relative to other factor models such as the Big 5 using personality test items?
  • To what extent does such a global factor reflect true personality variance versus social desirability bias or an artefact of questionnaire item measurement?
  • What are the major authors or references advocating the global personality factor?

Digman (1997) performed higher order factor analysis on several Big 5 intercorrelation matrices and proposed that the Big 5 could be partially explained in terms of two higher order factors: Alpha (Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability) and Beta (Extraversion, Openness).

Musek (2007) presented evidence for a Big 1 factor of personality. Musek and others observe that while the Big 5 factor structure was based on orthogonal rotations, Big 5 scales based on items tend to intercorrelate. With regards to interpretation, Musek states that "[it seems plausible therefore to assume that, beyond the connections with semantic factors and social desirability, The Big One is substantially related to the basic dimensions of emotionality (affect), personal well-being, and self-esteem."

To empirically test the Big 1, Musek presented results from three datasets. Results showed that (a) the first factor of a factor analysis of the Big 5 explained approximately 40 to 50 percent of the variance (b) a reasonable amount of variance in test items was explained by the first factor, (c) several confirmatory factor analytic models indicating reasonable fit for a hierarchical model of the Big 5 that includes the two higher order factors proposed by Digman subsumed under a global personality factor.

van der Linden et al 2010 extend the work of Musek (2007) by presenting a meta-analysis of Big 5 intercorrelation matrices in order to assess the evidence for a General Factor of Personality. Table 2 shows the meta-analytic average scale intercorrelations for the big 5 measures included in the meta-analysis. It shows how across a wide range of measures and measurement procedures, the Big 5 scales moderately intercorrelate. The average absolute unadjusted correlations between the Big Five was 0.23.

They then show how across a range of Big 5 measures, measurement procedures, and samples that a single factor accounts for between 42 and 78 percent of variance in the Big 5 scale scores.

With regards to interpretation the van der Linden et al present various views on what the factor represents including views that see it as a statistical or measurement artefact and views that see it as a meaningful construct. One interpretation is that it is a general goodness of character factor or perhaps a social adjustment factor. The authors conclude with the following:

The existence of a higher-order GFP does not invalidate the clinical, vocational, or theoretical importance of lower-order factors. It is an empirical and practical question as to which level provides the best predictor for a given criterion. Since the personality facets that exist below the Big Five factors lie closest to the behavior expressed, they are often more diagnostic or better predictors than higher order traits (Sackett & Lievens, 2008).

Concluding thoughts: It seems that there is a meaningful higher level factor. While it may reflect social desirability, such a characteristic may reflect as much true variance in social desirability as it does a response style. As an aside, I have noticed that in experiments where people are asked to persent themselves in a positive way for a job, the big 5 intercorrelations increase dramatically. In broad terms the global factor of personality also reflects broadly the sign of meta-analytic correlations of Big 5 with job performance (i.e., positive correlations for extraversion, openness, emotional stability, etc.).

I have pondered to what extent measures of the Big 5 are unnecessarily loaded to see various poles as socially desirable. For example, a quick look at this IPIP measure of the Big 5 shows quite clearly how positive aspects of for example introversion are lacking (e.g., the item is "I have little to say" rather than something like "I enjoy my own company") and negative aspects of extraversion are lacking (e.g., the item is "I am the life of the party" rather than "I like to dominate social situations").

I'd also like to see more item-level analyses and the relative support for the Global personality factor.

Clearly, a lot of detail is lost in the reduction from the Big 5 to the Big 1, but it also seems to reflect a useful summary of personality for some predictive purposes.

References

  • Digman, J. M. (1997). Higher-order factors of the Big Five. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1246-1256.
  • Musek, J. (2007). A general factor of personality: Evidence for the Big One in the Five-Factor Model. Journal of Research in Personality, 41, 1213-1233.
  • van der Linden, D., te Nijenhuis, J., & Bakker, A. B. (2010). The general factor of personality: A meta-analysis of Big Five intercorrelations and a criterion-related validity study. Journal of Research in Personality, 44(3), 315-327. PDF
  • Sackett, P. R., & Lievens, F. (2008). Personnel selection. Annual Review of Psychology, 59, 1-32.

For anyone still interested in this question, I would refer you to the following article:

Gnambs, T. (2013). The elusive general factor of personality: The acquaintance effect. European Journal of Personality, 27(5), 507-520.

Given the potential social desirability bias involved, it is important to examine whether the GFP is present when both self-ratings and observer-ratings of the Big Five are acquired.

The author finds that the GFP (indexed by the correlation between the two higher order factors) gradually diminishes as the length of acquaintance between the informant and the person being rated increases. In other words, we find the GFP when we obtain informant ratings from people who have been acquainted with the person rated for a short time but not from those who have known them for a long time.


The Five-Factor Theory of Personality

Costa and McCrae acknowledged the important role that Eysenck played when he identified extraversion and neuroticism as second-order personality factors, and for developing the Maudsley Personality Inventory, the Eysenck Personality Inventory, and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (the latter test, developed with his wife Sybil, was the first to include psychoticism see S. Eysenck, 1997) as tools for measuring these factors. However, they disagreed with Eysenck regarding psychoticism. They initially proposed a different factor called openness. When they discussed this issue with Eysenck, he felt that openness might be the opposite pole of psychoticism, but McCrae and Costa believed the factors were significantly different (see Costa & McCrae, 1986). Since that time, Costa and McCrae have moved beyond the third factor of openness, and added two more second-order factors: agreeableness and conscientiousness (see Costa & McCrae, 1989 Costa & Widiger, 1994 McCrae & Allik, 2002 McCrae & Costa, 2003). Together, Costa and McCrae developed the NEO Personality Inventory (or NEO-PI) to measure neuroticism, extraversion, and openness, and later they developed the Revised NEO-PI, or NEO-PI-R, which also measures agreeableness and conscientiousness (see McCrae & Costa, 2003).

Neuroticism

Extraversion

Openness to Experience

Agreeableness

Conscientiousness

The general descriptions of extraversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, and conscientious are listed in Table 13.2. It is important to note that these five factors are distinct, and neither low nor high scores are necessarily better or &lsquogood&rsquo or &lsquobad:&rsquo

&hellipall traits have passed the evolutionary test of survival, and from society&rsquos point of view all kinds of people are necessary: those who work well with others and those who can finish a task on their own those who come up with creative new ways of doing things and those who maintain the best solutions of the past. There are probably even advantages to found [sic] in Neuroticism, since a society of extremely easygoing individuals might not compete well with other societies of suspicious and hostile individuals. Cultures need members fit for war as well as peace, work as well as play&hellip (pp. 51-52 McCrae & Costa, 2003)

As a basis for studying personality, the Five-Factor Model has proven quite comprehensive. The five factors stand up well when measured with a variety of other tests and within other theoretical perspectives, including a thorough comparison with the list of human needs proposed by Henry Murray. Particularly important in psychology today, the Five-Factor Model has also stood up very well when examined across cultures, a topic we will examine in more detail in Connections Across Cultures.

Connections Across Cultures: The Big Five Across Cultures

In order to evaluate the cross-cultural application of the Five-Factor Model, Robert McCrae has suggested that we need to address the issue in three ways. Transcultural analyses look for personality factors that transcend culture. In other words, personality factors that are universal, or common to all people. Intracultural analyses look at the specific expression of traits within a culture. And finally, intercultural analyses compare trait characteristics between cultures (see Allik & McCrae, 2002). In 2002, McCrae and Allik published The Five-Factor Model of Personality Across Cultures, a collection of research in which a variety of investigators examined the applicability of the Five-Factor Model (FFM) in a wide variety of cultures. The various studies contained in this book examine personality structure, as well as the validity and generalizability of using the NEO-PI-R to measure personality, in some forty cultures spread across five continents. McCrae and Allik acknowledge that there is much more to personality than just traits, but the traits identified in the FFM appear to offer a robust cross-cultural foundation for understanding personality worldwide.

The potential validity of translating the NEO-PI-R and studying the FFM in different cultures is based on the idea that the most important factors in human interaction would be encoded in the languages of most, if not all, cultures (see Pervin, 1999). Given concerns regarding this lexical hypothesis and the challenges of translation, Peabody (1999) used trait descriptions with contrasting terms to help clarify matters in a study on the judgment of national character. He had judges from 12 different European countries, plus America, the Philippines, Japan, and China rate one another. Upon examining the data from a FFM perspective, Peabody found strong support for the utility of this model in cross-cultural studies. Other investigators have had significant success using the NEO-PI-R in direct translation. Rolland (2002) collected data from studies in which the NEO-PI-R was administered to people in cultures speaking 16 different languages (including Sino-Tibetan, Indo-European, Uralic, Hamito-Semitic, and Austronesian languages, and one unclassified language [Korean]). Overall, he confirmed the generalizability of the personality structure identified by the FFM in these varied cultures. Similar favorable results pertaining to personality structure have been identified with both adults and adolescents in Czeck, Polish, and Slovak groups (Hrebickova, et al., 2002) and amongst the Shona in Zimbabwe (Piedmont, et al., 2002), as well as for the relationship between personality and emotion amongst Canadian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean subjects (Yik, et al., 2002) and the relationship between personality and cultural goals in Americans and Vietnamese (Leininger, 2002). These studies, as well as numerous others that are not mentioned, provide substantial support for the consistency of the FFM across a wide variety of cultures, at least as far as personality structure is concerned. However, it remains unclear whether the scores obtained from two different cultural groups are equivalent (see Poortinga, Van de Vijver, & Van Hemert, 2002). In other words, if Culture A scored higher than Culture B on, say, agreeableness, it may be that the translation used for Culture A is more responsible for the result than an actual difference between Cultures A and B. Further research will be necessary in order to address issues such as this.

Despite the numerous studies that support the cross-cultural application of the FFM, there are psychologists, generally favorable to the FFM, who nonetheless emphasize caution. The fundamental question is whether or not trait descriptions are how people in other cultures describe another person. While it is true that using abstract trait names is common practice in American culture, in other cultures, such as India and China, it is more common to describe people in terms of context dependent actions. To fit such data into a FFM requires some manipulation, which leaves the validity of the work open to some debate (see Pervin, 1999). However, when comparing Chinese and American students, the FFM does provide an adequate measure of each group&rsquos stereotypes regarding one another (Zhang, et al., 1999). What is clear is the need for continued research on cross-cultural perspectives, as well as a need for cross-cultural training programs. In that regard, Brislin (1999) has offered ways in which the FFM can be used as one basis for developing such programs, in part by telling us something about each person in a cross-cultural training program and, therefore, which type of program might work best for them (see also McCauley, Draguns, & Lee, 1999). Whether one favors the FFM or some other model of personality structure, the importance of cross-cultural studies is clear:

Human nature cannot be independent of culture. Neither can human personality. Human beings do share certain social norms or rules within their cultural groups. More than 2000 years ago, Aristotle held that man is by nature a social animal. Similarly, Xun Kuang (298-238 B.C.), a Chinese philosopher, pointed out that humans in social groups cannot function without shared guidance or rules. Therefore, each culture or cultural group establishes its own norms. Constantly, these norms and rules are connected with the behavior and personality of members within a culture and society. (pg. vii Lee, McCauley, & Draguns, 1999)

In proposing a Five-Factor Theory of personality, McCrae and Costa addressed the nature of personality theories themselves:

A theory of personality is a way of accounting for what people are like and how they act a good theory explains a wide range of observations and points researchers in the right direction for future research. Freudian theory pointed researchers toward the study of dreams, but decades of research have yielded very little by way of supportive evidence&hellipTrait theory pointed researchers toward general styles of thinking, feeling, and acting, and has resulted in thousands of interesting and useful findings. That is why most personality psychologists today prefer trait theory to psychoanalysis&hellipBut&hellipthere is more to human personality than traits. (pp 184-185 McCrae & Costa, 2003)

They propose that there are three central components to personality: basic tendencies (which are the five personality factors), characteristic adaptations, and self-concept (a highly adapted and extensively studied form of characteristic adaptation). The basic tendencies interact with three peripheral components that mark the interface with systems outside personality. There are the biological inputs to the basic tendencies, the external environment, and objective biography (all that a person does and experiences). Connecting all of these components are dynamic processes, such as perception, coping, role playing, reasoning, etc. Although this theory is newer, it does account for one of the most important issues challenging trait theories in general: how does one account for the general consistency of traits, yet the potential for, and occasional observation of, change in personality? Simply, the basic tendencies are consistent, whereas the characteristic adaptations are subject to change, both as a result of dramatic environmental influences and due to changes associated with aging (McCrae & Costa, 2003).


The Sensation Seeking Trait

Sensation seeking is a trait defined by the need for varied, novel, and complex sensations and experiences and the willingness to take physical and social risks for the sake of such experience&hellipThe high-sensation seeker is sensitive to his or her internal sensations and chooses external stimuli that maximize them. (pg. 10 Zuckerman, 1979)

All people seem to seek an optimal level of stimulation and/or arousal. For some, that level of arousal is quite high, for others, it is rather low. The concept was not new when Zuckerman began to study sensory deprivation and sensation seeking. Indeed, the examination of optimal levels of arousal dates back to the very beginning of psychology: the experimentalist Wilhelm Wundt was studying it as early as 1893 (see Zuckerman, 1979), as were Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer in 1895 (Freud and Breuer, 1895/2004). Following the &ldquobrainwashing&rdquo techniques used by the Chinese during the Korean War, the Canadian government pursued research on sensory deprivation, work led by D. O. Hebb. Following this early research, Zuckerman began his own investigations. Generally, sensory deprivation leads to increased anxiety, somatic discomfort, and thinking and concentration difficulties. In addition, many of the subjects experienced both auditory and visual hallucinations. None of the effects of sensory deprivation seemed to correlate with any personality variables (Zuckerman et al., 1962). It was because of these profound effects of sensory deprivation that Zuckerman began to pursue the underlying variable that leads individuals to their optimal level of arousal.

The Sensation Seeking Scale has been revised a number of times. The fifth version was developed in collaboration with Hans and Sybil Eysenck, and included comparisons of males to females and American students to English students (see Zuckerman, 1979, 1994). Using factor analysis, Zuckerman and his colleagues have identified four subscales within the sensation seeking trait:

Thrill and Adventure Seeking: Many people enjoy engaging in risky sports and other potentially dangerous experiences that produce unique sensations related to speed or defying gravity, such as rock climbing, BASE jumping, or drag racing. This factor is exemplified by the sports included in the X Games.

Experience Seeking: This factor encompasses novel sensations and experiences, such as arousing music, art, and travel. It also incorporates social nonconformity, particularly associated with belonging to groups on the fringes of conventional society.

Disinhibition: This factor covers sensation seeking that focuses on social activities, such as parties, drinking, illegal drugs, and sex.

Boredom Susceptibility: Individuals who score high on this factor cannot tolerate any kind of repetitive experience, including routine work and boring people.

Figure (PageIndex<1>)

Sensation seeking comes in many forms. Here, the author is hanging from two ice screws about 800 or 900 feet up the alpine route Pinnacle Gulley on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. The temperature was an invigorating -15 o F.

Sensation seeking should not be confused with being reckless. For example, individuals who are high sensation seekers are more likely to have varied sexual experiences, but they are not more likely to avoid using condoms. They may be more inclined to drive fast, but they are not less likely to use their seatbelts. And rock and ice climbers take full advantage of safety gear, they study self-rescue techniques, and they check their gear carefully before each trip. However, adolescence may be a particularly risky time, since there is a temporal gap between the onset of puberty, during which adolescents are highly thrill seeking, and the slow maturation of the cognitive-control systems that govern such behavior in adulthood (Steinberg, 2007). It is also important to note that it is neither good nor bad to score high or low on this scale:

In this sociobiological sense, the high sensation seeker is a hunter and the low sensation seeker is a farmer. Hunters are positively excited by change, danger, and the variety and unpredictability of the hunt. They need a strong capacity to focus attention on the prey while remaining alert to other factors like the direction of the wind and the movements of other hunters. Farmers, in contrast, depend on stability of the environment (rainfall, sun, and other seasonal regularities of climate). Plants grow slowly and require patience and tedious kinds of labor to insure their survival. (pp. 384-385 Zuckerman, 1994)

During the course of his research, Zuckerman found a close relationship between sensation seeking and impulsivity. If he limited his factor analysis to five factors, as Costa and McCrae had, impulsivity and sensation seeking always combined to form a factor that he called impulsive sensation seeking. This proved to be rather curious, since impulsivity was a substrate of neuroticism, whereas &ldquoexcitement seeking&rdquo was a substrate of extraversion. Another problem that Zuckerman expressed with regard to the Five-Factor Model was his belief that words like &ldquoconscientiousness&rdquo have no meaning in species other than humans. Since Zuckerman favors a biological/genetic basis for personality, there should be evolutionary correlates of any personality structure in other animals, particularly the closely related apes. Thus, Zuckerman examined his data, conducted a factor analysis, and offered an alternative to the Five-Factor Model. His five factors are sociability, neuroticism-anxiety, impulsive sensation seeking, aggression-hostility, and activity (Zuckerman, 2006). While Zuckerman did not intend for his five factors to match those of Costa and McCrae exactly, it is easy to see a relationship between sociability and agreeableness, activity and extraversion, sensation seeking and openness, and neuroticism and neuroticism. Aggression-hostility, however, seems to relate more to Eysenck&rsquos factor psychoticism. Thus, there remains a need for continued research into this field, particularly as it pertains to the evolutionary basis for personality factors, but Eysenck, Costa, McCrae, and Zuckerman have provided an excellent and coherent basis for further research.

Figure (PageIndex<2>) Figure (PageIndex<3>)

The author is highly susceptible to boredom, so he likes to travel to interesting places. Here we see the author in Mt. Washington&rsquos alpine garden (NH) in winter (top left) and above the clouds on Mt. Rainier, Washington (bottom right), and the author&rsquos son walking in the Great Salt Lake in Utah&rsquos desert (top right).

Discussion question (PageIndex<1>)

Which areas of Zuckerman&rsquos sensation seeking trait do you find most interesting, and which subscales do you think you would score high on (they may not be the same)? If there are any subscales on which you think you would score either low or high, what impression do you have of people who have an opposite score on those same scales?


The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology

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Book description

Personality psychology is a rapidly maturing science making important advances on both conceptual and methodological fronts. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology offers a one-stop source for the most up-to-date scientific personality psychology. It provides a summary of cutting-edge personality research in all its forms, from DNA to political influences on its development, expression, pathology and applications. The chapters are informative, lively, stimulating and, sometimes, controversial and the team of international authors, led by two esteemed editors, ensures a truly wide range of theoretical perspectives. Each research area is discussed in terms of scientific foundations, main theories and findings, and future directions for research. With useful descriptions of technological approaches (for example, molecular genetics and functional neuroimaging) the Handbook is an invaluable aid to understanding the central role played by personality in psychology and will appeal to students of occupational, health, clinical, cognitive and forensic psychology.

Reviews

‘Personality is the core discipline of psychology and to be a personality psychologist requires a broad understanding of the subject’s diverse fields. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology expertly demonstrates this breadth, bringing together some of the leading young as well as established researchers in personality. Corr and Matthews, two well-known personality researchers, show how personality is an international discipline with a diversity of approaches but one common goal: excellent science.’

William Revelle - Northwestern University

‘Thoroughly up-to-date and all-encompassing, with impeccable authorship - this volume is a must for the shelves of all personality researchers and teachers.’


Top 3 Factors Influencing Personality Development

This article throws light upon the top three factors influencing personality development. The factors are: 1. Biological Factors 2. Cultural Determinants of Personality 3. Family Influences on Personality Development.

Factor # 1. Biological Factors:

By and large, the influences of biological factors on personality structure are limited and indirect.

The biological factors include genetic, hereditary factors, physical appearance and physique and rate of maturation.

Most of these factors have been elaborately discussed in the chapter on development in this book. For personality development, the characteristics such as—aggressiveness, nervousness, timidity and sociability are strongly influenced by genetic endowment.

The constitutional make-up—which is also largely determined by heredity—influences a person’s personality characteristics and influences his personality development in an indirect way. The children reliably classified as active, moderately active or quiet are actually the differences attributable to hereditary endowments, although training and learning may produce noticable modifications. Here, the environment and culture provide a decisive role.

The influence cast by the physical appearance and physique have been thoroughly discussed on the section of physical development and needs no repetition. Only thing to be pointed out is that any deficiency in physical appearance or physique can be compensated by other achievements made in the individual’s life.

The rate of maturing is another important factor in causing striking variations at various ages at which the child reaches due to chronological development. The differences in behaviour is noticeable in the relatively mature or immature adolescents of the same age.

This difference may be due to the adolescent’s exposure to different social-psychological environments. A late maturing boy looks younger than his age and is likely to be regarded and treated as immature by others, while the early maturing boy is likely to be credited with being more grown-up socially and emotionally.

But a caution has to be considered in over-emphasizing the influence of physical characters on personality development. Because, although the rate of maturing and associated factors may affect personality development, the relationship between physical make-up and psychological characteristics is not very rigid and categorical. The relationship can be influenced by a vast number of complex, interacting factors determining the individual’s personality structure.

Factor # 2. Cultural Determinants of Personality:

From the point of view of personality development the most significant aspect of the individual’s world is his social environment. All human beings live in a society, an interacting group of people and each society has a distinctive culture, a body of stored knowledge, characteristic way of thinking, feel­ing attitudes, goals, ideals and value system.

Culture regulates our lives and influences the development of personality at every turn, primarily by prescribing and limiting what he will be required to acquire for the development of his personality. Such culture expects and trains its members to behave in the ways that are acceptable to the group. Each culture has its own concepts, needs and specific techniques of child rearing as well as a set of expectations regarding patterns of approved behaviour.

There are cultural variations in the methods of achieving such goals as to perpetuating the group and maintaining solidarity, or for satisfying basic needs of its members. There are cultural prescriptions for different types of child-rearing according to the necessity of the various groups. Again, there are social class differences—children from different socio-economic backgrounds differ in personality structure, behaviour and attitudes.

They differ with respect to achievement motivation —the basic need leading to success in life. Middle-class parents, in general, stress achievement strongly, but lower- class parents do not. Sociological analysis suggests that the lower-class child develops little capacity to “delay gratification”, because, for him, the future is uncertain. Therefore, the variation in social class leads to the setting of variety of aim, modes and methods in developing social behaviour and, thereby, cause individuals to vary in the development of personality.

Factor # 3. Family Influences on Personality Development:

The ultimate aim of personality development is the development of social behaviour in children. Socialization is the process by which the individual infant acquires the beha­vioural potentialities and, eventually, those behaviour patterns that are customary and acceptable according to the standards of his family and the social group. He starts acquiring those patterns of social behaviour from the immediate environment and gradually from the wide range of extended environments.

The child’s first social learning occurs at home, and his earliest experiences with his family, particularly his mother, are critical in determining his attitude toward—and his expectations of—other individuals. The mother remains most important to him because she gratifies his primary needs for food, for alleviation of his pain and source of pleasure, for warmth. The infant soon learns to search for and approach his mother whenever he is hungry, in pain and uncomfortable.

If the mother is nurturant and gratifies his needs promptly and effectively, she rewards the child’s “approach” responses and these are likely to be repeated. Positive approach responses then, gradually, generalize to other people as well and the child develops positive social attitude. As we have seen in Erikson’s theory that the earliest interactions between mother and child lay the ground-work for child’s development of trust and mistrust in the world. This leads to the trust and mistrust to be generalized to trust others when the child grows up.

Almost all the theorists of personality development main­tain that early mother-child relationships influence not only a child’s immediate behaviour but also his subsequent and long- term adjustment.

The child-rearing practices also are taken into account as influencing the personality development. The parental attitude (in child-rearing process) toward the child’s growing indepen­dence and their reactions to exploration and the curiosity strongly influences the development of important motives, like, curiosity, and the drives for autonomy, independence, mastery, competence, and achievement, as well as intelligence. This is evident from the different cross-cultural studies of child-rearing practices and their influences on child behaviour.

Permissive and easygoing parents will allow their child to explore and investigate freely, encouraging and rewarding his curiosity and independent behaviour. As a result, their children will manipulate their environment actively, thereby developing self-confidence, spontaneity and the desire for mastery over their surroundings.

Parents who severely restrict their children in exploring and manipulating their environment and inhibit the development of motivation for autonomy will ultimately lead to the child’s dependent behaviour. The same result yields when the mothers become over-protective. The over-protected children tend to become submissive, compliant and, sometimes, passive.

The impact of various types of home atmosphere on the personality characteristics have been studied cross-culturally and the research results show the children from democratic homes—which are characterized by general permissiveness— frequent conversing with children, emphasis on the child’s decision-making, problem-solving and helping them to rationalize behaviour—lead to strengthening their (children’s) ego-strength and strong self-concept in future.

By contrast, children brought up in the authoritative (controlled, restricted) homes, homes with clear-cut rules, prohibitions and restrictions—tend to be quiet, well-behaved, shy, socially unassertive children. Those from the highly “indulgent” homes, show almost same behaviour, when they grow up, as shown by the restricted and overprotected children.

Thus, it can be surmised that the traits developed throughout the course of personality development depend, on the whole and in general, on the interaction of the biological, cultural and social factors and the congenial environment provided by the family and society.

The predictions given above (received from different research studies) are only generalizations and not absolutely conclusive. Most of the traits acquired by the child in future depend on many other factors he encounters in his own life, his own perception and reactions to them. A young child’s behaviour may be swayed by the reactions his peer groups show to him. Personality change do occur frequently during childhood because, at this stage, personality characteristics are not fixed or immutable.

As his world expands, the child faces and encounters many new situations and faces many a new social interactions that may produce radical alterations in personality structure and behaviour. Even simple social learning and formal training of attitudes and values in proper learning situations like school and other institutions play important role in influencing the personality change and development.


The General Factor of Psychopathology

An important advance in understanding and defining mental disorders has been the development of empirical approaches to mapping dimensions of dysfunction and their interrelatedness. Such empirical approaches have consistently observed intercorrelations among the many forms of psychopathology, leading to the identification of a general factor of psychopathology (the p factor). In this article, we review empirical support for p, including evidence for the stability and criterion validity of p. Further, we discuss the strong relationship between p and both the general factor of personality and the general factor of personality disorder, substantive interpretations of p, and the potential clinical utility of p. We posit that proposed substantive interpretations of p do not explain the full range of symptomatology typically included in p. The most plausible explanation is that p represents an index of impairment that has the potential to inform the duration and intensity of a client's mental health treatment.


Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire | Fifth Edition

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Defining and Measuring Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is traditionally defined as a pleasurable or positive emotional state that results from one’s appraisal of one’s job or job aspects. This definition includes both one’s affective reactions to one’s job (feelings) and one’s cognitive evaluation of the job (thoughts). There is controversy about whether job satisfaction should be considered as the interplay of both one’s thoughts and feelings, as implied in this definition, or whether the cognitive and affective aspects should be separated into distinct dimensions. Those advocating the latter approach cite studies showing that cognitively oriented measures of job satisfaction predict different behaviors to affect-based measures of job satisfaction.

Although the definition of job satisfaction is in some dispute, both sides agree on the need to align the measurement of job satisfaction with the definition. Defining job satisfaction as, say, an affective response but assessing it as an evaluation leads to confusion. A further issue to consider when measuring job satisfaction is its focus. One can assess how satisfied one is with one’s job as a whole, or one’s global feeling about the job. A typical question would be: “Overall, how much enjoyment do you find in your work?” An alternative to this global approach is to assess and sum up satisfaction with facets of the job, such as satisfaction with one’s pay, one’s colleagues, the nature of the work, and the supervision. Research shows that overall global satisfaction is something different from a combination of facet satisfactions. Moreover, satisfactions with different facets are often not highly related. For example, one can be very satisfied with colleagues but highly dissatisfied with promotion prospects. If one is trying to understand the overall effect of jobs, then global ratings are usually the best choice. However, a facet approach is more diagnostic if the assessor wants to know how to improve satisfaction in a particular situation.


“Culture” Specialization Disciplines

Within Western psychology itself, a number of specialty areas have emerged in response to the important role of culture as a determinant of human behavior, including: (1) cross-cultural psychology, (2) cultural psychology, (3) multicultural psychology, (4) minority psychology, (5) racial/class psychologies (e.g., Black Latino, Native American, Asian), (6) psychological anthropology and, most recently, (7) “indigenous psychology.”

Although each of these specialties has its own supporters, their shared or common concern has been the importance of understanding the “cultural” context of human behavior, and relevant theories, methods and applications. Contestations within and among these specialties has encouraged distinct knowledge bases, methods and practices resulting in a vast array of handbooks, encyclopedias, journals and other forms of communication.


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Top 3 Factors Influencing Personality Development

This article throws light upon the top three factors influencing personality development. The factors are: 1. Biological Factors 2. Cultural Determinants of Personality 3. Family Influences on Personality Development.

Factor # 1. Biological Factors:

By and large, the influences of biological factors on personality structure are limited and indirect.

The biological factors include genetic, hereditary factors, physical appearance and physique and rate of maturation.

Most of these factors have been elaborately discussed in the chapter on development in this book. For personality development, the characteristics such as—aggressiveness, nervousness, timidity and sociability are strongly influenced by genetic endowment.

The constitutional make-up—which is also largely determined by heredity—influences a person’s personality characteristics and influences his personality development in an indirect way. The children reliably classified as active, moderately active or quiet are actually the differences attributable to hereditary endowments, although training and learning may produce noticable modifications. Here, the environment and culture provide a decisive role.

The influence cast by the physical appearance and physique have been thoroughly discussed on the section of physical development and needs no repetition. Only thing to be pointed out is that any deficiency in physical appearance or physique can be compensated by other achievements made in the individual’s life.

The rate of maturing is another important factor in causing striking variations at various ages at which the child reaches due to chronological development. The differences in behaviour is noticeable in the relatively mature or immature adolescents of the same age.

This difference may be due to the adolescent’s exposure to different social-psychological environments. A late maturing boy looks younger than his age and is likely to be regarded and treated as immature by others, while the early maturing boy is likely to be credited with being more grown-up socially and emotionally.

But a caution has to be considered in over-emphasizing the influence of physical characters on personality development. Because, although the rate of maturing and associated factors may affect personality development, the relationship between physical make-up and psychological characteristics is not very rigid and categorical. The relationship can be influenced by a vast number of complex, interacting factors determining the individual’s personality structure.

Factor # 2. Cultural Determinants of Personality:

From the point of view of personality development the most significant aspect of the individual’s world is his social environment. All human beings live in a society, an interacting group of people and each society has a distinctive culture, a body of stored knowledge, characteristic way of thinking, feel­ing attitudes, goals, ideals and value system.

Culture regulates our lives and influences the development of personality at every turn, primarily by prescribing and limiting what he will be required to acquire for the development of his personality. Such culture expects and trains its members to behave in the ways that are acceptable to the group. Each culture has its own concepts, needs and specific techniques of child rearing as well as a set of expectations regarding patterns of approved behaviour.

There are cultural variations in the methods of achieving such goals as to perpetuating the group and maintaining solidarity, or for satisfying basic needs of its members. There are cultural prescriptions for different types of child-rearing according to the necessity of the various groups. Again, there are social class differences—children from different socio-economic backgrounds differ in personality structure, behaviour and attitudes.

They differ with respect to achievement motivation —the basic need leading to success in life. Middle-class parents, in general, stress achievement strongly, but lower- class parents do not. Sociological analysis suggests that the lower-class child develops little capacity to “delay gratification”, because, for him, the future is uncertain. Therefore, the variation in social class leads to the setting of variety of aim, modes and methods in developing social behaviour and, thereby, cause individuals to vary in the development of personality.

Factor # 3. Family Influences on Personality Development:

The ultimate aim of personality development is the development of social behaviour in children. Socialization is the process by which the individual infant acquires the beha­vioural potentialities and, eventually, those behaviour patterns that are customary and acceptable according to the standards of his family and the social group. He starts acquiring those patterns of social behaviour from the immediate environment and gradually from the wide range of extended environments.

The child’s first social learning occurs at home, and his earliest experiences with his family, particularly his mother, are critical in determining his attitude toward—and his expectations of—other individuals. The mother remains most important to him because she gratifies his primary needs for food, for alleviation of his pain and source of pleasure, for warmth. The infant soon learns to search for and approach his mother whenever he is hungry, in pain and uncomfortable.

If the mother is nurturant and gratifies his needs promptly and effectively, she rewards the child’s “approach” responses and these are likely to be repeated. Positive approach responses then, gradually, generalize to other people as well and the child develops positive social attitude. As we have seen in Erikson’s theory that the earliest interactions between mother and child lay the ground-work for child’s development of trust and mistrust in the world. This leads to the trust and mistrust to be generalized to trust others when the child grows up.

Almost all the theorists of personality development main­tain that early mother-child relationships influence not only a child’s immediate behaviour but also his subsequent and long- term adjustment.

The child-rearing practices also are taken into account as influencing the personality development. The parental attitude (in child-rearing process) toward the child’s growing indepen­dence and their reactions to exploration and the curiosity strongly influences the development of important motives, like, curiosity, and the drives for autonomy, independence, mastery, competence, and achievement, as well as intelligence. This is evident from the different cross-cultural studies of child-rearing practices and their influences on child behaviour.

Permissive and easygoing parents will allow their child to explore and investigate freely, encouraging and rewarding his curiosity and independent behaviour. As a result, their children will manipulate their environment actively, thereby developing self-confidence, spontaneity and the desire for mastery over their surroundings.

Parents who severely restrict their children in exploring and manipulating their environment and inhibit the development of motivation for autonomy will ultimately lead to the child’s dependent behaviour. The same result yields when the mothers become over-protective. The over-protected children tend to become submissive, compliant and, sometimes, passive.

The impact of various types of home atmosphere on the personality characteristics have been studied cross-culturally and the research results show the children from democratic homes—which are characterized by general permissiveness— frequent conversing with children, emphasis on the child’s decision-making, problem-solving and helping them to rationalize behaviour—lead to strengthening their (children’s) ego-strength and strong self-concept in future.

By contrast, children brought up in the authoritative (controlled, restricted) homes, homes with clear-cut rules, prohibitions and restrictions—tend to be quiet, well-behaved, shy, socially unassertive children. Those from the highly “indulgent” homes, show almost same behaviour, when they grow up, as shown by the restricted and overprotected children.

Thus, it can be surmised that the traits developed throughout the course of personality development depend, on the whole and in general, on the interaction of the biological, cultural and social factors and the congenial environment provided by the family and society.

The predictions given above (received from different research studies) are only generalizations and not absolutely conclusive. Most of the traits acquired by the child in future depend on many other factors he encounters in his own life, his own perception and reactions to them. A young child’s behaviour may be swayed by the reactions his peer groups show to him. Personality change do occur frequently during childhood because, at this stage, personality characteristics are not fixed or immutable.

As his world expands, the child faces and encounters many new situations and faces many a new social interactions that may produce radical alterations in personality structure and behaviour. Even simple social learning and formal training of attitudes and values in proper learning situations like school and other institutions play important role in influencing the personality change and development.


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“Culture” Specialization Disciplines

Within Western psychology itself, a number of specialty areas have emerged in response to the important role of culture as a determinant of human behavior, including: (1) cross-cultural psychology, (2) cultural psychology, (3) multicultural psychology, (4) minority psychology, (5) racial/class psychologies (e.g., Black Latino, Native American, Asian), (6) psychological anthropology and, most recently, (7) “indigenous psychology.”

Although each of these specialties has its own supporters, their shared or common concern has been the importance of understanding the “cultural” context of human behavior, and relevant theories, methods and applications. Contestations within and among these specialties has encouraged distinct knowledge bases, methods and practices resulting in a vast array of handbooks, encyclopedias, journals and other forms of communication.


Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire | Fifth Edition

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Defining and Measuring Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is traditionally defined as a pleasurable or positive emotional state that results from one’s appraisal of one’s job or job aspects. This definition includes both one’s affective reactions to one’s job (feelings) and one’s cognitive evaluation of the job (thoughts). There is controversy about whether job satisfaction should be considered as the interplay of both one’s thoughts and feelings, as implied in this definition, or whether the cognitive and affective aspects should be separated into distinct dimensions. Those advocating the latter approach cite studies showing that cognitively oriented measures of job satisfaction predict different behaviors to affect-based measures of job satisfaction.

Although the definition of job satisfaction is in some dispute, both sides agree on the need to align the measurement of job satisfaction with the definition. Defining job satisfaction as, say, an affective response but assessing it as an evaluation leads to confusion. A further issue to consider when measuring job satisfaction is its focus. One can assess how satisfied one is with one’s job as a whole, or one’s global feeling about the job. A typical question would be: “Overall, how much enjoyment do you find in your work?” An alternative to this global approach is to assess and sum up satisfaction with facets of the job, such as satisfaction with one’s pay, one’s colleagues, the nature of the work, and the supervision. Research shows that overall global satisfaction is something different from a combination of facet satisfactions. Moreover, satisfactions with different facets are often not highly related. For example, one can be very satisfied with colleagues but highly dissatisfied with promotion prospects. If one is trying to understand the overall effect of jobs, then global ratings are usually the best choice. However, a facet approach is more diagnostic if the assessor wants to know how to improve satisfaction in a particular situation.


The General Factor of Psychopathology

An important advance in understanding and defining mental disorders has been the development of empirical approaches to mapping dimensions of dysfunction and their interrelatedness. Such empirical approaches have consistently observed intercorrelations among the many forms of psychopathology, leading to the identification of a general factor of psychopathology (the p factor). In this article, we review empirical support for p, including evidence for the stability and criterion validity of p. Further, we discuss the strong relationship between p and both the general factor of personality and the general factor of personality disorder, substantive interpretations of p, and the potential clinical utility of p. We posit that proposed substantive interpretations of p do not explain the full range of symptomatology typically included in p. The most plausible explanation is that p represents an index of impairment that has the potential to inform the duration and intensity of a client's mental health treatment.


The Five-Factor Theory of Personality

Costa and McCrae acknowledged the important role that Eysenck played when he identified extraversion and neuroticism as second-order personality factors, and for developing the Maudsley Personality Inventory, the Eysenck Personality Inventory, and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (the latter test, developed with his wife Sybil, was the first to include psychoticism see S. Eysenck, 1997) as tools for measuring these factors. However, they disagreed with Eysenck regarding psychoticism. They initially proposed a different factor called openness. When they discussed this issue with Eysenck, he felt that openness might be the opposite pole of psychoticism, but McCrae and Costa believed the factors were significantly different (see Costa & McCrae, 1986). Since that time, Costa and McCrae have moved beyond the third factor of openness, and added two more second-order factors: agreeableness and conscientiousness (see Costa & McCrae, 1989 Costa & Widiger, 1994 McCrae & Allik, 2002 McCrae & Costa, 2003). Together, Costa and McCrae developed the NEO Personality Inventory (or NEO-PI) to measure neuroticism, extraversion, and openness, and later they developed the Revised NEO-PI, or NEO-PI-R, which also measures agreeableness and conscientiousness (see McCrae & Costa, 2003).

Neuroticism

Extraversion

Openness to Experience

Agreeableness

Conscientiousness

The general descriptions of extraversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, and conscientious are listed in Table 13.2. It is important to note that these five factors are distinct, and neither low nor high scores are necessarily better or &lsquogood&rsquo or &lsquobad:&rsquo

&hellipall traits have passed the evolutionary test of survival, and from society&rsquos point of view all kinds of people are necessary: those who work well with others and those who can finish a task on their own those who come up with creative new ways of doing things and those who maintain the best solutions of the past. There are probably even advantages to found [sic] in Neuroticism, since a society of extremely easygoing individuals might not compete well with other societies of suspicious and hostile individuals. Cultures need members fit for war as well as peace, work as well as play&hellip (pp. 51-52 McCrae & Costa, 2003)

As a basis for studying personality, the Five-Factor Model has proven quite comprehensive. The five factors stand up well when measured with a variety of other tests and within other theoretical perspectives, including a thorough comparison with the list of human needs proposed by Henry Murray. Particularly important in psychology today, the Five-Factor Model has also stood up very well when examined across cultures, a topic we will examine in more detail in Connections Across Cultures.

Connections Across Cultures: The Big Five Across Cultures

In order to evaluate the cross-cultural application of the Five-Factor Model, Robert McCrae has suggested that we need to address the issue in three ways. Transcultural analyses look for personality factors that transcend culture. In other words, personality factors that are universal, or common to all people. Intracultural analyses look at the specific expression of traits within a culture. And finally, intercultural analyses compare trait characteristics between cultures (see Allik & McCrae, 2002). In 2002, McCrae and Allik published The Five-Factor Model of Personality Across Cultures, a collection of research in which a variety of investigators examined the applicability of the Five-Factor Model (FFM) in a wide variety of cultures. The various studies contained in this book examine personality structure, as well as the validity and generalizability of using the NEO-PI-R to measure personality, in some forty cultures spread across five continents. McCrae and Allik acknowledge that there is much more to personality than just traits, but the traits identified in the FFM appear to offer a robust cross-cultural foundation for understanding personality worldwide.

The potential validity of translating the NEO-PI-R and studying the FFM in different cultures is based on the idea that the most important factors in human interaction would be encoded in the languages of most, if not all, cultures (see Pervin, 1999). Given concerns regarding this lexical hypothesis and the challenges of translation, Peabody (1999) used trait descriptions with contrasting terms to help clarify matters in a study on the judgment of national character. He had judges from 12 different European countries, plus America, the Philippines, Japan, and China rate one another. Upon examining the data from a FFM perspective, Peabody found strong support for the utility of this model in cross-cultural studies. Other investigators have had significant success using the NEO-PI-R in direct translation. Rolland (2002) collected data from studies in which the NEO-PI-R was administered to people in cultures speaking 16 different languages (including Sino-Tibetan, Indo-European, Uralic, Hamito-Semitic, and Austronesian languages, and one unclassified language [Korean]). Overall, he confirmed the generalizability of the personality structure identified by the FFM in these varied cultures. Similar favorable results pertaining to personality structure have been identified with both adults and adolescents in Czeck, Polish, and Slovak groups (Hrebickova, et al., 2002) and amongst the Shona in Zimbabwe (Piedmont, et al., 2002), as well as for the relationship between personality and emotion amongst Canadian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean subjects (Yik, et al., 2002) and the relationship between personality and cultural goals in Americans and Vietnamese (Leininger, 2002). These studies, as well as numerous others that are not mentioned, provide substantial support for the consistency of the FFM across a wide variety of cultures, at least as far as personality structure is concerned. However, it remains unclear whether the scores obtained from two different cultural groups are equivalent (see Poortinga, Van de Vijver, & Van Hemert, 2002). In other words, if Culture A scored higher than Culture B on, say, agreeableness, it may be that the translation used for Culture A is more responsible for the result than an actual difference between Cultures A and B. Further research will be necessary in order to address issues such as this.

Despite the numerous studies that support the cross-cultural application of the FFM, there are psychologists, generally favorable to the FFM, who nonetheless emphasize caution. The fundamental question is whether or not trait descriptions are how people in other cultures describe another person. While it is true that using abstract trait names is common practice in American culture, in other cultures, such as India and China, it is more common to describe people in terms of context dependent actions. To fit such data into a FFM requires some manipulation, which leaves the validity of the work open to some debate (see Pervin, 1999). However, when comparing Chinese and American students, the FFM does provide an adequate measure of each group&rsquos stereotypes regarding one another (Zhang, et al., 1999). What is clear is the need for continued research on cross-cultural perspectives, as well as a need for cross-cultural training programs. In that regard, Brislin (1999) has offered ways in which the FFM can be used as one basis for developing such programs, in part by telling us something about each person in a cross-cultural training program and, therefore, which type of program might work best for them (see also McCauley, Draguns, & Lee, 1999). Whether one favors the FFM or some other model of personality structure, the importance of cross-cultural studies is clear:

Human nature cannot be independent of culture. Neither can human personality. Human beings do share certain social norms or rules within their cultural groups. More than 2000 years ago, Aristotle held that man is by nature a social animal. Similarly, Xun Kuang (298-238 B.C.), a Chinese philosopher, pointed out that humans in social groups cannot function without shared guidance or rules. Therefore, each culture or cultural group establishes its own norms. Constantly, these norms and rules are connected with the behavior and personality of members within a culture and society. (pg. vii Lee, McCauley, & Draguns, 1999)

In proposing a Five-Factor Theory of personality, McCrae and Costa addressed the nature of personality theories themselves:

A theory of personality is a way of accounting for what people are like and how they act a good theory explains a wide range of observations and points researchers in the right direction for future research. Freudian theory pointed researchers toward the study of dreams, but decades of research have yielded very little by way of supportive evidence&hellipTrait theory pointed researchers toward general styles of thinking, feeling, and acting, and has resulted in thousands of interesting and useful findings. That is why most personality psychologists today prefer trait theory to psychoanalysis&hellipBut&hellipthere is more to human personality than traits. (pp 184-185 McCrae & Costa, 2003)

They propose that there are three central components to personality: basic tendencies (which are the five personality factors), characteristic adaptations, and self-concept (a highly adapted and extensively studied form of characteristic adaptation). The basic tendencies interact with three peripheral components that mark the interface with systems outside personality. There are the biological inputs to the basic tendencies, the external environment, and objective biography (all that a person does and experiences). Connecting all of these components are dynamic processes, such as perception, coping, role playing, reasoning, etc. Although this theory is newer, it does account for one of the most important issues challenging trait theories in general: how does one account for the general consistency of traits, yet the potential for, and occasional observation of, change in personality? Simply, the basic tendencies are consistent, whereas the characteristic adaptations are subject to change, both as a result of dramatic environmental influences and due to changes associated with aging (McCrae & Costa, 2003).


The Sensation Seeking Trait

Sensation seeking is a trait defined by the need for varied, novel, and complex sensations and experiences and the willingness to take physical and social risks for the sake of such experience&hellipThe high-sensation seeker is sensitive to his or her internal sensations and chooses external stimuli that maximize them. (pg. 10 Zuckerman, 1979)

All people seem to seek an optimal level of stimulation and/or arousal. For some, that level of arousal is quite high, for others, it is rather low. The concept was not new when Zuckerman began to study sensory deprivation and sensation seeking. Indeed, the examination of optimal levels of arousal dates back to the very beginning of psychology: the experimentalist Wilhelm Wundt was studying it as early as 1893 (see Zuckerman, 1979), as were Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer in 1895 (Freud and Breuer, 1895/2004). Following the &ldquobrainwashing&rdquo techniques used by the Chinese during the Korean War, the Canadian government pursued research on sensory deprivation, work led by D. O. Hebb. Following this early research, Zuckerman began his own investigations. Generally, sensory deprivation leads to increased anxiety, somatic discomfort, and thinking and concentration difficulties. In addition, many of the subjects experienced both auditory and visual hallucinations. None of the effects of sensory deprivation seemed to correlate with any personality variables (Zuckerman et al., 1962). It was because of these profound effects of sensory deprivation that Zuckerman began to pursue the underlying variable that leads individuals to their optimal level of arousal.

The Sensation Seeking Scale has been revised a number of times. The fifth version was developed in collaboration with Hans and Sybil Eysenck, and included comparisons of males to females and American students to English students (see Zuckerman, 1979, 1994). Using factor analysis, Zuckerman and his colleagues have identified four subscales within the sensation seeking trait:

Thrill and Adventure Seeking: Many people enjoy engaging in risky sports and other potentially dangerous experiences that produce unique sensations related to speed or defying gravity, such as rock climbing, BASE jumping, or drag racing. This factor is exemplified by the sports included in the X Games.

Experience Seeking: This factor encompasses novel sensations and experiences, such as arousing music, art, and travel. It also incorporates social nonconformity, particularly associated with belonging to groups on the fringes of conventional society.

Disinhibition: This factor covers sensation seeking that focuses on social activities, such as parties, drinking, illegal drugs, and sex.

Boredom Susceptibility: Individuals who score high on this factor cannot tolerate any kind of repetitive experience, including routine work and boring people.

Figure (PageIndex<1>)

Sensation seeking comes in many forms. Here, the author is hanging from two ice screws about 800 or 900 feet up the alpine route Pinnacle Gulley on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. The temperature was an invigorating -15 o F.

Sensation seeking should not be confused with being reckless. For example, individuals who are high sensation seekers are more likely to have varied sexual experiences, but they are not more likely to avoid using condoms. They may be more inclined to drive fast, but they are not less likely to use their seatbelts. And rock and ice climbers take full advantage of safety gear, they study self-rescue techniques, and they check their gear carefully before each trip. However, adolescence may be a particularly risky time, since there is a temporal gap between the onset of puberty, during which adolescents are highly thrill seeking, and the slow maturation of the cognitive-control systems that govern such behavior in adulthood (Steinberg, 2007). It is also important to note that it is neither good nor bad to score high or low on this scale:

In this sociobiological sense, the high sensation seeker is a hunter and the low sensation seeker is a farmer. Hunters are positively excited by change, danger, and the variety and unpredictability of the hunt. They need a strong capacity to focus attention on the prey while remaining alert to other factors like the direction of the wind and the movements of other hunters. Farmers, in contrast, depend on stability of the environment (rainfall, sun, and other seasonal regularities of climate). Plants grow slowly and require patience and tedious kinds of labor to insure their survival. (pp. 384-385 Zuckerman, 1994)

During the course of his research, Zuckerman found a close relationship between sensation seeking and impulsivity. If he limited his factor analysis to five factors, as Costa and McCrae had, impulsivity and sensation seeking always combined to form a factor that he called impulsive sensation seeking. This proved to be rather curious, since impulsivity was a substrate of neuroticism, whereas &ldquoexcitement seeking&rdquo was a substrate of extraversion. Another problem that Zuckerman expressed with regard to the Five-Factor Model was his belief that words like &ldquoconscientiousness&rdquo have no meaning in species other than humans. Since Zuckerman favors a biological/genetic basis for personality, there should be evolutionary correlates of any personality structure in other animals, particularly the closely related apes. Thus, Zuckerman examined his data, conducted a factor analysis, and offered an alternative to the Five-Factor Model. His five factors are sociability, neuroticism-anxiety, impulsive sensation seeking, aggression-hostility, and activity (Zuckerman, 2006). While Zuckerman did not intend for his five factors to match those of Costa and McCrae exactly, it is easy to see a relationship between sociability and agreeableness, activity and extraversion, sensation seeking and openness, and neuroticism and neuroticism. Aggression-hostility, however, seems to relate more to Eysenck&rsquos factor psychoticism. Thus, there remains a need for continued research into this field, particularly as it pertains to the evolutionary basis for personality factors, but Eysenck, Costa, McCrae, and Zuckerman have provided an excellent and coherent basis for further research.

Figure (PageIndex<2>) Figure (PageIndex<3>)

The author is highly susceptible to boredom, so he likes to travel to interesting places. Here we see the author in Mt. Washington&rsquos alpine garden (NH) in winter (top left) and above the clouds on Mt. Rainier, Washington (bottom right), and the author&rsquos son walking in the Great Salt Lake in Utah&rsquos desert (top right).

Discussion question (PageIndex<1>)

Which areas of Zuckerman&rsquos sensation seeking trait do you find most interesting, and which subscales do you think you would score high on (they may not be the same)? If there are any subscales on which you think you would score either low or high, what impression do you have of people who have an opposite score on those same scales?


The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology

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Book description

Personality psychology is a rapidly maturing science making important advances on both conceptual and methodological fronts. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology offers a one-stop source for the most up-to-date scientific personality psychology. It provides a summary of cutting-edge personality research in all its forms, from DNA to political influences on its development, expression, pathology and applications. The chapters are informative, lively, stimulating and, sometimes, controversial and the team of international authors, led by two esteemed editors, ensures a truly wide range of theoretical perspectives. Each research area is discussed in terms of scientific foundations, main theories and findings, and future directions for research. With useful descriptions of technological approaches (for example, molecular genetics and functional neuroimaging) the Handbook is an invaluable aid to understanding the central role played by personality in psychology and will appeal to students of occupational, health, clinical, cognitive and forensic psychology.

Reviews

‘Personality is the core discipline of psychology and to be a personality psychologist requires a broad understanding of the subject’s diverse fields. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology expertly demonstrates this breadth, bringing together some of the leading young as well as established researchers in personality. Corr and Matthews, two well-known personality researchers, show how personality is an international discipline with a diversity of approaches but one common goal: excellent science.’

William Revelle - Northwestern University

‘Thoroughly up-to-date and all-encompassing, with impeccable authorship - this volume is a must for the shelves of all personality researchers and teachers.’


Watch the video: How do the Five Factor Personality Traits Affect Career Success? (May 2022).