Trait Theories of Personality

  • Paul T. Costa
  • Robert R. Mccrae
Part of the The Plenum Series in Social/Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)


For anyone who truly wishes to understand human personality, trait psychology is not an option. For decades, most personality psychologists opted for one or another of the major schools of psychology and attempted to understand human beings from its perspective. Psychoanalysts pondered free associations, behaviorists recorded behaviors, and self psychologists inventoried the self-concept. Although eclectic integrations were sometimes advanced (e.g., Murphy, 1947), most personality psychologists regarded perspectives other than their own with scorn and hostility. Dissension was the rule even within schools: Jun-gians and Freudians disputed the nature of the unconscious; Cattellians and Eysenckians argued about the true number of personality trait dimensions.


Personality Trait Emotional Stability Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Personality Theory Personality Psychology 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul T. Costa
    • 1
  • Robert R. Mccrae
    • 1
  1. 1.Gerontology Research CenterNational Institute on Aging, National Institutes of HealthBaltimoreUSA

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