Personality Psychology

pp 32-44

Exploring the Relations Between Motives and Traits: The Case of Narcissism

  • Robert A. Emmons

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Personality psychology has never suffered from a shortage of theoretical constructs. Terms such as motive, trait, value, wish, attitude, goal, belief, schema, and need represent a mere sampling of the conceptual units that have been employed in the pursuit of understanding the human personality. Of these, motives and traits have clearly received the lion’s share of the attention, and most personologists would agree that these two are the primary tools existing in our conceptual armamentarium with which to attack emerging issues in personality. One of the emerging issues confronting the field today is mapping the conceptual and empirical relationships between trait-based and motive-based structures. The purposes of this chapter are to address the issues involved in this mapping, and to provide an example of how it may be possible to address the interrelations between these units of analysis empirically.