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The Cognitive Foundations of Personality Traits
     

The Cognitive Foundations of Personality Traits

by Shulamith Kreitler
 

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Hardly anything in psychology is as irking as the trait concept. Psychologists and laypersons alike use primarily adjective trait-names to characterize and even concep­ tualize the individuals they encounter. There are more than a hundred well-defined personality traits and a great many questionnaires for their assessment, some of which are designed to assess the

Overview

Hardly anything in psychology is as irking as the trait concept. Psychologists and laypersons alike use primarily adjective trait-names to characterize and even concep­ tualize the individuals they encounter. There are more than a hundred well-defined personality traits and a great many questionnaires for their assessment, some of which are designed to assess the same or very similar traits. Little is known about their ontogenetic development and even less about their underlying dynamics. Psy­ choanalytic theory was invoked for explaining the psychodynamics underlying a few personality traits without, however, presenting sufficient empirical evidence for the validity of these interpretations. In a reductionistic vein, behaviorally inclined psy­ chologists have propounded the thesis that all traits are acquired behaviors. Yet, this view neither reduces the number of personality tests nor explains the resistance of traits to modification by means of reward and punishment. Dissatisfied with these and some other less well-known approaches to person­ ality traits, we decided to explore whether applying our psychosemantic theory of cognition to the trait concept would do better. The way we had to follow was anything but easy.

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Booknews
The authors present a new definition of traits, an explanation of trait dynamics in terms of meaning, a specification of trait characteristics that allows, for example, comparison of traits to determine whether a given personality disposition is a trait or not, the one relatively simple test that can be used for assessing each of the 120 best known and well-studied personality traits, and other applications and demonstrations of their new conception of traits. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306431791
Publisher:
Springer-Verlag New York, LLC
Publication date:
09/05/2007
Series:
Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy Series
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
0.94(w) x 6.14(h) x 9.21(d)

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