Theories of personality

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

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Theories of personality

#1  Postby lpetrich » Feb 06, 2017 12:04 am

There have been lots of theories of personality over the centuries, but the one that mainstream psychologists have come to accept is the Big Five personality traits or the Five Factor Model. That's not to say that it is complete or the final word on the subject, of course. Here are the factors:
  • Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
  • Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
  • Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)
  • Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. analytical/detached)
  • Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident) (may also be called emotional (in)stability)
with acronym OCEAN or CANOE. It was derived by asking experimental subjects a large number of questions, then looking for correlations between their answers. "Extraversion" is often spelled "extroversion" in analogy with "introversion" and compounding letter "o", and likewise for related words. Two of the Big Five factors can be related to one of the oldest theories of personality, Four temperaments, proposed by Hippocrates around 400 BCE. The temperament, the body fluid or "humor", the traditional element, features of that element, and Big Five features
  • Choleric, Short-Tempered or Irritable, Yellow Bile, Fire, Hot, Dry, E+, N+
  • Sanguine, Optimistic and Social, Blood, Air, Hot, Wet, E+, N-
  • Melancholic, Analytical and Quiet, Black Bile, Earth, Cold, Dry, E-, N+
  • Phlegmatic, Relaxed and Peaceful, Phlegm, Water, Cold, Wet, E-, N-
Melancholy = old term for psychological depression
E = extroversion, N = neuroticism (identification by Hans Eysenck)
Hot = E+
Cold = E-
Dry = N+
Wet = N-

Here are some online Big-Five personality tests:
Here's what I get:
  • Openness -- high
  • Conscientiousness -- high
  • Extroversion -- low
  • Agreeableness -- medium
  • Neuroticism -- low

Looking at other theories, the MBTI has some correlation with four of the factors, all of them but Neuroticism, and the Enneagram is little-discussed in the professional literature.
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Re: Theories of personality

#2  Postby lpetrich » Feb 06, 2017 12:24 am

Testing Predictions From Personality Neuroscience: Brain Structure and the Big Five
We used a new theory of the biological basis of the Big Five personality traits to generate hypotheses about the association of each trait with the volume of different brain regions. Controlling for age, sex, and whole-brain volume, results from structural magnetic resonance imaging of 116 healthy adults supported our hypotheses for four of the five traits: Extraversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Extraversion covaried with volume of medial orbitofrontal cortex, a brain region involved in processing reward information. Neuroticism covaried with volume of brain regions associated with threat, punishment, and negative affect. Agreeableness covaried with volume in regions that process information about the intentions and mental states of other individuals. Conscientiousness covaried with volume in lateral prefrontal cortex, a region involved in planning and the voluntary control of behavior. These findings support our biologically based, explanatory model of the Big Five and demonstrate the potential of personality neuroscience (i.e., the systematic study of individual differences in personality using neuroscience methods) as a discipline.

Personality Dimensions in Nonhuman Animals with a copy here: gosling.qxd - CDPS99Xspeciesreview.pdf
The evolutionary continuity between humans and other animals suggests that some dimensions of personality may be common across a wide range of species. Unfortunately, there is no unified body of research on animal personality; studies are dispersed across multiple disciplines and diverse journals. To review 19 studies of personality factors in 12 nonhuman species, we used the human Five-Factor Model plus Dominance and Activity as a preliminary framework. Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Agreeableness showed the strongest cross- species generality, followed by Openness; a separate Conscientiousness dimension appeared only in chimpanzees, humans’ closest relatives. Cross-species evidence was modest for a separate Dominance dimension but scant for Activity. The comparative approach taken here offers a fresh perspective on human personality and should facilitate hypothesis-driven research on the social and biological bases of personality.

The article starts with
In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, Robert Fagen, a professor of biometry, described Susie as irascible, irritable, grumpy, and manipulative. This is hardly newsworthy, except that Susie is a bear.

Anthropomorphism? Maybe, but if the behavior pattern fits, then why not?
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