Quiz 13: Mccrae and Costas Five Factor Trait Theory


Allport believed that conscious processes motivate psychologically healthy people and that healthy people are more flexible and autonomous than unhealthy people.They are proactive, which means that they are capable of acting on their environment to cause the environment to react to them.In sum, they feel secure and in charge of their lives. Allport identified six criteria for the mature personality.The first criterion is an extension of the sense of self.Healthy people are not self-centered but are capable of identifying with their fellow humans. They also possess a warm relating of self to others; that is, they have the capacity to love others in a non-self-centered way. Third, these people have emotional security and self-acceptance.They are not overly troubled when things do not go their way. They are realistic in they way they perceive their environment, and they do not live in a make-believe world.They are problem-centered rather than self-centered. Psychologically healthy people possess both insight and humor.They understand themselves and have the capacity to laugh at themselves without belittling themselves. These healthy individuals also have a unifying philosophy of life and a clear vision of the purpose of life.This philosophy of life may or may not be religious, yet it is usually characterized by a mature conscience and a strong desire to serve other people.

Allport distinguished between common traits that are shared by two or more people and personal dispositions that are peculiar to one person. Common traits allow for inter-individual comparisons, but personal dispositions are individual and do not permit inter-individual comparisons.One person's dominance is different from another person's dominance. Allport identified three overlapping levels of personal dispositions: (1) cardinal, (2) central, and (3) secondary. Cardinal dispositions are so obvious and dominating that they cannot be hidden from others.Not everyone has a cardinal disposition.Allport identified several historical and fictional people who possessed a cardinal disposition (for example, Don Juan, the Marquis de Sade, and Narcissus). Allport believed that everyone has 5 to 10 central dispositions around which their lives revolve.These central dispositions should characterize a person in a variety of different situations. Secondary dispositions may not be manifested in every situation, yet they occur with some regularity and are responsible for many of a person's behaviors. Allport also divided personal dispositions into motivational dispositions, which are strongly felt and derive from basic needs, and stylistic dispositions, which refer to the manner in which a person behaves.Stylistic dispositions do not motivate behavior; rather, they guide behavior.

Allport believed that personality is a proactive, growing system that forces a person's environment to react to the conscious actions of that individual.He found older theories of personality, such as Freudian thought, to be too reactive and static. Allport's most distinctive and controversial concept is his concept of functional autonomy.Functional autonomy suggests that some human motives are functionally independent from the original motive responsible for a particular behavior. Motives that are not functionally autonomous include those that are responsible for reflex actions, basic drives and needs, and psychopathological behaviors. Allport described two levels of functional autonomy: perseverative and propriate. Perseverative functional autonomy is the tendency of certain basic behaviors to continue in the absence of reinforcement.Examples of perseverative functionally autonomous behaviors include addiction to drugs and rats running a maze "just for the fun of it." Propriate functionally autonomous behaviors are self-sustaining motives that are related to the proprium (those behaviors and characteristics that are warm and central to an individual's life).Examples of propriate functionally autonomous behaviors include working at a hobby or pursuing an interest that one regards as dear and important.