Quiz 13: Mccrae and Costas Five Factor Trait Theory


A.Factor analysis is a mathematical technique for reducing a large number of variables (or traits) to a few.Both Cattell,McCrae,and Costa use factor analysis to measure personality traits or factors. B.Factor analysts determine intercorrelations of a large variety of measures taken from many people.Some of these intercorrelations reveal scores that tend to cluster together,suggesting a factor,or unit of personality. C.Next,analysts determine the extent to which each individual score contributes to the various factors.Correlations of scores with factors are called factor loadings. D.For mathematically derived factors to have psychological meaning,the axes on which the scores are plotted are rotated into a mathematical relationship with each other.When the rotation is oblique (which Cattell advocated),many factors result; with orthogonal rotation used by McCrae and Costa,the Five-factor theorists,only a few factors emerge. E.Traits generated through factor analysis may be either unipolar or bipolar.Unipolar traits are scaled between zero and some larger amount,and bipolar traits extend from one pole to another with zero as a midpoint (i.e.,extraversion and introversion). E.Cattell's oblique rotation resulted in 16 first-order traits,whereasMcCrae and Costa's orthogonal rotation yielded only five general traits,or sthe Five Factor Theory.

A.The five-factor model is a result of an evolution of factor analysis methods that began with Allport and was continued by Cattell in the 1940s.Costa and McCrae continued their work of factor analyzing major personality inventories until they reached a core set of five personality traits. B.Costa and McCrae agreed with Eysenck that personality traits are bipolar and follow a bell shaped distribution.Since most people tend to score near the middle of each trait,the extremes often gain the most attention.The two strongest and most ubiquitous traits are neuroticism and extroversion.Respectively,neuroticism reflects relative levels of emotionality and extraversion refers to relative levels of social gregariousness. C.The third factor,Openness to experience,distinguishes people who prefer variety and diverse experiences from those who gain comfort in the familiar,the conventional,and the traditional. D.The Agreeableness scale distinguishes trusting,generous and good natured people from those who are more suspicious,unfriendly,and critical of other people. E.The fifth,and final,factor,conscientiousness,describes people who are ordered,controlled,ambitious and self-disciplined.In contrast,people who score low on this factor tend to be disorganized,negligent,lazy,and aimless,and they often lack perseverance.

A.Basic Tendencies As defined by McCrae and Costa (1996),basic tendencies are one of the central components of personality,along with characteristic adaptions,self-concept,biological bases,objective biography,and external infl uences.McCrae and Costa defi ned basic tendencies as the universal raw material of personality capacities and dispositions that are generally inferred rather than observed.Basic tendencies may be inherited,imprinted by early experience or modifi ed by disease or psychological intervention,but at any given period in an individual's life,they defi ne the individual's potential and direction. B.Characteristic Adaptations Core components of Five-Factor Theory include the characteristic adaptations,that is,acquired personality structures that develop as people adapt to their environment.The principal difference between basic tendencies and characteristic adaptations is their fl exibility.Whereas basic tendencies are quite stable,characteristic adaptations can be infl uenced by external infl uences,such as acquired skills,habits,attitudes,and relationships that result from the interaction of individuals with their environment. C.Self-Concept McCrae and Costa (2003) explain that self-concept is actually a characteristic adaptation,but it gets its own box because it is such an important adaptation.McCrae and Costa (1996) wrote that it "consists of knowledge,views,and evaluations of the self,ranging from miscellaneous facts of personal history to the identity that gives a sense of purpose and coherence to life" .The beliefs,attitudes,and feelings one has toward oneself are characteristic adaptations in that they infl uence how one behaves in a given circumstance.