Trait Psychology


Trait PsychologyToday’s post offers you with my weekly dose of psychology concept. An individual is defined by his unique traits. No two persons are same but they do exhibit similar traits. While reading about trait psychology today I came across facts that influence a person’s traits.

But before that let’s define trait. When someone describes you to a third person – what do they tell about you other than your name, profession etc? Characteristics such as outgoing, sporty, kind, jovial etc. These characteristics define you as a person. The combination of various traits forms a personality that is unique to each person.

The psychologists have defined the Big Five Personality Dimensions, which are basically broad categories in which various traits fall into. I won’t go into the details of these five dimensions because that itself will be a separate topic to discuss but if you want to read about it then here is a good article about it.

But let’s take some of the common traits for example and analyze the personality as a whole. Very common trait that we often come across is Extraversion. They are the kind of people who exhibit characteristics such as excitability, sociability, talkativeness, and high amounts of emotional expressiveness. The loud ones in layman terms.

We often find that people in the west fall more into this category as opposed to those who are brought up in Asia (I don’t intend to be racist here). People from Japan, China and most other Asian countries are usually described as Conscientiousness. Trait psychology suggests that culture plays an important role in the traits of a person and that is probably why we find people from a specific region tend to exhibit similar traits.

Another possible connection to traits though not completely proved is the involvement of genes. This is still under research but there is evidence that gene has a part to play to determine a person’s traits. Like father like son remember. At this time there isn’t enough evidence to value one theory over the other but it probably is a combination of both that determines a person’s trait.

I have lived in 4 different cities in the past 30 years and I believe every place has contributed to my personality. People adapt to the local culture as they try to blend in and as a result it becomes a part of their personality. However there are some traits that you carry with you wherever you go and these are probably something that is true to yourself independent of other influences in your life.

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