Trait theories

  • Theories that endeavor to describe the characteristics that make up human personality in an effort to predict future behavior.


  • A consistent, enduring way of thinking, feeling, or behaving.


  • Allport first developed a list of about 200 traits and believed that these traits were part of the nervous system.
  • Cattell reduced the number of traits to between 16 and 23 with a computer method called factor analysis.

Surface Traits

  • Aspects of personality that can easily be seen by other people in the outward actions of a person.

Source traits

  • The more basic traits that underlie the surface traits, forming the core of personality.
  • Example: Introversion

ะพ Dimension of personality in which people tend to withdraw from excessive stimulation.