Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 11
Personality types/psychology/psychological theories: Personality theory has been persistently concerned with the description of individual differences. In principle, if there are naturally existing categories, we may speak of types, of natural categories. Though the word ‘type’ has been used to refer to types of temperament (Kagan 1994)(1), and attachment (Ainsworth et al. 1978)(2), for example, the underlying determinants (such as anxiety) that produce these categories are continuous. However convenient for descriptive and even analytical purposes, these are not types in the sense of discrete, natural categories; nor are the popular Jungian types, measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Continuous dimensions (traits and factors) are far easier to find.


1. Kagan, J. 1994. Galen’s prophecy: temperament in human nature. New York: Westview Press
2. Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E. and Wall, S. 1978. Patterns of attachment: a psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum


Susan Cloninger, “Conceptual issues in personality theory”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Psychological Theories
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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