Psychology Dictionary of Arguments


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Corr I 128
Personality traits/Cattell/De Raad: Cattell’s original set of 35 trait variables was the result of a process of condensing a list of 171 trait descriptive items considered by Cattell (1943)(1) to summarize the complete ‘personality sphere’. That condensation took place on the basis of correlations of ratings from 100 subjects. The reduction to thirty-five variables was, in Cattell’s (1945(2), p. 70) words, ‘a matter of unhappy necessity’. Cattell (1950)(3) distinguished trait-elements (single trait words), surface traits (traits tending to cluster together in a person), and source traits (trait-factors), essentially forming a hierarchy of traits. The concept of hierarchy was extended in Cattell’s emphasis on the distinction between primary factors and higher order factors. See also >Models/De Raad, >Personality traits/Eysenck, >EysenckVsCattell.

1. Cattell, R. B. 1943. The description of personality: basic traits resolved into clusters, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 38: 476–507
2. Cattell, R. B. 1945. The description of personality: principles and findings in a factor analysis, American Journal of Psychology 58: 69–90
3. Cattell, R. B. 1950. Personality: a systematic theoretical and factual study, New York: McGraw-Hill

Boele De Raad, “Structural models of personality”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press

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.
Cattell, Raymond B.
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

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