Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 130
Personality traits/three factor model/Eysenck/De Raad: In defining his structural conception of personality, Eysenck (1947)(1) distinguished four levels of behaviour-organization that were hierarchically organized, namely single observable behavioural acts, habitual responses (recurrent acts under specified circumstances), traits (based on intercorrelations of different habitual responses), and types of traits (based on correlations between various traits). On the basis of ratings on this ‘intentionally heterogeneous’ item list, Eysenck concluded as to two factors, a general ‘neuroticism’ factor and a factor contrasting ‘affective, dysthymic, inhibited’ symptoms and traits and ‘hysterical and asocial’ symptoms and traits. Eysenck suggested this second factor to be related to Jung’s Introversion-Extraversion distinction.
Corr I 131
(…) further empirical results led to the emergence of the psychoticism dimension (Eysenck 1952)(2). These three factors or types of traits, Psychoticism, Extraversion and Neuroticism (the PEN-system), continued to play a major role throughout Eysenck’s structural modelling of personality. For the development of his later questionnaires to measure P, E, and N, the Maudsley Personality Inventory (Eysenck 1959)(3) and the Eysenck Personality Inventory (Eysenck 1964)(4), Eysenck made use of items of the Guilford inventories (cf., Guilford 1975)(5).
Eysenck/Cattell/De Raad: Cattell and Eysenck generally agreed about the hierarchical organization of traits.
EysenckVsCattell: While Cattell’s hierarchy conception (Cattell 1943(6), 1945(7), 1950(8)) developed out of presuppositions and observations, and was especially given further form through psychometric considerations and empirical results, Eysenck’s hierarchy had a more explicit theoretical format at four levels, from behavioural acts to types of traits, which format was more determined by theoretical and empirical findings than by psychometric considerations.
Corr I 132
Cattell: referred to trait-elements that correlate positively in every possible internal combination as syndromes or surface traits, with very broad surface traits being referred to as types (Cattell 1950(8), p. 21). traits. The Cattell list, consisting of the previously described thirty-five trait-variables, were the result of a thorough process of reduction of the full trait-domain to describe the trait sphere exhaustively.
Eysenck: used the term type to refer to second-order factors, as organizations of traits based on observed correlations. Eysenck’s list, the previously mentioned thirty-nine-item list, was the result of a selection from the ‘item-sheet’ for patients, a hybrid with items covering the social history, the personality and the symptoms of a patient.


1. Eysenck, H. J. 1947. Dimensions of Personality. London: Kegan Paul
2. Eysenck, H. J. 1952. The scientific study of personality. London: Routledge and Kegan
3. Eysenck, H. J. 1959. Manual for the Maudsley Personality Inventory. University of London Press
4. Eysenck, H. J. 1964. Manual of the Eysenck Personality Inventory. University of London Press
5. Guilford, J. P. 1975. Factors and factors of personality, Psychological Bulletin 82: 802–14
6. Cattell, R. B. 1943. The description of personality: basic traits resolved into clusters, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 38: 476–507
7. Cattell, R. B. 1945. The description of personality: principles and findings in a factor analysis, American Journal of Psychology 58: 69–90
8. 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


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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.
Eysenck, Hans Jürgen
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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