Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Corr I 92
Allport/personality/traits/psychological theories/Deary: John and Robbins 1993(1) p. 224): ‘The Big Five' structure was derived through purely empirical and purposely atheoretical procedures; theoretical considerations, such as questions about the existence and explanatory status of traits, were deemed unimportant.’
There are two views:
A. There are those who hold to traits as merely descriptive: the summary view.
B. On the other hand, there are those who hold the causal view. The causal view seems irresistible, if only to try to test it and to think how. When discussing the causal view one gets various reiterations of what this means to people: ‘unknown neuropsychiatric structures’, ‘entities that exist “in our skins” ’, ‘underlying causal mechanisms’, ‘some neurophysiological or hormonal basis for personality’, and ‘causal and dynamic principles’ (John and Robins 1993, pp. 227–8). Most of this is hand-waving. ((s) For the philosophical discussion on causal explanation see >Causal explanation.)



1. John, O. P. and Robbins, R. W. 1993. Gordon Allport: father and critic of the five-factor model, in K. H. Craik, R. Hogan and R. N. Wolfe (eds.), Fifty years of personality psychology, pp. 215–36. New York: Plenum


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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


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-02-23
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