Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Corr I 400
Arousal/Performance/Eysenck/Matthews: Early experimental studies (e.g., Eysenck 1957(1), 1967(2)) showed that basic traits such as >Extraversion (E) and >Neuroticism (N) relate to performance on a variety of standard laboratory tasks requiring cognitive functions such as perception, attention, memory and speeded response. Eysenck (1967)(2) attempted to explain these findings in terms of traditional arousal theory.
MatthewsVsEysenck/MatthewsVsArousal theory: However, failings of arousal theory (Matthews and Gilliland 1999)(3) imply that we must look more closely at the different information-processing components that may be sensitive to personality. See >Performance/Cognitive Psychology.
Eysenck: (Eysenck 1957(1), 1967(2)) hypothesized that variations in basic attributes of the brain such as inhibition and arousal should influence performance of simple tasks such as choice reaction time and paired-associate learning. The E and N traits predicted performance on tasks requiring attention, memory and rapid execution of motor response. In effect, performance measures functioned as another psychophysiological index akin to EEG or EDA.


1. Eysenck, H. J. 1957. The dynamics of anxiety and hysteria. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul 2. Eysenck, H. J. 1967. The biological basis of personality. Springfield, IL: Thomas
2. Eysenck, H. J. 1967. The biological basis of personality. Springfield, IL: Thomas
3. Matthews, G. and Gilliland, K. 1999. The personality theories of  H. J. Eysenck and J. A. Gray: a comparative review, Personality and Individual Differences 26: 583–626


Gerald Matthews, „ Personality and performance: cognitive processes and models“, 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


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-05-21
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