Dictionary of Arguments


Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute
 
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The author or concept searched is found in the following 5 entries.
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Entry
Reference
Allport Lamiell Corr I 73/74
Allport/personality traits/Lamiell: Allport (1937)(1) argued that person characterization must somehow be possible outside of the framework of common traits. After all, he reasoned, psychologists working in non-research settings, e.g., as counsellors or clinicians, face daily the challenge of characterizing their clients in ways often peculiar to each one of them individually, and hence not necessarily on the basis of considerations about how that client compares with others along some pre-specified dimension(s) presumed applicable to all (‘common traits’). Within the mainstream, Allport’s arguments along this line were widely (and sometimes harshly) dismissed, e.g. LundbergVsAllport Lundberg 1941(2), p.383.
SarbinVsAllport: Sarbin 1944(3), p. 214. …“ Either they are making statistical predictions in an informal, subjective, and uncontrolled way, or else they are performing purely verbal manipulations which are unverifiable and akin to magic.”
LamiellVsTradition: see >Measurement/traits/Lamiell.
Corr I 79
Allport/Lamiell: Allport’s conjectures (…) might well merit the serious consideration they never received in his lifetime. The findings of several investigations carried out by the present author in collaboration with various colleagues offer substantial empirical support for this view (Lamiell and Durbeck 1987(4); Lamiell, Foss, Larsen and Hempel 1983(5); Lamiell, Foss, Trierweiler and Leffel 1983(6)).

1. Allport, G. W. 1937. Personality: a psychological interpretation. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston
2. Lundberg, G. A. 1941. Case-studies vs. statistical methods: an issue based on misunderstanding, Sociometry 4: 379–83
3. Sarbin, T. R. 1944. The logic of prediction in psychology, Psychological Review 51: 210–28
4. Lamiell, J. T. and Durbeck, P. 1987. Whence cognitive prototypes in impression formation? Some empirical evidence for dialectical reasoning as a generative process, Journal of Mind and Behaviour 8: 223–44
5. Lamiell, J. T., Foss, M. A., Larsen, R. J. and Hempel, A. 1983. Studies in intuitive personology from an idiothetic point of view: implications for personality theory, Journal of Personality 51: 438–67
6. Lamiell, J. T., Foss, M. A., Trierweiler, S. J. and Leffel, G. M. 1983. Toward a further understanding of the intuitive personologist: some preliminary evidence for the dialectical quality of subjective personality impressions, Journal of Personality 53: 213–35


James T. Lamiell, “The characterization of persons: some fundamental conceptual issues”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009 The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009
Concepts Allport Corr I 95/96
Concepts/personality traits/lexicon/lexical approach/Allport/Deary: worried that traits might be loaded with the conventional meanings of the words allocated to them and that ‘It would be ideal if we could . . . find our traits first and then name them’ (Allport 1931(1) p. 371). Of course he also stated that the words might actually represent the true traits but, on the other hand, the ‘conventional meanings . . . [might lead us] away from the precise integration as it exists in the given individual’ (1931, p. 371). DearyVsAllport: Allport wanted to have his lexical cake and eat it here, and also begs the most profound question. He explicitly seems to recognize that our likeliest road into traits is from language terms. However, he hints at but does not directly address how one might craft a research programme to get at ‘the precise integration as it exists in the given individual’. Cf. >concepts/psychological theories.


1. Allport, G. W. 1931. What is a trait of personality?. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 25: 368–72

Ian J. Deary, “The trait approach to personality”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009
Person Lamiell Corr I 72
Person/Variables/personality psychology/psychological theories/LamiellVsTradition/Lamiell: notions like “school”, “work”, “personal relationships” on one hand and “nature”/”nurture” on the other hand have long been the objects of the mainstream research and still are. Unfortunately, this entire enterprise has been predicated on the notion that our scientific understanding of the behaviour/psychological functioning of individuals can be advanced through the systematic investigation of variables representing individual differences (Lamiell 1987(1);1997(2);2003(3)) Tradition/Lamiell: mainstream thinkers still stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the mistakenness of this notion (see e.g., recent articles by McAdams and Pals 2006(4); and by McAdams 2007(5); also Hofstee 2007(6)). LamiellVsMcAdams, LamiellVsPals, LamiellVsHofstee.
Person characterization/Lamiell: what, exactly, do statements about the personality characteristics of an individual entail? What is implied when someone is called “highly” extraverted?
For the variables “school”, “work”, “personal relationships” on one hand and “nature”/”nurture” on the other hand see Epstein 1983(7).
LamiellVsEpstein. See also LundbergVsAllport, SarbinVsAllport: >Allport/Lamiell.
LamiellVsTradition: see >Measurement/traits/Lamiell.


1. Lamiell, J. T. 1987. The psychology of personality: an epistemological inquiry. New York: Columbia University Press
2. Lamiell, J. T. 1997. Individuals and the differences between them, in R. Hogan, J. Johnson and S. Briggs (eds.), Handbook of personality psychology, psychology, pp. 117–41. New York: Academic Press
3. Lamiell, J. T. 2003. Beyond individual and group differences: human individuality, scientific psychology, and William Stern’s critical personalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
4. McAdams, D. P. and Pals, J. L. 2006. A new Big Five: fundamental principles for an integrative science of personality, American Psychologist 61: 204–17
5. McAdams, D. P. 2007. On grandiosity in personality psychology, American Psychologist 62: 60–1 (comment)
6. Hofstee, W. K. B. 2007. Unbehagen in individual differences: a review, Journal of Individual Differences 28: 252–3
7. Epstein, S. 1983. Aggregation and beyond: some basic issues in the prediction of behaviour, Journal of Personality 51: 360–92, p. 381.


James T. Lamiell, “The characterization of persons: some fundamental conceptual issues”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009
Personality Allport Corr I 4
Personality/Allport: Gordon Allport (1937)(1) defined personality as ‘the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustments to the environment’ (Allport 1937,p.48).
I 5
McAdamsVsAllport/PalsVsAllport: A definition that gives a modern twist to this personological integration is offered by McAdams and Pals (2006)(2), who define personality as ‘an individual’s unique variation on the general evolutionary design for human nature, expressed as a developing pattern of dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations, and integrative life stories complexly and differentially situated in culture’ (McAdams and Pals 2006(2), p. 212). The emphasis on dynamics and development in these two personological definitions reminds us that some theories emphasize function and change, in contrast to the typically more static trait emphasis on description.

1. Allport, G. W. 1937. Personality: a psychological interpretation. New York: Holt, p. 48.
2. McAdams, D. P. and Pals, J. L. 2006. A new Big Five: fundamental principles for an integrative science of personality, American Psychologist 61: 204–17

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.



Corr I 43
Personality/Allport/AsendorpfVsAllport: Allport (1937) owed most of his ideas to Stern (1911) (1)
1. Stern, W. 1911. Die Differentielle Psychologie in ihren methodischen Grundlagen [Methodological foundations of differential psychology]. Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth


Jens B. Asendorpf, “Personality: Traits and situations”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.



Corr I 380
Personality/Allport/Saucier: Allport (1937)(1): ‘personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustments to his environment’ (1937, p. 48). Saucier: Allport called this a ‘biophysical’ conception. It focused on ‘what an individual is regardless of the manner in which other people perceive his qualities or evaluate them’ (1937, p. 40). Phrasings like ‘within the individual’ and ‘systems that determine’ reveal an emphasis on the underlying mechanisms behind behaviour.


1. Allport, G. W. 1937. Personality: a psychological interpretation. New York: Holt


Gerard Saucier, „Semantic and linguistic aspects of personality“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009
Value Judgments Psychological Theories Corr I 394
Value Judgments/Psychological theories/Personality/Allport/Saucier: Allport and Odbert (1936)(1) argued that the science of personality would do well to ignore highly evaluative concepts, but they may be a vital part of the operation of mindset. SaucierVsAllport: Highly evaluative attribute-concepts (e.g., Good, Holy, Impressive, Evil) reference perceived competence with respect to consensual standards for proper behaviour. We tend to have contempt for those who disappoint us by showing deficits in such competence, who run askew of the standards of public culture.
Corr I 395
E.g., the Big Two Dynamism and Morality/Social Propriety dimensions may arise out of the relative independence of tendencies for others to be rewarding (those you would approach) or threatening (those you would avoid). And the single evaluative factor may be a simple combination of these two: attributes of people you would approach contrasted with attributes of people you would avoid.

1. Allport, G. W. and Odbert, H. S. 1936. Trait names: a psycho-lexical study, Psychological Monographs 47: Whole No. 211



Gerard Saucier, „Semantic and linguistic aspects of personality“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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