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Trait Theory Of Personality – Organisational Behaviour

Trait Theory Of Personality – It has generally been observed that different people behave differently. This is because of the traits present in them which, too, happen to be different. The variety of traits is primarily responsible for giving people their separate identity. Modern psychologists feel that these traits perform the job of forming personality. It should, however, be kept in mind that these traits include only those specialities which reflect themselves in different situations in their actual context. So far as the personality related traits are concerned the following two theories are important. Read whole concept of Trait Theory Of Personality.

(1) Allport Trait Theory:

Allport propounded this theory. He has taken the traits of personality as its base. According to this theory, the traits of people have been divided in the following two parts.

  • (i) Common Traits: Common traits mean those traits which are commonly found in all the people of the same category. Therefore, on their basis the different people can be compared with each other. Dominance is a good example of common traits.  It can be said that the dominance of one person is more than the others.
  • (ii) Personal Disposition: Personal disposition means those traits which are limited to a person of a particular group or category. It obviously means that they are not found in all the people. That is the reason that there can be no comparison among different people on the basis of these traits. A comparative study of an individual can be made from different angles on the basis of personal disposition. If we say that Mr. Ankit is more active and less inactive, then it would be an example of personal disposition. Allport in his personal trait theory has laid more stress on personal disposition than common traits. He has pointed out that personal dispositions are as large as 18,000 in number. Personal dispositions can be divided into the following three parts:
  1. (a) Cardinal Disposition: This is an individual trait which cannot be kept hidden. This trait is not present in all the people, but those who possess it, it becomes a base for their being widely discussed. The unshakeable faith of Mahatma Gandhi in the principle of non-violence is an example of this very trait.It was because of this that he came to possess a world-wide recognition.
  2. (b) Central Disposition: These traits are almost found in all the people. They are nearly 5 to 10 in number, e.g., sociability, depression, self-confidence, etc.
  3. (c) Secondary Disposition: These traits are those traits which are less important and less consistent, e.g., hairstyle, eating habit, dress, etc. These are the traits which do not help in understanding personality.

(2) Catell’s Trait Theory:

After Allport’s trait theory of personality, Catell’s contribution is equally important. Catell took up the process of discovering those traits which go to influence personality He took up 4500 trait out of a total of 18,000 which were pointed out by Allport. Later on this figure fell to 200 and finally it was reduced to 35. Catell has divided the traits of personality in the following two parts:

  • (i) Surface Traits: Surface traits refer to those traits which can be easily observed in the day to day behaviour of an individual. They are more clear and there cannot be any difference of opinion about them. They are, for example, integrity, cheerfulness, altruism, etc.
  • (ii) Source Iraits: Accoraing to Catell, source traits play an important part in the formation of personality. Their number happens to be less than the surface traits. Unlike the surface traits, these traits do not get reflected in the day to day behaviour of a person. According to Catell, there are 23 source traits which are found in the normal individuals, while there are 12 source traits which are present only in abnormal people. Source traits are also of two types, i.e., Environmental Mold Traits and Constitutional Traits. The environmental mold traits are mostly affected by the environmental factors while constitutional traits are influenced by the heredity.

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In short, it can be said that according to Catell the source traits have an important contribution in the formation of personality. I guess, this article surely assist you to understand Trait Theory Of Personality.

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