The Traits We Think We Find in Others represents our Personal Construction of Them (Butt, 2012. P. 53) Explain and Evaluate this Statement. Make Use of At Least One of the Interrogative Themes in Your Answer. Introduction

The Traits We Think We Find in Others represents our Personal Construction of Them (Butt, 2012. P. 53) Explain and Evaluate this Statement. Make Use of At Least One of the Interrogative Themes in Your Answer.
Introduction

The psychological research on differences among individuals has conventionally drawn upon the experimental, psychometric and clinical approaches. According to Butt (2004), the trait theory draws upon the experimental approach. Recently, a phenomenological approach has been adapted to explain individual differences using the personal construct theory, which deploys a contrasting approach to the trait theory and draws upon phenomenology. The goal of this paper to explain and valuate Butt’s (2012, p. 53) assertion that, “the traits we think we find in others represents our personal construction of them.” It is evident from the statement that Butt supports the personal construct theory. This paper commences by providing a description of the personal construct theory and the trait theory and pointing out the key differences between the perspectives. The paper also evaluates the weaknesses and strengths of the two contrasting theories. Lastly, the two theories are discussed with regard to the agency-structure dualism, which is the interrogative theme adopted in this paper. The agency-structure dualism is concerned primarily with the ability of an entity to change, and whether this ability to change can be attributed to the social-biological or personal agency structures.

According to Butt (2004), the trait theory was established by Rachman and Eysenck in 1965 and draws upon the mainstream and experimental perspective to study individual differences. The primary aim of the trait theory is to create general principles that can be used to elucidate people’s differential behavior in different circumstances. The trait theory uses questionnaires, particularly the Eysenck’s Personality Inventory (EPI), as a tool to generate psychometric inventories in order to measure personality traits. Butt (2004) points out that the trait theory is a scientific approach, and can be used to predict how a given individual is likely to behave in a particular circumstance. A number of trait theorists such as Kant have argued that personality traits are somewhat categorical in the sense that every person could be placed in a single category and that no individual can overlap between two or more trait categories. Nevertheless, Eysenck’s utilization of the criterion analysis disregards the categorization of traits and argued that a continuum of traits is possible. Eysenck’s understanding of traits was that people’s traits could be evaluated using two continuums, that is, neuroticism-stability and extraversion-introversion. The trait theory suggests that the score of an individual on these continuums can facilitate the prediction of how they are likely to behave in a given situation.


 

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