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Please discuss the Big Five trait theory and the position on the extent to which the Big Five are predictive of

Question

Please discuss the Big Five trait theory and the position on the extent to which the Big Five are predictive of

behavior. 

Use the following questions to help you develop your position statement:

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  • Does the Big Five generalize traits or behaviors of people from different backgrounds and cultures?
  • Is the Big Five trait theory a way to define personality?
  • What are your thoughts about taking the Big Five personality test?

Also, please respond to prompt 1 and 2 listed below:

 Prompt 1: The big five personality test is one of the most popular personality test used to determine a person’s personality type. It allows us to view how people psychologically differ from one another. However, are people really neurotic, extroverts, open to experiences, agreeable, or conscientious? I believe that we are all of the above to some point in our lives depending on the circumstances and what phase we are in our lives. We have keep in mind that “The trait approach, by its nature, is prone to neglect aspects of psychology common to all people, as well as the ways in which each person is unique” (Funder, 2016). We can all be the same and we can all also be different. “Every man is in certain respects (a)like all other men, (b)like some other men, (c)like no other man” (Kluckhohn & Murry, 1961, p.53). One of the biggest differences between people is culture. Although we all belong to a culture, our perspective in life is geared from our culture as well as our upbringing and this is where the Big Five Trait Theory fails. 

            We must take into account the differences in growing up and how some cultures have been more privileged than the next culture, which includes socio-economic status. While the more privileged are given the chance to participate in studies that challenge and strengthen their weaknesses, others are subject to accept their weaknesses as what they are. Growing up poor I had limited access to activities that would have strengthen me as a child, instead I learned from the streets, I learned to stay low and keep to myself and do the best that I can to be someone later in life, being an introvert was working for me. It wasn’t until I made it to college that I was able to embrace the extraversion in me that I never knew existed. As I applied to jobs I came across one that had me take the Big Five Personality Test. The employer wanted to predict my job capabilities using the test. I scored extremely low on extraversion and was labeled as an introvert. When I was called for an interview, the employer was surprised and she said that it is extremely weird that I scored as an introvert but during my interview my personality was more of an extrovert, she couldn’t believe that I scored as an introvert. My response to her was that in many circumstances we become different people, it is our nature to survive and being that I grew up in a rural city where surviving is a must if you want to be someone in life, it was important for me to know when to switch personality traits. We all have different personalities in us, some of us may never explore them and some of us will, it depends on our growth or in Carl Rogers term becoming “a fully functioning person”. I do not believe that The Big Five Trait can predict behavior, but it can give us an insight to how people can be in certain circumstances.

Funder, C.,D. (2016) The personality puzzle 7th ed. New York, NY: W.W Norton &

Company 

Kluckhohn, C., & Murray, H. A. (1961). Personality formation: The determinants. In C. Kluckhohn, H. A. Murray, & D. M. Schneider (Eds.), Personality in nature, society, and culture (2nd ed., pp. 53-67). New York: Knopf. 

Prompt 1: The Big Five is relevant towards identifying traits, but does not predict behaviors due to individuality. According to Funder (2016), traits are useful for predicting behaviors and for increasing our understanding of the reasons for behaviors. One trait approach is the Essential-Trait Approach, which attempts to identify the few traits that are truly central to understanding all of the others. A widely accepted essential-trait list is the Big Five that assists in organizing the understanding of personality (Funder, 2016). The Big Five consists of: 1. Extraversion, which is characterized as having positive energy and emotions, sociability, and assertiveness. 2. Openness is characterized as being creative, curious, insightful, and informed, 3. Agreeableness reflects the tendency to be cooperative, 4. Conscientiousness features are thoughtfulness, goal-directed behaviors, mindful, organized, and dependable.

    5. Neuroticism is the tendency to experience negative emotions, such as emotional instability and a vulnerability to stress. Although, the personality traits of the Big Five have been seen within various studies, and in some studies additional factors were identified that suggests additional factors should be added, the Big Five shouldn’t be applied to specific individuals. Rather, it should refer to the structure of traits in a population (Funder, 2016). It should be viewed in this manner because the structure of personality traits is not the same as the structure of personality, due to individuality which assists in making each of us unique in our own way. As related by Funder (2016), the latest evidence indicates that knowing a person’s personality add little to the ability to predict behaviors.

    With that said, it is useful to think of people in terms of personality types because each personality type serves as a summary of how a person stands on many traits (Funder, 2016). The patterns of traits provide a portrait that make it easy to think about how the traits within each type are found together, and the ways they interact. Therefore, it has been suggested that trait types are useful to summarize many traits in a single label, resulting in making it easier to think about psychological dynamics, which assists in educating and theorizing (Funder, 2016). This suggests that instead of viewing these traits as predicting beahviors, we should view how the traits interact with certain behaviors, this way we learn why people do what they want and which trait is dominant within the behaviors.

D. C. Funder. (2016). Personality Puzzle (7th ed.). W. W. Norton & Company Inc., New York, NY

 
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