Generally, trait theorists view personality from a different perspective than psychoanalysts. Rather than explain the hidden aspects of personality, trait theorists have focused on the predispositions that underlie our actions. On the basis of factor analysis, these theorists have isolated distinct dimensions of personality: for instance, the BigFive trait dimensions -emotional stability, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
To assess traits, objective personality inventories have been developed such as the empirically derived Minnesota Multiple Personality Inventory (MMPI) that has been made widely available through computerized testing. Overall, these tests are most helpful, when used to assess those who are emotionally troubled.
Even though critics question the consistency with which traits are expressed due to the fact that human behavior varies widely from situation to situation, people's average behavior across different situations has been proven to be fairly consistent. Thus, people's traits do actually persist through time. According to David G. Myers (1999) in "Exploring Psychology", the immediate situation powerfully influences a person's ...
References are included to feature means of trait characteristics assessment.