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Dispositional personality & humanistic/existential theories.

1. Analyze individual personality characteristics using various trait/dispositional personality theories.
2. Analyze the strengths and limitations of dispositional personality theories.
3. Explain interpersonal relations using humanistic/ existential personality theories.

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1. A trait is defined as an identifiable, stable quality that helps to characterize an individual from others.
The three major functions of traits are: to summarize, predict, and explain an individual's conduct/character.

Allport's Disposition Theory:
Allport opines that each individual has a unique set of personality traits known as personal dispositions.
Allport divided personality traits into three categories namely; Cardinal, Central, and Secondary traits.
Cardinal Traits: These traits are those which appear predominantly in most of the behavior of an individual, thus the entire life revolves around it. For instance, some people are so devoted to achievement to such an extent that it pervades throughout their lives.
Central Traits: These traits are less pervasive as compared to cardinal traits but are generalized in nature. They can be seen during an individual's routine interactions in daily life. They assist in understand a person.
Secondary Traits:These traits are specific and narrow in nature, and known as attitudes. They are the traits which are exhibited in certain specific situations. They can be easily modified as compared to central traits.
Thus, Allport's theory claims that all people are unique, as each individual has a different combination of traits. Allport suggests that an in-depth study of an individual by observing the central traits, analyzing diaries and use of interviews help in analyzing the personality of an individual. He opines that most people have more secondary traits than central traits

Cattell's Trait Theory:
Cattell defines a trait as the structure of personality which can be inferred from observing one's behavior in different situations. He has classified traits into four categories namely;
Common traits: These are certain traits found widely distributed in the general population or among groups. They are common in nature. Examples are honesty, aggression and cooperation.
Unique traits: These are possessed by particular individuals and are unique to each and ...

Solution Summary

The individual personality characteristics have been analyzed using Trait theories such as Allport's Disposition Theory, Cattell's Trait Theory, Hans J. Eysenck's Trait theory along with the analysis of the strengths and limitations of trait/ dispositional personality theories.