Trait Theory

Trait theory defines personality with stable and lasting behavior patterns and conscious motivations. It describe personality characteristics(or traits) - not explain why they are there. These Traits can predict behavior and attitude.

Trait Definition

  • Meaningful differences between individuals
  • Stable and lasting
  • Traits are objective behavior - not Good or bad. It can be good or bad depends on the context.

Important People and their contributions

Gordon Allport

  • Cardinal Traits: How you approach things you are passionate about(eg. Punctual)
  • Central Traits: Its present in almost all people
  • Secondary Traits: Traits depends on the context


He took 4500 words of possible traits from Gordon Allport and created a list of 16 traits...

  • Warmth
  • Vigilance
  • Reasoning
  • Abstractedness
  • Emanational Stability
  • Privateness
  • Liveliness
  • Openness To Change
  • Rule-Consciousness
  • Self Reliance
  • Social Boldness
  • Perfectionism
  • Sensitivity
  • Tension