Chapter 14 Eysenck, McCrae and Costa: Trait and Factor Theories
After reading Chapter 14, you should be able to:
1. Explain the basics of factor analytic procedures.
2. Explain the importance of R. B. Cattell's pioneering work.
3. Describe Eysenck's approach to the measurement of personality.
4. Name and describe Eysenck's three general types, or superfactors.
5. Describe how Eysenck's three superfactors relate to and predict behavior.
6. Explain how Eysenck's theory of personality relates to disease.
7. Distinguish between the Big Five as a taxonomy and as a theory.
8. List and briefly describe each of the Big Five factors.
9. List and briefly describe McCrae and Costa's three core components of personality.
10. List and briefly describe McCrae and Costa's three peripheral components of personality.
11. Briefly describe some of the cross-cultural research on McCrae and Costa's Big Five factors.
I. Overview of Factor and Trait Theories
Hans Eysenck and others have used factor analysis to identify traits, that is, relatively permanent dispositions of people. Whereas Eysenck extracted only three general factors, Robert McCrae and Paul Costa have insisted that the proper number of personality factors is five—no more and no fewer.
II. Biography of Hans J. Eysenck
Hans J. Eysenck was born in Berlin in 1916, but as a teenager, he moved to London to escape Nazi tyranny. Eysenck was trained in the psychometrically oriented psychology department of the University of London, from which he received a bachelor's degree in 1938 and a PhD in 1940. Eysenck was perhaps the most prolific writer of any psychologist in the world, and his books and articles often stirred worldwide controversy. He died in September of 1997.
III. The Pioneering Work of Raymond B. Cattell
In Chapter 13, we saw that Gordon Allport used common sense to identify both common and unique personality traits. In...