The person-situation debate has sparked controversy within groups of personality psychologists for years. Within this conflict, a model for behavior predictability and personality description was created. The Big-Five model simplified previous studies on trait research by reducing the number of descriptive words used to describe personality to five rather than 18,000. The five categories were listed as extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. There is controversy that surrounds the model and strong evidence against the model, yet it is still consistently used to describe personality. |
INTRODUCTION (PERSON-SITUATION DEBATE)
The person-situation debate has sparked much discussion about the existence of traits in personality and even the existence of personality itself. The two sides of the debate have made valuable arguments towards the existence of traits and inspired the research of what was to become a five-trait approach to personality. With the research done over a number of years, a model of personality descriptors was introduced, this is known as the Big-Five Model. In this model Daniel Ozer and Veronica Benet-Martinez organized a set of five categories, known as the Big Five, and associated them with individual outcomes of personality descriptors. The categories were organized as extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. This was the beginning of the Big Five.
The pro-personality side of the person-situation debate states that if you know an individual’s score on any specific trait, you should be able to predict what that person would do in the future. The thought behind the argument was that because behavior is determined by a person’s traits, an individual will act similarly much of the time (Fleeson, 2004). The situation argument is that the predictability of a future behavior is severely limited by only knowing an individual’s traits. This was thought because the...