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Thread: Acedemic article on unifying personality theories

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    Default Acedemic article on unifying personality theories

    Personality Theories Facilitate
    Integrating the Five Principles
    and Deducing Hypotheses for
    Salvatore R. Maddi
    University of California, Irvine
    In presenting their view of personality science,
    McAdams and Pals (April 2006)
    elaborated the importance of five principles
    for building an integrated science of personality.
    These principles are stances on
    evolution and human nature, dispositional
    signatures, characteristic adaptations, life
    narratives, and the differential role of culture.
    Their main emphasis involved differentiating
    these principles and indicating
    that they are all relevant to understanding
    personality. The discussion by McAdams
    and Pals certainly illuminates the various
    aspects of personality, but it also cries out
    for some greater, more systematic integration
    of the five principles into particular
    kinds of personality. It is not yet possible,
    in their approach, to identify different types
    of personality orientation and to evaluate
    the relative effectiveness of these orientations.
    As presented, their approach may be
    considered a start but hardly a finish.
    Let me suggest that the metatheory of
    personality theories that I have proposed
    (Maddi, 1969/1996) could accelerate the
    needed integration of the five proposed
    principles. The metatheory indicates that,
    regardless of their specific content, theories
    of personality include core, developmental,
    peripheral, and data statements. At the
    core level, assumptions are made about
    specific, unlearned characteristics all people
    bring into life that express the overall
    purpose of human living. Whether or not
    particular personality theories explicitly
    express it, the core level is considered relevant
    to meeting evolutionary pressures.
    Like core statements in other areas (in social,
    biological, and physical sciences),
    those in personality are never, and probably
    never can be, tested in any direct, empirical
    fashion. The main utility of core
    statements is that they help tie together the
    other, more concrete statements that are
    also part of the theory.
    The developmental statement is where
    personality theories conceptualize the early
    interactions between a person and significant
    others that have a formative influence
    on learned aspects of personality. The
    young person acts initially out of the core
    tendency, and those around him or her react
    supportively or punitively. Supportive reactions
    facilitate full expression of the core
    in the person’s functioning, whereas punitive
    reactions stifle and twist expression of
    the core. In their relevant discussion of
    “characteristic adaptations” (pp. 208–209),
    McAdams and Pals (2006) did not go this
    far, though personality theories do.
    The end result of this learning process
    is depicted in the peripheral statement of a
    personality theory. This concerns the habitual,
    learned modes of functioning, such as
    motives, traits, or defenses, that are readily
    apparent in the person as he or she becomes
    an adult. Perhaps this is what McAdams
    and Pals (2006) called the “dispositional
    signature” (p. 207), but it would be helpful
    to be more precise. In this regard, personality
    theories typically specify personality
    types, which are telltale combinations of
    motives, traits, and defenses. One personality
    type is identified as the fullest expression
    of the core tendency, whereas the others
    are more limited, more twisted, or less
    fulfilling expressions.
    The data statement of personality theories
    involves the concrete, everyday expressions
    in living (e.g., actions, reactions,
    descriptions of self and of living) of the
    peripheral characteristics contained in the
    personality types. This is something like
    what McAdams and Pals (2006) called
    “life narratives” (p. 209), but they made the
    useful addition of the role of culture. Although
    personality theories have not tended
    to do this explicitly, it is reasonable to
    regard one’s sense of who one is and what
    life is all about as one of the options presented
    by one’s culture. Once again, personality
    theories would regard the life expressions
    of the ideal personality type as
    far more fulfilling and evolutionarily valuable
    than those characteristic of nonideal
    personality types.
    Hopefully, working with the metatheory
    of personality theories I have identified
    (Maddi, 1969/1996) will tie together
    the categories of functioning identified by
    McAdams and Pals (2006). Rather than
    just identifying the existence of “characteristic
    adaptations,” it is more precise to conceptualize
    how the particular interaction—
    between the youngster acting out of
    unlearned (core) characteristics and the significant
    others reacting out of cultural exigencies
    and their own developed personalities—
    can lead to a specific personality
    type that fulfills or stifles the core tendency.
    This conceptual precision also facilitates
    empirical evaluation of personality
    theories by permitting hypotheses to be deduced
    from the integrated assumptions of
    each theory and tested. For example,
    Freud’s (1925a, 1925b) theory specifies
    58 January 2007 ● American Psychologist
    that the core tendency is to maximize expression
    of our inherently selfish and antisocial
    sexual instinct while simultaneously
    minimizing the frustrating punishment and
    guilt that will result if we and others know
    about our selfish natures. Ideal development
    is when parents balance their support
    and love of the child with control of his or
    her selfishness. This leads to the ideal, or
    genital, character type, in which there is
    much expression of selfish needs but in a
    manner (through socially acceptable forms
    of selfishness, and personal defenses) that
    appears admirable to self and others. But in
    development, if parents are either too punitive
    or too indulgent, one or another of
    the nonideal personality types (oral, anal,
    phallic) occurs, and this stifles expression
    of selfish, sexual urges, or leads to massive
    guilt, or both. Needless to say, the “characteristic
    adaptations” and “life narratives”
    attendant on the ideal and nonideal personality
    types will differ sharply.
    As another example, Rogers (1961)
    specified the actualizing of inherent potentialities
    as the core tendency. Developmentally,
    as long as significant others
    support and accept the person’s expressions
    of his or her core, there is continual
    openness, defenselessness, and fulfillment.
    What is learned from this is the
    ideal personality, called the fully functioning
    person. In contrast, if others react
    punitively, conditions of worth and defenses
    ensue, and the nonideal, learned
    personality type of maladjustment ensues.
    Once again, the “characteristic adaptations”
    and “life narratives” of these
    two types will differ greatly.
    The value of taking the metatheory
    of personality theories seriously is that it
    results not only in conceptual clarity but
    facilitation of empirical testing as well.
    Within any theory of personality, one can
    test whether the measurable traits, motives,
    and defenses fit together as would
    be expected in the conceptualized personality
    types, and whether the proposed
    ideal type leads to a better life than do the
    nonideal types. This is probably as close
    to actually testing the evolutionary implications
    of the theory as one will ever get,
    as the ideal type best expresses the core
    tendency, and one can see what kind of
    life this leads to in comparison with that
    produced by the nonideal types. This
    level of theoretical specificity also facilitates
    empirical comparison of the various
    personality theories in terms of the
    relative effectiveness and ineffectiveness
    of living that ensue from their ideal and
    nonideal personality types, respectively.
    Freud, S. (1925a). Instincts and their vicissitudes.
    In S. Freud, Collected papers (Vol. 4).
    London: Institute for Psychoanalysis and
    Hogarth Press.
    Freud, S. (1925b). Some character types met
    with in psychoanalytic work. In S. Freud, Collected
    papers (Vol. 4). London: Institute for
    Psychoanalysis and Hogarth Press.
    Maddi, S. R. (1996). Personality theories: A
    comparative analysis (6th ed.). Prospect
    Heights, IL: Waveland Press. (Original work
    published 1969)
    McAdams, D. P., & Pals, J. L. (2006). A new
    Big Five: Fundamental principles for an integrative
    science of personality. American Psychologist,
    61, 204–217.
    Rogers, C. R. (1961). On becoming a person.
    Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
    Well I am back. How s everyone? Don't have as much time now, but glad to see some of the old gang are still here.,

  2. #2


    Well I am back. How s everyone? Don't have as much time now, but glad to see some of the old gang are still here.,

  3. #3
    Expat's Avatar
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    That one you posted first is -- "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

  4. #4


    Well I am back. How s everyone? Don't have as much time now, but glad to see some of the old gang are still here.,

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Expat
    That one you posted first is -- "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".
    I found it quite interesting because it's suggests a possible way to integrate various personality theories such as socionics and others. It's not a very tangible framework, and it's not a very good one either, but it seems like a very very good start. You should keep in mind that many many people don't think that peronality theories can or should be integrated. As present it's virtually impossible to compare personality theories to each other. The article presents some of conceptual architecture of such theories IMO quite well.
    Well I am back. How s everyone? Don't have as much time now, but glad to see some of the old gang are still here.,

  6. #6

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    @ Dioklecian
    Why did you remove the link from the second article.
    It was quite interesting.
    There has been quite a lot of interesting research coming out during the recent years.
    For example by the same author:

    An evolutionary approach to the extraversion continuum

    Daniel Nettle,
    Psychology, Brain and Behaviour, University of Newcastle, Henry Wellcome Building, Framlington Place, Newcastle NE2 4HH, UK
    Received 14 July 2004. Available online 30 June 2005.


    Heritable individual differences in personality have not been fully accounted for within the framework of evolutionary psychology. This paper argues that personality axes such as extraversion can usefully be seen as dimensions of trade-off of different fitness costs and benefits. It is hypothesized that increasing extraversion will be associated with increasing mating success, but at the cost of either increased physical risk or decreased parenting effort. In a sample of 545 British adults, extraversion was a strong predictor of lifetime number of sexual partners. Male extraverts were likely to have extra-pair matings, whilst female extraverts were likely to leave existing relationships for new ones. On the cost side, increasing extraversion increased the likelihood of hospitalization for accident or illness. There was no direct evidence of reduced parenting effort, but extravert women had an increased likelihood of exposing their children to stepparenting. The study demonstrates that extraversion has fitness costs as well as benefits. Population variation related in the trait is unlikely to be eliminated by selection due to its polygenic nature, likely spatiotemporal variability in the optimal value, and possible status- and frequency-dependent selection.

    Keywords: Personality; Extraversion; Life history; Evolutionary psychology; Mating strategies

    Continuing on the same theme:

    Sex, status, and reproductive success in the contemporary United States

    Rosemary L. Hopcroft,
    Department of Sociology and Anthropology, UNC-Charlotte, Charlotte NC 28223, United States
    Received 14 June 2004; accepted 8 July 2005. Available online 26 September 2005.


    This paper reexamines the relationship between status and reproductive success (at the ultimate and proximate levels) using data on sex frequency and number of biological children from representative samples of the U.S. population. An ordered probit analysis of data from the 1989–2000 General Social Survey (GSS) shows that high-income men report greater frequency of sex than all others do. An OLS regression of data from the 1994 GSS shows that high-income men have more biological children than do low-income men and high-income women. Furthermore, more educated men have more biological children than do more educated women. Results also show that intelligence decreases the number of offspring and frequency of sex for both men and women.

    Voters’ personality traits in presidential elections

    Claudio Barbaranellia, Gian Vittorio Capraraa, Michele Vecchionea, , and Chris R. Fraleyb
    aUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”, Department of Psychology, Via dei Marsi, 78 00185 Rome, Italy
    bUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Psychology, United States
    Received 26 May 2006; revised 5 September 2006; accepted 26 September 2006. Available online 13 November 2006.


    Personality measures of more than 6000 US electors on the Big Five Factors have been collected on the Web through a Web site designed to assess their personality. By means of structural equation modeling the impact of personality factors as well as of demographic variables, such as age and sex, on voting intentions on the forthcoming US presidential elections was investigated. Personality variables accounted for 16% of variance of voting intentions, while gender and age accounted for no more than 3%. High Agreeableness and Openness were predictive of intention to vote for Kerry, while all high Energy, Conscientiousness and Emotional Stability were predictive of intention to vote for Bush. Results are consistent with previous research conducted in a different country, using a different language.

    Do you have to be smart to be rich? The impact of IQ on wealth, income and financial distress

    Jay L. Zagorskya,
    aCenter for Human Resource Research, The Ohio State University, 921 Chatham Lane, Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43221, USA
    Received 1 August 2006; revised 8 February 2007; accepted 17 February 2007. Available online 28 March 2007.


    How important is intelligence to financial success? Using the NLSY79, which tracks a large group of young U.S. baby boomers, this research shows that each point increase in IQ test scores raises income by between $234 and $616 per year after holding a variety of factors constant. Regression results suggest no statistically distinguishable relationship between IQ scores and wealth. Financial distress, such as problems paying bills, going bankrupt or reaching credit card limits, is related to IQ scores not linearly but instead in a quadratic relationship. This means higher IQ scores sometimes increase the probability of being in financial difficulty.

    New Research Confirms That Natural Selection Is Acting On The Current Human Population
    Science Daily — New evidence suggests that natural selection is leading women to have their first child at earlier ages. This is shown to be an inherited evolutionary change that is taking place despite the influence of social factors such as religion and education.
    "Arnie is strong, rightfully angry and wants to kill somebody."

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousSoul
    @ Dioklecian
    Why did you remove the link from the second article.
    It's copyrighted.
    PS: CS if you want me to forward you in private the text of that article let me know
    Well I am back. How s everyone? Don't have as much time now, but glad to see some of the old gang are still here.,

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