Friday, September 26, 2014

Guide Notes on Hans Eysenck: Three-Factor Theory

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Hans Jürgen Eysenck (/ˈzɛŋk/; 4 March 1916 – 4 September 1997) was apsychologist born in Germany, who spent his professional career in Great Britain. 
He is best remembered for his work on intelligence and personality, though 
he worked in a wide range of areas. At the time of his death, Eysenck was the 
living psychologist most frequently cited in science journals.[1]

Essential Points about Hans Eysenck

"people are above all else individuals"

Personality determines a person's  unique adjustment to the environment through a more or less stable and enduring organization of: 
  • character (will)
  • temperament (emotion)
  • intellect (cognition)
  • physique (bio-physiological make-up) 

1) Humans possess not only consciousness but self-consciousness as well.

2) Humans are able to evaluate their performance and to render reliable reports concerning their attitudes, temperaments, needs, interests and behaviors

3) He emphasized on individual differences and genetic factors of personality, where traits and factors are largely inherited and have strong genetic and biological components

4) He made use of hyphothetico-deductive approach to extract three bipolar factors - extraversion/introversion, neuroticism/stability, psychoticism/superego

5) To be useful personality must predict behavior.
6) Hierarchical Model of Personality
  • Type/Super Traits
  • Trait Level
  • Habitual Responses
  • Specific Response Level

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7) Basic Dimensions of Temperament
  • Extroversion/Introversion (differences on the cortical arousal level)
  • Stability/Instability
  • Psychoticism

8) Eysenck with others developed several Psychometric measures - Maudsley Medical Questionnaire, Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ),  Sensation Seeking Scale (developed in conjunction with Marvin Zuckerman), and Eysenck Personality Profiler (EPP).

9) He also investigated on the relationship between personality and diseases.

10) On Psychopathology and behavior change - Eysenck believes that a person develops neurotic symptoms because of the joint action of a biological system and because of experiences that contribute to the learning of strong emotional reactions to fear-producing stimuli. Majority of neurotic patients have a a high neuroticism and low extraversion scores.

- Criminals and antisocial persons have high neuroticism, high extraversion, and high psychoticism scores

  • the theory is well substanstiated with empirical data and the use of statistical techniques
  • construction of test in assessing normal and abnormal phenomena
  • did not make use of an explicit and independent categorization
  • the focus is on biological basis of personality  but no emphasis on its differential impact of various situations on people

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Sources, References and Related Links:

Personality, Delia Limpingco and Geraldine Tria, 3e

Theories of Personality, Jess Feist and Gregory Feist, 6e

Personality Theory and Research, Lawrence Pervin and Oliver John