Personality

Personality Traits

What are Personality Traits?
Definitions

Last updated:
27 Jul 2004

What are Personality Traits? Definitions

Traits are distinguishing qualities or characteristics of a person.  Traits are a readiness to think or act in a similar fashion in response to a variety of different stimuli or situations.

In general, trait theory assumes that people differ on variables or dimensions that are CONTINUOUS. People are seen to differ in the AMOUNTS or QUANTITIES of a characteristic rather than differ in the QUALITY of their characteristics.

Traits are now more in favour than types.  Remember, traits are continuous; types are categorical.

Category

Character

Number

Types

discontinuous, discrete, qualitative

Few

Traits

continuous, degree, quantitative

Many