The Single Personality Trait Approach
Much personality research has studied the origin, nature and consequences of single traits, such as introversion. Funder (2001) focuses on three single traits that have received wide attention and have been the subject of investigation in hundreds of studies:
To illustrate the single trait approach, let's take a look at authoritarianism.
Single Trait: Authoritarianism
The personality trait of authoritarianism has been extensively studied since the 1950's. Much initial research was done as a reaction to the outrages which occurred in Nazi Germany during WWII. Authoritarianism began to be studied in order to try to understand its nature and its origin. Authoritarianism is felt to lie at the heart of racial prejudice.
Think of the stereotypical "Hitler", and you have the authoritarian personality.
The Authoritarian personality may be described a person who is
unthinking and inflexible, aggressive, worshipful of authority above,
contemptuous of those below, fascinated by power, cynical, and may be