UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Personality and direct assessment of behaviour Violato, Claudio


The primary purpose of the present study was to develop the thesis that conventional personality psychology has reached its limits as a science and that an alternative approach is both called for and contrivable. Accordingly, the two major classes of personality models — the trait and psycliodynamic models — were critically analyzed in terms of conceptual, methodological and empirical considerations. Situationism, — the antithesis of the trait and psychodynamic models with respect to causality — was examined on the same bases. And finally, interactionism (the model which attempts to incorporate features of both of the former positions) was critically analyzed. It was concluded that some fundamental and crucial shortcomings in these conventional personality psychology positions, have caused personality psychology as a science to have reached its limits. Accordingly, an alternative approach based on direct assessment of behaviour which may provide a basis for the amelioration of the: difficulties that apparently inhere in the former positions, was proposed. More specifically, a personality dimension based on accumulated evidence was suggested and of particular concern was the extent to which people consistently manifest behaviour which can justify the postulation of two behavioural orientations, styles or personality types. An empirical investigation of the transsituational consistency of persistence of behaviour of elementary school children was reported. The results generally supported the hypothesis that the direct assessment of behaviour across varied situations will show higher transsituational consistency of behaviour than the usual indirect assessment procedures have heretofore indicated. The implications of this approach both for the consistency-specificity issue and personality assessment in general, were discussed.

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