PSYC FPX 2900 Assessment 1 Lola from a Traits Perspective
For this paper the case study of Lola and her personality will be analyzed using two trait theories. Which theory better describes Lola and how her personality traits may have developed will also be determined. The two theories or models of personality are Eysenck’s hierarchal model of Personality , and the Five Factor Model.
Models of Personality
To understand Lola’s unique personality traits better, it is important to understand how the two models view personality. Hans Eysenck developed his model on personalities based on three main traits Psychoticism (P), Extraversion-Introversion (E), and Neuroticism-Emotional Stability (N), easily recognizable by the acronym PEN (Larson & Buss, 2021). Eysenck believed that these traits are moderately heritable and any of the traits such as Extraversion can be at the “top “of the hierarchy or be considered more dominant. He also suggested a biological link between traits and a physiological response in the body such as Extraversion in an individual being linked to higher responsiveness of the Central Nervous system. A concise summary of Eysenck’s model using his PEN traits describes each “super trait such as Psychoticism having more narrow traits underneath such as aggressive, cold , creative, antisocial , impersonal .
Extraversion-Introversion has sub-traits of sociable, lively, active, surgent and Neuroticism- Emotional Stability has sub traits of anxious, depressed, shy, emotional , tense, low self-esteem. Each narrow sub trait is followed by habitual acts and then specific acts in Eysenck’s model. For example, a habitual act of a sociable personality could be going to parties and a specific act would be going to bingo every 3rd Friday of the month with the senior class. This is the basic structure of Eysenck’s hierarchal model ( Larson & Buss, 2021).
The next model is the Five factory model which uses these broad traits of Surgency/extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional stability, and -Culture/intellect/openness. Under the five-factor model the traits can be measured in of two ways. The first being a self-rating of descriptive adjectives such as , talkative, warm, calm, artistic, each falling under one of the broad five traits; Talkative falling under extraversion and artistic falling under Culture/intellect/openness. There are thousands of other adjectives, but they would be categorized under one of the five traits. The other way to measure which is used more commonly is also a self- rating system but uses sentences to describe an individual’s personality, for example, “I enjoy talking to and meeting new people!” ;which would go under Surgency/extraversion. (Larson & Buss, 2021). These personality dispositions can be combined to better describe an individual’s personality than by using a single disposition. Those who score high on Agreeableness and high on extraversion tend to do more volunteer work (Larson and Buss, 2021). There are countless variables to these combinations accounting for the many unique personalities that exist.
Lola is a young college-age woman who has is going through some difficulty with her social and personal life. She has had a history of difficulty with connecting to people in her life including her family members and those close to her. She seems to think people have an angle for their motives to be her friend or be close to her, and she often thinks other girls are jealous of her beauty. Though she knows she is beautiful, she doubts others and their motives for relating this fact to her. She has had some issues with stress and school throughout her life but has found some creative inspiration with subjects in the arts like painting and music where she describes joy and fulfilment. She recently broke up with her boyfriend and is having a rough time coping with that while also trying to find her self-identity.
Examining those close to Lola in her life can bring some insight to how her personality may have developed. Taking Eysenck’s Hierarchal Model of Personality as guide, one can understand how Lola might have inherited some of her dispositional traits from her mother. Eysenck believed that broad traits were moderately heritable. Lola’s mother describes herself as not being sociable or having friends when she was growing up like Lola, and places blame on Lola for not being like her other daughter Emily. Lola also states her parents did not have enough time for her and her sister growing up.
Lola and her mother both exhibit high introversion traits suggesting Lola inherited some of these traits from her mother. At one point Lola decides to start modeling and though initially finding some happiness in this, she eventually realizes that she is self-conscious of many things about herself and exhibits signs traits of Neuroticism with having unstable emotions. She continues to show low emotional stability with her trouble sleeping , difficulty with class and school after her breakup. Lola also shows signs of creativity with her interest in the arts which are specific acts that can fall under Psychoticism in Eysenck’s hierarchical model of personality. It can be noted that Eysenck’s model can be used to better understand those individuals who are more prone to psychosis (Knežević et al., 2019 ).
Lola’s personality throughout her life depicts one that has few social interactions, few friends, high stress levels but also streaks of creativity and confidence. These can be linked to Introversion, Neuroticism and Psychoticism which are the three main broad traits that Eysenck used for his hierarchical model , (PEN).
Though it may be argued that the five-factor model with its many variable combinations of descriptive personality traits could also describe Lola, Eysenck’s hierarchal model better describes how Lola’s personality may have developed in relation with her family and life growing up.
Knežević, G., Lazarević, L. B., Purić, D., Bosnjak, M., Teovanović, P., Petrović, B., & Opačić, G. (2019). Does eysenck’s personality model capture psychosis-proneness? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 143, 155-164. doi:https://doi-org.library.capella.edu/10.1016/j.paid.2019.02.009
Larsen, R., & Buss, D. M. (2021). Personality psychology: Domains of knowledge about human nature (7th ed. ., pp. 67-82). McGraw-Hill