Theory and Measurement of Personality Traits

Allan R. Harkness

in Oxford Handbook of Personality Assessment

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780195366877
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Theory and Measurement of Personality Traits

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  • Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment and Testing
  • Social Psychology


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This article describes the connections between basic emotion systems and personality traits. It discusses the fear, anger (or rage), interest (or seeking), and joy emotion systems and links them to personality traits. The article argues that modern psychological findings from behavior genetic, longitudinal, and clinical studies cannot be interpreted without including stable individuating personality traits as causes in psychological theories. Using personality sketches to illustrate behavioral features, it provides an introduction to trait concepts that can enrich clinical case conception. The article looks at the highly available Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) personality trait scales, called the Personality Psychopathology-Five scales, and how they are used in personality assessment.

Keywords: emotion; personality; personality assessment; personality traits; MMPI-2; Personality Psychopathology-Five; fear; anger; joy

Article.  8744 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing ; Social Psychology

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