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J Gen Psychol. 1977 Apr;96(2d Half):185-207.

On the reality and relevance of traits.

Abstract

A review of published research on traits of personality is focused on the controversy over situationism vs. trait theory. Extreme emphasis on situationism is interpreted as a return to the atomistic psychologies of Wundt, Titchener, Watson, and Weiss. Available data are interpreted to indicate that "trait" can be defined operationally, that existing measures are adequately reliable, and that stability over long periods of time contradicts the situationist thesis. Trait measures predict behavior in the laboratory, in education, and industry. The trait construct should be retained in the vocabulary of scientific psychology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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