Hans Eysenck's Trait Theory of Personality


Hans Eysenck’s created Two Basic Dimensions for personality which are introversion-extraversion and emotionality-stability. Within the Extroversion dimension, it includes traits such as sociability, activeness, and dominance. In the introversion dimension, it includes traits such as carefulness, control, and thoughtfulness in their actions. Unlike extroverts introverts have a higher baseline level for arousal. It takes a lower amount of stimulation before an introvert before being stimulated.  Extraverts however enjoy and thrive off of high amounts of stimulation. Through his idea and diagram he is also able to gage and “measure” emotional stability (however for this essay I will be focusing solely on the idea of introversion versus extroversion). Eysenck’s two main personality types allow a broad spectrum of traits to categorize and its goal is to validate theories about personality being largely governed by biology. With his model he was able to make the approach of personality more quantifiable making it feel more reliable.

I have a sister who is 6 years younger than me. While we have always been close, anyone who knows us would describe us as complete opposites. Ironically however, we have the same birthday. One year, our birthday landed on a Sunday and we had to go to church with our family. I personally hated being the center of attention while my sister loved it. I got dressed like I usually did and throughout the day I tried as hard as possible to draw as little attention to myself as I could. On the other hand my sister loves attention. So she decided to go in with her bright pink birthday ribbon and made it known to everyone she encountered that it was our birthday. Since she made it known that it was our birthday, everyone took the time to sing us happy birthday. While my sister stood tall soaked up the attention, I awkwardly stood next to her unsure of how to react.

I felt like this story was the perfect example Eysneck’s personality types. I think it would help to support Eysenck’s claim with their being two main personality types, and that biology plays a majority role in someone's personality. We both had the same upbringing and yet were on different parts of Eysenck’s spectrum. While the attention made me slightly anxious and was draining, my sister found the attention exciting.

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