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    Individual versus common personality traits

  • Allport defines traits as either individual or common in nature. "Strictly speaking, no two persons ever have precisely the same trait. Though each of two men may be aggressive (or aesthetic), the style and range of the aggression (or estheticism) in each case is noticeably different. What else could be expected in view of the unique hereditary endowment, the different developmental history, and the never-repeated external influences that determine each personality? The end product of unique determination can never be anything but unique" (p.297).
  • Allport noted there might be a deep assumption when comparing individuals about the underlying unity or sameness of the population measured. "For all their ultimate differences, normal persons within a given culture-area, tend to develop a limited number of roughly comparable modes of adjustment. The original endowment of most human beings, their stages of growth, and the demands of their particular society, are sufficiently standard and comparable to lead to some basic modes of adjustment that from individual to individual are approximately the same. To take an example: the nature of the struggle for survival in a competitive society tends to force every individual to seek his own most suitable level of aggression... Somewhere between the extremes of exaggerated domination and complete passivity, there lies for each normal individual a level of adaptation that fits his intimate requirements" (pp.197-298).

The role concept

The role concept was introduced in the book The Study of Man by Ralph Linton: 'A status, as distinct from the individual who may occupy it, is simply a collection of rights and duties..a role represents the dynamic aspect of a status... When (an individual) puts the rights and duties into effect, he is performing a role... Status and role serve to reduce the ideal patterns for social life to individual terms. They become models for organizing the attitudes and behavior of the individual so that these will be congruous with those of the other individuals participating in the pattern.'

In the book The Cultural Background of Personality Linton adds to his role explanation: 'The term role will be used to designate the sum total of the culture patterns associated with a particular status. It thus includes the attitudes, values and behavior ascribed by the society to any and all persons occupying the status. It can even be extended to include the legitimate expectations of such person with respect to the behavior towards them of persons of other statuses within the same system.'

Linton put forward a simple twofold classification dividing roles into those which are ascribed ('assigned to individuals without reference to their innate differences or abilities') and those which are achieved ('left open to be filled through competition and individual effort'). The criteria for ascribed roles must be evident at birth, making it possible to begin training immediately and eliminating all uncertainty. Such criteria are those of sex, age, kinship relations, and birth into a particular class or caste. Achieved roles, however, are given are given to the people whose individual performance qualifies them as the most meritorious. This classification is based on the mode of allocation of roles.

Roles are ranked in respect of prestige: the role of surgeon confers more prestige than that of chemist. Prestige is an abstract concept used to sum up the various little form of deference people show to those whom they respect socially and the devices they use to degrade those whom they consider inferior. Prestige is an attribute of roles: all surgeons enjoy the same prestige as representatives of an occupation. People distinguish, however, between outstanding surgeons and mediocre ones; this evaluation of how well someone performs a role is an assessment of esteem. Robertson will be highly esteemed as a radiologist and very little esteemed as a bridge-player. Esteem is thus a judgement of individuals not of roles. In any community or group of acquaintances a man is apt to be ranked on a basis of both these factors. If people could be given so many marks for the prestige of each of their roles, and more marks for the esteem they earn in carrying them out, and then all these could be added up, this would be an arithmetical measure of their social standing in the group. Some groups or communities value certain kinds of behavior more than others but this does not affect the general notion. In practice, such evaluations are made at times even if the process is not altogether conscious and the reckoning is far from arithmetical. It will be apparent that this kind of judgement can be made only in a fairly small community in which people are well acquainted with an individual's various roles and his fulfillment of them. To a certain extent the same procedure is carried out in larger communities or in the nation at large when it is referred to as an assessment of social status: because fewer factors can be taken into account when people are not acquainted with one another personally, judgments of social status are based upon roles held and not upon performance. Social status is therefore different from legal status. It is an evaluation of an individual's claims to deference in respect of the prestige of the various roles he plays: objective measures of social status can be based upon such factors as an individual's occupation, income, length of education, housing, etc.

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, A self help and improvement book: useful psychology information (an integration of personality, social, interaction, communication and well-being psychology). OpenStax CNX. Jul 11, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11139/1.47
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