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Dispositional Personality Theories Essay

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Updated: Mar 19th, 2021

Though many researchers claim that dispositional personality theories are limited to the descriptive principles and do not suggest an explanation of how the traits of an individual influence his/her behavior, it is necessary to analyze the strengths and limitations of this theory applied to the evaluation of Sarah Palin’s behavior. As such, it is necessary to mention that the personal traits of an individual cannot be the only features shaping the behavior. As suggested by McCrae and Costa (1996), “Personality traits may have genetic or environmental origins, but whatever their source, once established they characterize the individual, not the situation” (p. 57). Thus, when Sarah Palin finds herself in different situations, she may demonstrate implicitly or explicitly the traits of her personality regarding the same topic. This is the limitation of dispositional personality theories because behavior depends on other factors than just personality traits.

At the same time, the strengths of dispositional personality theories include applying to various types of traits and behaviors. For instance, such a trait of Sarah Palin as agreeableness is used to persuade people in her pro-life position as opposed to her position concerning the invasion of Iraq and the necessity of limiting the nuclear potential of North Korea. Though her political views may mismatch her personal views in daily life, the dispositional personality theories can be easily applied to her to infer that she can be supportive and cooperative if she uses her agreeableness. So, Sarah Palin is a good example of the application of dispositional personality theories.

Reference

McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (1996). Toward a new generation of personality theories: theoretical contexts for the five-factor model. In J. S. Wiggins (Ed.), The five-factor model of personality: theoretical perspectives (51-88). New York: Guilford Press.

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