Normative vs. Interactive Measurement Models in Personality Studies
Normative vs. Interactive Measurement Models in Personality Studies In the quest to satisfy humanity’s curiosity about itself, psychologists examine not only observable behaviors that may provide insight into persons, but also certain intrinsic traits of personality, considered the wellsprings of these behaviors. When Wilhelm Wundt established his psychological laboratory in 1879 and began his search for the allen gemiene—that which is common to all—amid data from psycho-sensory experiments (Lamiell, 2006), he expressed no desire to study phenomena not common to all. However, his contemporaries felt that a study of individual differences should be concurrent with this study of commonalities, and a measurement model based on the logic of these differences quickly became the vessel to take psychology on the journey toward personality discovery. The discipline has remained largely loyal to the individual differences model, yet the body of work on personality psychology reveals a long history of disappointingly low behavior-trait correlations, leading to skepticism about everything from data collection methods to the existence of a measurable personality itself (Lamiell, 1987)
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