Dispositional and Evolutionary Theories
19 November, 2018 in Coursework Examples
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Dispositional and Evolutionary Theories


The study of personality has a comprehensive and diverse account in psychology with a plenty of hypothetical traditions. The main theories comprise psychodynamic, dispositional (trait) theory, humanistic, behaviorist, biological, social learning, and evolutionary perception (Adam, 2011). Nevertheless, many scholars and psychologists do not openly recognize themselves with a specific perception and, as an alternative, they take the eclectic method. Personality describes the outline of feelings, thoughts, behaviors and social adjustments, steadily displayed over time that intensely impacts one's prospects, self-perceptions, ideals, and attitudes. It also forecasts human responses to other people, glitches, and stress.

Differences between evolutionary theory and disposition theory

Charles Darwin founded evolutionary theory. The theory investigates how individual character dissimilarities are grounded on normal selection. Through natural picking, creatures vary with time via selection and adaptation (Adam, 2011). Characters are advanced, and particular genes arise into appearance, grounded on the creature’s surrounding and the way these personalities help in an organism's existence and reproduction. The evolution theory has an extensive range of repercussions on personality thinking. Personality, seen via the lens of evolutionary psychology, puts a great pact of weight on exact traits that are most probable to help in existence and reproduction, such as scrupulousness, amiability, emotional steadiness, and dominance. The social features of personality can be realized through an evolutionary viewpoint. Particular character personalities develop and are chosen for since they play vital and composite part in the social pyramid of organisms (Zuckerman, 2012). Such features of this social ladder comprise the sharing of significant resources, mating and family relations, and the harm, or assist creatures to bequeath to one another.

According to Gordon, personality is the vibrant group existing within-person with those psychophysical structures that define individual’s comportment and thought. Disposition theory holds a hopeful sight of human nature and trusts healthy individuals are deliberately inspired, uphold healthy relations, and relate credibly to their surrounding (Zuckerman, 2012). This theory defines personality behaviors called dispositions. Gordon hypothesized central personalities from the essential edifice of individual personalities and subordinate personalities that contribute to less vital characteristics. Gordon considers perception and comicality characteristic in human nature, although dysfunctional mental procedures can abolish or change these inherent physiognomies. He junks psychoanalytic concept and social views, as he considers destiny and character traits are controlled by more obvious motives and the selections we remain making. Dispositional theory has been condemned for being evocative but not descriptive, as there is no argument of the underlying basis of personality (Adam, 2011). In Gordon’s justification, he argued neither his model was complete nor did he argue its basis on scientific analysis. Dispositional theory is not deliberated falsifiable by the logical community, but it does offer an inspiring and informative tactic to personality, when compared to evolutionary theory.

Contributions and criticism of dispositional and evolutionary theories

The theories have strengths and limitations that the researchers identified. For instance, disposition theory has the following contributions. Disposition theory is accountable for the growth of impartial personality tests which have developed to be a support of personality valuation (Zuckerman, 2012). However, the theory has been criticized, because it is better in explaining people and not good at understanding people. Additionally disposition theory mostly depends on self-report character tests to assess and authenticate traits and other features. Moreover, the challenges, these tests have, raise queries on this type of theory.

On the one hand, evolutionary theory has contributed a lot to the medical science. Evolution is very edifying when attempting to comprehend human or sickness evolutionary and coevolution genetics. Sicknesses that are resilient to drugs have been through evolutionary theory, able to get antibiotics. If a single discrete microbe is resilient to the treatment, the inhabitants will effectually evolve and can extent from human to human. Methods of interchanging drugs or discovering fresh ways to circumvent vaccine resistance are grounded in evolutionary biology (Shoda, 2010). Additionally most of the info present on genetics is found in evolutionary biology. Evolutionary theory has also been utilized to attempt and construct the tree of life and define how creatures are associated with one another. This fact is very vital for guarding vanishing species. Moreover, evolutionary theory knowledge on the history of creatures has helped people understand their inherent behaviors well. However, evolutionary theory also has criticism (Heffner, 2012). Many people have seen this theory as unsuited with spiritual beliefs, mainly Christianity. The first section of the biblical book of Genesis defines God’s formation of the sphere, the floras, the faunas, and human beings. A precise understanding of Genesis appears unsuited with the steady evolution of humans and other creatures by natural procedures. Self-reliant of the biblical description, the Christian trusts in the immortality of the personality and beings, as made in the copy of God, have seemed as different to the evolutionary source of people from non-human creatures.

The Big Five personality test

The most renowned work in character psychology over the past four decades has been the Big Five ideal of behavior traits as described below.


This type is explained by marked commitment with the outside world. Extroverts normally enjoy interacting with people and often face positive feelings. They opt being fervent, action-oriented. These are personalities who are probable to say "Yes" to chances for pleasure. Introverts, on the other hand, lack enthusiasm (Shoda, 2010). They are normally quiet and detached from the real world. Their deficiency in social engagement should not be taken as bashfulness or despair; the introvert just requires less inspiration than an extrovert and desires to be alone.


Agreeableness reveals personal variances in concern with teamwork and social harmony. They are, hence, sympathetic, sociable, substantial, accommodating, and willing to cooperate with others. Disagreeable persons, on the other hand, place egotism above moving along with others (Adam, 2011). They are usually unconcerned with others' welfare and, hence, are improbable to spread themselves for other people. Occasionally, their cynicism about others' purposes makes them distrustful and uncooperative. Agreeableness is clearly helpful for achieving and upholding popularity. Agreeable individuals are better adored than displeasing people.


Conscientiousness distresses the method in which people regulate and direct their instincts. Instincts are not innately bad; sometimes restraints need a quick choice, and acting on our first instinct can be an actual response. Additionally, in times of leisure rather than work, performing impulsively and precipitately can be amusing. Others can view imprudent individuals as interesting, “fun-to-be-with”, and crazy (Zuckerman, 2012). This type has benefits. For instance, conscientious persons evade trouble and attain high levels of achievement through focused scheduling and perseverance. They are also certainly viewed by others as bright and dependable.


This refers to the proclivity to experience undesirable feelings. People under this category face negative feelings; for instance, anger, and anxiety among others. This kind of people is expressively reactive. They react emotionally to occasions that would not distress most individuals, and their responses tend to be more penetrating than usual. They are more expected to deduce ordinary circumstances as intimidating, and minor obstructions as hopelessly hard (Shoda, 2010). These glitches in emotive regulation can lessen a neurotic's capability to think openly, make choices, and handle stress efficiently.

Openness to Experience

Openness to Experience defines an aspect of reasoning style that differentiates imaginative, inventive people from conventional people. These types of individuals are logically inquisitive, grateful of art and sensitive to prettiness. They tend to be, related to closed people, more alert of their feelings. Openness is normally presented as good health or more developed by psychologists, who are regularly themselves open to knowledge (Heffner, 2012). The knowledgeable style of the open individual may attend a professor well, but study has shown that shut thinking is linked to greater career performance in police work and to a number of service jobs. Finally, one of the most important improvements of the five-factor traits was the founding of a taxonomy that determines order in a formerly dispersed and muddled field.


Though the idea of behavior has not yet been well-defined by singular description, there is an agreement that personality has a commanding effect on growth and the uniqueness of humanity's diverse character. Models of personality figure their grounds on rather supple traits and characteristics, forced by the situational, social interactions and biology, as well as individual reactions to ecological factors. Regularly theories are grounded on expectations and limited viewpoints rather than on technically verified facts. Thus, psychologists are bound to repeatedly redefine, disprove and realize new strictures, owing to which one may comprehend the different masks of personality, by which human nature's behavior is demarcated.


Adam, T. (2011). Genes, environment, and personality. Oxford: Oxford UP.

Feist, G. (2009). Theories of personality. New York: McGraw Hill.

Heffner, C. L. (2012). Humanistic theory in personality synopsis at ALLPSYCH Online.Psychology Classroom at AllPsych Online. Retrieved from http://allpsych.com/personalitysynopsis/humanistic.html

Shoda, Y. (2010). A cognitive-affective system theory of personality: reconceptualizing situations, dispositions, dynamics, and invariance in personality structure. Psychological Review, 102(2), 246-268.

Zuckerman, M. (2012). The shaping of personality: genes, environments, and chance encounters. Journal of Personality Assessment, 82(1), 11-22.

19 November, 2018 in Coursework Examples
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