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The word trait has interlocking meanings:

In Personality

A trait is a prominent psychological aspect of a person that is stable across situations. Such a behaviour, emotion, or pattern of thinking may have been learnt and this becomes part of character. Some traits may be biological in origin and are said to be traits of temperament. Both sets of traits go to define personality.

How traits occur together is the subject of trait theory

Traits are distingiuished from transient states by their durability. So for example trait anxiety is an ongoing predisposition to anxiety across time and situations and is contrasted with state anxiety which is ephemeral.

In genetics

Traits are also used to describe the characteristics of a person or thing. They usually refer to the dominant and recessive traits which are found in each being. The certain traits in which one can inherit are found by using a Punnett Squares, a table which shows the traits of parents and the possible outcomes that could occur. Every one of the beings outcomes/traits are different from the parents, siblings, etc. This is why no two beings are the same.

See also

References & Bibliography

Key texts



Allport, Floyd H. & Allport, Gordon W. (1921). Personality traits: Their classificiation and measurement. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 16, 6-40. Full text

Allport, Gordon W. (1927). Concepts of trait and personality. Psychological Bulletin, 24, 284-293. Full text

Additional material



External links