Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Hans J��rgen Eysenck on Dimensional Approach - Dictionary of Arguments

Corr II 77
Dimensional Approach/Eysenck, H. J./Kieron/Corr: [The dimensional approach] systematizes variations and renders traits measurable as quantifiable data – after all, natural traits (e.g., height) vary along a dimension [too]. [Moreover,] the diversity contained in dimensions can always later be systematically and empirically converted into categories (e.g., personality ‘types’), but the reverse is not the case (…). There is no contradiction where quantitative extremes on the same dimension, as calculated through statistical cut-offs, may subsequently differ qualitatively (…). A dimensional approach allows portrayal of an individual as complex and multidimensional and some dimensions may be more important than others at different times and occasions (…).The dimensional approach allows us systematically to go beyond individual symptoms and signs which in themselves may not reliably appear but form rather part of a pattern (Polman, O’Connor, & Huisman, 2011)(1). Putting psychopathology on a dimension allows aberrant behaviour to be identified on one end of a continuum with normal behaviour. This allows for the understanding of patient behaviour as a progression (O’Connor, 2016) (2). It also somewhat normalizes the behaviour since extreme anxiety, for example, can be related to a normal anxiety that everyone experiences (…). Finally, a dimensional approach has a destigmatizing influence. Psychiatric patients do not come from another planet; their symptoms are cut from the same psychological cloth that the rest of us wear. >Personality/Traits.

1. Polman, A., O’Connor, K. P., & Huisman M. (2011). Dysfunctional belief-based subgroups and inferential confusion in obsessive–compulsive disorder. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 153–158.
2. O’Connor, K. (2016). Hans Eysenck and the individual differences paradigm in the clinical setting. Personality and Individual Differences, 103, 99–104.

O’Connor, Kieron P. and Philip J. Corr : “The Dimensional Model of Personality and Psychopathology Revisiting Eysenck (1944)”, In: Philip J. Corr (Ed.) 2018. Personality and Individual Differences. Revisiting the classical studies. Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne: Sage, pp. 69-85.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Eysenck, Hans Jürgen
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018

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