Personality Trait

What Is Personality Trait?

Traits account for the relatively consistent differences in the ways people tend to think, feel, and behave across situations and over time.

Personality trait refers to differences among individuals in a typical tendency to behave, think, or feel in some conceptually related ways across a variety of relevant situations over some fairly long period of time.

Personality and trait are two related terms. Personality is the distinguishing pattern of psychological characteristics—thinking, feeling, and behaving— that differentiates us from others and leads us to act consistently across situations. Trait, on the other hand, refers to the stable disposition to act, think, and feel in a certain way (over time and across situations).

Because people seem to differ in lasting ways, when we describe others we tend to use trait descriptors, for example: “Mike is outgoing, confident, and friendly”; “Aaron is shy in social settings and has an annoying habit of lying”.

In a very real sense, personality traits, or predispositions to respond in certain ways, define people. Traits make people unique, identifiable, and generally predictable across time.