Based on the Trait/Cognitive theoretical perspective compare Unique vs. Universal

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unique personality traits are consist on salient characteristics that often manifest during situations that are equally unique or out of norm. According the Five Factor Personality theory, unique traits are any traits that do not fall under the OCEAN category. The OCEAN hypothesis contends that all humans share five big attributes universally (The Big Five), and that all of our behaviors can categorize us as any of the following: a) open, b) conscientious c) extroverted, d) agreeable, or e) neurotic. Hence, in the FFP uniqueness is whatever does not fit the Big Five Model. If we explore uniqueness under Allport's theoretical frameworks, then Uniqueness would be synonymous with cardinal traits. Cardinal traits are the attributes that manifest in our personality unexpectedly and as a response to the immediate environment. Uniqueness would then be a separate set of behaviors and mannerisms that completely distance us from the rest of our peers.

Universal personality traits can be explained under the Big Five model as the shared attributes that are expected to be witnessed in the behaviors and reactions of most individuals. This is what OCEAN is all about: being able to extrapolate and measure traits in order to analyze and even predict personality. Under Allport's theory, universal personality traits constitute what Allport calls the "central" and "secondary" traits. Like with the Big Five Model of the FFP theory, there is a supposition that humans have an inherent set of characteristics that are equally shared and expected to come up. Like the FFP, Allport also agrees that universality and uniqueness co-exist in the everyday lives of all individuals.