Name and describe Eysenck’s three general types, or superfactors.

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The three general types of personality, according to Hans Eysenck, were neuroticism (a tendency towards emotion and "moodiness", including anxiety, fear, worry, and the like), extroversion (a person's tendency to be outgoing and relate easily to others), and psychoticism (the tendency towards a psychotic break, but also a person's aggression, tough mindedness, and anger).

These three superfactors are further split into a number of levels, but Eysenck reasoned that, using subgroups of these three traits, every person's identity could be boiled down. Other theories take into account five traits, some of them in common with Esenck's model, and Eysenck himself acknowledges the potential for more traits, but he argues that these three are the fundamental factors. He subdivides them further into a total of 27 subcategories—9 for each factor, as follows:

Psychoticism: Aggressive, assertive, egocentric, unsympathetic, manipulative, achievement-oriented, dogmatic, masculine, tough-minded.

Extroversion: sociable, irresponsible, dominant, lack of reflection, sensation-seeking, impulsive, risk-taking, expressive, active.

Neuroticism: anxious, depressed, guilt feelings, low self-esteem, moody, hypochondriac, lack of autonomy, obsessive.

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Hans Eysenck's theory of personality suggests that there are three dimensions of personality: extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism.  Every individual falls somewhere on each of these three spectrums which results in their personality type.  Eysenck described extraversion and neuroticism as supertraits, because he believed that all human traits could be broken down into these two distinct categories.  It wasn't until later that psychoticism was added to the model.  According to Eysenck, four specific personality types exist:

  • High neuroticism and high extraversion = Choleric
  • High neuroticism and low extraversion = Melancholic
  • Low neuroticism and high extraversion = Sanguine
  • Low neuroticism and low extraversion = phlegmatic




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