Measurable Like Temperature or Mereological Like Flocking? On the Nature of Personality Traits

Angelique O. J. Cramer*, Sophie Van der Sluis, Arjen Noordhof, Marieke Wichers, Nicole Geschwind, Steven H. Aggen, Kenneth S. Kendler, Denny Borsboom

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Some commentators wholeheartedly disagreed with the central tenet of the network perspective on personality, namely that traits are the result of mutual interactions between thoughts, feelings and behaviours. In this rejoinder, we primarily focus on these commentaries by (i) clarifying the main differences between the latent versus the network view on traits; (ii) discussing some of the arguments in favour of the latent trait views that were put forward by these commentators; and by (iii) comparing the capacity of both views to explain thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Some commentators were by and large positive about the network perspective, and we discuss their excellent suggestions for defining components and linking these to genes and other biological mechanisms. We conclude that no doors should be closed in the study of personality and that, as such, alternative theories such as the network perspective should be welcomed, formalised and tested.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)451-459
    JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


    • latent trait perspective
    • personality traits
    • network models


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