The Effects Of Personality Profiling


        Personality can be defined as a persons unique characteristics. These characteristics make individuals behave differently in sporting situations. There are three theories that try to explain how personality characteristics develop:

  • Trait theory
  • Social learning theory
  • Interactionist theory

Trait Theory

        Trait theory suggests that we are born with personality characteristics or traits that are stable and enduring, so that we tend to behave in the same way in most situations. According to trait theory, it is therefore possible to predict how a performer will behave, and a profile of an individual can be developed to help coaches make predictions. Eyesenck developed a diagram (figure 1) that showed introvert, extrovert, neurotic and stable characteristics.

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According to the diagram, an individual can, for example, be classed as a “stable extrovert”, i.e. consistently behaving in a loud manner. Cattell developed a similar personality inventory to predict behaviour; it showed 16 source characteristics and the secondary characteristics of extroversion, independence, toughness and anxiety. The problem with personality profiles is that they are poor at predicting behaviour:

  • The results of questionnaires can be unreliable and inconsistent, often producing varying results for the same individual ...

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