Interface of Alston's conceptual analysis of trait theory and Cattell's multi-trait theory of personality
Buss, A. R. (1977). Interface of Alston's Conceptual Analysis of Trait Theory and Cattell's Multi-Trait Theory of Personality. Multivariate Experimental Clinical Research, 3(1), 21-29.
In a recent series of papers and articles, W.P. Alston has taken a close look at the conceptual structure of the term "trait." In applying Alston's conceptual distinctions to the substantive multi-trait theory of R.B. Cattell, it is argued that Alston has too narrow a view as to how the term "trait" is in fact used, and how it should be used. Contrary to Alston's point of view, it is argued that trait concepts are indeed theoretical constructs rather than simply being terms summarizing behavioral regularities. Notwithstanding the case made against Alston's characterization of trait concepts, itis pointed out that multi-trait theories can be improved by taking seriously some of the distinctions that he has made, although not for all the reasons that he has given.