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Psychoticism is one of the three traits used by the psychologist Hans Eysenck in his P-E-N model (psychoticism, extraversion and neuroticism) model of personality.

High levels of this trait were believed by Eysenck to be linked to increased vulnerability to psychoses such as schizophrenia. He also believed that blood relatives of psychotics would show high levels of this trait, suggesting a genetic basis to the trait.

Critics of the trait have suggested that the trait is too heterogeneous to be taken as a single trait. For example, Costa and McCrae believe that agreeableness and conscientiousness (both Big Five traits which represent low levels of psychoticism) need to be distinguished in personality models. There is also evidence that some artists score high on measures of psychoticism, suggesting that psychoticism is associated with creativity[citation needed].

Eysenck's theoretical basis for the model was the theory of Einheitspsychosen of the nineteenth-century German psychiatrist Heinrich Neumann.

[edit] Reference

  • Eysenck, H.J. & Eysenck, S.B.G. (1976). Psychoticism as a Dimension of Personality. London: Hodder and Stoughton
  • Costa, Paul T. & McCrae, Robert R. (1995). Primary traits of Eysenck's P-E-N system: Three- and five-factor solutions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 69(2), Aug 1995, 308-317.

See also: Schizotypy


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