All You Need To Know About Cardinal Traits In Psychology

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If I ask you what’s your dominant trait? Think about that dominant trait… make sure that the dominant trait you are thinking of must match your personality. If you were able to think of a dominant trait, you can comment down and share it with us. 

Now, let’s understand that dominant trait of yours through the lens of psychology. The dominant traits that make us “Us” or those traits who we are known for are cardinal traits. In short, cardinal traits are the dominant type of personality traits that are rare but mold your personality.

For example, suppose you know a person because of their supportive and friendly personality, you might tie them with kindness in every situation you might think of. This is how the psychology of cardinal traits works, but to understand cardinal traits psychologically, we might have to understand the exact meaning, examples, and psychology.

In this blog, we will be taking a deep look at what are cardinal traits in psychology, their meanings, examples, psychology, famous people with cardinal traits, and more. So, let’s get started!  

What are Cardinal Traits in Psychology?

Cardinal traits are the dominant traits in a personality who becomes best known for a personality or you can say they also become a synonym to identify the personality.

These dominant traits are the rarest traits and can easily help us to determine a personality based on their qualities. The development of cardinal traits can be seen after crossing teenage years.

You might see a personality with different or unique aspects of behavior, attitudes, and purpose. For example, you might know a personality based on their single dominant characteristics which shape their entire personality or life. 

The Importance of Cardinal Traits 

As per Allport’s research, cardinal traits are known to be the most powerful traits in a personality. They are dominant, big, bright, and rare. They make us “Us.”

If someone finds their cardinal trait correctly, they are able to find their theme and purpose exactly. It not only determines the quality but it’s deeper than that, it tells us our purpose, dedication, theme, and much more.

One of the most important facts to know is that everyone cannot have a cardinal trait because everyone has a mixed personality which consists of different traits.  However, it’s also a fact that only a few people are able to select their cardinal traits correctly.

Here’s how you can identify your cardinal trait on the basis of an example:

Suppose, there’s a person who has immense love for dogs, he/she might find themselves drawn towards dogs and might call themselves a dog lover. It’s like their trait is more magnetic towards the things they love. Therefore, in psychology such traits are more based on decision-based traits. for example, if your cardinal trait is honesty, you might like to be honest in every situation. 

Psychological History of Cardinal Traits 

Personality psychology was developed by one of the famous psychologists Gordon Allport who later also discovered different personality traits. After completing his research, he combined a lot of dictionary terms that were related to personality.

During this, he found that there were +4,000 different terms revolving around personality traits. Therefore, he developed three different categories of personality traits which were named central, secondary, and cardinal. 

Central traits were defined to be the basic building blocks of personality. Meanwhile, secondary traits were defined to be the personality traits that present people in certain situations. Coming forth to cardinal traits, are a combination of several traits.

For example, when we think of Mother Teresa, we connect her with kindness and goodness. On the other hand, when we think of Adolf Hitler, we think of an evil personality. 

Herein, we can also look for other famous personalities with cardinal traits:

Albert Einstein: Brilliant 
Angelina Jollie: Warmth, Optimism
Abraham Lincoln: Honesty 
Donald Trump: Competitiveness 
Jesus Christ: Faithful, Holy
Mahatma Gandhi: Peaceful 
Martin Luther King, Jr: Heroic 
Niccolo Machiavelli: Ruthless
Oprah Winfrey: Sociability, openness 
Rihanna: Ambition
Rosa Parks: Courage 
Sigmund Freud: Analytical 
Steve Jobs: Intelligent, Ambition, and Brilliant 

15 Examples of Cardinal Traits 

Below listed are some of the common examples of cardinal traits: 

Adventurousness: This cardinal trait revolves around a passion or magnet towards seeking new experiences.  

Altruism: Altruism’s cardinal trait revolves more around a personality who desires to help others even if it’s costing their own interests.  

Ambition: This cardinal trait revolves more around the need or desire to reach success or achieve something in life. 

Cautiousness: This cardinal trait revolves around a tendency to do everything carefully or avoid risks. Such people consider or evaluate everything before acting or doing something. 

Competitiveness: Competitiveness is a desire or encompassing need to achieve everything or to the best in every aspect they opt for. 

Courage: Courageous are the people who refuse to give up in any situation, such people inspire others as well. 

Determination: Determined are those people who do not lack motivation, refuse to give up, and keep trying until they achieve. No matter how many setbacks they have faced, you will always see them working towards their goals.  

Dominance: Dominance is all about keeping a strong inclination towards keeping control or influence over others.  

Extroversion: Extroversion is a dominant cardinal trait wherein one is more focused on interacting with the outside world. Such people are outgoing and sociable. They gain energy by communicating or interacting with others. 

Independence: An urge to stay self-relied or maintain a resistance level is known to be an independent type of personality. Such people choose to stay independent in every situation. 

Innovation: Do you remember Steve Jobs? Steve Jobs set a benchmark for all of us and actually converted our dreams into reality. He was well-known for his innovation and groundbreaking ideas.  

Introversion: Introversion is all about keeping a centralized personality, focusing on the inner self, and avoiding social activities.  

Nurturing: Nurturing revolves around a desire or need to care for, protect, and foster others.  

Optimism: Optimism is one of the best and dominant traits to consistently exist with positivity or expect positive outcomes in every situation.  

Perfectionism: Perfectionism is an example of cardinal traits that revolve around a deep desire to achieve perfection in almost everything. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is extraversion a cardinal trait?

Extraversion belongs to the “big five models of personality traits.” Extraversion focuses more on outward attention, to the people who are more outgoing or sociable.  Therefore, no extraversion is a cardinal trait because it represents two extreme personality characteristics. 

2. Is kindness a personality trait?

Yes, kindness is a personality trait because this term might help in revealing someone’s personal identity. It can refer to someone who volunteers a lot, helps others, makes donations, or treats everyone with compassion. 

3. Does everyone have a cardinal trait?

No, everyone cannot have a cardinal trait because everyone has a mixed personality which consists of different traits.  However, it’s also a fact that only a few people are able to select their cardinal traits correctly. 

4. What is an example of a cardinal trait?

A cardinal trait is a dominant trait in someone’s personality and behavior. For example, when we think of Mother Teresa, we think of her kindness, smile, and honesty. 

5. What are the three types of traits?

According to the Allport grouping, three different traits are central traits, cardinal traits, and secondary traits. 

6. What are the examples of a trait?

Generosity, devotion, loyalty, generosity, and kindness are some of the examples of a trait. 

Wrapping Up: Cardinal Traits and 20s

Since the cardinal traits determine, the dominant personalities can help determine someone’s personality. In this era, they can be really helpful for giving someone a synonym. While deciding someone’s cardinal trait, it’s important to focus on that rare quality that defines them.

The psychology of cardinal traits was defined in the early years of this era. I would still like to take the help of the five broad personality dimensions to determine a personality which are based on extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and openness. However, if I want to title a person with a synonym, I would go with cardinal traits. 

I hope this blog helps you understand are cardinal traits in psychology and its examples. Comment down and share your cardinal trait with us. For more such content, connect with us through all social media platforms. 

Thanks for reading!

The post All You Need To Know About Cardinal Traits In Psychology appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.

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