Conclusions and Future Research Guidelines

Conclusions and Future Research Guidelines

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2283-6.ch005

Abstract

The main aim of this book is to present contemporary research findings in the field of brain activity and human personality. Certain psychological and electrophysiological attributes of human personality and their relationship were presented. The contribution of this research and the whole book is described here. Also, the focus has been given to the novelty of research findings. In addition, like many other studies, this study has given some answers but at the same time has revealed many more questions. Therefore, various guidelines for future research, and some innovative measurement/methodology proposals have been presented in this last section.
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Opportunities And Challenges In Electrophysiological Research On Personality

One of the hallmarks of the field of personality psychology is the breadth and sophistication of its methods. Thumbing through a typical issue of a personality journal, one encounters a rich array of research designs, assessment procedures, and statistical techniques… Just as personality psychologists appreciate the complexity of human nature and individual variability, so too do we appreciate the diverse ways in which that complexity can be assessed, quantified, and examined. (Robins, Fraley & Krueger, 2007, ix)

A large number of authors who systematically study the interrelationship between cognition, personality and their biological basis, has strived to find the causes of the existing disagreements, both among theoretical assumptions as well as in the chain of inconsistent findings, which have a specifically strong presence in the field of analyzing the relation between personality and brain evoked potentials. Matthews and Gilliland (2001) concluded that there are two fundamental factors: the absence of the best research strategy to improve the biological personality theories and insufficient prominence of individual differences in cognition as a significant factor in the context of the personality traits theory.

Considering the first cause, the main obstacle is the extreme complexity of experiment data, and the difficulty of achieving consistent results, leading to biological theories that are ignoring a growing number of evidence that personality traits are in very different ways associated with multiple and independent systems of the brain and not only them. As for the second cause, there are discussions in the direction that some phenomena are best explained by means of integrated bio-cognitive explanations, while others can be explained in terms of the cognitive constructs without a direct relation with nervous system processes, resulting in the formation of an excessively large number of biological personality theories and situations in which cognitive explanations are preferred to the neurological. On the other hand, Eysenck (1997) emphasized in his study of the uniqueness of psychology and the possibility of creating a paradigm for both the person and intelligence that excessive and artificial separation of correlational and experimental approaches, which have resulted in a lack of necessary research paradigms in the study of individual differences, which was discussed in the introduction of work, and which was later enriched by Stelmack’s examples (1997).

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Conceptual Problems In Personality Traits Theories

Regarding Eysenck's (1967) personality theory, it is clear that it is supported by a range of evidence from the behavioral genetics circle since their consistent psychophysiological paradigms reject the possibility that personality traits are social constructs without biological components, which was the starting point in this paper. However, Mathews and Gilliland (1999) provided a critical review of the fact that particular psychophysiological findings on the threshold of sensitivity and conditioning truly support Eysenck's view on the relation between extraversion and lower levels of cortical-reticular excitation. They have pointed out that an exaggerated generalization of interaction effects of extraversion and stimulus intensity occurs in different research paradigms, although the determined nervous systems that underlie these responses have not been specified. The existing biological theories have yet to decide how to conceptualize the complexity that is evident in the empirical data.

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