The Transdisciplinary Philosophy-of-Science Paradigm for Research on Individuals: Foundations for the Science of Personality and Individual Differences

Jana Uher
  • SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.4135/9781526451163.n4

A paradigm summarising basic ideas of personality and integrating field's grand theories

What is it about?

The TPS-Paradigm is aimed at supporting scientists exploring individuals to make explicit and critically reflect on their basic assumptions, metatheories, and methodologies. Here it is applied to explore the basic ideas underlying concepts of 'personality' and to critically analyse the methods used for investigations. This reveals limitations of popular 'trait' concepts and assessment methods not well considered. The TPS-Paradigm is aimed at broadening the portfolio of theories and methods applied in the field to enable comprehensive explorations of 'personality'.

Why is it important?

Personality psychology is fragmented across different theoretical schools of thinking, each with their own particular concepts and theories. The metatheoretical concepts of the TPS-Paradigm highlight commonalities and differences and enable meaningful integrations. They show that 'trait' concepts are based on mistaken beliefs and entail circular explanations. They also highlight that, because psychologists overly rely on rating methods, important ways in which individuals differ (e.g., in their behaviours) have not yet been systematically studied.


Dr Jana Uher
University of Greenwich

Psychologists should no longer hide behind vague and abstract terms such as 'personality' and 'traits' that fail to specify what is actually being studied. This only misleads the increasingly interdisciplinary research community and hinders exchange and advancement of the field.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Jana Uher