Definition: In trait theory, preferences and attitude.

Quite Simply...


  • Traits related to preferences or attitude that only arise in certain situations.
  • Unlike the other two traits in Allport's theory, the secondary traits only come our when coaxed.

Examples of Secondary Traits


  • Getting nervous when speaking in front of a crowd.
  • Becoming impatient while waiting in line.
  • When put in a stressful situation (such as running late for a meeting), you are more agitated than you would usually be if you arrived on time.
    This agitation is the secondary trait.

Gordon Allport's Humanistic Trait Theory


Allport's trait/disposal theory assumes individuals possess three types of traits: Central Traits, Secondary Traits, and Cardinal Traits.