Sunday, April 1, 2012

Problems with Hans Eysenck's Central Nervous Based Theory of Temperament

What are some of the problems encountered in trying to test a nervous-system based theory of temperament? The short essay will elucidate several problems in trying to test Hans Eysenck’s central nervous system based theory of temperament. His theory asserts that extroverts have lower levels of brain arousal than introverts. Consequently, the varying levels arousal within the brain causes extroverts to actively seek out stimulation and introverts to seek out less stimulation. The first problem associated with this theory is that it is difficult to define and measure arousal with the central nervous system. Currently, there is no tool to measure arousal rates. In addition, there is no specific elicited response that arises during this arousal such as a fever. Thus, it is impossible to conclusively state that a person temperament is directly related to arousal levels within the central nervous system. Another problem encountered in trying to test this nervous-system based theory is that the human body naturally attempts to correct unbalances within itself. It is always seeking equilibrium. Thus, it makes measuring levels of brain arousal incredibly difficult. For instance, if there was an increased arousal rate and the body naturally compensated for this unbalance with in nervous-system, how would we ever know that it was unbalanced? Despite these problems in testing this theory scientists have found some results through EEG studies to support this theory. However, the problems associated with testing this theory make it impossible to gain enough reliable experimental evidence to prove this theory of temperament conclusively.

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