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Best in Show

           As mentioned previously, Best in Show is an attempt to provide perspective to a community that may be obscure for those that do not understand dog show competitions. The film attempts to show quirky (yet passionately portrayed) characters who share a common goal: to win the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. Although there is this similarity, each person (and his/her dog) truly represents completely different personalities that can be explained (in part) by the major components of trait theory. Although you have learned about multiple trait theories, each theory has one underlying principle: people have dispositions that reflect their personality (regardless of the source). The different theories take different approaches as to
a.) what a trait comprises; b.) how important a trait is; and c.) the underlying sources that express the trait. Your assignment is to write a 1500-word (minimum) essay that supports how trait theory is depicted in Best in Show. You must explain (while using links from the film) in terms of any of the following theorists: Allport, Cattell, and any “other” trait theorist that we covered in class (e.g., Eyesenck, Costa & McCrae, etc.). All of the following are expected elements of your paper:  

An introduction that gives an overview of three characters in the film and a general overview of how your intended theory (see above) explains each character’s traits.

A clear characterization of three of the film’s characters in terms of how each person’s behaviors express traits from his/her personality and how elements from your chosen theory pertain the your character’s behaviors.

Clear (and specific) demonstrations of how the film supports evidence of each person’s traits.

For each film trait comparison, there must be evidence from a minimum of three primary sources that link the film (another required source) to empirical literature on trait theory.

An explanation of how these traits may continue to exist in each person after the end of the film.