Saturday, October 24, 2020

What is Personality in Psychology?

Personality is the characteristic sets of thoughts, feelings, cognitions, and behaviors that make a person unique.

Personality psychology attempts to study similarities and differences in these patterns among different people and groups.

What is Personality in Psychology?
What is Personality in Psychology? 

Introduction to Personality in Psychology

The personality is a set of appearances, mental, physical, emotional, and social characteristics that an individual possesses in a way that differs from those around him so that he is distinguished from others.

Personality can be defined as a set of personal characteristics, thoughts and emotions, in addition to social behaviors and attitudes that mix with each other in a certain consistency.


Personality is the state of integration and functional adaptation of all behavioral and response patterns that an individual learns while practicing various activities in his life within groups such as family, school and work; So that makes him possess distinct personality traits.

Personality is a combination of an individual's responses, habits, goals, and orientations, his self-understanding, and the criteria for his evaluation of them.


Personality can also be described as the result of the internal forces of the individual, which in turn interacts with external forces and influences, and factors. 

Many factors share in the formation of personality, including what is inherent in an individual from birth, such as genetics, or acquired through parenting or experiences. The personality of the individual is constantly affected by all forms of these factors.

Personality is one of the most prominent subjects dealing with psychology with various theories and studies.


The importance of studying personality in psychology has emerged because it is the main component of psychological formation, which is constantly growing and interacting throughout all stages of a person’s life. Therefore, modern psychological studies deal with all aspects of personality with study and analysis.


Definition of Personality in Psychology

It is well known that the human personality is a complex mixture that contains many different components and aspects such as inherited characteristics, habits, and environmental motivations, in addition to tendencies, interests, hobbies, beliefs and many more.


The study of personality focuses on two broad areas: The first is an understanding of individual differences in certain personality characteristics, such as social contact or irritability. The second is understanding how the different parts of a person come together as a whole.

Definitions of personality differ according to the difference between psychologists and the difference in the scientific and theoretical aspects in psychological studies that may prefer research in one aspect over the other. The most prominent of these definitions are:


J. P. Guilford's definition: Personality is the set of styles and features that distinguish an individual from others.


Hans Eysenck's Definition: Personality is the personal aspect that distinguishes an individual in his compatibility with his environment, and appears in morals, physical strength, mood, and mental abilities


J.B. Watson's definition: Personality is the sum of activities performed by the individual, which can be directly observed during his interaction, and this observation must be long enough and sufficient to know and fully understand the personality of the individual.


B.F. Skinner's definition: Personality is simply human nature that we behave in such a way that we would receive rewards or favorite things. It is a set of developmentally observed patterns of behavior and responses, with the emergence of predictability and severity, in addition to the ability to control them using several principles such as reinforcement.


Cyril Burt's definition: Personality is the integrated organization that contains a set of tendencies, physical skills, mental and physical interests, and aptitudes and is relatively fixed in which the individual's style of interaction and adaptation to his physical and social environment is determined.


Ralph Linton's definition: Personality is a collection of an individual's mental capabilities, beliefs, habits, rational faculties, perceptions, ideas, and conditional emotional responses.


Personality Traits in Psychology

The following points mention the five traits that contribute to the formation of the personality, with a simple explanation of each trait:


Openness: Openness expresses the extent of a person's acceptance of new things and experiences. It shows those who have a high degree of openness, a love for adventure and challenges, not to mention freedom from social and cultural restrictions.


Conscientiousness: Conscientiousness represents the motivation for a person to adhere to his duties towards himself and others.

People with conscience plan well before undertaking a task, taking into account the potential impacts on the personal and societal levels, in contrast to the indifferent (people with a schizoid personality disorder) who act with absolute freedom without regard for anything.


Extraversion: Extraversion is the most prominent feature of the five traits, and it means a person's interest in appearing in the outside world beyond his own limits, in contrast to introversion, which some may misunderstand. 

Introversion is the psychological dimension that makes a person tend to do tasks alone, or with the participation of a small number of people.


Neuroticism: Neuroses suffer from constant anxiety and tension, even if their affairs are going well,  they will certainly find what worries him, and neuroses often resort to alcohol or smoking, to be able to cope with their anxiety, which explains their premature death.


Agreeableness: Agreeableness is one of the personality traits manifesting itself in individual behavioral characteristics that are perceived as warm, friendly, sympathetic, cooperative, tactful, and considerate.

Agreeableness expresses the sense of affection that makes a person more sympathetic and cooperative with others.


Methods of Personality Assessment

The following points deal with some of the methods that can be used to analyze a person’s personality:

Personal interview: A personal interview is a foremost tool for judging a person's abilities. The personal interview allows the study of gestures and body language, as well as the stories narrated by the subject. The interview may be for research purposes, or to treat a patient suffering from mental disorders.


Performance rating scale: The principle of the performance rating scale is based on an analysis of a person's choice of a specific thing selected from a set of suggested options and this assessment can be used on its own or by specialists.

Rating scales are used to indicate a student's or employee's level of performance or achievement. These scales are commonly used because they are relatively easy to analyze and provide quantitative assessments.  


Projective tests: In this type of test, a person is presented with a certain element, it maybe a picture or a random shape, for example, and he is asked to prevent it from expressing it according to his personal vision. What distinguishes this method is the freedom of expression that makes the analysis more accurate.


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