PERSONALITY

Personality is the particular combination of emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral response patterns of an individual. Personality commonly refers to:
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Personality psychology, the theory and study of individual differences, traits, and types Personality trait theory, attributes by which people may vary in relative terms

Personality may also be discussed in the context of:
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Personality disorders, a class of mental disorders that is characterized by long-lasting rigid patterns of thought and actions Personality pathology, characterized by adaptive inflexibility, vicious cycles of maladaptive behavior, and emotional instability under stress Personality quiz or Personality test, a series of questions (usually multiple-choice, rating scale, or True/False) intended to describe aspects of an individual's character, thoughts, and feelings Personality type, refers to patterns of relatively enduring characteristics of behavior that occur with sufficient frequency as to be grouped into one member of a set of types. Personality typology approaches promote the concept that people cluster into common patterns of emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral reactions. Personality change is the concept that although personality may have some stability throughout the lifespan, some individuals may undergo substantial alteration of their characteristic patterns of adapting to their social and personal environments.

Almost everyday we describe and assess the personalities of the people around us. Whether we realize it or not, these daily musings on how and

people act in the same ways or similar ways in a variety of situations. personality arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent throughout life. .There is generally a recognizable order and regularity to behaviors. y Psychological and physiological . feelings and behaviors that make a person unique. In addition to this. Some of the fundamental characteristics of personality include: y Consistency . Essentially. A brief definition would be that personality is made up of the characteristic patterns of thoughts. y Impact behaviors and actions . the first step is to understand exactly what is meant by the term personality. but research suggests that it is also influenced by biological processes and needs.why people behave as they do are similar to what personality psychologists do. Personality research has led to the development of a number of theories that help explain how and why certain personality traits develop. personality psychologists instead use conceptions of personality that can apply to everyone. Components of Personality While there are many different theories of personality.Personality does not just influence how we move and respond in our environment.Personality is a psychological construct. While our informal assessments of personality tend to focus more on individuals. it also causes us to act in certain ways.

Personality is displayed in more than just behavior. Some of these major perspectives on personality include: y Type theories are the early perspectives on personality. rejecting theories that take internal thoughts and feelings into account. and emphasize the influence of the unconscious on personality. Behavioral theorists include B. Psychodynamic theories include Sigmund Freud s psychosexual stage theory and Erik Erikson s stages of psychosocial development. y Psychodynamic theories of personality are heavily influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud. F. Watson. close relationships and other social interactions. These theories suggested that there are a limited number of "personality types" which are related to biological influences. . feelings. Skinner and John B. y Behavioral theories suggest that personality is a result of interaction between the individual and the environment.y Multiple expressions . Theories of Personality There are a number of different theories about how personality develops. y Trait theories viewed personality as the result of internal characteristics that are genetically based. It can also be seen in out thoughts. Different schools of thought in psychology influence many of these theories. Behavioral theorists study observable and measurable behaviors.

y Researchers frequently use tests in the course of studying personality traits. . Example: A consulting firm might assess job candidates in order to decide which candidates would be likely to perform well under pressure. a psychologist would typically use a battery of tests in addition to interviewing the patient. and employers use personality assessments for a variety of reasons: y Clinical psychologists often use assessments as aids for diagnosing psychological disorders. researchers. Humanist theorists include Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. Example: A counselor might administer a personality test in order to help a person choose a career.y Humanist theories emphasize the importance of free will and individual experience in the development of personality. y Some organizations use assessments to select personnel to hire. although this practice is decreasing in popularity. y Some mental health providers use tests to decide how best to counsel people about normal problems of daily living. Example: A psychologist might administer personality tests to a patient with a varied set of symptoms to narrow down possible diagnoses. In such a case. Example: A researcher studying the correlation between risk taking and criminality might administer a personality test to a sample of prison inmates. Assessing Personality Doctors.

Ten of these subscales are clinical subscales. Self-report inventories are paper-and-pen tests that require people to answer questions about their typical behavior. indicates specific psychological disorders. The other four subscales are validity subscales. which indicate whether the test taker was careless or deceptive when answering questions. which give information about different aspects of the test taker s personality. false. A score on any single subscale doesn t provide a clear indication of a specific psychological disorder. It consists of a list of 187 questions. Commonly used objective tests include the MMPI-2. The MMPI-2 contains a list of 567 questions. agreeableness. Objective personality tests are usually self-report inventories. and neuroticism. Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Report Inventories . the score profile. conscientiousness. The MMPI-2 The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was developed in the 1940s and revised in the 1980s. and assessment centers. and the NEO Personality Inventory. The NEO Personality Inventory The NEO Personality Inventory measures the Big Five traits: extraversion. openness to experience. or cannot say. People taking the test must answer these questions with true. or pattern of responses across subscales. To interpret the MMPI-2. Rather. psychologists divide the answers to questions into fourteen subscales. the 16PF. The 16PF The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) is a test that assesses sixteen basic dimensions of personality.Three important ways of assessing personality include objective tests. The revised version is called the MMPI-2. projective tests. The MMPI was originally developed to help clinical psychologists diagnose psychological disorders.

Projective Personality Tests Projective personality tests require subjects to respond to ambiguous stimuli.Self-report inventories are useful because they allow psychologists to get precise answers to standardized questions. conflicts. these scores might be interpreted differently by different people. However. Test developers can minimize this bias by dropping questions that are likely to evoke it. Therefore. needs. Projective tests are based on the projective hypothesis. rather than what is true. which means that different people scoring the same test would score them in the same way. all subjects who take a test answer the same questions. which means subjects can figure out what a psychologist wants to measure. People sometimes don t remember aspects of the experience they are asked about. which is the idea that people interpret ambiguous stimuli in ways that reveal their concerns. Clinical psychologists and researchers often use two projective tests: the Rorschach test and the Thematic Apperception Test. and feelings. and all subjects have to select answers from the same range of options. Researchers who develop tests address this problem by including lie scales in tests. when filling out an inventory. In other words. Inventories are also objective. The Rorschach Test . desires. subjects can lie intentionally and fake personality traits they don t really have. such as pictures and phrases. The social desirability bias can affect responses on self-report inventories. which provide information about the likelihood that a subject is lying. People sometimes don t understand the questions on the test. people might state what they wish were true. In other words. Test developers try to address this issue by wording questions very clearly so that they have only one possible interpretation. that can be interpreted in many different ways. There are several disadvantages to self-report inventories as well: y y y y Self-report inventories often contain transparent questions.

Psychologists ask subjects to look at the inkblots and describe what they see. Assessment Centers Assessment centers allow psychologists to assess personality in specific situations. Scores are based on various characteristics of responses. A serious disadvantage of projective tests is that they have questionable reliability and validity. Despite this flaw. a person with a high need for achievement may consistently come up with stories that have achievement-related themes. such as the originality of the response and the area of the blot described in the response. Therefore. Advantages and Disadvantages of Projective Tests Projective tests are useful because they allow psychologists to assess unconscious aspects of personality. Assessment centers work on the wellaccepted idea that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior in similar situations. For example. and the psychologists then use complex scoring systems to interpret the subjects responses. The Rorschach gives psychologists information about the subject s personality traits and the situational stresses the subject may be experiencing. a corporation may select a person for a . and their performance is then assessed. subjects cannot easily fake personality traits on a projective test.The Rorschach test consists of a series of ten inkblots. The Thematic Apperception Test The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) consists of a series of pictures containing a variety of characters and scenes. many researchers and clinicians find that such tests give them useful information. Psychologists ask subjects to make up stories about each picture and look for themes that run through the subjects responses. For example. subjects are made to face situations in which they must use particular types of traits and skills. Projective tests are also not transparent: subjects cannot figure out how their responses will be interpreted. In assessment centers.

Assessment centers are useful for selecting personnel for positions of responsibility because they predict how people will act in challenging situations. However. assessment centers are expensive and time consuming.managerial position by placing candidates in a simulated managerial situation for half a day and assessing their performance. .