APPROACHES TO PERSONALITY

18.1 Introduction Having known the meaning of personality, would you like to know what type of person you are ? In the previous lesson, we leamt that personality is the sum total of what the individual is. That is, starting from the external features, such as height, weight etc. up to the innermost aspects of an individual such as temperament, character, intellectual ability etc. Infact, the internal make-up of the individual is more important than the external features. Considering this, can you identify the Unique features you have in your personality and arrive at a picture that you are such type of person ? In this lesson let us examine Various traits and types of personality. 18.2 Objectives After reading this lesson, you should be able to : • list out some common personality types and traits which constitute the personality; • explain various methods of personality assessment; • know what type of personality you have. 18. 3 Type and Traits of Personality As soon as you meet a person you tend to assess him/her to know what type of personality he/she has. The saying that first impression is the best impression is however, not true. Human personality is so viewing opportunities and life negatively. Likewise he acquires the other traits such as rigidity, calmness, being quiet etc. All these traits namely pessimism, rigidity, being calm and quiet, interact with each other and produce introversion. Thus the individual becomes an introvert which is a type. If we look at the traits like pessimism, rigidity, calmness and being quiet, the common feature that connects all of them is the tendency to look inward and accordingly the individual becomes an introvert or a person who thinks seriously.

Like this, one can go on listing several traits from which different types emerge.

rigid. reserved Otc. etc. pessimistic. thoughtful. controlled. anxious. thoughtful. f. b. g. rigid. e. g.. f. Thus two types ef introverts are found namely (i) emotionally stable introverts and (ii) emotionally unstable introverts. peaceful. 4 Assessment of Personality Personality can be assessed by using the following three major techniques (i) Observation. reliable. unsociable. sociability leadership talkativeness being responsive lively easygoing optimistic etc. d. touchy restless active aggressive excitable changeable impulsive outgoing. h. The emotionally stable extroverts will have the following traits : a. d. even tempered. Similarly two types of extroverts are found (i) emotionally stable extroverts and (ii) emotionally unstable extroverts. reserved. calm etc. b. peaceful. The emotionally unstable extraverts on the other hand will have the traits of being : a. 18. are traits which characterize introverts. anxious. c. e. even-tempered. reliable. unsociable. sober. c. quiet. pessimistic. However among introverts some are emotionally stable while some are not. controlled. careful.Being moody. passive. calm etc. The introverts who are emotionally unstable are moody. . Who are those emotionally stable introverts ? The introverts who are emotionally stable are the ones who are carefpl.

ii. Generally the psychological tests which measure personality are of two types : they are i. upright. bent etc. iv.. politely. Rorschach Ink Blot Test Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). iii. Widely used projective tests are : i. the individual tells a story based on what the picture contains with reference to what is happening in the scene (present). The individual who is assessed. ii. Some of the responses that can be observed are given below as examples (i) Walking: the way an individual generally walks.(ii) Interview and (iii) Psychological tests. what would have happened in the past and what would happen in future. In Thematic Apperception Test. feelings. iii. Every aspect of personality. First and the second technique has been dealt with in the 2nd chapter of book 1. Sitting : the manner in which an individual generally sits whether on the edge of a chair or with erect spine or in a bending posture. These projective tests are useful in extracting the true inner aspects of the individual. By analyzing the responses. projective-test and inventories or questionnaires. can be objectively observed and one must follow a scientific procedure for the assessment of personality. Standing : while standing whether the individual leans forward or stands straight like a statue or leans away Talking : whether the individual talks to the point. Rorschach test is an ink blot test where there is no definite shape or form for the ink blot. Sentence Completion Test and so on. . one can infer the unconscious motives. which form the personality of the individual. ii. thereby ambiguous or semistructured (partly ambiguous). gives as many responses as possible on seeing the ink blot. thoughts etc. fast or slow. After collecting the basic details on various aspects pf personality through observation. This will provide a strong foundation for further systematic psychological testing for which tests are used. the person who is in the process of assessing the personality of an individual collects further information. in a commanding voice. clarifying certain points through an interview. for instance. rudely etc. Projective tests are basically either totally unstructured.

A group of several traits makes a type. interview and standardized psychological tests. For example to an item " Are you a short-tempered Person ?" the individual who is definitely a short tempered person may say "no". the responses given by him/her cannot be taken as genuine. To find out whether the respondents lie. some of these inventories have a scale called lie scale. then proceeding to interview and finally ending with administration of tests of personality. the individual completes each and every sentence which is incomplete. If a person scores high on the lie scale. Some of the well known and widely used inventories for personality assessment are i. Tests of personality are basically of two types namely projective tests and inventories or questionaries. Interview your friend to gather further information after a thorough observation for making an assessment of his/her personality. 2. F Test. Some of the individuals on whom these inventories are administered are quite likely to give desirable answers which may not be true. Terminal questions . Try it yourself 1. What you have learnt o o o o Traits are formed by habitual responses.In sentence completion test." " My Life in future will be _____________. Personality can be assessed through observation. Observe your own behaviour and make an analysis of your personality. interview and psychological tests. Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI). 3. ii. Minnesta Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) 16 P. For example." Through these completions the psychologist assesses the personality. To conclude it may be said that the assessment of personality is done through observation. iii. "My father seldom—————. Visit any nearby Institute where a qualified psychologist is employed for rendering psychological service and observe the way the psychologist assesses the human personality through observation.

There is not much scope for the individual to respond in a manner that is either predetermined or false. TAT. A trait is any enduring and persistent behavioural pattern by which an individual can be distinguished from others. Observation. have lie scales. to come out with "uncontaminated " or rather pure inner aspects of one's personality. changeability all of which are traits. 16 P. procrastination. For instance extraversion is a type because extraversion is the common .1. in which some individuals are quite likely to indulge. EPI. 2. 2. the individual without knowing much about the objectives of testing is quite likely. Further probing is essential to get to the truth of one's personality.F. spontaneity. If the individual's lie score is high.1 1. A type on ? hu other is said to emerge from a cluster of traits. (a) Sociability (b) Leadership (c) Lively (d) easy going (e) optimistic 18. pessimism can be cited as examples of traits. Personality can be assessed by two types of psychological tests namely (a) projective tests and (b) inventories. Critically evaluate tests of personality. Differentiate traits from types. Answer to terminal questions 1. Lethargy. In the projectiye tests. Key to intext questions 18. . Therefore anyone who has these traits in high degree is labelled as an extravert. Personality inventories. Interview Psychological test 2. his/ her responses cannot be taken as genuine.. Traits are relatively stable characteristics that can be used to describe a person. 2. sociability. MMPI. in order to overcome this sort of social desirability. Sentence Completion 3. 2 1.

both one's own and those of others . The truth: Though the terms "trait" and "type" are often viewed as synonymous. natural strengths. which is referred to as an "indicator" rather than a "test. learning about type empowers individuals to make more informed career and life choices based on a clear understanding of their tendencies and inclinations. The truth: The Myers-Briggs assessment does provide a basis for identifying potential "blind spots" for the 16 personality types.10:56am by kishor Jagirdar Kishor Jagirdar Despite. sociability . so why not use the assessment to pinpoint weaknesses? The fact that one tends to rely more on one preference in a dichotomous pair does not mean that he or she can't or doesn't use the opposite preference.How tall? How fast? How smart? . Many successful individuals have overcome their blind spots by developing their ability to use both preferences effectively.for example. is sometimes misused by individuals and organizations." Rather than boxing them in. While pigeonholing stymies development. career development and numerous other talent management functions.are quantifiable. Trait theory holds that behaviors . Proper use of the instrument results in expanding vision and opportunity. they describe quite different theoretical concepts. better or worse scores." This value-neutral approach to personality expands. meaning they come in different levels. Understanding core preferences .none of which applies to Jung's theory or the Myers-Briggs assessment. conflict resolution. Misconception: It predicts behavior. Misconception: It measures personality traits. the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument . potential areas for growth and style differences and lays a foundation for team building. the assessment's usage possibilities. challenging. The trait concept may be more quickly grasped. The truth: The assessment suggests "predisposition" but not "predetermination. Misconception: It's a personality test. Careful attention was paid to this issue in naming the instrument.provides insight into motivations. situations and tasks that individuals of 16 unique personality types are likely to find stimulating. The truth: The term "test" connotes right or wrong answers. Based on Carl Jung's theory of personality type. or perhaps because of. while misuse can result in pigeonholing and exclusion. rather than limits. amounts or degrees that can be measured.The effective use of the Assessment tools for Personality Posted 21 June 2010 . etc. as Western cultures in particular teach us from an early age to evaluate the world and ourselves by measurement . fulfilling. passing or failing . the Myers-Briggs assessment sheds light on the environments. its insight and ubiquity. understanding personality type reveals new opportunities.the world's most widely used personality assessment. Misconception: It can be used to identify people's weaknesses.

" The truth: It's intended to identify valuable differences between normal. [About the Author of this article: Rich Thompson manages CPP's research team. The truth: In reality. healthy people. on the other hand.Introversion and Extraversion. Misconception: It can be used to assemble a "dream team" of personalities. The instrument doesn't measure "how much" or "how well. Thompson has an extensive background in developing surveys and assessments. in psychology." as do most trait-based constructs. as it enables individuals to more fully grasp why they think and act the way they do and to better understand and appreciate the strengths and styles of the people around them. moderately clear. with minors in management. Thinking and Feeling." Effective leaders emerge from all 16 types.Type theory. very clear or not clear. The truth: While highly valuable in team-building applications. Effective use of the instrument enables team members to better understand themselves and one another.D.] . used both for organizational information gathering as well as in predictive research. but instead indicates how clear one is about his or her preferences: slightly clear. there is no such thing as a "leadership type. Misconception: It can be used to identify "bad apples. it's not an appropriate tool for determining who does and doesn't belong on a team or for any other screening use. The Myers-Briggs instrument is extremely valuable in leadership development. from Texas Tech University. thereby improving team communication and cohesion and fostering an environment that enables everyone to contribute his or her best. Thompson earned his master's and Ph. Sensing and Intuition. not to identify abnormal personalities or assess morality. The leader who is knowledgeable about personality type will be better able to avoid misunderstandings and be open to new ideas and viewpoints that will aid in taking the organization to new heights. Misconception: It can be used to identify future leaders by matching personality types of past great leaders. leading the company's research efforts in the United States and worldwide and providing strategic input on cross-functional product development efforts. holds that each individual naturally relies more on one preference than the other in four pairs of opposites . The Myers-Briggs instrument sorts for these preferences but does not measure them. and all bring unique perspectives and value to leadership positions. The results reflect how clearly a person casts his or her vote for each preference. and Judging and Perceiving.

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