“personality refers to a person’s general style of interacting with the world, expecially with other people-whether one is withdrawn or outgoing, excitable or placid, conscientious or careless, kind or stern”
Personality is one aspect of psychology that actually focusses on the individualistic differences between people rather than their similarities.
The study ofpersonality is done on an individual to find out how they differ from other people, so its study is usually independent rather than interdependent.
Personality psychologists focuss on peoples individual traits and where they come from, so this includes looking into different peoples culture and upbringing to see if there are factors that cause different personality traits. They also analyse peoplesdifferences to see how they react to different life situations and how they choose friends and spouses.
There are four main parts that analyse personality. They are:
Basic concept of personality and their biological origins
The adaptive functions of personality, how people change themselves to deal with the social environment
The third and fourth are conscious and unconscious behaviours, howeverthese two tie into each other more than the others.
Trait: “defined as a relatively stable predisposition to behave in a certain way” so this is not effected by the environment and is purely of the person.”
It is a predictable act, for example. If someone is short to temper when they are given constructive criticism this is a personality trait of being short tempered. It doesn’t matter ifthere social environment is full of carefree individuals or rather egotistical ones the outcome is always going to be the same. However, these personality traits are usually triggered by things that happen in the environment.
“Aggressiveness or kindness or any other personality trait is, in that sense, analogous to the physi-cal trait of “meltability” in margarine. Margarine melts only whensubjected to heat (a characteristic of the environment); but some brands need less heat to melt than others do, and that difference lies in the margarine, not in the environment.”
Traits and states are two different things, a trait is something that is always with the person and is enduring. Whilst a state is a temporary emotion of a person and isn’t fixed within them. For example a person may havea predisposition ( a trait ) to become upset easily, and when they are upset that is a state of emotion the person is in. However people can still become upset even if they don’t have a personality trait that makes them become upset easily. This means that you cant purely judge a persons personality traits by the emotional state they are in.
Traits aren’t things that people either have or don’thave, everyone has them to some degree. If you were to measure people on how quick they are to anger the majority of people would be in the middle with a few leaning out to extremes but as everyone has the ability to show every emotion they are all on the scale somewhere.
A trait is a description not an explination of someones behaviour. If someone is high in aggression it means that theyargue and get angry a lot however it does not tell you why.
“Typical distribution of scores measuring a personality trait
When many individuals are tested for a person-ality trait—such as boldness versus shyness—the majority usuallyfall in the middle of the range and the frequency tapers offtoward zero at the extremes, in a manner that approximates thebell-shaped
depictedhere. (For a more com-plete description of normal distributions, see the StatisticalAppendix at the end of the book.”
“The goal of any trait theory of personality is to specify a manageable set of distinct personality dimensions that can be used to summarize the fundamental psychological differences among individuals.”
A part of trait theory is FACTOR ANALYSIS, this is where...