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Meaning and definition of the word personality
This article explains the word personality. This article explains the different definitions given by the different psychologists. Personality has a long popular usage. The term personality is derived from the latin root personna.
Meaning and definition of personality
Like many terms in psychology the word personality has a long popular usage. We must take special care to give it a strictly scientific meaning if we are to use it in psychology. The term personality is derived from the latin root persssona which means mask. In olden days the actors used to put on the mask while coming on the stage so that their identity would not be made known to the audience.
Different psychologists have defined personality in different ways. We shall discuss a few definitions. We may define personality as the individual social stimulus value. According to this the personality of an individual refers to the behaviour and the physical appearance of an individual and also how an individual impresses upon others by his behaviour. However the judgement of others may be wrong because the behaviour of an individual towards others varies from person to person and from time to time. Therefore it is wrong to judge a personality of an individual in terms of social stimulus value.
G.W.Allport defines personality as "the dynamic organization, with in the individual of those psychological systems that determines his unique adjustment to his environment". According to this definition, the various psychological traits which determine the personal adjustment of the individual are organized into a dynamic unit. So there is always flexible adjustment to the environment.
Eysenck defines that "personality is the more or less stable and enduring organization of a persons character temperament, interact and physique which determines his unique adjustment to the environment.
Morton prince defines personality as "Sum total of all, the biological innate dispositions, impulses, tendencies, appetites and instincts of the individual and the acquired disposition and tendencies.
Munn in his book states that personality may be defined as " the most characteristic integration of an individual structure, modes of behaviour, interest attitudes and abilities and aptitudes, especially from the point of adjustment in social situations". This definition is a comprehensive one which includes all the points about personality. Hence this definition is regarded as to most suitable one.
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|Author: Sumit 23 Jun 2011||Member Level: Gold Points : 1|
|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 why people behave as they do are similar to what personality psychologists do.|
While our informal assessments of personality tend to focus more on individuals, personality psychologists instead use conceptions of personality that can apply to everyone. Personality research has led to the development of a number of theories that help explain how and why certain personality traits develop.
Components of Personality
While there are many different theories of personality, the first step is to understand exactly what is meant by the term personality. A brief definition would be that personality is made up of the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that make a person unique. In addition to this, personality arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent throughout life.
Some of the fundamental characteristics of personality include:
* Consistency - There is generally a recognizable order and regularity to behaviors. Essentially, people act in the same ways or similar ways in a variety of situations.
* Psychological and physiological - Personality is a psychological construct, but research suggests that it is also influenced by biological processes and needs.
* Impact behaviors and actions - Personality does not just influence how we move and respond in our environment; it also causes us to act in certain ways.
* Multiple expressions - Personality is displayed in more than just behavior. It can also be seen in out thoughts, feelings, close relationships and other social interactions.
Theories of Personality
There are a number of different theories about how personality develops. Different schools of thought in psychology influence many of these theories. Some of these major perspectives on personality include:
* Type theories are the early perspectives on personality. These theories suggested that there are a limited number of "personality types" which are related to biological influences.
* Trait theories viewed personality as the result of internal characteristics that are genetically based.
* Psychodynamic theories of personality are heavily influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud, and emphasize the influence of the unconscious on personality. Psychodynamic theories include Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual stage theory and Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development.
* Behavioral theories suggest that personality is a result of interaction between the individual and the environment. Behavioral theorists study observable and measurable behaviors, rejecting theories that take internal thoughts and feelings into account. Behavioral theorists include B. F. Skinner and John B. Watson.
* Humanist theories emphasize the importance of free will and individual experience in the development of personality. Humanist theorists include Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.
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