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What Is Personality, and Is It Predictive Of Human Behavior? Research Paper

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Personality

Personality, according to Harré & Lamb (1986, p .1), is the entirety of feature and traits, as of manners or qualities that are particular per person. Personality is all about a person’s mind-sets, dispositions, performing, opinions, and method of thoughts, perceiving, and verbal communication. Hypothesis concerning personality or individuality have been formulated and existed in the majority of traditions and all through recorded history.

Many people have studied personality and have come up with discoveries and explanations on the subject. For instance, Giambattista, Charles-Louis Montesquieu, and Vico Immanuel Kant all of them put forward ways of comprehending person and group differences. Others include Carl Jung, psychiatrics therapist Sigmund Freud, Ernst Kretschmer, and Alfred Adler who presented contending personality hypothesis.

Freud’s hypothesis was founded on “psychosexual drives that had the components of the id, ego, and super ego and the interplay of the conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious” (Shane, 2007, p.3) Carl Jung, his student and follower emphasized unconscious motives but de-emphasized sexuality. Instead, he advanced a typical theory that classified people as either introverts or extroverts. He claimed that individual personalities were from the unconscious, inherited memories.

Later on, we still had theories brought forward by other psychologists like Gordon. W. Allport, Erik H. Erikson, and Carl R. Rogers, which were all influential. Gordon wanted to find out common ideology that could be functional to a complete category of persons. It was called personality trait theory. He discovered 4000 words that could be applied to personality traits and categorized them into three classes.

These were cardinal, central, and secondary traits. Cardinal traits are strong dispositions that shape behaviors and experiences and develop later in life. By definition, “Central traits are dispositions that manifest to some degree in all individuals, comprising the basic repertoire of personality expressions” (Barrick & Mount, 1991, p.15). Secondary personalities are dispositions that are not straight away noticeable, manifesting as a result of precise sets of conditions in a human being’s life.

Later on Raymond Cattell and Hans Eysenck expanded on this theory. They reduced the list of four thousand to sixteen. Later on Eysenck reduced them to three. Skeptical psychoanalysts said this were too few and came up with five traits, which were inconclusive as they did not prove to be effective predictors of human behavior and did not shed any light onto how they developed. These traits were known as the big 5 and they are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeable and neuroticism (Barrick & Mount, 1991).

Personality character is thought to be as a result of “both experience and genetic predisposition” (Harré & Lamb, 1986, p.2). It has been severally discussed and researched to find out what influences behavior in human beings. Some strongly believe it is a particular situation while others believe it is character type.

According to Kenrick & funder (2001), personality is a predictor of personality across all situations but not at a specific time or situation, for instance, personality more accurately predicts how happy one will be over the next year than it.

People choose their situations, which reflect their personality. For example, people choose where to work according to how comfortable they feel with their environment; with the best performance occurring when there is a positive match between the two otherwise mediocre results will be the order of the day.

A type of personality refers to categories that are distinct and discontinuous (patterns of relatively enduring characteristics of behavior) whereby one is either one or the other e.g. one is either an introvert or an extrovert (Ornstein, 1993). Today, several scientists have all come up with their different personality types and model systems that classify them. Some are categorized into 4, 9, 16, and many more. This essay has categorizes personalities or individuality into four categories that is:

  1. The extroverts and the introverts
  2. The thinking and feeling types
  3. Sensitive and intuitive types
  4. Perceiving and judging types

Extroverts and introverts

Extroverts concentrate on the globe and acquire their power from it, are conversational and frank, evaluate their views with the rest, they make new friends with no trouble and become accustomed to a fresh assembly, they express their thoughts, are keen on new community and effortlessly smash unnecessary relations.

Introverts in contrast concentrate on their belief and feelings, produce their energy from within and consequently call for their own territory or region, frequently emerge as reserved, silent and thoughtful, typically they have less associates, have troubles in creating new links, and never want to work in group. They are generally very difficult to deal with and therefore this can be a predictive of their behavior (Shane, 2007).

Sensitive and intuitive types

Sensitive kind notice every person and are sensitive to everything around them, are realistic and lively, are reasonable and self-assured, they love enjoyments derived from physical feeling, swiftly become accustomed to whichever the circumstances and exist at this time.

Intuitive or instinctive categories in contrast are more often than not “in the past or the present, rely on their inner voice, worry about the future than they do of the present, are attracted more to the theory than to the practice, often have doubts and do not like routine”( Ornstein, 1993, p.12).

Thinking and feeling types

The thinking kind of people are keen on organizations, compositions and prototypes, renders all to rational investigation, are comparatively unfriendly and unresponsive, assess everything by mental power and true or false, have complexities discussing on feelings and do not get to the bottom of a row or squabbles.

The feeling category are keen on human beings and their thoughts, effortlessly pass their personal feelings or moods to people around them, give immense concentration to love and fervor, weigh up issues by moral values and excellent or poor, they can get touchy and employ sensational exploitation and regularly give admiring comments to make happy people.

Perceiving and judging types

The perceiving sort of people operate on impulse following the state of affairs, can initiate numerous projects at the same time with no concluding any of the project accurately.

They have a preference to have liberty from responsibilities, are inquisitive and akin to a new appearance at things, work efficiency is dependent on their frame of mind, and habitually do something with no any groundwork or preparation. The judging type on the other hand does not like to leave unanswered questions, plan work ahead, and tend to finish it, do not like to change their decisions, have relative stable workability, and easily follow rules and discipline (Gross, 2010).

Therefore based on the above four personality models, we see that personality is predictive of individuals’ behaviors. For instance, extroverts who are open to ideas and express their minds explains the ease with which someone can deal with these kind of people and generally well behaved .

On the other hand, introverts are directly opposite of this and are generally considered ill mannered. Individuals behavior determines whether you will interact freely with them or not and as we see, it is easy to deal with people who have personalities such as being sensitive and outgoing for instance as compared to those with opposite traits. For that reason, personality is predictive of human behavior.

References

Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (1991). The Big Five personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 44, 1–26.

Gross, R.D. (2010). Psychology. The science of mind and behavior. London: Hodder Arnold.

Harré, R. &Lamb, R. (1986). The dictionary of personality and social psychology. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Kenrick, D. T., & Funder, D. C. (1991). The person-situation debate: Do personality traits really exist? In V. J. Derlega, B. A. Winstead, & W. H. Jones, W. H. (Eds.) Personality: Contemporary Theory and Research (Chapter 6)

Ornstein, R. (1993). The Roots of the Self: Unraveling the mystery of who we are. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Shane, P. (2007). The Model of human behavior: Understanding personality. Contemporary Theory, 2, 1-5.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "What Is Personality, and Is It Predictive Of Human Behavior?" November 27, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/what-is-personality-and-is-it-predictive-of-human-behavior/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'What Is Personality, and Is It Predictive Of Human Behavior'. 27 November.

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