What is Personality Psychology? its types, theories, and tests

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What is Personality Psychology
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Personality psychology is the study of a person’s personality. It is the study of individual differences in personality, and how these are related to different environments, social relationships, and cultures. It can be seen as a branch of social psychology or human development.

The field of personality psychology, also known as the study of personality and individual differences, makes up one of the three major branches of psychology. This branch is concerned with how people learn about themselves and others (called self-awareness), how they build relationships with others (called interpersonal relationships), and how they develop the ability to make plans for the future (called future-self continuity).

What does personality mean in Personality Psychology?

The personality of a person is an aggregate of the person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The ways in which these aspects are expressed are influenced by the individual’s culture and environment.

Personality is often shaped by a person’s upbringing, social class, culture or society in Personality Psychology.

It is also heavily influenced by genetic factors that act in conjunction with environmental factors to shape each individual.

What are the things that play a part in the person you are? Genetics, where you grew up and what life experiences have taken place all have an influence on your personality.

Many would say that what makes you unique is the characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that make up your personality. There has not been a single, standard definition found for personality so far. Some may think of it as a trait that develops and remains consistent over the course of one’s life.

Our personality makes it difficult to view things in the same way as others or believe certain things. It is all part of who we are and defines our thoughts, behaviors & attitudes when interacting with others and seeing the world around us.

Theories of Personality Psychology

There are a lot of Personality Psychology theories about why some people are outgoing while others are shy. One argues that personality develops over time but another speculates on the differences between personalities.

Trait Theories of Personality

The trait theories of personality Psychology centre on the idea that there are a small number of “key components” in personality. Theories have been made to determine what these attributes are and attempts have been made to identify the best ways to measure them. The main trait theories are psychodynamic theory and humanistic theory.

Gordon Allport, a psychologist, was among the first to identify personality in terms of traits. He argued that there are 3 different levels of traits: generic (normal), central, and cardinal.

As we interact with people who share our cultural backgrounds, we notice many traits that are similar in many different people. Some of these features are more central and others more cardinal. Central traits include personality features, while cardinal ones can be an entire defining part of who a person is.

Mother Teresa became so well-known for her charitable work is an example of a cardinal trait. Her reputation as a person who helped others made it easy to remember her name and make connections.

Psychologist Raymond Cattell concluded that there are 16 different personality traits. These traits exist on a continuum and everyone has varying levels of these 16 personality types.

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One other concept to consider with regard to personality traits is that of Hans Eysenck, who suggests there are three key traits: extroversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism.

The ‘Big 5’ personality theory (OCEAN) is one of the most popular out there and is widely accepted – it says that personality has five broad dimensions, one of which is being conscientious.

  • Agreeableness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extroversion
  • Neuroticism
  • Openness

The Five Factor Theory holds that each personality trait exists as a broad continuum and that a person’s level of each trait will vary depending on their circumstances. For example, an individual may be more introverted than extroverted in certain situations and more extroverted than introverted in others.

How Personality Develops and Changes Throughout Life

Freud’s theory of psychosexual development is one of the best-known personality theories—but also one of the most controversial. According to Freud, children progress through a series of stages of personality development. At each stage, libidinal energy (the force that drives all human behaviors) becomes focused on specific erogenous zones.

Successful completion of a stage allows a person to move on to the next phase of development. Failure at any stage can lead to fixations that can impact someone’s adult personality.

Erik Erikson, another psychologist, described eight psychosocial stages of life. With Erikson’s theory, each stage plays a significant role in the development of a person’s personality and psychological skills.

During each psychosocial stage, an individual will face a developmental crisis that serves as a turning point in their development. Successfully completing each stage leads to the development of a healthy personality.

Erikson was more interested in how social interactions influenced the development of personality. He was primarily concerned with the development of what he called ego identity.

While Freud’s theory suggested that personality is primarily formed and set in stone at an early age, Erikson believed that personality continued to develop throughout life.

How does the Personality is tested?

Personality tests are common and are used in many different fields. They are used in the workplace to determine the best fit for a particular job. They are also used in education to help students choose a career path.

There is no one personality test that fits all needs and purposes, but there are general categories that these tests fall into. The most common type of personality test is called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This test categorizes people into four different types: introverts, extroverts, intuitive thinkers, and sensing thinkers.

There are different types of personality tests, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The most popular type of test is the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF), which is a psychometric questionnaire designed to produce scores for 16 personality dimensions. The 16PF was developed in 1949 by Raymond Cattell, who was one of the first psychologists to use factor analysis on large samples of people to identify patterns in their personalities.

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There are two main methods for administering the 16PF: self-report and observer report.

In self-report, people answer questions about themselves, while in observer report, an expert observes them interacting with others and then answers questions about them based on their observations.

The most common questionnaires that are used for assessing personality traits include the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, the MMPI-2, and the NEO PI-R.

Online personality assessments may be inaccurate because they're informal and miss many other nuances of your personality. However, they can help you discover new preferences, especially those you don't know existed. but only professionally administered tests should be used to assess personality or make a diagnosis

What are the various Personality Disorders?

Personality disorders are mental health conditions that cause people to have an ongoing pattern of thoughts and behaviors that are different from what is expected.

Personality disorders are a group of mental disorders that can cause significant distress, problems functioning in daily life, and difficulty maintaining relationships.

People with personality disorders have a long-term pattern of behavior and inner experience that differs from what is expected based on social norms. They often have trouble managing their emotions, controlling their impulses, and relating to other people.

The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5 ) lists 10 personality disorders, These include:

Paranoid Personality Disorder, Schizoid Personality Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, and Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Personality psychologists are also interested in understanding personality problems. Personality disorders are chronic and therefore necessary to solve as soon as possible. They can cause a person’s thoughts, behaviors, and interactions with other people to be disrupted.

It’s understandable to be worried about the future and how your treatment might progress. But remember, you’re not by yourself. There are people who are trained, skilled & ready to help you take the next steps in your treatment.

Your doctor might recommend different treatment options depending on your diagnosis. These might include psychotherapy, skills training, medication or a combination of all three.

One of the most important things you’ll need to do when starting your treatment plan is to work closely with a team of professionals. Be sure to address any of their questions and requests for input on your own content in order to ensure that you’re getting help developing a plan that works for you.

Recap {Personality Psychology)

Personality Psychology is a broad and vast topic, which in essence is a description of what makes an individual who they are. They can be many different criteria that are used to identify one’s personality. There are lots of different theories about why people’s personalities change over time. Some focus on individual traits and others consider the developmental stages that take place during each person’s lifetime.

Psychologists are interested in understanding normal personality as well as recognizing potential problems or disorders that might lead to distress. It’s much easier for a psychologist to help their client. By understanding more about the problems that people are facing, they are able to provide useful & effective advice on how to manage them.