One important topic concerns the psychology of personality. How do
we define personality? This question is similar to the question concerning
what is the self. The definition of self can be viewed as similar to the
definition of personality.
Personality Definition: Personality refers to an individual's
enduring pattern of behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.
Personality psychology is a subfield of psychology, and personality
psychology involves personality theories and personality research findings.
There are a number of theories that may explain individual
differences in behavior. Theories of personality can be placed into at
least five categories: Psychoanalytic personality theories, humanistic
personality theories, trait personality theories, learning personality
theories, and cognitive personality theories. These personality theories
can be considered important psychological theories.
A focus of each type of personality theory is indicated below:
Psychoanalytic personality theories: the unconscious mind.
Humanistic personality theories: personal responsibility and personal
Trait personality theories: personality characteristics that exist on a
Learning personality theories: learning as a result of environmental
Cognitive personality theories: differences in how people process
An example of a psychoanalytic personality theory is Freud's
defense mechanisms. Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory can be viewed
as a humanistic personality theory. Observational learning can be viewed
as a learning personality theory. An example of a trait personality theory
is the Big Five personality traits.
In order to have a clearer understanding of these personality
theories, I will explain how each type of theory may explain a person who
is often late to work. A trait theory may explain the late behavior with
respect to being low on the dimension of conscientiousness. A humanistic
personality theory may explain the late behavior with respect to failing to
take responsibility for one's negative behavior. A psychoanalytic theory
may explain the late behavior in terms of an unconscious defense
mechanism. A learning theory may explain the late behavior with respect
to observing other employees being late for work. Finally, a cognitive
theory may explain the late behavior with respect to beliefs about the
importance of the job.
There are many possible attributes that could be considered
personality traits. What is a personality trait?
Personality Trait Definition: A personality trait is a characteristic
that describes a person's personality.
Some examples of personality traits include the following adjectives
that may describe some people: intellectual, shy, outgoing, funny, kind,
curious, sensitive, and selfish.
One view of personality traits is that there are five basic dimensions
that describe individual differences in personality. The article below
includes a description of the five dimensions.
The Big Five Personality Traits
Personality Research Findings
There are a number of interesting research findings concerning
personality. Below are some articles with research findings.
Is Liberalism-Conservatism Related to Art Preferences?
Happiness Psychology: Is Social Interest Associated with Happiness?
The Psychology of Books: Can Reading Self-Help Books Increase
Is Need for Cognition Associated with Creative Behavior?
Is Need for Cognition Associated with Sales Performance?
How is Handshaking Related to Personality?
How Are Music Preferences Related to Personality?
Is the Need for Uniqueness Associated with Creative Behavior?
Free Will Psychology: Is a Belief in Free Will Associated with Job
Creative Ability and Dreams
Personality Development: Is Accepting the Past Associated with Less
Lucid Dreaming: Is Need for Cognition Associated with Lucid Dreams?
Lucid Dreaming: Is Having an Internal Locus of Control Associated with