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 growth.
Trait personality theories: personality characteristics that exist on a continuum.
Learning personality theories: learning as a result of environmental influences.
Cognitive personality theories: differences in how people process information.
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 Self-Actualization?
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 Performance?
Creative Ability and Dreams
Personality Development: Is Accepting the Past Associated with Less Negative Affectivity?
Lucid Dreaming: Is Need for Cognition Associated with Lucid Dreams?
Lucid Dreaming: Is Having an Internal Locus of Control Associated with Lucid Dreams?