Chapter 16. Personality

Chapter 16 Introduction

Jorden A. Cummings

What are you like? What are your friends like? Chances are, the way you describe yourself and others often reflects what you think their personality is like. Personality traits reflect people’s characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. They imply that we have consistency and stability in who we are. There are many trait theories of personality and we discuss some of them in this chapter.

Other personality researchers, however, argue that our behaviour is only influenced in part by our consistent traits. Instead, situations also influence how a person behaves. For example, you probably behave differently whether you are in class, at your job, or with your friends. In fact, some people who know you in some of those settings might be surprised at who you “are” in some of the others. In this chapter, we’re going to discuss these situational theories of personality as well.

Personality assessment is the process a psychologist undertakes to determine what someone’s personality is. There are multiple different ways to do that. In this chapter we discuss objective personality tests, projective and implicit tests, and behavioural/performance measures.


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