Chapter 16. Personality
Personality is the ways that people differ from one another. Many personality researchers believe was can understand the differences between people by examining their personality traits, which reflect basic dimensions on which people differ. Personality traits exist on continuums, not distinct categories.
Personality traits are characterized by consistency, stability, and individual differences. Traits are consistent across situations and stable over time. They also differ amongst people.
One of the most well-known models of personality is the Big Five or Five Factor Model. It was developed using a statistical technique called factor analysis and consists of the traits of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Each trait has several facets, or more specific, lower-level units of personality.
Other personality researchers argue that personality traits are not the best way to view who we are, because we might act differently in various situations. This controversy between trait theories and situational theories of personality is referred to as the person-situation debate. Research has indicated, however, that aspects of both theories best describe personality.
Personality assessment is how we figure out what someone’s personality is. We can use multiple types of measures to do this including objective tests (including self-report measures and informant ratings), projective tests, implicit tests, and behavioural and performance measures.
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