Thursday, July 30, 2009

perSoNaLITy pSyChOlOgy

Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and individual differences. One emphasis in this area is to construct a coherent picture of a person and his or her major psychological processes:

-Another emphasis views personality as the study of individual differences, in other words, how people differ from each other. A third area of emphasis examines human nature and how all people are similar to one another. These three viewpoints merge together in the study of personality.
Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her
cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations:

-The word "personality" originates from the Latin persona, which means mask. Significantly, in the theatre of the ancient Latin-speaking world, the mask was not used as a plot device to disguise the identity of a character, but rather was a convention employed to represent or typify that character.
The pioneering American psychologist,
Gordon Allport (1937) described two major ways to study personality, the nomothetic and the idiographic. Nomothetic psychology seeks general laws that can be applied to many different people, such as the principle of self-actualization, or the trait of extraversion. Idiographic psychology is an attempt to understand the unique aspects of a particular individual.
The study of personality has a rich and varied history in psychology, with an abundance of theoretical traditions. The major theories include dispositional (trait) perspective, psychodynamic, humanistic, biological, behaviorist and social learning perspective. There is no consensus on the definition of "personality" in psychology. Most researchers and psychologists do not explicitly identify themselves with a certain perspective and often taken an eclectic approach. Some research is empirically driven such as the
"Big 5" personality model whereas other research emphasizes theory development such as psychodynamics. There is also a substantial emphasis on the applied field of personality testing.