Everyday, we meet different kinds of people. It can be our friends, family or new acquaintances. Some of them we already know or even share a common trait. However, it is not always guaranteed that we understand them always. They may behave in this way today, but will be completely different tomorrow. Just as genes contribute to the uniqueness of each one of us, personality in every person is also distinct. Personality is defined as the entire mental organization of a human being at any stage of his development.
It embraces every phase of human character: intellect, temperament, skill, morality, and every attitude that has been built up in the course of one’s life (Warren & Carmichael, 1930). With this concept in mind, we can say that personality is the essence of the human being. He reacts to any life circumstances with his own personality. Psychology regards this as an important factor in understanding people. Personality can work itself on what you are now and how will you be in the future. Research efforts have been expended through the years on how personality develops on one person.
Studies on the different patterns of behavior, feelings and thoughts that make a person have been experimented. David and Larsen mentioned in their book that the fundamental components of personality are the following: (1) consistency, which means that people behave in a recognizable order; (2) psychological and physiological, aside from the works of the mind, personality is also governed by biological factors; (3) impact behaviors and actions, it does not only influence how a person respond, but also causes him to act in certain ways and; (4) multiple expressions, personality is embodied not only on one behavior.
Given these complexities, it has become a basis of school of thoughts to theorize a person’s personality. Nevertheless, most researchers unite on the fact that personality lies on biological and social systems. Early psychology attributes personality as influence of biological factors. These are what to be known as Type Theories. It tells us that it depends on a person how he reacts on the external environment. One can be extroverted or introverted. Another type of personality theories are the Trait Theories.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, traits are enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal contexts. Traits can be considered also as a big player in defining one’s personality. Overtime, researches on personality has evolved. Earlier, it directs its focus on the person itself, but later on, psychologists acknowledge that the environment the person plays with also dictate his disposition.
A person’s personality can change depending on what he sees on other people, not only what he believes in himself. Behavioral and social cognitive theories comprise the contemporary theories on personality. Together with the evolution of personality research, personality tests were also developed. These are very useful nowadays to educational and working environments where people are subjected to diverse kinds of people and experiences.
Understanding a person’s personality is an important indicator to teachers and bosses, since this will aid them in handling other people. Personalities of people continue to be a mystery to most of us. However, with how psychology evolves, we can now, if not all, pinpoint the factors that will let us understand how people behave. True enough, it is still a very interesting topic to look on to, given the challenges of the ever changing society.
Bibliography Buss, D. M. , & Larsen, R. J. (2006). Personality Psychology: Domains of Knowledge About Human Nature. New York City: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages. Robins. (2002). Overview of the proceedings of the 2002 meeting of the association for research in personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 36(6), 539-540. Warren, H. C. , & Carmichael, L. (1930). Elements of human psychology. Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin.