Introduction to Personality
University of Phoenix
Theories of Personality
Sherry Kicenski Ed.D.
February 24, 2009
This paper will attempt to define personality, examine theoretical studies and analyze the factors which influence an individual’s personality. Personality definitions can become problematic, since there are so many theorists which study this science. Personalities are influenced by many factors and this paper will try to decipher these factors.
“Psychologists differ among themselves as the meaning of personality” (Feist, 2006). The word derives from the Latin word persona; this word is from the mask in which actors wore during Greek and Roman dramas (Feist, 2006). “Act well your part, there all the honor lies” (Masters, 1915). Too many, a personality is acting, though it is more then acting it is our very character. Many people put on a different face or attitude for the people they are around. Is this wrong? No, not really because many different situations require different emotions, and actions for the moment. Does the overall personality change from on situation to the next? Maybe however if a person is an extrovert then all of their actions will be such. Changing this primary base of our personality is difficult from on situation to the next: introverts and extroverts do not change from on instance to the next.
“Although no single definition is acceptable to all personality theorists, we can say that personality is a pattern of relatively permanent traits and unique characteristics that give both consistency and individuality to a person’s behavior. Traits contribute to individual differences in behavior, consistency of behavior over time, and stability of behavior across situations. Traits may be unique, common to some group, or shared by the entire species, but their pattern is different for each...