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How useful is Personality Theory? Illustrate your answers with aspects to everyday life.

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PERSONALITY ESSAY 1. Tutor: Mark Taylor. By: Diane Callaghan. Year: 2 Combined Studies. How useful is Personality Theory? Illustrate your answers with aspects to everyday life. Introduction. What motivates human behaviour? Why is the past present and future important to the development of personality? How constant is human behaviour? These questions along with many others determine the need for a theory that will answer some of the questions. Personality Theories aim to provide a viable description for people's individual differences, it attempts to answer the questions mentioned above and assign some kind of meaning into people's behaviour. (Furnham & Heaven pg10) There are many different theories in order to explain personality; some would explain people's unique behaviour as being a product of our environment or social situations, personal learning or part of our genetic makeup. Personality theory attempts to explain the how is our behaviour shaped, what makes us behave in certain ways in certain social situations and why do we behave in this manner. The notion is that people are unique and no two people behave alike in a predicament, no matter how close they are. (Furnham & Heaven pg4) The method in which personality theorists look at the development of personality all differ, some examine the structure which attempts to reach below the surface of observable trait type behaviours. ...read more.


The application of personality tests are used in other aspects of our lives, and once more are met with some controversy, the application of personality testing for so called 'abnormal personality disorders' have been met with strong criticisms. Mischel (1973) ; Mischel and Peak (1982) suggest that although the notion that traits exist is nearly as old as the notion of personality itself, it has proved quite difficult to obtain evidence that people are consistent in their dispositions and perceptions across different situations. However, we still use personality tests for clinical applications in diagnosing a problem that may or may not exist, but, because the person may behave, different to the norm they are still used. Personality assessment is a subject that fascinates many people, so much so that there are thousands of personality tests, hundreds of books and texts have been written about them. Some tests are focal designed to illuminate a single personality attribute, such as anxiety or depression, or uncover some kind of brain damage. Others are omnibus, seeking to describe a larger portion of personality and abnormality. Many tests are unstructured or projective, requiring the client to draw a person or persons or a series of designs, to determine abnormality through careful interviewing. While others aspire to the same goal through formal structured examinations. ...read more.


This can have huge implications because depending upon the clinical psychologist, the person could be labelled mentally ill when in fact there is nothing wrong with them. The down side of personality testing has long term effects, the child who does not understand the questions in an intelligence test can be labelled as 'thick' it does not take into account learning difficulties, dyslexia, or a notion as simple as poor eyesight. The universal view of all texts studied for this essay is that personality testing does not account for social situations. It has been described as being very limited in categorising certain behaviours and does not take into account other factors that may influence behaviour. BIBLIOGRAPY. 1. Pervin, L. (1997) Personality Theory and Research, Seventh Edition. John Wiley & Sons. CANADA.. 2. Furnham, A. & Heaven, P. (1999) Personality and Social Behaviour. Arnold. LONDON, NEW YORK, SYDNEY, AUCKLAND. 3. Butcher, J. (1972) Objective Personality Assessment. Academic Press. NEW YORK. LONDON. 4. Lanyon, R. Goodstein, R. (1971) Personality Assessment. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. NEW YORK. LONDON. 5. Cook, M. (1991) Levels of Personality, Second Edition. Cassell Educational Limited. NEW YORK. 6. Roth, I. (1993) Introduction to Psychology, Volume 2. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd. MILTON KEYNES. 7. Drakeley, R. (1997) Journal, Psychology Review, Vol 3, Number 3. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 7 ...read more.

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