Personality Theories And Trait Theories

2232 Words Oct 18th, 2014 9 Pages
The entire notion of 'Personality ' rests upon a number of assumptions: 1) that traits and types exist 2) that traits and types are stable over time 3) that these traits and types are consistent across different situations. At least two of these assumptions are so problematic that they challenge the very existence of Personality. Critically evaluate this statement.

Personality, a word first coined in the C14th, has so broad a meaning that its definition varies significantly depending on which theoretical approach or method of classification it is being used for. To the average individual, their personality is simply what guides and forms their emotions, cognitions and behavioural acts, yet psychologists have no universal definition and loosely apply it as an overall heading, whilst focusing on its role in personality theories. In order to write this essay it is important to establish the differences between Type Theories and Trait Theories. A personality type is a group of key qualities an individual possesses, that when established, may allow a rough prediction of human behaviour. Types are discrete and mutually exclusive- you are either Type X or Type Y. These types, and indeed traits, are thought to be constant as said by Tieger and Barron-Tieger in their book “Do what you are” -"The Type to which you are born will be the one you take to your grave." Trait theories conversely identify qualities that people possess on a spectrum that can form part of a prediction as to…
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