Scientific Study of Personality

1081 WordsDec 23, 20125 Pages
Scientific Study of Personality Scientific Study of Personality In the search for understanding behavior, the quest takes one to the subject of “personality”. There have always been questions as to why people do what they do, whether or not people have the ability to shape their own personality, and why people are so different. There are individuals that are predictable and others that are completely unpredictable, and what exactly controls or is a factor in one’s personality. Personality is a complex topic and different psychologists define this topic in several different ways. The complexity of personality has prompted researchers to use different types of methods which consist of three commonly used approaches. This paper will…show more content…
Each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages. The most scientific form of studying personality is experimental designs. This method involves the manipulation of independent variables in order to determine their efforts on the dependent variables (American Psychological Association, 2012). When studying aspects of personality such as motivations, emotions, and drives experimental designs can be difficult (Trapnell, 2012). This test is also manipulated through random assignments of persons to different conditions which can be very difficult (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). The next method is case which involves an in-depth analysis as well as information provided by a certain individual (American Psychological Association, 2012). Case studies have a huge advantage over the others because of it being conducted in a clinical setting, you can find out about personality in great detail, and can give insights into personality that can be used to formulate a more general theory that is tested on a larger sample (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). All methods have their own advantages and disadvantages and case studies are no different. Case studies are the only methods that can test phenomena because when one needs to study the full complexity of personality processes, individual environment relationships and within personal organization of personality the only option is a
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