The Personality Characteristics Of Personality

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The notion of personality can be defined as a specific set of organised characteristics that influence a person’s everyday actions. These actions are guided by different motives and cognitive processes causing the large range of behaviours in a person. Each person’s characteristics are unique and come together to create an individual personal identity (Burger, 2011). Therefore a personality is subjective to each individual person, it is these unique characteristics that make it so. Characteristics such as likes and dislikes, fear and strengths and weaknesses are what create the individual personality that is seen by others (D. Schultz and P. Schultz, 2005). It is an important endeavour to discern where these characteristics are derived from, the question whether or not a personality is the product of free will has many relevant explorations. Free will in personality would suggest that a person has a free choice over how their aforementioned personality characteristics may turn out (Maslow, 1943). This idea that a person can determine their personality through a series of life choices directly contravenes the idea of a pre-determined personality that is shaped by biology and life events, called determinism (Skinner, 1957). Determinism is championed by Sigmund Freud in his psychodynamic theory (Freud, 1912), although it will not be the focus of this essay, despite Freud’s theories constituting as part of the main crux of the latter part. In order to address the question
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