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Personality is that which makes individuals distinctively themselves. It is the stuff of biographers, playwrights and historians, but also of scientists and lay speculators. In a sense, we are all personality theorists. It is a difficult, multidisciplinary area of research…
The types of questions asked by lay people include the following. What is a personality clash Do people with opposite personalities find each other attractive Can someone have little or no personality Academic questions are also of interest to the lay person, and might include the following. Does personality change much over time What causes (shapes, determines) an individual's personality What are the fundamental dimensions of personality To what extent do personality differences (alone) determine such things as health What causes a person to be an introvert or extravert (more likely an ambivert) Can neurotics be cured effectively
Personality psychology is often a child of its investigative method. The couch and the laboratory use different methods, and hence develop different concepts and theories of personality. Personality psychologists, unlike many of their biological and cognitive colleagues, are often 'whole-person' psychologists, not focusing exclusively on beliefs, emotions or cognitions. Many have tended to ask 'big' questions, such as the following. What is the relative importance of the past, the present and the future to the development of personality What motivates human behaviour How important is the concept of self How consistent is human behaviour (Hergenhalin, 1994). ...
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