Personality Psychology Essay

869 words - 4 pages

Introduction to Personality
When describing personality, one must take many factors into consideration. The definition itself is complex as there are many different opinions depending on the many theories of personality development. The New Big Five article by McAdams and Pals describe the unique facets of personality psychology. The factors that influence individual’s persona are many and are briefly mentioned in this essay.
Personality Defined
It is difficult to define personality. Each personality theorist has their own opinion depending on their own personal experiences (Feist & Feist, 2009). Although there is not a single specific definition for personality, each personality ...view middle of the document...

The principles relate to “evolution, dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations, life narratives, and culture” (McAdams & Pals, 2006, p. 204).
One should first consider the evolutionary perspective as it pertains to evolutionary psychology and the study of human nature. Evolutionary theory should be the first consideration for personality psychologists when studying the human nature of persons because when studying characteristics, the scientific mind should consider how the characteristics evolved (McAdams & Pals, 2006). Through the process of natural selection, humans evolved to fit the environment (McAdams & Pals, 2006). There are cognitive niches that humans have organized to adapt to the environment (McAdams & Pals, 2006). These include the ways in which to find a mate, to find food, and to find out if a mate is cheating (McAdams & Pals, 2006).
Personality psychologists study the dispositional traits of human personalities. Traits are important when describing personality. McAdams and Pals (2006) state that it is impossible to describe the meaning of personality without considering the complexities of traits. The traits identified are “extraversion, dominance, friendliness, dutifulness, and depressiveness” (McAdams & Pals, 2006).
Characteristic adaptations are related to cognitive, motivational and developmental variations in the context of “time, place, and/or social role” (McAdams & Pals, 2006, p. 208). Some examples include “motives, goals, plans, strivings, values, virtues…And many other aspects of human individuality that speak to motivational, social cognitive, and developmental concerns” (McAdams & Pals, 2006, p. 208).
Life narratives are important for individuals as they help to develop behavior, create an identity, and to find a niche in society (McAdams & Pals, 2006). These life stories are unique to each person and explain the past and future hopes of the individual (McAdams & Pals, 2006). Personality...

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