Introduction to Personality Term Paper by jlatigue

Introduction to Personality
An explanation of how personality is defined and developed.
# 147809 | 1,189 words | 7 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Jul 17, 2011 in Psychology (Freud) , Psychology (Theory)

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This paper explains the meaning of personality as defined in psychology and includes information about theoretical approaches to the study of personality and an assessment of the factors that influence the development of individual traits and characteristics.The paper concludes that there are six dimensions of human nature and many influences, that contribute to our personality.

Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Personality
Quantifiable Human Nature
Non-quantifiable Human Nature
Factors that Influence the Development of Individual Traits and Characteristics
Five Factor Theory of Personality Development
Social Investment Theory
Freud and Personality Development

From the Paper:

''The study of personality in the field of psychology is largely predicated on the assumption of a basic human nature, which finds its articulation through the perspectives, viewpoints, and world-views of individual researchers. The entirety of the subject-matter on human nature in the area of psychology falls within six dualistic dimensions: 1) determinism versus free choice; 2) pessimism versus optimism; 3) causality versus teleology; 4) conscious versus unconscious determinants of behavior; 5) biological versus social influences; 6) uniqueness versus similarities. Free choice entails the belief that behavior is governed by forces that are ultimately within the realm of human control; whereas, determinisms postulates that behavior is directed by influences outside of purely domestic manipulation. Optimism describes a generally positive outlook on human affairs, which includes the conviction that a truly happy, healthy, and functioning human existence is possible; and pessimism occupies the opposite position--that conflict, misery, and strife are terrestrial inevitabilities. The position of causality envisions that current behavior is a function of past experiences; conversely, teleology puts forth the stance that current behavior is mediated principally by the expectancy of future events. The fourth dimension addresses the issue of whether the causes and conflicts of behavior lie at a conscious or unconscious level. The fifth dimension is concerned with the ratio by which personality is shaped by either biological forces or social influences. Lastly, is the question of whether personality should be more a study of individual differences or collective similarities. These are the broad strokes through which the study of personality is defined. However, all of these dimensions rest upon one proposition; namely, that human nature can be generalized and quantified into a set of dualistic sub-categories in the first place.''

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bruder, K., & Moore, B. N. (2002). Philosophy: The power of ideas (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
  • Feist, J., & Feist, G. (2009). Theories of Personality (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
  • Gould, M., & Howson, A. (2009). Freud & personality development. Research Starters Sociology, 1-6. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from EBSCOHost Database.
  • Lucas, R. E., & Donnellan, M. B. (2009). Age differences in personality: Evidence from a nationally representative Australian sample. Developmental Psychology, 45(5), 1353-1363. Retrieved February 26, 2011, from EBSCOHost Database.
  • Nevid, J.S., & Rathus, S.A. (2005). Psychology and the challenges of life: Adjustment in the new millennium (9th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Introduction to Personality (2011, July 17) Retrieved December 03, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Introduction to Personality" 17 July 2011. Web. 03 December. 2023. <>