Is Personality Science?
Is Personality Science? The science of personality focuses on the field of personality psychology, also known as personology. It is the study of the person, that is, the whole human individual. The main part of personality psychology addresses the broader issue of “what is it to be a person”. There are two classes of research methods: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative methods involve measurements and qualitative methods do not. Measurement is very important to science because scientists want to get beyond the purely subjective and to the more objective. Creating personality tests to measure personality traits is a common activity of personality psychologists (webspace.ship.edu). Personality tests produce a wide range of self-descriptions. The responses are fairly repeatable over intervals of many years. They also correlate quite well with ratings of the person given by their spouse, friends or colleagues. Over the last 20 years, many studies in several different cultures have shown that much of the systematic variation in personality can be reduced to scores along five dimensions (the “Big Five”): Extraversion, Neurotism, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, and Openness. These are all continuous dimensions (alternet.org). When we look at different personalities, we need to discuss them more in depth. Everyone has different personalities. Some people have personality disorders. There are many personality disorders. One I would like to discuss is borderline personality disorder (BPD). Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior (National Institute of Mental Health). Originally thought to be at the “borderline” of psychosis, people with BPD...
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