Personality can be defined as the characteristic ways of thinking, feeling and acting that make a person an individual (Fletcher & Garton, 2007). There are a number of different personality theories that aim to explain an individual’s personality, such as the Learning theory studied by B.F Skinner and the Trait theory studied by Cost and McCrae. By examining these personality theories in relation to a particular case study, it is possible to understand how an individual’s personality is influenced and how it develops. An example of a personality case study is that of Kate, a 20 year old university student. She is described as kind, caring and loyal and prefers watching movies and reading rather than going out to a party. Kate works hard studying psychology at university and volunteers to help children with autism. Kate has a strong relationship with her family and isn’t expected to contribute to household expenses. By examining the case study of Kate through the Learning and Trait personality theories, it is possible to have a greater understanding of Kate’s personality characteristics.
The Learning theory of personality is one theory that can be used to examine an individual’s personality. One of the most influential theorists in this area was B.F Skinner who believed behaviour people think reflects personality is simply behaviour that has been learnt from past experiences with the world (Fletcher & Garton, 2007). The theorists of the learning theory basically believe that if a person’s behaviour is positively rewarded, they are more likely to repeat the action. However, if their behaviour was punished, it is less likely to happen again. This theory has been criticised for being too simplistic by not taking into account a person’s genetics and factors other than a person’s environment (such as thought processes, beliefs and motivation) that can influence their personality. Another argument is that personality consist of more... [continues]
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