Personality Theory Paper

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Personality Theories

Psych 504
November 3 2012
Dr. Claire Clifford

Personality Theories
A person’s personality says much about who he or she is. People define personality in different ways. Researcher after researcher has tried to come up with the best definition for what personality truly means. Case studies, correlational studies, and experimental designs are some of the most commonly used methods of research. These methods help better define personality. The advantages and disadvantages of each method differ and can be helpful or hurtful to the research of an individual’s personality.

Defining Personality
Personality can be and is defined in different ways. However one definition that seems to be valid is that of Cervone. Cervone claims that, “Personality is the psychological qualities that contribute to an individuals enduring and distinctive pattern of feeling, thinking, and behaving” (Cervone, p 8). Individuals develop a pattern of qualities that they tend to keep throughout their lifespan. Many studies have been conducted on how personalities develop throughout the lifespan of individuals.

Case Studies (Advantage and Disadvantages)

Case studies help psychologists when concerning personalities by allowing the psychologist to view an individual in many different settings over a period. According to Cervone, whenever psychologists are trying to gather data to better understand the complexity of self-concept, a case study is the best method to use. Case studies can help with creating a hypothesis. An advantage to using a case study to conduct research would be that case studies respond more to real life instead of statistics (Martyn, 2008). A disadvantage to using case studies would be that case studies are mostly based on opinions (Bent, p. 302). Thus, making case studies easy to argue and not very reliable when comparing it to...
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