University of Phoenix
CNSL 506/ Personality Theories and Counseling Models
October 18, 2006
Understanding Personality in Relation to Counseling
The dictionary defines personality as, "The totality of somebody's attitudes, interests, behavioral patterns, emotional responses, social roles and other individual traits that endure overlong periods of time (Encarta, n.d.). There has been considerable research on personality and its description and development; a Google search on the internet elicits over 5 million results when the terms personality dynamics' are searched. To understand the model of personality one must look at several approaches to classify personality. This paper will look at some important influences on personality development. The paper will also illustrate several ways of describing personality and examine the definition of personality dynamics. Lastly, the paper will discuss how cognitive processes and culture relate to personality. Personality is affected by internal and external influences. Internal influences include gender and genetics. "Many theorists agree with the psychoanalytic proposition that the personality differences between males and females are fundamentally determined by biology" (Cloninger, 2004 p. 143). Biologically, women are different from men. There is the obvious difference of male and female reproductive systems and how hormones affect each gender. "Neurologically, women possess more connections in the corpus collosum, the tissue joining the right and left-hand side of the brain, making them better, in general, at tasks involving verbal expression and emotional perceptiveness. Men, on the other hand, possess greater ability to solve problems involving spatial relationships and logical reasoning" (Howenstine, 2003). Even without social influences on gender roles, the biological makeup of a person is a fundamental to the...