What Is Personality

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What is personality? And what relevance has this concept to understanding behaviour in the workplace?

I will be researching about personalities and the relevance that they have in regards to behaviour in the workplace. I will be discussing many factors ranging from trait and type theories to the nature-nurture debate.

A personality is a combination of natural traits, combined with life experiences which determine our individual characteristics and set us out in a distinctive persona.

The term personality is used to determine the differences between individuals. A person could be social, reliable, depressed or content, these are all traits but are we born with these? Or are they inherited?

The Nature-Nurture debate is about whether a particular individual’s behaviour is a product of inherited genes or learned characteristics. The debate has never really been won. Everyone is aware that we inherit characteristics such as our eye colour, freckles and many more however where did we get our personalities? The debate seeks to find out whether our personalities are from our genes or through life experiences. Over the years, scientists have carried out various studies on twins. If genetics do not play a part in their personalities and they are bought up under the same conditions then they would be similar regardless of their genes, however studies show that they resemble each other more than non-twins and also show that they have remarkable similarities when separated.1

Controversial psychologist John Watson believes in the nurture side of the debate, he said: ‘Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select...regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors.’ John Watson carried out an experiment with a young orphan called Albert. He demonstrated that a...
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