There are many different theorists regarding personality along with many theories. Each of these theories comes about because of different research methods. In this paper I will discuss what is personality?, what psychologists’ goals are, and the different types of research along with their strengths and weaknesses.
Personality is one of the most theorized and most researched aspects of psychology. To understand personality, one must first understand trait and state. Trait is a relatively permanent individual characteristic, whereas state is a temporary change in one’s personality (Heffner, 2002). The word “personality” has many different definitions. According to “American Psychological Association” (2013), “Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. The study of personality focuses on understanding individual differences in particular personality characteristics and understanding how the various parts of a person come together as a whole” (Personality). Personality addresses three issues: human universals (what are universal features of human nature), individual differences (how do people differ from one another), and individual uniqueness (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). There are four categories that may be used when researching personality; life record data (L-data), observer data (O-data), test data (T-data), and self-report date (S-data). Together these make up LOTS of data. L-data is obtained from a person’s life history or public records. O-data is obtained through friends and family members of the person being researched. T-data is obtained from experimental procedures and standardized tests. S-data is obtained by the person through a survey or interview (“Sources Of Personality Data,” n.d.). By using these methods, psychologists can obtain a complete personality profile on the individual being studied. Three of the most...
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