What Is Personality?

Topics: Personality psychology, Big Five personality traits, Psychology Pages: 8 (2954 words) Published: September 6, 2010
What is personality?
Everyday people meet new people and sometimes they try to figure them out in order to see what kind of personality they have. People do this subconsciously or unconsciously. Personality isn’t easily defined because it’s a broad topic that is still being researched. A brief definition of personality would be that personality is made up of characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that make a person unique – that means that the personality of an individual rarely changes and someone’s personality will not completely be the same as the person next to him/her because they are individuals and they are unique in their own way. The purpose of this review is to determine whether a person’s personality traits can be a factor in an employee’s productivity in the workplace. Personality as stated above is a broad topic and to try explaining the whole topic in this literature review in its entirety would be impossible. Personality has fundamental characteristics that in the end form the personality of one person, some scientists believe that the personality an individual posses can be attributed to the genes that they are born with but there are some that dispute that theory because they believe that your personality is developed with time and life experience. What are personality traits?

Personality traits are distinguishing characteristics that make a person who they are – they are unique to that person alone. Even though a lot of people might have similar personality traits each person combines these traits on a different way to create one unique irreplaceable assortment of traits that make up their individual personality. The Big Five trait theory is the most commonly used theory to determine a person’s personality. They are also referred to as the "Five Factor Model" or FFM (Costa & McCrae, 1992), and as the Global Factors of personality (Russell & Karol, 1994). Openness is the first personality trait that forms the base of the big five theory, basically it refers to how open a person is to new things. This trait differentiates creative people from people that aren’t creative. People that tend to have a high score in openness are more in tune with their feelings on the other hand people that have low scores in openness are less open to trying new things, they are more traditional and they are straight forward. Conscientious is the second trait that forms part of the big five theory, this basically refers to the dedication and discipline the person shows in terms of the things that they are passionate about and whether they actually finish what they start. This specific trait refers to people that shy away from spontaneous behaviour and impulsive behaviour – i.e. they prefer to have a plan and be in control. Extraversion is the third trait, it refers to whether the person is comfortable being in the company of others whether they are strangers or acquaintances. If the person has a high score then they can be considered an extrovert because they can easily adapt to any situation and they can be the ‘life of the party’ whereas if the person has a low score then the person can be considered an introvert meaning that they tend to be more shy amongst people that they know or don’t know they are not very social and most times prefer to be by themselves. Agreeableness is the forth trait, it refers to how a person gets along with the people around them whether they are strangers or not- i.e. the person is confrontational or not. If a person has a high score on this trait then they tend to be more generous, friendly, and compassionate and their willingness to compromise with others - they tend to shy away from confrontation. However if a person has a low score then they are deemed to be highly confrontational and unfriendly – they are the complete opposite of agreeable individuals. Neuroticism is the final and fifth trait and it refers to how emotionally stable a person is. This trait determines...

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