Inside Our Personality
Published on Monday, November 21st, 2011 at 7:42 am and is filed under General Psychology
Personality – definition
Definition and characteristics of personality
In daily life are often used terms of person and personality, the common sense of the last is characteristic or quality that somebody can have or not. But their use as psychological terms requires a more precise definition of personality.
The question “What is personality?” is asked. According to P. Fraisse, the history of psychology, within certain limits, is confused with the history of answers to this fundamental question. Before defining the personality it should be defined the person.
Person means a concrete human individual. Personality is a theoretical construction developed by psychology in order to understand and explain the ways of function that characterize psycho-physiological body which we call human.
In the specialized literature, there are many definitions of personality, each capturing some aspects of this large concept.
The “Dictionary of Psychology” by Norbert Sillamy, the personality is defined like this: “(…) stable element of person’s behavior; which characterizes and distinguishes it from another person”.
For sociology, the personality is “socio-cultural expression of human individuality”.
Among the numerous definitions of personality G. W. Allport gives his own definition in “Structure and development of personality”, trying to “(…) not define the object according to our imperfect methods.
“Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychological systems that determine his specific thinking and behavior”.
To understand better, we are going to explain the concepts in this definition, as Allport did:
“The central problem of psychology is mental organization (the formation of structures or hierarchies of ideas and skills that guides the dynamic activity). Integration and other organizational processes are necessary to explain the development and structure of personality. (…) The term implies mutual process of disorganization, especially in those abnormal personalities marked by a progressive disintegration”.
“This term reminds us that personality is not only mental or nervous. Its organization takes after the function of both “spirit” and “body” in an unit inextricably”.
“A system (any system) is a complex of elements in mutual interaction. A skill is a system, as well as a feeling, a trait, a concept, a style of behavior. These systems latently exist in the body even they don’t work. Systems are “our work potential”.
“Personality is something and does something. Latent psychophysical systems motivate or direct an activity and a specific thought when they work. All systems that make up personality tendencies should be considered as determined. They have a direct influence on all adoptive and expressive acts reveal personality”.
“Any behavior and thinking are characteristic for any person and (…) are unique for this.
Behavior and thinking
“These two terms are a label to describe what an individual can do (…). They are ways of adapting and development caused by environmental situation where we are, always selected and conducted by psychophysical systems that make up our personality”.
The “Dictionary of Psychology”, publisher Babe 1997, coordinated by Ursula Schiopu, behavior and thinking”… refers to the general opportunities and features that express a person (from others) and outline its specific identity”.
Psychoanalysis was developed by Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939), as a way to explore the content and mechanisms of human mental life. Preparation was made to appreciate the importance of biological factors (nature) and social experience (education) for developing and maintaining human personality. Freud believed that there are universal human needs that help to guide and shape human behavior. One is eros “life instinct”, people’s need to establish links between them and other is thanatos “death instinct”, the aggressive inclination.
According to Freud, personality is composed of three elements: the ID (self), Superego (superego) and I (ego).
ID is our biological universal impulses that need to be satisfied immediately. Superego is the conscience, the ID represented in personality. I is the part of personality which is in contact with reality.
Personality is seen as dynamic aspect, the movement of “psychic energy” the libido of the three mental levels.
Human personality develops through a series of successive stages, universal and related to age that Freud called “stages of psychosexual development”.
- The first stage is the oral (1 year) when breast child seeks for pleasure in oral acts (sucking, biting).
- The second is the anal stage (2 years) when there is bowel and bladder control.
- The third is the phallic stage (3-5 years) is the period of initial sexual awareness or Oedipal conflict.
- The fourth stage if latent stadium (5 years-puberty) it is important to develop physical and intellectual skills.
- The fifth stage is genital one, when sexual maturity appears.
Freud emphasizes the emotional and unconscious sources of child development that contribute to establishing early functional aspects of personality, emotional aspects of socialization.
From various definitions of personality there are some characteristics of it, which mark that personality is a structure (Perron R. 1985).
Human personality consists of features that allow its description and identification among others. We should remember that man is unique in every person. This means that individual uniqueness is shaped in unique personality but similar on certain criteria with personalities of other people.
Most theories accept the idea of existence of a particular organization and interdependent components of personality. When in a human’s behavior appears unusual acts they are contravene these theories. Personality is not a set of juxtaposed elements, but a functional system composed of interdependent elements.
Permanent (stable) time:
Although a person becomes, develops she retains her physical identity. Man has the consciousness of his existence, the sense of continuity and of personal identity for entire life.