Olivia Van Houten
History & Systems
Chapter 11- The Personality Psychologists
Chapter 11 looks at where personality originates from and the question of what makes the differences in one person’s behavior and characteristics to the next person. The study of personality has been an interest of study for philosophers and one of the most important fields of modern psychology. The first known efforts to try to explain personality was through astrology. Even though this is based on superstition, using astrology to explain a person’s personality is still used today. Physiognomy was also another system used to try to explain personality, but this looked at facial features linked to character traits. This can also still be used today because we often try to judge a person’s personality and how they would act based off the way they look. A big question is, where does personality come from and is our behavior and characteristics due to inner forces or our environment around us? Since it is impossible to see a person’s traits or personality, researchers needed to find a way to measure it. Some of the major methods of measuring personality is personal documents/histories (letters or memoirs) , ratings by observers (rating from friends about the person’s specific traits), a questionnaire (asks the respondent how they would react in a situation), projective testing (presented with ambiguous stimuli and asked to describe it), and conduct sampling or performance testing (psychologist observes the individual and rates their behavior). Within each of these methods there are various tests that can be conducted. The various methods used to measure personality are effective since we cannot see personality or characteristics.
Here I attached one of the projective tests that they use in the Rorschach test. In an abnormal psychology class I took we looked at a couple of these images and were asked to try to identify what we see. I find it interesting that they can measure your personality by looking at images like this.
Elements of Thoughts:
o The purpose of this chapter was to look at where personality originates from, how to measure personality, and to provide information on personality and the research behind it.
o The questions that are raised in this chapter is what makes one person’s personality different from the next and looks at the question of where personality comes from whether its from inside or outside forces.
o The concepts that are used in this chapter are focused on how personality is measured. Many examples of each measure are given to show how personality of an individual is seen.