Psychology History and Systems
Chapter eleven of Hunt’s “The Story of Psychology” explains personality and why people are the way they are. Psychologists throughout the centuries have had many different theories on why everyone’s personality is different. Some early theories relied on the pseudo-science of astrology and physiognomy. Hunt goes into depth on the early theories of personality but also gives clarity on today’s study of personality.
While psychologists use psychodynamic concepts to understand how personality develops they searched for a way to measure this. I want to focus my journal entry on measuring personality because before reading Hunt’s chapter I did not know this was possible. There are a couple of major methods when measuring personality starting with personal documents and histories. Hunt describes how personal documents can lead to an inaccurate measure of someone’s personality. An interview is another form of personality assessment but can also be misleading and least effective. The problem with this method is how many interviewers may evaluate the same person very differently. Being rated by observers can also give insight on specific traits of someone's personality. With the right conditions and circumstances ratings can be a valid measure in the process of evaluating an individual's personality. A questionnaire is another principle tool in measuring personality. Over the years questionnaires have greatly advanced to give an accurate representation of how someone acts. Lastly psychologists can conduct performance tests where they rate an individual's behavior. This gives useful information that a trained psychologist can use in assessing and measuring someone's personality.Overall the main reason for measuring personality is to provide answers on why people act the way they do. Measuring personality can give relevance to things that are going on in a person's life. The tests that are used continue to advance and become more detailed to help psychologists answer important questions about an individual's life. This chapter got me thinking about all the times I could have been taking personality tests. I have never taken a formal test with a psychologist but I have filled out questionnaires about myself which is one of Hunt’s methods in measuring personality. In conclusion assessments are a common way to get information about a persons different personality traits.
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