Thursday 9 March 2017

What is “Personality”?

Concept and Nature of Personality:

If we talk ordinarily, the term “personality” refers to the impressions which an individual makes on others. Personality is used to mean the configuration of individual characteristics and ways of behaving which determine an individual’s unique adjustment to his environment.

Thus, any description of an individual’s personality must into account his appearance, abilities, motives, emotional reactions, his values and attitudes and his distinctive traits (or characteristics).

If we talk about psychologists’ point of view, they, while defining personality, employ indispensable ideas of integration and uniqueness. Personality invariably signifies the functioning of the whole person and the unique organization of the individual that distinguishes him from his fellows.

According to Allport, “Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychobiological systems which determine his unique adjustment to the environment”.

Guilford defines personality as an individual’s unique pattern traits. Guilford, like Allport, stresses the integration of traits when he discusses the individual’s pattern of traits.

By trait, Guilford means any distinguishable, relatively enduring way in which one individual differs from others.

Thus, the term "personality trait" refers to enduring personal characteristics that are revealed in a particular pattern of behavior in a variety of situations.

Guilford groups traits into seven modalities or classes. These modalities or traits are as follows: interest, attitude, needs, temperament, aptitude, morphology or the body structure, and physiology (basic bodily functions).

Characteristics of Mature Personality:

The young individual with immature personality gradually grows into a mature adult through successive stages of development.

In order to understand the characteristics of mature personality, it is advisable to compare the behavior patters of infants and adults:

The infant is passive, whereas the adult shows increasing activity. The mature adult shows self-initiative and possesses self-determination for various activities relating to his life.

The infant is dependent upon others to meet his basic needs. In contrast, the adult is relatively independent of others. Relative independence means to stand on one’s own fee. The mature adult develops his own sets of behavior and his behavior is no longer determined by his family as in case of an infant.

The infant is capable of behaving only in a few ways. But the adult is capable of behaving in many different ways in a particular situation.

The infant has erratic, casual, shallow and quickly-dropped interest interests. But the adult has deeper interests. Mature personality is characterized by an endless series of challenges, and the reward comes from doing something for its own sake.

The infant possesses a short-time perspective. His behavior is determined largely by the present. But the mature adult possesses a much longer time perspective. His behavior is determined by the past experiences and future consequences.

The infant occupies a subordinate position in the family and the society. But the mature person aspires to occupy an equal and/or superior position relative to others.

The infant lacks awareness of self. But the adult is conscious of his self—his abilities and limitations, integrity and worth.

There is an extension of the sense of self that grows with experience until the welfare of others becomes as important as one’s own.

The mature personality is capable of intimacy and compassion. The adult possesses a capacity for love and also a respect for the worth and dignity of others.

Emotional security characterizes the mature personality. There is a growing ability to tolerate frustration and to express convictions and feelings with consideration for others.
Mature persons know themselves. They possess self insight.

Mature persons have a clear comprehension of life’s purposes. They develop a philosophy of life.