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Define Personality Concepts

o Define personality.
o Examine theoretical approaches in studying personality.
o Analyze factors that may influence an individual's personality development.

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DEFINE PERSONALITY

In researching this term, there are so many types of definitions, examples and scenarios one could draw from. What I would like to do is provide you a definition of personality and then add to your understanding by offering you different examples of personality that will strengthen your ability to "define personality" in your academic paper.

Personality really just means...a type of person. Defining a type of person is the difficult part. Throughout history, the term of personality has been addressed over and over and over. However, the most classical and traditional way one can define personality is by looking at the work of C.G. Jung. If you are ever interested in a book about the work of C.G. Jung, I would recommend the works by Ira Progoff, 1981, entitled Jung's Psychology and its Social Meaning. I really try to stay up with current works, but I found this book at a book sale a few years back and it is truly amazing!

Jung defines people by the types of personalities they portray - introvert or extrovert, and he referred to different personalities as psychological types (however, later references now just refer to psychological types as "personality types". He says that a person that is motivated by certain factors to act, think and react in certain ways - based on their personality. For example, if a person is shy, aloof, and quiet, they are most likely characterized as having an introverted personality (we'll discuss the reasons for this later). If a person is energetic, charismatic, enjoys being in the spotlight and even perhaps takes risks, that person is said to have an extroverted personality.

To further discus personality, the first point that Jung makes in defining personality is that there are four functions of the personality, 1) sensation 2) thinking 3) feeling 4) and intuition. Those are the four functions that determine the "type" of personality that someone has. Let's discuss these four functions more in-depth.

SENSATION:
When a person establishes that something is "there"...they are expressing sensation. For example, if I were to receive a call for a job interview, the first sensation I would feel is nervousness - however, I am an introverted person. If someone else received a call for a job interview and they jumped up and down with joy and felt elated, the sensation they felt would have been much different than mine - they would be extroverted.

THINKING:
When a person experiences sensation, then they move into the next step, according to Jung as being the "thinking" step. In this function of personality, a person gives the interpretation of that which is perceived. For example, once I received the call for a job interview, got over my initial sensation of nervousness, I would next move into a quick thinking state of "why did they choose me...I wonder how many people have applied...what shall I wear to my interview..." Those are the types of thinking that occurs in introverted people. Now, this is not to say that I am not confident about the job interview and yes...I am excited and happy that I have been called. But the process from which I process the event is different than an extrovert.

Once the extrovert receives the call for a job interview and gets over the quick sensation, they move into the thinking function as well. They start to think to themselves (or even say out loud), "Yes! I knew they would call me...Yippie Aia AY! I got a new job!...Oh yeah...gonna go buy me some new clothes!". The extrovert perceives the situation much differently - more openly and with more of a happy-go-lucky spirit.

FEELING:
After the object has been given meaning, or perhaps the event, situation...whatever it may be, then the next step the mind takes is to establish a value of the object. What this means is that "it" must be evaluated. Now, the introvert has already done a little bit of that by assessing whey they have been called and that is typical because Jung says the introvert moves into the feeling function much quicker than the extrovert. However, the extrovert might begin to feel excited, happy, energized, etc. after this ...

Solution Summary

In researching this term, there are so many types of definitions, examples and scenarios one could draw from. What I would like to do is provide you a definition of personality and then add to your understanding by offering you different examples of personality that will strengthen your ability to "define personality" in your academic paper. 2647 words.

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