How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Here are a number of definitions of personality from across the years:
‘The dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustment to his environment’ –- (Allport, 1937)
‘that which permits a prediction of what a person will do in a given situation.’ – (Cattell, 1965)
‘One’s habits and usual style, but also…ability to play roles.’ –- (Cronbach, 1984)
‘personality traits are the key antecedent of an individual’s cognitions and affective states that may influence his or her task and interpersonal or socio-emotional role behavior (in teams). – (Moynihan and Peterson, 2001)
Measurement of personality
Measured as ‘a set of items, usually questions or statements about feelings, or behavior, to which subjects have to respond by answering the question, or agreeing or disagreeing with the statements.’ – (Kline, 1993)
'Measure of both internal dimensions, or feelings, and external dimensions, or behaviors' – Searle, 2003
In practice, personality is how we see ourselves and others. It is how we describe a person as noisy, thoughtful, decisive and so on. In fact the language is laden with descriptors that we use every day to describe personality.
Measurement of personality is used often to help recruit the right person into a job. In some ways it also appears in mystic prediction system such as astrology. As a Libran, for example, I am considered to be thoughtful and kind, yet indecisive. Hmm. I'm not sure about that.
So understand 'personality' and then apply it to understanding personality.
Allport, G.W. (1937). Personality: A psychological interpretation, New York: Holt Press
Cattell, R.B. (1965). The scientific analysis of personality, Baltimore, MD: Penguin
Cronbach, L.J. (1984). Essentials of psychological testing (4th edn), New York: Harper Row
Kline, P. (1993). The handbook of psychological testing, London: Routledge
Moynihan, L.M. and Peterson, R.S. (2001). 'A contingent configuration approach to understanding the role of personality in organisational groups', Research in Organisational Research, 23, pp327-78
Searle, R. (2003). Selection and Recruitment: A Critical Text, London: Palgrove Macmillan and Milton Keynes: The Open University