November 3, 2014
The personality of an individual is perceived as the characteristics that shape and distinguishes one person from another, at least from a general perspective. For instance, John may be described as quiet and decisive in the way he handles different situations. On another hand, we would have Peter who is very irrational. These two distinctive characters would describe the personalities of those two individuals. However, psychologists are more particular and define personality as a dynamic with the inclusion of an organized set of characteristics possessed by an individual that distinctively or uniquely influences his or her motivations, cognitions as well as behavior in various occasions (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). Various psychologists have come up with different discussions analyzing personality from a biological angle. For instance, a pioneering American psychologist used two broad categories of nomothetic and idiographic to analyze the characteristics of different individuals. Moreover, the study of personality also comes with an abundance of traditional theories (Cervone & Pervin, 2010). These would include psychodynamic, humanistic, biological, behaviorists, dispositional perspective as well as social learning. In a nutshell, the study of personality varies with the discipline that undertakes the study itself. Objectively, this analysis takes a different approach towards personality though from a particular psychological perspective. It is in this study that the popular methods of studying personality are discussed and brought into a bright note. The methods of studying personality include case studies, correlational designs as well as experimental designs. Each method will be discussed independently with clear illustrations that bring out the aspect of personality from all angles. It would be crucial to note that these studies also have both sides of merit and demerits. Case Study
This is the most basic method of studying personality as it bases its foundation on case scenarios and the way individuals perceive them. In most cases, this method is substantially used during the process of treating individuals as well as during developing theories of personality. Essentially, case study would involve analyzing a certain given case scenario in terms of how an individual handles the same using their respective personalities. It would be important to note that not all individuals are the same. Nonetheless, this method would be very effective and efficient when generalizing the characteristics of an individual. This method would incorporate a variety of approaches in terms of analyzing the personality of an individual. Key among them would include keen observation. For instance, when solving a dilemma of any sort, one weighs the disadvantages and advantages that would come with making a particular decision when compared with the alternative decision. Personality differences from a psychological perspective would be based on what decision is taken with reference to the situation. Consequently, different traits of a person would be brought out using an observation perspective. Case study as a method of studying personality comes with various merits as well as demerits. The biggest advantage associated with this method is that it enables and takes problem solving to a higher level. This method also creates new knowledge in various dimensions as well as plays a crucial role in testing a particular hypothesis. The major disadvantage that this method would possess includes the interpretation of the scenario. Too much professionalism would misinterpret a situation leaving the obvious results unmentioned or unveiled. Correlational Design
This is a method of analyzing the personality of an individual as an alternative whenever the case study approach proves unreliable. It is a method related to research...
References: Cervone, D., & Pervin, L., A. (2010). Personality: Theory and research (11th Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Schwartz, S., H., Cieciuch,J., & Vecchione, M. (2012). Refining the theory of basic individual values. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 103(4). 633-688
McCrae, R., R. (2011). Personality Theories for the 21st Century. Teaching of Psychology, 38(1), 209-214.
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