Essay - Importance of the Study of Personality Personality: A Distinctive and...

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Importance of the Study of Personality

*****: a distinctive and relatively stable pattern of behavior, thoughts, motives ***** emotions that characterizes an individual.

Psychologists use a v*****riety ***** tests to determine and study a v*****st number of personality traits among groups of people. They've found that although everyone exhibits five to ten central traits that determine how we react to different people and various situations, not all ***** carry the same weight in their importance in someone's life. (Where you might fear speaking in front of a crowd, for example, I may f*****d it invigorating and fun.) We all have secondary tra*****s, *****o (food preferences, for *****, or how we feel about a style of dress), but these aren't as stable ***** the central traits. Although secondary traits can change as we mature ***** grow, ***** ***** generally stick with us our entire lives. The central traits that remain relatively stable throughout a lifetime include whether *****'re an extrovert (outgoing *****d vivacious) or an introvert (shy or reclusive); how well you h*****dle negative emotions, such as anger, hate or guilt; ***** or not you're generally good-natured; y***** degree of assuming responsibility (are you conscientious, ***** a flake?); and how willing you ***** to accept new challenges or experiences.

It's been determined that most of these ***** central traits have to do ***** our heredity, which explains how twins, possibly separated during their *****mative years, can meet as adults and have very similar personalities. But this isn't always the case: Two children born to the same parents can have totally opposite personalities. How is this possible? Environment also plays a part in shaping our personalities. Not all ***** ***** are equally affected by heredity or environment, and one's personality ***** rigid - it can ***** as we mature ***** according to life experiences. Therefore, it's important ***** remember that although genetics play an important role in determining one's *****, ***** doesn't imply ***** certain traits are inevitable.

O*****r theorists (called "behaviorists") suggest that personality has a lot to do with situations; ***** positive or negative reinforcement ***** certain acts (whether it's using a n*****pkin at the table, or committing a crime and getting away with it) determines and shapes personality. Behaviorists, in fact, don't consider that ***** ***** "*****" as much as we demonstrate certain behavior patterns (such as when a te*****cher may label a student ***** "bright" or "slow"; "aggressive" ***** "cooperative"). Some psychologists think this is taking the easy way out - that it suggests ***** under the appropriate circumstances, anyone could just as easily become a serial killer and an hum*****itarian.

***** about culture? Some theorists say that ***** cultures are bounded by certain rules, and much of our personality is determined by how we are raised *****in that cultural framework. An interesting example is the difference in how ***** in various ***** communicate with each other - some st***** close and touch the person to whom ********** are speaking, but others would find this an invasion of


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