Personality is characterized as the distinctions of a person that are impaired by an individual’s development. Personality also refers to a mixture of qualities in an individual that shapes a character. These features include beliefs, conduct, talents, behaviors, as well as thoughts (Burger, 2014). To explain what makes us act in different ways, the notion of personality has been used. Individuality arises from the relation between ecological and biological variables. Different trait theorists emphasize numerous aspects of character and their development. These approaches include the psychoanalytic approach, the philosophy of traits, and the cognitive social approach. Sigmund Freud founded the psychoanalytic approach to personality. According to Freud, the psychoanalytic model of character states that human deeds are an outcome of interactions among three components of mind which are the ego, id, and superego (Friedman & Schustack, 2016). Id is related with the satisfaction of basic needs and desires. Superego is concerned with communal rules and ethics while the ego is the rational, pragmatic part of our character. Personality has a great significance on how conflict among the parts of the mind form behavior and trait where these conflicts are mainly cataleptic. According to Freud, individuality develops during childhood under several stages wherein every stage a child is bestowed with a conflict between biological and social prospect. The conflicts lead to mastery of each development stage to a fully mature personality.
Trait model is concerned with character development by dealing with the constituents of personality. Characters are lasting ways, which differentiate individuals. The theorists of trait say that qualities are steady over time, uniform with time and differences between people result from differences in strength and combination of traits in a person. According to All port, each person has exclusive character regardless of any common trait shared with other people. Contrary, Raymond viewed traits as a science and thought these traits could be classified. Raymond used factor analysis to recognize various traits that describe each person’s personality. According to these theorists, they say that there are five main magnitudes of personality, which include agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness used to describe behavior (McCrae & Allik, 2002).
Social models stress on the dynamic feature of personality suggesting that individuals interpret events because of expectations, memories, and beliefs. Social theories stress that our behavior is shaped by our expectations. When individuals feel they can deal with their conditions, they are likely to try new tasks. Nancy Cantor put into account how personality is maintained over time through three basic elements, which are strategies, tasks, and organized sets of knowledge. These elements guide perceptions and interpretation of information in social settings.
Traits define us and how we relate to the world. Although there are various models of personality, the consensus is that character is formed by the primitive experiences and tends to stay constant at the moment. It is very unlikely that personality traits can be modified, but in specific situations, some traits can be adjusted depending on new life experiences. Growing older can as well mean important individuality changes as people become full-grown, agreeable and develop emotional stability. There is a time that personality becomes more fixed as conscientiousness is found to be fixed more in a person at the age of 20s (John & Robins, 2008). On the other hand, agreeableness, a trait associated with being helpful backed the theory that personalities become less fixed after the age of 30.
Research on personality provides support for the warnings in the newspapers as distortion on personality measures remains a major concern in all situations. There are cases where people change their features of character. F. W. De Klerk worked as the last president of South Africa. He strongly supported apartheid, but as he evolved, he came to abolish it where he released Nelson Mandela and accepted Multi-racial elections in South Africa. People tend to change their personality due to various features such as situational, social, cultural, as well as biological factors. There are some aspects of personality that can be modified. A person who has Neuroticism trait can change their negative feeling of being angry. However, it is hard for people with conscientiousness trait to change their personality of acting impulsively because they always wish to make the best possible decision from the options they have set.
Burger, J. M. (2014). Personality. Australia : Wadsworth.
Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2016). Personality: Classic theories and modern research. Pearson.
John, O., & Robins, R. (2008). Handbook of Personality, Third Edition: Theory and Research. New York: Guilford Publications.
McCrae, R. R., & Allik, I. U. (2002). The five-factor model of personality across cultures. Springer Science & Business Media.