Human Personality Development

This is the second article in a series I intend to write about the importance of the study of human personality. Understanding another's personality, to some extent, points us to the understanding of why someone behaves one way rather than another. Thus a chance to modify behaviour and control a piece of the world that otherwise would be stressful to our existence.
Definition of Personality
There are many ways to define personality and a precise meaning is difficult to state. However, it is totally accepted that personality exists. Because personality has so many facets, and that people are so complex it is necessary to approach personality from a number of viewpoints to gain a clear perspective. Most agree however, that we all have a personality.
For simplicity, I believe that personality is the way in which a person does such things as talking, remembering, thinking, loving and acting. Further, I think that each of us have a unique personality just as we have unique fingerprints and that no two people are EXACTLY alike in the manner we think, feel, or act.
The Stability of Personality
Is personality stable or consistent across all situations? If people are unique then they should react in similar ways over time and differing variable situations. Of course this does not mean that each of us act perfectly consistent to all circumstances, however, there must be a certain level of stability and constant behaviour so as we may recognise same actions and attitudes in people in differing situations.
So we can say that a generally happy individual, will take to most situations faced, a different behavioural disposition than that of the generally sorrowful person. Thus we can often say about someone, "there goes Ben, no matter what problem he faces it seems that he is able to keep a smile on his face".
Keep in mind this aspect, however, that the makeup of aggression, dependency, sexuality and other personality determinants will ensure that each individual will have measurably different reactions to every situation because of the composite of their personality makeup.
In the Psychological literature there is a consistent block of feeling that the specific nature, of the situations in which people find themselves is a very potent determinant of behaviour. Further that a situation may have more effect on resulting behaviour than the personality components that go to make up an individual's reactions. For me however, it is hard to see how it is possible to have a psychology of personality without some stability and consistency in thinking, feeling or acting.
Personality Elements
While it is not too difficult to accept the above arguments that personality can be defined by consistency and endurance, it is a huge jump to make an agreeable argument as to which elements within a personality are consistent.
Personality components such as, aggression, affection, dependency, and happiness etc., certainly play a part in the individual's behaviour patterns. However, which of the components, that go to make up an individual's personality, are treated for cause and endurance very differently by alternate Psychological paradigms. There is no one way in which personality can be viewed.
Individual differences within personality are accounted for in many theories in many different ways.
In some following articles I will consider some of the main differences of opinion between the most prominent Psychological research results concerning human personality theory.
Psychological Views of Personality
Over time and through the differing schools of Psychological thought personality theory has vastly altered, each school of thought adding and/or subtracting theory in an evolutionary process lasting over 150 years.
Theorists who have proposed a habit or trait approach to personality have been forced to ratify, or at least rectify, their definitions and findings by those coming after them with new and more critical results (such as the social learning theorist's perspective). Each new set of findings regarding personality has expanded the knowledge base and forced a further viewpoint regarding the definitions of, and the makeup of, individual differences in the human personality.
Dr. Maher has spent the last10 years working with programs in Internet marketing. His center of interest is in developing techniques and skills necessary to make an online business successful. See further information at: