Personality is an individual's characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior. Unlike most subfields of psychology, which study specific topics such as perception, memory, emotions, or relationships; personality psychology strives to study the whole person. Personality psychology addresses both consistencies and inconsistencies in what is called the psychological triad: how people think, feel, and behave. Personality psychology
is most closely aligned with clinical psychology, which studies abnormalities within the whole person, but also integrates material from social, cognitive, developmental, and biological psychology. Trying to understand everything about the whole person at once is virtually impossible, so most personality psychologists specialize in particular approaches that ask limited questions.
The trait approach asks how people differ and how we can measure these differences.
The biological approach asks how genes, neurotransmitters, hormones, and brain structure evolved and how they affect personality.
The psychoanalytic approach asks how the unconscious—the part of our mind of which we are unaware—influences thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
The phenomenological approach asks how conscious choices and interpretations of reality lead to creativity, freedom, happiness, and a meaningful life.
The learning and cognitive processes approach asks how experiences change people and how individuals adapt to new situations.
Because the founders and followers of each approach sometimes argue that their approach is superior to others, the five approaches may seem competitive.
Psychology: Emotions, Motivation, & Personality Intro Video
theories of personality - reflection video - Topic 2
Psychology I - The Four Personality Types
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