In this particular instance the individual whose personality will be examined and evaluated is my own. To begin I will offer a brief overview of my personality as I see it, but this naturally comes with the disclaimer that my initial observations may be biased, especially considering that it is difficult for any person to view themselves objectively. From this point on I will also refer to myself in the third-person (i.e. the subject) to maintain a certain degree of distance from the evaluation.
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In general, the subject’s personality could be described as having a cautious balance between extroversion and introversion. While the subject functions well in both social and isolated environments, he tends to become irritable or bored when forced to dwell in either extreme for too long. In terms of social settings, the subject displays an outgoing personality yet never seeks to dominate a conversation or room. He seems to be comfortable taking up a supporting role, yet will consistently be an active participant in any situation. There is perhaps a more serious side to the subject’s personality as well. Especially in isolated or work environments, the subject tends to become quieter and immensely focused on the problem at hand. When looked at in succession, the subject’s actions in these two settings seem to display a subtlety dual personality depending on the particular setting in which he is placed. This does not seem to be a façade on any type, but rather the subject’s ability to adapt, for a period of time, to any given scenario. This supports the initial conclusion that the subject’s personality is fairly fluid and does not remain static over long periods of time. Yet these conclusions only represent a personal opinion of the subject’s personality and it is necessary to consider the subject in the light of professional psychological theories.
Perhaps one of the most well known theories of personality psychology is the Big Five, which bases its evaluation on five different factors. The first category is “openness” and within this realm the subject would fall on the lower end of the scale. While demonstrating intellectual curiosity, the subject does not show much interest in artistic or adventurous experiences. So while there is some degree of openness to new pursuits, the subject seems to limit his curiosity to a specific field, which lowers his “openness level”. The second factor of “conscientiousness” can be more easily attributed to the subject. In most situations, he will show a good deal of efficiency and display a degree of foresight/planning. While spontaneity might show a willingness to experience new things, the subject prefers to organize such things in advance. “Extraversion” is the social factor of the Big Five and, as described above, the subject seems to demonstrate both introversion and extroversion. With this in mind, the subject’s personality falls roughly in the middle of this scale, showing both a willingness to be outgoing and a desire to be on his own. The subject falls high on the “agreeableness” scale, as he does not display a high amount of aggression in a social setting. There is a natural competitiveness to his nature, but it remains completely in check and is only applied to appropriate situations. The subject’s personality shows a desire to be on good terms with those around him, and he does not purposefully judge his peers without reason. In terms of the final category, “neuroticism”, the subject is once again roughly in the middle of the scale. While he shows a good deal of confidence when entering a new situation, there are also particular instances that will easily anger him or cause him to become nervous. It is difficult to determine which extreme is brought up most often, but it is a fair assessment that the subject displays consistence confidence except for specific situation that draw out his ire or vulnerability. This is the basic evaluation of the subject’s personality through the Big Five system, but it should not be considered the absolutely correct assessment. While the Big Five is highly regarded as a theory, there are also other beliefs about personality that offer alternate or additional information.
Henry Murray’s personality theory is one that is not based upon specific categories, but rather is centered on the belief that a person’s personality is driven by what they perceive to be their needs and desires. When viewing the subject’s personality from this type of perspective, several new conclusions could be brought up. In terms of the subject’s life goals, it seems apparent that he does not plan on straying too far from the beaten path so to speak. The lower ranking on the “openness” level on the Big Five would support the desire of this person to pursue a career within society’s norms. His interest in intellectual pursuits would dictate that his desire is to go into an academic or business oriented career. This specific desire would push his personality away from acts of extreme spontaneity or any element that would knock him off his chosen path. The subject’s flip-flopping between extroversion and introversion could be based on his desire to occupy both extremes completely, but his inability to do so. As he feels at home in both a social and individual setting, the subject most likely has an innate desire for both situations yet is unable or unwilling to chose a particular lifestyle. The subject’s decision to remain as a supporting member of a conversation or of a team could, in Murray’s model, indicate a desire to be a part of a team. Rather than lead or risk exclusion by being too upfront with his personal opinion, the subject prefers to be an active yet subordinate member of a group. This could be construed as the subject’s desire to conform, but that is too harsh of a judgment and the more accurate conclusion is that the subject has his own opinions and wants but prefers to address them subtly rather than aggressively. Murray’s theory, especially when combined with the factors of the Big Five, help to offer a glimpse into the mind of the subject and why his personality has developed as it has.
Seligman’s theory of positive psychology can only add to the overall evaluation of the subject’s personality. This theory looks at the specific aspects of a person’s personality that are geared towards promoting a person’s happiness, a component that is often overlooked when examining psychology. The subject’s personality is very aligned with the pursuit of knowledge, which is considered by Seligman to be a basic part of human happiness. The subject chooses to continually better himself by learning new ideas. This promotes his own happiness by giving him a more educated and diverse view of the world. When combined with Murray’s theory, it could be said that the subject’s desire to be happy has pushed his personality to be intellectually curious as he recognizes on a subconscious level that these academic pursuits make him a happier person. This could also be applied to the fact that the subject is capable of controlling his baser emotions (anger, fear, etc.) so that they are not commonly visible. This shows a degree of self-restraint that allows the subject to exist within a comfortable and pleasant social setting. There are a variety of Seligman’s factors of positive psychology that the subject has not had enough life experience to fully be judged upon (courage, humanity, etc.). Nevertheless he does have a personality that can be viewed through the lenses of positive psychology. There are aspects of the subject’s demeanor that can only be explained when one considers that he acts this way in order to promote happiness for himself.
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When these three psychological theories/viewpoints are combined, one gets a much deeper understanding of the subject’s personality. If one chooses to only use a specific theory, then there will be a much more shallow assessment of this person and the way he acts. By using these three distinct theories the evaluation was able to understand the basic factors of the subject’s personality through the Big Five, gauge the subject’s desires through Murray, and see how his personality is adapted to allow for maximum happiness using Seligman’s positive psychology. All three are different approaches, but they can be combined and melded to allow for a well-rounded evaluation. At the closing of this paper, it seems appropriate to once again mention that this type of personality self-evaluation could be said to be extremely biased. They represent what I believe to be the most accurate assessment of my personality, yet it is often hard to judge yourself negatively or to admit any ulterior motives for the way you act. I have attempted to give the most fair and unbiased opinion as I could, but in the end, there is a reason that people are evaluated by outside psychologist/therapists rather than being left to their own judgments.
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