Personality - what is it?

The concept of personality is one of the main in modern psychology, and most well-known psychologists agree that a person is an individual with consciousness and endowed with a number of psychological characteristics. We will talk about what these features are in the following sections.

Signs of a person as a person

Disputes about what attributes to attribute to the properties of the personality, and what not, it would seem, would have long been a matter of history, but theories of the personality are not becoming less. Most often, personal characteristics include only those that determine the relationship of a person in society. Of course, the physiological characteristics, genetics, as well as everything that relates to the process of cognition of the surrounding reality immediately turn out to be “beyond the personality trait”. In other words, according to some theories, only the socially oriented features of the individual can be attributed to the peculiarities of the individual. More specifically, this includes the behavioral and communicative features of a particular person, which are manifested constantly, and not situationally.

Broad definition of personality

In the general understanding of the individual - it is all the psychological qualities that distinguish a person from others. A more appropriate word for such a definition is individuality. Specifically, this may include targets, skills and abilities, temperament and character traits. In addition, with such a broad approach to the individual, the experience gained by the individual is also taken into account, on the basis of which he interacts with his environment - the social environment and the world as a whole.

It is interesting that supporters of the broad definition of the concept “personality” include here not only psychological, but also psychophysiological peculiarities of a person, that is, they do not lose sight of the physical qualities that characterize one or another individual. With such a broad approach to personality, not only humans, but also animals have an individuality, which raises a number of questions from some psychologists.

Some also go even further - to philosophical generalizations - and include here the intellectual qualities and even the peculiarities of a person’s world view, which, in general, is not without common sense, because the attitude to life largely determines the quality of our interaction with society.Perhaps the positive point of this approach is that each person is endowed with an individuality, he is unique and exceptional, and various speculations about the level of personality are excluded.

Personality as a social subject

This approach implies the definition of personality as a social role played by an individual. Adherents of such an approach assess a person only from the point of view of successful socialization, that is, if a person knows how to live in society - only then he and the person. In psychoanalysis, various terms are proposed for defining a social personality: this is “Social Self”, and “I am for others”, and “Adult”.

However, from the point of view of such an approach (which is mostly popular among psychoanalysts), “many worthy representatives of humanity who are either unable or simply did not want to“ socialize ”are“ beyond the personality ”. In addition, its limitations are also manifested in the fact that the intellectual qualities of the subject are taken out of the brackets — all are superseded by the features responsible for striving for successful socialization.

Other personality definitions

Some psychologists, for example, the well-known Karl Gustav Jung, define personality as a cultural subject characterized by manifestations of will. We emphasize - the conscious expression of the will. That is, for example, a small child from the point of view of a similar approach to the person, is not a person herself, but can become one.

There are other, even more simplifying the definition of personality theory. For example, in behaviorism, a person is simply a set of behavioral characteristics of a person, reactions - no more, no less. However, this approach also has its reasons, because by and large, almost all of our behavior is a reaction to external stimuli. Another thing is that these reactions do not occur randomly, but as a result of previously acquired experience - this does not take the behavioral approach into account, or rather, does not consider it necessary to take it into account.

Recall that we consider a person exclusively from the point of view of psychology, however, if you want to find out how this concept is presented in other sciences (for example, in philosophy, sociology), I recommend that you refer to our article What is a Personality - there you can find a number definitions from other areas of knowledge.And in the article How to characterize a person, a number of definitions are presented that vividly illustrate the social approach to a person, that is, specific characteristics that indicate how a person manifests himself in communication.

General definition of personality

As we have seen, almost every direction in psychology defines an individual in its own way. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, but all of them have some common features, which allows us to give an aggregate definition of personality, which is often used in general psychology. So, a person is, in fact, the primary quality of an individual, his I, through which a person functions as a single organism capable of cognition and communication.

At the same time, this I, based including on memory (the experience gained is taken into account), gives the individual’s characteristics a certain stability and predictability in behavior, that is, what we call character traits or temperament features. Thus, a person is aware of his own existence and interacts with other individuals - society.

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