The paper "Personality as a Combination of Factors that Influence Behavior" is a delightful example of an essay on psychology. Personality is a combination of factors that create an external reflection of internal complexities. The way in which an individual is perceived is created by the behaviors that are shown to society. However, the individual truths are usually never fully revealed, creating a sense of the inner self and the outer self. The created self in relationship to the true self creates a diversity in personality that can explain instances where someone may behave out of character. As well, the circumstances within which people are behaving will have an effect on behavior. How one acts in one set of circumstances may be very different from how behavior manifests in another situation.
The aspect of personality is also a very private matter, to be shared only under willing circumstances, and not under compulsion. In fact, it can never be compulsory, because personality can only be revealed in relation to circumstances that are appropriate to the aspect of personality that is relevant. Personality can only be observed, not related to any accuracy by the individual. How one wants to be perceived will always be affected by the motivations that are appropriate to the question when it presents itself. For instance, if compelled to write about oneself it would contraindicative to write about having a bad temper or about an aggressive nature. It would also be inappropriate to reveal traits that would categorize the individual as a cheat, a liar, or sexist. However, personality choices that might be revealed would indicate someone who is loving, loyal and honest, while that person is actually hateful, traitorous, and conniving.
The way in which an individual defines themselves rarely includes the negative aspects of their total personality. If one is writing in reference to a business opportunity, it would not be prudent to mention a chronic inability to arrive on time or a tendency to become combative when criticized. Therefore, it is impossible for one to ever write convincingly about one’s own personality. As well, it is near impossible to gain insight from family and friends who will always showcase the positive aspects of a personality rather than the negative aspects.
In creating an accurate picture of a personality, observation is the only way in which to truly gain an understanding of how someone has developed in socialization and psychology, which are the defining disciplines, along with philosophy, that creates the personality. Philosophy is most often a topic that is consciously developed and adopted, however it can affect the personality. However, for this discussion, socialization and psychology are the most relevant factors in creating the personality. How someone copes with societal expectation in the form of behavior is very different from the way in which someone thinks about his or her perception of the world.
Because of the many facets of society, many different revelations of the personality exist. In a business environment, one will attempt to reveal only the most professional aspects of the personality, although, over time, the truth about an individual will reveal itself. When in a romantic relationship, many aspects of the personality will be very different than the ones that are presented in a public forum. As well, the personality that is available to parents and extended family is different than all others. What comprises a person personality in any one moment is a reflection of the social circumstances.
Personality tests are not a very good way to measure personality. The central problem with personality tests is that they are most often performed by the person who is being tested. While I have never personally seen the analysis of a personality test that I have taken, I have never taken a personality test where my answers weren’t tailored toward a desirable result. To say that the answers were consciously inaccurate, may not be true, but the self-perception would rarely allow for an individual to answer in a way to reflect poorly. The only way to truly assess personality is through observation.
Rarely would someone acknowledge inappropriate reactions, but rather find a way to justify those reactions in a rational framework. According to Tavris and Aronson (2007), “Self-justification is the route by which ambivalence morphs into certainty, guilt into a rage”(p. 179). When contemplating the concept of a personality test, the justifications people make for bad behavior will change the truth about an individual. The way in which someone reacts to a bad situation will be justified by that individual as the only reaction that made sense to them. It is rare that true guilt and responsibility will ever be taken for a bad reaction, despite the fact that most people claim that they would take on those aspects should they behave poorly.
Personality is a subjective topic that creates a great deal of controversy. The many psychological approaches that are used to study personality are proof that the topic cannot be fully tested and measured. What makes up the personality is defined by many factors, including biology, experience, philosophical adaptation, and unknown factors that continue to elude researchers. Because of the possibility for so much opinion, psychology allows for a great number of schools of thought. Psychologists will more than likely never run out of ways in which to pursue this topic.