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Monday, July 9, 2012

Summary - Personality

The term 'personality' has been derived from the Latin term 'persona' which means to 'speak through'. The factors affecting personality development are Heredity, Environment, Culture, Family, and Situation. Personality Traits are underlying tendencies to behave in a consistent and distinctive style and they describe the frequency or intensity of a person's feelings, thoughts, or behaviors. Possession of a trait is, therefore, a matter of degree. Early research on personality traits resulted in isolating large numbers of traits, which made it impossible to predict behavior.

According to Sheldon(1940) there is a link between physiological traits and characteristics of an individual with his behavior. There are basically three types-endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. Cattell‘s (1973) is one of the most important personality trait theory, where the number of traits have been reduced. Cattell referred to these 16 factors as primary factors. The MBTI classifies human beings into four opposite pairs (dichotomies), base on their psychological opposites. These four opposite pairs result into 16 possible combinations. Many researchers argue that five basic dimensions underlie all other personality dimensions (e.g; McCrae and Costa, 1990; Digman, 1997). The five basic dimensions are Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional stability, and openness to experience. A person‘s perception of the source of his/her fate is termed locus of control. Locus of control was formulated within the framework of Rotter's (1954) social learning theory of personality. Rotter (1975) pointed out that internality and externality represent two ends of a continuum, not an either/or typology. Internals tend to attribute outcomes of events to their own control.

Machiavellianism is the term that some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person's tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain. Self-esteem is defined as the degree to which people like or dislike themselves (Robbins, 2003). Self-monitoring refers to an individual‘s ability to adjust his or her behavior to external, situational factors. Individuals high in self-monitoring show considerable adaptability. Type A personality is a set of characteristics that includes, being impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about one's status, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, and incapable of relaxation. Type B personality is rarely hurried by the desire to obtain an increasing number of things or participate in events demanding an ever-decreasing amount of time.

According to Holland (1997), workers are not passive victims of their environments, but actively seek potentially compatible work environments. If an individual‘s personality and the work environment ―fit– that is, if the personality is congruent with the work environment – the individual will most likely enjoy the work and develop and grow in the career. Matching people to the organizational culture at the time of hiring should result in higher employee satisfaction and reduced turnover.

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