Dimensions of personality

Who are you? How do you describe yourself? What is the impression you make on others? How do you differ from others? How can those differences be defined, measured and understood?

What is personality?

"Personality is the distinctive and characteristic patterns of thought, emotion and behaviour that define an individual's personal sytle and influence his or her interactions with the environmenr. In addition to mental abilities, personality includes variables like sociability, emotional stability, impulsiveness, conscientiousness and many others". CIPD

Personality models

The Businessballs website contains a lot of information on different personality theories and models:

  • Type theory - Type theory began with Carl Jung who created a theory of personality based on two dimensions - preference for sensation or intuition, and for thinking or feeling.
  • Trait theory - This theory explores the key dimensions on which personality varies (stable-extroverted/stable-introverted/unstable-extroverted/unstable-introverted)
  • The "Big 5" - The "Big 5" personality factors: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism
  • Benzinger's theory - The work of Katherine Benziger places great emphasis on "wellness" and the need to help people avoid "falsifying" their true personality type
  • The DISC Model - The DISC basic personality types model is based on four personality types: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Compliance
  • The Thomas International Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) - This tool is designed to identify preferred work styles.
  • Behaviourism - An American psychologist B F Skinner says that we learn through our experiences and that these experiences affect who we are and what we become. We behave the way we do because of our history of reinforcement or rewards.

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