Analysis of Personality
This exercise is the last one because it’s meant to encourage you to think about your own or a close other’s personality in terms of several of the approaches we’ve considered during the quarter. It’s natural when studying personality, indeed when studying psychology in general, to think about how the concepts and theories apply to oneself and to close others. In the case of personality, this is especially likely because we understand most personality constructs in terms of our own experience. So here’s your chance and a challenge: Think back across this personality course, considering as many of the chapters and approaches as seem relevant to analyzing yourself, and write a 3- to 4-page self-analysis OR analysis of a close other (e.g., parent, best friend). You may opt to keep the identity of the person you analyze confidential by using a pseudonym or generic term for the individual. In doing this exercise, consider the following issues, although you won’t be able to include them all: (1) the Big Five personality traits (where does the person fall along each of the five dimensions, remembering that they are dimensions, not dichotomies?); (2) the joint determination of personality by genes and social experiences, especially similarities with family members, which might be affected by both genes and shared experiences; (3) any major personality-changing experiences (e.g., traumas, parental death or divorce, major successes); (4) major motives, goals, and conflicts (viewed in terms of the concepts in Chapter 16 or the ones in the psychodynamic chapters or both); (5) attachment style (where do you probably fall in the two-dimensional, anxiety-by-avoidance, space outlined by Dr. Shaver in his lecture about attachment theory and research?); (6) personal constructs (major categories or constructs used to perceive, categorize, and understand yourself and other people); (7) major attributional tendencies (is the person an entity theorist or an incremental theorist, as discussed in Chapter 16, when it comes to understanding the causes of successes and failures?); (8) cultural background (does this seem to affect your personality and self-conception?); (9) other aspects of your “self,” as discussed in Chapter 17 (e.g., self-esteem, self-efficacy); (10) major problems or shortcomings (any tendencies toward particular personality disorders discussed in Chapter 18?); (11) anything you’d like to change if you were to undertake a long-term self-improvement project. Your paper should be structured in the following way: 1. Title page, including a. A short, descriptive title. b. Running head (4- to 5- word summary of your title) c. Your name and email address d. The title page does not count towards your 3 to 4 page limit. 2. Introduction a. A brief 1- to 2-paragraph introduction to your analysis. 3. Analysis a. Use 2- to 3- pages to analyze the personality of your subject in terms of some of the topics mentioned above. 4. Conclusion a. A brief 1 to 2 paragraph conclusion, summing up your analysis. 5. References (optional) a. Reference page is optional as I don’t expect you to read any primary sources other than the text book. b. You may cite any other primary sources you choose to include. c. Please do not cite lecture slides. d. The reference page does not count towards your 3 to 4 page limit. The formatting of your paper is important and you will be graded on complying with it: 1. APA style format 2. 1-inch margins all around 3. 12-point Times New Roman font 4. Page numbers on the upper right corner 5. Left justified (leave a ragged right edge) 6. Double-spaced. 7. The body of your paper must be no less than 3 pages and no more than 4 pages (please do not try to alter margin widths or line-spacing to obtain the page limit, we will notice and dock you points).