To What Extent Is Your Personality a Matter of Choice? Essay

4317 Words May 9th, 2013 18 Pages
To what extent is your personality a matter of choice? Discuss with reference to at least two theories of personality.

Personality is something that is key in our descriptions of ourselves to others. We use it as a way of defining ourselves as an individual; a way of summing up everything about ourselves (Schultz & Schultz, 1997). The word personality derives from the Latin word ‘persona’, referring to a mask (Schultz & Shultz). The mask being that which we display, a representation of ourselves. There are varying definitions of ‘personality’, and much argument over what it does indeed encompass (Carver & Scheier, 2000), but the term is generally used to encompass who we are. More specifically; the extent to which your
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They highlighted the potential for each person to grow and encouraged this, stating that; we, as humans, have the strength and capabilities to fulfil our own potential, a term Maslow named ‘self-actualisation’, and declared this something which we seek (Maslow, 1970). In moving on from Freud’s concentration on our experiences as a child, and his claim that our personality is set from about the age of 5 or 6, with methods derived from people who were sick (Carver & Scheier), Maslow concentrated on the everyday person, people who were considered to be more representative of the population (Myers). In looking at the general population Maslow looked at those with desirable qualities in order to see what it was that was considered desirable and saw in these people an example of a self-actualised, fulfilled person (Maslow). With Roger’s underlying emphasis that we are basically good, this new approach to understanding humans became extraordinarily successful in its application in therapy and use in day-to-day language (Farber, 2007). The humanistic approach propsed that we are basically good, we naturally aim for self-actualisation and have the power within ourselves to reach this, and therefore we have control. Ultimately, therefore, we have a choice in developing our personality (Rogers, 1961; 1980). Rogers also attempted to address the times when people are in situations whereby they are not able to fulfil and grow,

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