Essay On Personality Theories
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Psychology, Theory, Personality, Workplace, Perspective, Education, Sociology, Efficiency
Personality is what makes individuals unique. It comprises a person’s attitude, behaviour, and thought (Allport, 1961). Personality may be intrinsic to individuals, but its development is extrinsic in nature as it can be influenced by our upbringing: nature and/or nurture. I think of personalities as similar to fingerprints – no one has the exact same fingerprint. Similarities may arise, forming groups of friends or co-workers as they like each other’s personalities, but differences will still prevail which could be in the form of disagreements and fights.
The Need in the Workplace
Getting to know a person will not be enough to grasp the entirety of his personality. Some people are very transparent, while others build up walls so as not to divulge themselves so easily. Personalities could also be “hidden” involuntarily – similar to Freud’s Tripartite Theory where the superego remains beneath the ego and id. Personalities could also stay latent for some time before they fully develop and with the influence of external factors. Among friends, it is easy to ignore or disregard unwanted personalities, however, in the workplace, it is important to maintain a healthy atmosphere to sustain and maintain efficiency. Problems that arise from conflicting personalities can cause the downfall of an individual, the project, or the agency. Personally, I agree that employers should employ personality tests to determine if the applicant can fit in the organization. This could increase efficiency in the workplace thus affecting the work ethics of the employees. Also, the increase in efficiency can lead to creation of a healthier atmosphere for everyone.
I have learned in class and in my further readings that there are many theories and tests available to determine an individual’s personality. These theories can be categorized into four major personality theories which include the following: the Psychoanalytic Perspective, the Humanistic Perspective, the Trait Perspective, and, lastly, the Social Cognitive Perspective. In the Psychoanalytic Perspective, Freud argues that childhood and the unconscious mind are important in the development of an individual’s personality. The Humanistic Perspective greatly considers an individual’s free will and personal awareness. Abraham Maslow claims that motivation is acquired upon the satisfaction of basic needs. The Trait Perspective focuses on the identification and description of people’s traits. Hans Eyesenck’s theory describes four personality types including the following: (1) melancholic, (2) phlegmatic, (3) choleric, and (4) sanguine. The Social Cognitive Perspective deals with the ability of an individual to learn in a social context and his/her self efficacy as theorized by Albert Bandura.
Implication/Significance of the Theories
Employing these theories will make workplace life easier. Personality tests that use Freud’s theory can determine the impulsiveness and priorities of an individual. Maslow’s Theory can help the employer create a physiologically sound workplace atmosphere. Eyesenck’s theory claims that when the four personality types (melancholic, phlegmatic, choleric, and sanguine) are correctly combined, they will form an efficient team. Tests on self-efficacy (Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory) will measure the individual’s capability and outlook in finishing the job tasked to him.
In conclusion, employing personality tests in determining an employee’s attitude, behaviour and thought processes can help an employee save money, effort, and trouble in the workplace. The employee will be able to “get to know” his/her applicants well enough to form an efficient diverse team and an efficient workplace.