Personality Assessment and Theories

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Personality Assessment and Theories Cynthia Harding BEH/225 September 29, 2012 Serena Watts-Kumar, Instructor Personality Assessment and Theories “Personality refers to an individual’s unique pattern of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that persists over time and across situations” (Morris & Maisto, 2010, p.359). There are four theories that explain different approaches to personality assessment. The four approaches are psychodynamic, humanistic, trait, and social learning. Personality is measured by psychologist with an assessment using four basic tools: personal interview, the objective tests, projective test, and direct observation of behavior. The different theories use different methods for assessing the personality. Psychodynamic theory believes that the root of the personality is “unconscious thoughts, feelings, motives, and conflicts; repressed problems from early childhood” (Morris & Maisto, 2010, p.354). Personal interviews and projective test obtain information to help with psychodynamic theory analysis. Personal interview are structured and unstructured. “In a structured interview, the order in the content of the questions is fixed, and the interviewer does not deviate from the format. Structured interviews elicit information about sensitive topics that might not come up in an unstructured interview” (Morris & Maisto, 2010, p.354). “ In a structured interview, the order and the content of the questions are fixed, and the interviewer does not deviate from the format” (Morris & Maisto, 2010, p.359). Projective test consists of vague and unstructured material such as looking at a meaningless image with the person interviewed explaining what the image means. Psychodynamic theory relates behavior to psychological internal forces which operate without conscious awareness. Humanistic theory explains the root of personality as “a
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