Unit 4 Assignment: Personality
This assignment is designed to reinforce the core principles of personality development during the human lifespan. Please write a 400 word essay (do not simply address each question, your assignment must be written in fluid essay form) to address the concepts below.
Write your essay in your own words however you will need to review your text as well as relevant research literature to validate your own perspectives. Please use APA format to cite all resources.
Personality traits may be defined as “the characteristics or dimensions of personality on which people vary”. Traits can be thought of as falling along a continuum that ranges from traits considered by many to be desirable (e.g., happy, self-confident, considerate) to traits that are often considered to be undesirable (e.g., aggressive, spiteful, crude). Presented below is a list of some common personality traits. The list is far from exhaustive and you should have no difficulty coming up with an additional list of traits if needed.
Successful completion of the assignment requires that you select one personality trait and then review your text as well as relevant research literature in order to answer each of the following questions:
- How does the personality trait develop in humans? Where does it appear to come from?
- What purpose or function does the trait appear to serve?
- How does the trait affect the individual’s social behavior? How does the trait impact upon interpersonal relationships?
- [answer either (a) or (b) depending upon which alternative is appropriate]
- If the trait that you selected is closer to the desirable end of the trait continuum, then what methods or techniques might be used to increase, or at least maintain at a high level, the quantity of the trait? (e.g., make a person more self-confident).
- If the trait that you selected is closer to the undesirable end of the trait continuum, then what methods or techniques might be used to decrease the quantity of the trait? (e.g., make a person less aggressive).
Source: Hittner, J. B. (1999). Fostering Critical Thinking in Personality Psychology: The Trait Paper Assignment. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 26, 92-97.