Method of Personality Study

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Different people perceive personality differently because personality is unique to each person. Although it is not easy to define personality, a person can be defined by the characteristics of their personality. The paper tries to define personality according to psychologists and the different methods used to study personality and the information that each method provides. Advantages and disadvantages of each method of personality study are also highlighted. Finally, the paper explores the difference between scientific theories of personality and lay theories.

Definition of Personality

Psychologists define personality as a set of behaviors that emanates from a person’s environmental and psychological factors. It is the traits that help to predict the way a person is going to behave.it includes opinions, moods and attitudes that can be seen through people’s interactions and the characteristics either acquired or inherent differentiates one person from another as observed through how people related to the environment and other social groups.

How Different Methods to Study Personality Differ

Researchers usually use different methods when studying personality. The three most commonly used methods are case studies, correlational designs, and experimental designs. Each method differs from the other one because they provide specific information regarding the study to be conducted. For instance, correlational designs measure specific variables. The method also tries to highlight how those variables relate to one another. On the other hand, experimental designs research by manipulating specific variables to come out with the results. Case studies perform thorough and comprehensive research on an individual, therefore, it is difficult to replicate it because of its unique nature.

Information Provided by Each Method of Personality Study

All the different modes of studying personality provide different types of information regarding the topic. Different methods of study provide information regarding the five W’s namely, where, what, how who and when the study is conducted. For instance, case studies offer an opportunity for a patient to be treated and the information used at a later date to come up with some detailed theories. It gives the researcher an insight and understanding of certain types of a situation for comparisons. Experimental designs provide information regarding the variables helping the researcher to determine whether the variables were manipulated and how the manipulation affected the variables.one can understand how the variables relate to one another. Correlational designs on its part provide information that helps one to understand human nature and their personality. The method helps researchers to understand the variables and how they relate to their surroundings.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Methods to Study Personality

Various methods of studying personality vary in several ways. Each one of those methods has both advantages and disadvantages depending on how it is used. The advantages of using case studies to study personality are case studies allows for in-depth data to be collected. More details can be collected compared to other research designs. Case studies also provide experimenters with the opportunity for a hypothesis to be formulated that can be used for further studies. This method of the study also does not require sampling because it involves studying a social unit fully. Some of its disadvantages are the possibility of errors occurring as a result of studying a small unit. Case studies also create a possibility of bias occurring because of studying a narrow social unit. The other disadvantage of the method is it is time-consuming and more expensive compared to other methods of study. Case studies are difficult to replicate and cannot be corroborated meaning that the results obtained can only be valid to one person. The study focusses on a small group making it difficult for any classification to be done therefore limiting the generalization of the collected data.

The advantages of utilizing the correlational designs to study personality are that it takes place out of the laboratory making the results to be more applicable to the daily life activities. correlational designs also show the availability or lack of a relationship between two variables thereby highlighting the places that the experimental research could be carried out to produce more results. The method can also be used on variables that are measurable therefore the results cannot be manipulated. The disadvantages are that it is not possible to establish cause and effect because one cannot be certain that one variable caused the other one to happen. The correlation may be caused by one or the other or even an unknown variable. The other disadvantage is that it can only uncover a relationship but it can’t explain the reason why the relationship exists.

The other method of studying personality is using experimental designs. Its advantages are that it is easier to determine cause and effect in a relationship by manipulating variables. The method also allows the independent variables to be controlled thereby removing unwanted variables. Experimental designs also provide better outcomes because specific control setups and strict conditions are followed when conducting experimental research. The method can also be used together with other research methods for better results. Its disadvantages include the method being subject to human error because researchers are human and they may make mistakes that can affect the validity of the results. The method is also time-consuming and costly and the results obtained cannot be generalized into real-life situations. The method can also create an artificial situation because of controlling irrelevant variables on other occasions. The results are only applicable to one situation and therefore it is difficult to replicate the results.

Cite this paper

Method of Personality Study. (2020, Sep 05). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/method-of-personality-study/

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