Knowing, Unknowing Yourself
“Transformation begins with knowing your own mind.”
In the absence of awareness, we let our thoughts and emotions dictate how we feel and act. When we learn to look at our minds, with compassion and curiosity, we gain freedom from our default settings. We can actively choose the thoughts, words, and actions that are aligned with our personal and professional goals. When we all do this work together, we can transform our world.
Sometimes we worry that our personality type is not ‘good’ and that others have a ‘better’ personality
What is this thing we call personality? Consider the following definitions, what do they have in common?
“Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his characteristics behavior and thought”.
“The characteristics or blend of characteristics that makes a person unique”
Both definitions emphasize the uniqueness of the individual and consequently adopt an idiographic view.
The idiographic view assumes that each person has a unique psychological structure and that some traits are possessed by only one person; and that there are times when it is impossible to compare one person with another.
We have several questions in our mind when we tru to understand personality. To better understand our mind which make our own personality when need to know the answer of below questions
Q.1. What is personality?
Ans. Personality refers to our characteristic ways of responding to individuals and situations.
Q.2. What are the features of personality?
Ans. Personality is characterized by the following features:
(i) It has both physical and psychological components.
(ii) Its expression in terms of behaviour is fairly unique in a given individual.
(iii)Its main features do not easily change with time.
(iv) It is dynamic in the sense that some of its features may change due to internal or external situational demands.
Q.3. What is a trait?
Ans. A trait is a specific psychological attribute along which individuals tend to differ in consistent and stable ways.
Q.4. Give the characteristics of extraverts:
Ans. Extraverts are sociable, outgoing, active, gregarious, impulsive, thrill-seeking, assertive, talkative, fun-loving, drawn to occupations that allow dealing directly with people and react to stress by trying to lose themselves among people and social activity.
Q.5. What are the characteristics of introverts?
Ans. Introverts prefer to be alone, tend to avoid others, withdraw themselves in the face of emotional conflicts and are shy.
Q.6. What are the characteristics of neurotics?
Ans. Neurotics are anxious, moody, touchy, restless and quickly lose control.
Q.7. What are the traits of emotionally stable people?
Ans. Emotionally stable people are calm, even-tempered, reliable and remain under control.
Q.8. Who are psychotics?
Ans. Psychotics are hostile, egocentric and anti-social individuals.
Eysenck proposed a theory of personality based on biological factors, arguing that individuals inherit a type of nervous system that affects their ability to learn and adapt to the environment.
During 1940s Eysenck was working at the Maudsley psychiatric hospital in London. His job was to make an initial assessment of each patient before their mental disorder was diagnosed by a psychiatrist.
Through this position, he compiled a battery of questions about behavior, which he later applied to 700 soldiers who were being treated for neurotic disorders at the hospital (Eysenck (1947).
He found that the soldiers’ answers seemed to link naturally with one another, suggesting that there were a number of different personality traits which were being revealed by the soldier’s answers. He called these first-order personality traits
He used a technique called factor analysis. This technique reduces behavior to a number of factors which can be grouped together under separate headings, called dimensions.
Eysenck found that their behavior could be represented by two dimensions: Introversion / Extroversion (E); Neuroticism / Stability (N). Eysenck called these second-order personality traits.
Each aspect of personality (extraversion, neuroticism and psychoticism) can be traced back to a different biological cause. Personality is dependent on the balance between excitation and inhibition process of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
Aim of the Eysenck’s Personality Theory was to measure the three important dimensions of personality namely extroversion, neuroticism and psychoticism using Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire.
It defines personality and traits. It also describes the attributes.
Eysenck initially conceptualized personality as two, biologically-based categories of temperament:
Extroversion is characterized by being outgoing, talkative, high on positive affect (feeling good), and in need of external stimulation. According to Eysenck’s arousal theory of extroversion, there is an optimal level of cortical arousal, and performance deteriorates as one becomes more or less aroused than this optimal level. Arousal can be measured by skin conductance, brain waves or sweating. At very low and very high levels of arousal, performance is low, but at a more optimal mid-level of arousal, performance is maximized. Extroverts, according to Eysenck’s theory, are chronically under-aroused and bored and are therefore in need of external stimulation to bring them up to an optimal level of performance. Introverts, on the other hand, are chronically over-aroused and jittery and are therefore in need of peace and quiet to bring them up to an optimal level of performance.
Neuroticism or emotionality is characterized by high levels of negative affect such as depression and anxiety. Neuroticism, according to Eysenck’s theory, is based on activation thresholds in the sympathetic nervous system or visceral brain. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for the fight-or-flight response in the face of danger. Activation can be measured by heart rate, blood pressure, cold hands, sweating and muscular tension (especially in the forehead). Neurotic people, who have low activation thresholds, and unable to inhibit or control their emotional reactions, experience negative affect (fight-or-flight) in the face of very minor stressors – they are easily nervous or upset. Emotionally stable people, who have high activation thresholds and good emotional control, experience negative affect only in the face of very major stressors – they are calm and collected under pressure.
The two dimensions or axes, extroversion-introversion and emotional stability-instability, define four quadrants. These are made up of:
- stable extroverts(sanguine qualities such as – outgoing, talkative, responsive, easygoing, lively, carefree, leadership)
- unstable extroverts(choleric qualities such as – touchy, restless, excitable, changeable, impulsive, irresponsible)
- stable introverts(phlegmatic qualities such as – calm, even-tempered, reliable, controlled, peaceful, thoughtful, careful, passive)
- unstable introverts(melancholic qualities such as – quiet, reserved, pessimistic, sober, rigid, anxious, moody).
Further research demonstrated the need for a third category of temperament:
Psychoticism is associated not only with the liability to have a psychotic episode (or break with reality), but also with aggression. Psychotic behavior is rooted in the characteristics of toughmindedness, non-conformity, inconsideration, recklessness, hostility, anger and impulsiveness. The physiological basis suggested by Eysenck for psychoticism is testosterone, with higher levels of psychoticism associated with higher levels of testosterone.
The following table describes the traits that are associated with the three temperaments in Eysenck’s model of personality:
Lack of reflection
Lack of autonomy
The further Categories included in the questionnaire are not fundamental temperaments but during the exhaustive testing of personality that Eysenck conducted, he also looked into the areas of Sexuality and Political attitudes that of course play a major part in our lives, and determined norms of behavior and viewpoint with his usual statistical thoroughness.