Contributor: Reem Saleh
If one were to Google the term personality, the first result reads the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual's distinctive character. Basically, a personality defines who we are, whether that be a bubbly individual, an introverted individual, or anything in between. However, the concept of personality is composed of more than this simple definition. It is divided into five factors, called The Big Five Personality Factors, something that is well known and accepted in psychology literature. Contrary to common assumption, an individual does not have just has one of these factors. Every human being has components of each of the following factors and together they make up the personality: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness.
Neuroticism is the human characteristic related to emotional stability. It defines how worried or calm someone can be in a situation, and it also taps into their sense of insecurity compared to that of confidence. Those who are considered neurotic tend to stress more over situations as opposed to those who are less neurotic.
The social butterfly and the star of the party will score high on the extraversion factor while the reserved individual will score low. This factor is the basic label of the extrovert and the introvert; it takes into account how social an individual is.
As far openness goes, an individual yearning for adventure will score high in this trait, while one who is content with a daily routine will score low. Openness takes into account the desire for new experiences and independence versus those who prefer to conform.
Agreeableness analyzes how sympathetic and trustful someone may be versus their tendency towards skepticism. Those who avoid conflict will score high on agreeableness while combative individuals will score low.
Finally, someone who scores high on the conscientiousness scale is the typical straight A, organized student. A careless or easily distracted individual is expected to score low.
All five of these factors make up your personality and there is a specific method of testing how much of each factor you tend to exhibit. If you are interested, please click on the link to see what factors make up the most!
While personality is a wonderful thing and makes up who we are, it can also be detrimental when it takes over. There are several well-known personality disorders and they are divided into three categories.
Cluster A personality disorder typed individuals are odd and eccentric. Cluster A refers to paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal personality disorders. The paranoid individual is generally distrustful and inquisitive. The schizoid prefers to avoid interaction and is content with solitude. The schizotypal individual is basically Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter; someone who believes in magical thinking and is very odd.
Cluster B typed individuals are described as dramatic and erratic. Under the Cluster B category, there is antisocial, narcissism, histrionic, and borderline. The antisocial individual is the typical criminal you see on television who has no regard for human rights. The narcissist is just that, someone who loves themselves and thinks highly of themselves. The histrionic individual is the one who will talk about how much money they have because they love the attention. The borderline individual is the one that labels everything as all good or all bad.
Finally, under Cluster C, which is described as anxious and fearful, there is the avoidant, the dependent, and the obsessive compulsive. The avoidant individual wants to be social, but is afraid of being judged and therefore avoids social situations. The dependent individual relies whole-heartedly on a caregiver and feels helpless without that person. The obsessive compulsive individual needs something done a certain way and it interferes with their daily living.
Overall, the personality is more than just who we are. It is perpetually evolving and a complex part of the human life.
Burger, Jerry M. "Chapter 7: The Trait Approach." Personality.
Burton, Neel. "The 10 Personality Disorders." Psychology Today.
"Definition of Personality in English:."