What Types of People?
The concept of personality has undergone considerable revisions over the past decade. The idea that personality is something which is internal to the individual and manifests itself outwardly through their behaviour has been questioned (Hampson, 1982; Harré, 1979; Mischel, 1968). However, this traditional trait concept of personality lingers on, particularly in the mind of the lay person and of the traditional personality theorist (Hampson, 1982). We must ask therefore what the lay person and the personality theorist are trying to describe when using the concept of ‘personality’. At work and socially, it would seem that people apply trait attributions in an attempt to understand why people are behaving in the way they do. This cognitive process gives a sense of order to what might otherwise appear to be senseless uncoordinated behaviours. ‘Traits’, may therefore be thought of as classification systems, used by individuals to understand other people’ s and their own behaviour.
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