PSY 6501: Psychology of Personality

PSY 6501: Psychology of Personality

Week 1 – Discussion 1 – Theories of Personality

Dr. Shoemaker

August 9, 2018

The reading this week from Lecci & Magnavita stresses the importance of and perspectives of several theories.  The one I chose that appeals to me was the trait theory. Utilizing the journal article written by Scott Clifford will support the reason why this particular trait resonates with me.  In this discussion, I’ll share the why the Trait theory has validity.  Additionally, the real world example will be shared to support the selected theory.

Allport’s, (1968), “Traits are specific features of personality such as persistence, integrity, and honesty, which accounts for variation in personality” (Lecci & Magnavita, 2013, sec. 1.3).  I believe that having integrity is the cornerstone of the personality and true character of an individual.  It’s about being true to self and others.  Life proceeds smoother, with less complication and you are accepted by your peers and an appreciation of self is developed as well.  Every person goes through and handles situations differently.  For example, I value people, because we are all created with our uniqueness and should be accepted as being ourselves.  People are often trying to make themselves, look larger or more important than another.  All that is unnecessary I always remember today for you, tomorrow is for me.  When it’s my time, it’s my time. When it’s yours, I’ll celebrate with you.  It is important that personality is viewed as a theoretical construct, which is invoked to help us understand each of our differences.(Lecci & Magnavita, 2013, sec. 1.2)

The real – world example to support one of the trait theories will be the kindness expressed to others.  Kindness can be infectious.  I have so many stories, but I’ll share the most recent.  Last week we had a trip to Wal-Mart with the students, the parents normally send money to purchase things when the students go on trips.  However, I hadn’t enough cash to cover my things and the students because she was short, I put back an item since I didn’t want to have her a behavior in the store.  The person behind me asked how much it was and paid for it.  I said not you don’t have to do that. He responded and said neither do you, but you’ve shown such kindness and respect towards this young lady I had to do something as well.   Why can’t we celebrate each other for just being their self?  When one hurts, we ought to be empathic and sympathize with the person, not be mean-spirited and rejoice when they are down.

Additionally, psychometric is an essential part of the study of personality, according to Lecci & Magnavita, (2013). Based on the material or information that is being assessed and scored will either yield validity, when all criterion has been fulfilled.  According to the article, Judge & Zapata, (2015), “low validity of personality traits and the lack of situational theoretical

frameworks are developing and testing an interactionist framework of personality–performance

Relationships, in which the model focuses on both general (representing situation strength) and specific (representing trait activation) moderating situational influences” (p.1149).  The situation strength reflects the degree to which constraints of those situations are present in the environment and are said to be strong when the rules, structures, and cues provide clear guidance as to the expected behavior. (Judge & Zapata, 2015, p. 1150) Whereas, weak situations occurs when the environment of social roles are unstructured. (Judge & Zapata, 2015, p. 1150)


Lecci, L.B. & Magnavita, J.J. (2013). Personality Theories: A Scientific Approach. San Diego:

Bridgepoint Education, Inc. ISBN: 9781621781110

Judge, T.A., & Zapata, C. P, (2015). The Person-Situation Debate Revisited: Effect of Situation

Strength and Trait Activation on the Validity of the Big Five Personality Traits in predicting Job Performance.  Academy of Management Journal, 58(4), 1149-1179. Doi:


———————————————————————————————–(Classmate #-2)  K. P.


The study of personality is a complex and fascinating aspect of psychology. The book states “personality can be defined as patterns of behavior, emotional experience, cognition that is typical in an individual, evidencing in some degree of stability across situations.” (Lecci & Magnavita, p. 51, 2013). One perspective regarding personality is the behavioral perspective, which focuses on how learning impacts personality (Lecci & Magnavita, 2013). Everyone reacts to certain stimuli differently. This theory focuses on questions such as “Was a negative behavior reinforced?” “Can aversive behavior be reconditioned to become more socially acceptable?” (Lecci & Magnavita, 2013).

I have personal experience with conditioning or reinforcing behaviors from my time working as a Behavior Interventionist with special needs children. While working in these fields I can across numerous negative behaviors that I had to work to try and remove by conditioning positive behavior. Often it was actually the parents who needed some behavior intervention. The parents would reinforce negative behaviors, which would condition the children that the negative behaviors were okay. One study analyzed the impact of a parent’s behavior on children behaviors and discovered that parents can condition their children in a positive or negative way (Milner, Wagner & Crouch, 2017). To answer the question listed above, yes behavior can be reconditioned to become more socially acceptable. It can be very challenging to recondition or avoid reinforcing negative behaviors but it is crucial in order to see healthy development of personality. In my previous job, I would spend weeks and even months working with some families to try and condition new healthy behavior.

Lecci, L.B. & Magnavita, J.J. (2013). Personality Theories: A Scientific Approach. San Diego: Bridgepoint

Education, Inc.

Milner, J., Wagner, M., Crouch, J. Reducing Child-Related Negative Attitudes,

Attributions of Hostile Intent, Anger, Harsh Parenting Behaviors, and

Punishment Through Evaluative Conditioning. Cognitive Therapy & Research.

Feb2017, Vol. 41 Issue 1, p43-61.

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