chapter  2
23 Pages

Uncovering personality

WithBarrie Gunter

Early personality researchers based much of their work on establishing lexicons of terms that were used in everyday language to describe personality. Personality is a term that enjoys widespread everyday use. In clinical or scientific settings, social scientists tend to seek more precise and verifiable evidence-based definitions of psychological constructs such as “personality”. Traditional psychological testing of personality has two core aspects: the first is its reliance on the use of language and the second is that it requires an intervention in the lives of people. Psychologists investigating human personality have traditionally required people to provide verbal answers to pre-determined verbal questions about themselves. Finding universality in personality lexicons is always going to be a challenge because different language communities have adopted different ways of referring to personality attributes. A different approach to personality measurement has been to produce a list of statements which describe an aspect of personality.