Variations of Personality Psychology
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Variations of Personality Psychology

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Brooke Sprasky

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Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and its variation among individuals. Its area of focus includes the the construction of a coherent picture of the individual and their major psychological processes, the investigation of individual psychological differences, and the investigation of human nature and psychological similarities between individuals.

Personality is defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences their environment, cognitions, emotions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations. It also refers to the pattern of thoughts, feelings, social adjustments, and behaviors consistently exhibited over time that strongly influence one’s expectations, self-perceptions, values, and attitudes. It can also predict human reactions to other people, problems, and stress.

The True Colors Test is a personality profiling system that was created by Don Lowry in 1978. Originally, it was created to categorize four basic learning styles, using the colors blue, orange, gold, and green, in order to identify the strengths and challenges of these core personality types. According to the personality temperament theory, which is a refined version of the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, everyone’s personality consists of a combination of all four colors.

Mrs. Rosalie Matthiae, counselor at D.C. Everest Senior High School, explains that personality is dependant on one’s habitat and their relationships. Thus, there is not one “correct” personality.

“Personality is an innate trait that you have that develops through your surroundings and the relationships you have throughout your life. It’s your thought process, your reaction, all of the that,” Mrs. Matthiae said. “So, when we think about our relationships with other people, there’s no right or wrong personality. It’s more about learning the personality styles that other people have, how they differ, and what brings value or meaning to them, because within their personality they will be strong in a certain way.”

She agrees that it is not important only for people to know their own personality type, but also for them to know the personality type of others.

“I think it’s good to understand who you are what your stressors are, so that you can be more  aware, allowing you to act in a way that prevents you from getting in trouble,” Mrs. Matthiae said. “It’s also important to know the personality type of other people because it affects so many aspects of life: such as their learning type, how they learn, how they react, and what they value.” Because one’s personality type is dependant on the environment and relationships one has, some people, such as Mrs. Matthiae, have changing personality types throughout their life.

“I know that if you’re very aware of your personality and you know that there are parts of your personality that don’t necessarily work real well in a certain environment, you can work on those parts of your personality to better fit that environment where it can benefit you and the people you are around,” Mrs. Matthiae said. “I can say that, after taking the True Colors Test, my personality has changed over time. However, there are certain characteristics that flip back and forth. This is usually dependant on the environment that I’m working in and the goals I had for myself when I took the test.”

She argues that it is beneficial for people to be flexible in expressing their personality, because the workplace will be less stressful for situations that include relationships.

“I think that as you age, get experience working with people, and set goals, there are times where you realize you’re proud of who you are,” Mrs. Matthiae said. “But if you’re not willing to be flexible on parts of your personality, a particular career choice may not be in your best interest.”

The True Colors Test given to students back in Oct. was an easy way for students to learn about themselves and others.

“I think that the feedback I got, just with working with students, concluded that the True Colors Test was liked a lot, because it was simple and was a quick way things about yourself and those around you. I think that it brought satisfaction to students who were feeling indifferent or alone, in terms of their personality,” Mrs. Matthiae said. “So, when you go through this test, and you’re honest in answering the questions, and you relate to it, it brings that satisfaction.”

Mrs. Matthiae explains the benefits the True Colors Test has brought to relationships in the high school.

“I was going around the lunchroom, talking to students about it. I had students in my office who would come into my office and I would ask them about their True Color Test results as a conversation starter,” Mrs. Matthiae said. “People were smiling, and you could tell that people were satisfied in having true knowledge of self.”

She encourages students to embrace the relationships we have with others, because it is the most important asset of life.

“What I encourage students, and what I think is important to embrace, is that as I think about our whole life work, everything that we ever do as human beings is engage in relationships,” Mrs. Matthiae said. “When I’m talking to students about academics, none of this is what’s most important. What’s most important are the relationships you have with other people, because if you’re happy, then life’s going to seem like it’s going well and naturally other issues will get better as well.”

She explains that she has learned the importance of differences in people through her personal career.

“The differences are what makes this world go ‘round. I always say that I came from the world of work prior to working here, I was in business and industry for fifteen years. I would rather  work with people of various colors than work with people of the same color, because you get such unique perspectives from different people,” Mrs. Matthiae said. “Learning these perspectives helps us learn to embrace them better; it opens our eyes to things that we weren’t brought up to know or understand.”


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