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Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development

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Per*son*al*i*ty [pщrs'n бllətee] (plural per*son*al*i*ties) noun

1. somebody's set of characteristics: the totality of somebody's attitudes, interests, behavioral patterns, emotional responses, social roles, and other individual traits that endure over long periods of time.

Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Every person has a personality. With every person comes a unique and different personality. Some people have similar personalities and some are very different. There has been a lot of research on personalities and how people describe one other. A new model has been widely used today and often replaces the once popular Meyers-Briggs Type Indication (MBTI). This new standard includes five dimensions of personality, a model based on experience, not theory, personality traits based on strength of score and a stress on individual personality traits, not types. The five dimensions were nicknamed the "Big Five".

The "Big Five" personality test was established by psychologist Warren Norman in a popular 1963 study . It is said that he worked with Lewis Goldberg on this study. Paul Costa and Robert McCrae were another research team that took a slightly different road but came to the same conclusion as Norman and Goldberg. It is based on the "Big Five" theory of personality. Five major broad dimensions have been discovered. Costa and McCrae's version is often called the OCEAN model of personality. It is the acronym from the names of these five dimensions. The following "Big Five" personalities are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism (Emotional Stability). These dimensions resulted by a statistical procedure know as factor analysis. Researchers asked thousands of people hundreds of questions and then analyzed the data. There are several available tests on the "Big Five" that a person can take to see where they measure on each personality dimension. Each is a little different, but the questions are all similar and therefore tend to produce similar results regardless of which test you may take.

Openness - people who score high in this area are often open to new experiences, very original and creative. Those who score low are often "play-it-safe" types, conventional and uncreative.

Conscientiousness - people that score high in this area are often well-organized, careful and reliable. Low scorers are often undependable, unorganized and negligent.

Extraversion - people who score high tend to be fun, friendly, sociable and talkative types. Those scoring low can be quite, extroverted and reserved.

Agreeableness - high scorers can be courteous, good-natured and forgiving, while low scores can be harsh, rude and critical.

Neuroticism - those with high scores tend to be insecure, high-strung and worry-warts. Those people scoring low can be calm, secure and more relaxed.

If taken seriously and answering the questions honestly, these tests can be quite accurate in assessing a persons personality traits. However, there has been some controversy regarding the "Big Five". Since researchers have to rely on the people taking and submitting the self-tests, there is a possible glitch in the statistics if there is falsification and/or bias in the responses. Little has been published about the "Big Five" in a form that the layperson can understand. Most information is not assembled and left to be found in research journals. Also some experts believe that the "Big Five" does not make up all of a persons true personality. Some psychologists feel that the "Big Five" omit other personality traits such as honesty, sexiness, snobbishness, sadness, happiness, self-assertiveness and masculinity/femininity.



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