A Reflection on the Study of Personality

AReflection on the Study of Personality

AReflection on the Study of Personality

Thecourse has mainly focused on the study of personality and differenttheories that have been put forward to advance the concept ofpersonality. The study of personality addresses the distinctivecharacteristics of an individual and similarities in different groupsof people. Varied ways that can be used to study human personalityallows the learner to get a wider perspective of the concept ofpersonality as well as theories of personality (Frager &amp Fadiman,2013). In this paper I will reflect on the experience, knowledge, andskills I obtained from the course. The paper will mainly focus onchange of view of personality, remaining questions, personalitytheories, and the use of knowledge obtained for the future work andacademic goals.

Thecourse has changed my view of personality in several ways. First, thecourse changed my initial thought that personality is solelyinfluenced by external factors. The study made it clear that,although there are external factors that influence the expression ofpersonality, personality originates from within an individual (Frager&amp Fadiman, 2013). Second, the course changes my view thatpsychology is purely influenced by psychological factors to a viewthat personality is influenced by biological processes and needs.Although the course increased my knowledge of personality, there isone question that remained unanswered. First, since learning andbehavior occur through imitation and observation, how do thebiological process and needs come into play?

Outof several theories studied during the semester, I strongly agreewith the Skinner’s behaviorist theory. Skinner`s theory is based onthe concept of operant conditioning, which means that the change of agiven behavior can be achieved through reinforcement (Frager &ampFadiman, 2013). I agree with theory because I have learned throughpersonal experience that behaviors that are reinforced tend to berepeated while those that are not reinforced extinguish with time.Compared to Freud’s theory of Psychoanalysis, B.F. Skinner’sbehaviorism assumes that all variables affecting human behavior arefound outside of a given person. This is unlike Freud’s approachthat holds that unexplained behaviors and feelings can be traced fromwithin, at both conscious and unconscious levels.

Oneof the major lessons I learned from the class is that, althoughbehavior is personality is affected by both psychological andbiological factors, it can be changed. This is important in my futurecareer in the field of psychology because it gives me confidence thatI will be able to change people with negative personalities andpersonality disorders through psychotherapy. The easy access to thelectures is one of the strengths of distance learning, which I willcapitalize to enhance my learning. For example, I will allocate morestudy hours in the morning since that is the time I am usually freshand concentrate more in studies. However, I will have to address theweakness of lack of capacity to do things under minimum supersupervision. This will require me to set both short-term andlong-term goals in my academics in to ensure that the motivation tolearn comes from within instead of relying on external supervision.

Inconclusion, the class was interesting and enlightening. It was anopportunity to clear the grey areas and fill knowledge gaps in thefield of psychology. One of the main lessons learned from the courseis the possibility of changing one’s personality. This gives hopeto many people suffering from personality disorders because they canbe assisted through psychotherapeutic approaches. For example, theB.F. Skinner’s theory of operant conditioning can be used toeffectively instill behavior change.


Frager,R., &amp Fadiman, J. (2013). Personalityand personal growth (7th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.