Review the personality theories specifically, review trait theories, psychodynamic theories, phenomenological theories, biological theories, social and cognitive theories.
Then, choose a famous person, and in your initial post, analyze his or her personality according to one of the theories. For example, according to your chosen theory, why does this person think, feel, or behave the way that he or she does?
Next, address the following: You have had the opportunity to assess your own personality throughout this course. what new insights have you had regarding your own personality? Further, how will the knowledge you gained from this course help you in your future studies or professional life? How you will incorporate your studies in personality psychology into your future career goals?
Respond to student posts
In responding to your classmates, share your reaction to their analysis of a famous person and offer your own assessment. Also, comment on the insights they have offered about their own personalities and how they will apply what they have learned going forward.
Billie Eilish has been singing from a young age. When she reached the age of thirteen, she sang “Ocean Eyes,” a song written by her brother, Finneas, and this started her career as a professional vocalist (CBS News, 2020). The song, like most of her other music, is one of heartbreak and tragedy. The first verse is about someone falling in love with someone, specifically looking into his or her eyes and seeing someone for who he or she truly is. It plays on the idea that the eyes are the windows to the soul. The second verse has the same theme of a girl obsessing over someone; however, Finneas has made it clear that the pair have split up, or perhaps they were never together to begin with, and their incompatibility has just become apparent to the protagonist of this song (AZ Lyrics, 2016). She also has a song about running from the police after committing multiple murders and one that is basically a suicide note in musical form, “Listen Before I Go.”
Despite her preference for melancholic music, Billie stated the following in an interview: “Nobody that knows me thinks I’m a dark person” (CBS News, 2020, n.p.). This is a very interesting concept indeed: despite singing such sad songs constantly, Billie would not describe herself as ‘dark.’ Another interesting takeaway from the interview was when it is stated that Billie experienced “…fame that [she] didn’t want…” last year (CBS News, 2020), which strongly contradicts the stereotype of an attention-seeking celebrity.
The trait perspective explains personality as being composed of traits. Traits might not always show themselves, but they generally do. For example, a very agreeable person might hoard food in the aftermath of a war that has had apocalyptic repercussions, despite the fact that agreeable people are helpful and kind in most settings (Cervone & Pervin, 2019). This perspective can be used to explain several takeaways from Billie’s interview. First, trait theory involves people having certain levels of each trait. For example, very few people are 100% agreeable, walking down the street handing money to anyone who walks by while they live homelessly. There is a generally balance between traits. With this in mind, Billie states that she is always laughing (CBS News, 2020), making it sound like she is generally a fun-loving person, but perhaps her music reflects a more minor, darker trait that she possesses, a small part of her personality. Or perhaps the darkness in her music is not a trait at all but is rather a symptom of her depression. Maybe singing helps Billie to manage her depressive symptoms. In regards to Billie stating that she did not wish to become famous, elaborating that she hates not being able to go out in public without being swarmed by fans, it sounds like Billie has very low levels of extraversion, resulting in her being timid and reserved (Cervone & Pervin, 2019).
The journal entry in Module One focused on The Big Five Test, which uses the trait perspective. During this course, I have fallen in love with the psychodynamic perspective (I have actually gotten into many arguments with my coworkers about this, who find the perspective to be ridiculous). With this in mind, I can add to my initial entry some ideas that I believe have slowly emerged from my subconscious. Specifically, I think I am sabotaging myself when I work on improving my mental health because deep down, I believe that changing myself in this way would be pretending to be somebody I am not. Second, I seem to have an idea that everyone is trying to attack me, either emotionally or physically. When I walk down the street and see someone walking behind me, I am almost positive that person is about to shoot me (Yes, I literally mean that I am under the impression that a stranger intends to pull out a weapon and use it to propel rounds at me, while on a public sidewalk. Nobody ever said the subconscious mind was rational I do not really believe this idea, but the anxiety is still there, supporting the idea of the id, ego, and superego all communicating in my head). When I talk to someone about anything that is not casual, I generally twist whatever he or she says to be a personal attack. Worse yet, I assume that he or she does the same, so I always worry that my tone sounded just a little off and upset him or her. Going back to trait theory, I think this also stems from my high levels of introversion.
These theories have helped me to understand myself and others better. I have identified some obviously problematic and illogical ways of thinking, so I can now work on these thoughts.
I chose Oprah Winfrey because she fits the trait theory. She didn’t have a good upbringing. She was abused as an adolescent, which I believe has made her behave the way she does now. Oprah gives away stuff and money to people who need it. “Winfrey’s open, warm-hearted personal style had won her 100,000 more viewers than Donahue and had taken her show from last place to first in the ratings” ( Oprah Winfrey, 2020). Her personality connected with millions of people, which helped her boost her career. “Although ratings initially fell, she earned the respect of her viewers and was soon rewarded with an upsurge in popularity” (Oprah Winfrey, 2020). I feel that she was determined not to continue to live the way she did when she was younger. Oprah was looking to make sure other people who were struggling could get what they needed from her. I feel that when someone has less than an average person, they appreciate what they have while wanting to share it with others.
I can improve where I lack in my personality. I can achieve more goals because I can motivate myself. As I read the assignment back to myself, I still see places where I need to work on myself. “Obviously, there is more to personality than traits, but traits have loomed larger throughout the history of personality psychology” (Cervone & Pervin, 2016). I know there are places where I struggle with when it comes to either showing my personality to people or finding a way to express myself for others to see me. I will take what I learned in this course to use for my future career goals because I can learn how to address different personalities. I want to work in a school system, so there will be different personalities and traits. I will know how to handle the children by using what I learned with personality theories.
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