Personality Characterizations

Personality is your essence. In Psych 101, I remember being surprised by this, thinking personality was psychology. But no, you have a personality and then you develop (developmental psychology), you learn things (behaviorism), you socialize (social psychology), you commit crimes (forensic psychology), you manipulate (marketing), etc etc. Personality is therefore it’s own branch of Psychology. It boils down to who you are.

Sure, we’re all unique, but not really. I you’ve ever said “I know the type” then you know that we can categorize people like we categorize anything else. Just how we categorize them is a subject of discussion.

Different psychologists coming in from different angles and different psychology branches will find their own way to categorize people. Here are a few.

The Big Five

This is an official personality characterization scheme which doesn’t use categories, but rather scales. The scales are as follows:

  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Neuroticism
  • Openness to Experience

Have a look here for a more detailed description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits

The Enneagram

This categorization is not officially recognized by mainstream psychology but in my experience is worthy of a good hard look. It splits people up into 9 types:

  • Reformer
  • Helper
  • Achiever
  • Individualist
  • Investigator
  • Loyalist
  • Enthusiast
  • Challenger
  • Peacemaker

Like I said, it’s worth a look. I’ve found it quite accurate in explaining myself as well as other people close to me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enneagram_of_Personality

Others

For a look at other set ups, please visit our good friend Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_type#See_also

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