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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Class Nursing Health Care Hospital Hygiene Higher secondary school College Notes

Principles of psychology in nursing : Personality

The word personality has been derived from the Latin word ' Persona' which was the mask which Greek actor work while acting. This however is not the meaning taken in the modern word personality.



The word personality has been derived from the Latin word ' Persona' which was the mask which Greek actor work while acting. This however is not the meaning taken in the modern word personality.


This personality is not fixed state but a dynamic totality, which is continuously changing due to interaction with the environment.


Personality is known by the conduct, behaviour, activities, and movements. It is the way of responding to the environment. The way in which the individual adjusts with the external environment is personality.


Definition of personality


In the words of Munn, it is the characteristic integration of an individual' s structure, modes of behaviour, interests, attitudes, capacities, abilities and attitudes. Behaviour requires integration.


In the words of Gordon All port,


'personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems, that determine his unique adjustment to his environment'.


The personality is the organization of the internal and external activities. It is not a collection of traits but a particular organization of them.


Personality is the total quality of behaviour ,attitudes, interests, capacities, aptitudes and behaviour patterns, which are manifested in his relation with the environment.


An integrated personality leads to organized character. Disintegrated personality leads to disorganized character.

Abnormalities in personality hamper, the organization of character. In mental patient, both character and personality are in disorder.


The basic sources of personality development are heredity and environment. However as a persons genetic inheritance interacts with and is shaped by environmental factors, there emerges a self structure that becomes an important influence in shaping further development and behaviour.


Trait and type approaches of personality:


The trait approaches to personality attempts to list a number of basic personality traits and the personality of an individual can be described by its position on a scale of units in each of these traits.

A trait is an enduring and consistent characteristic of a person that is observed in a wide variety of situations. The traits are intelligence , emotional sensitivity ascendance , submission , irritable , warm etc .

In fact All port and Odbert have listed 17,953 words in English , which are adjectives standing for personality traits. He distinguished between surface traits and source traits.


Cattell has startrd 16 personality factors as primary or source traits. Allport distinguished cardinal traits (basic) central traits , and secondary traits .


Some of the traits mentioned  by are

Genial : hostile

intelligence : stupid

emotionally : stable chargeable ,

dominant : submissive ,

cheerful : unhappy ,

co-operation : reserved,

hypersensitive : phlegmatic ,

friendly : suspicious etc

Norman listed 5 terms extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and culture.


H .J .Evsenck speaks of three basic categories of personality .

            Extroversion  - introversion ,


            neuroticism - stability and


            psychotism - normality .


This has been ultimately reduced to stable unstable and introversion extroversion.


            Extroverts are described as outgoing, uninhibited fond of activities, which bring them into contact with other people. Introverts have the opposite traits.


            Neurotism stability in Evsenchk' s model ranges from stability to high anxiety. In situations of worry, panicking, stress and over emotionality a high level activity could affect performance adversely in academic work of pupils, resulting in learning disabilities.


The type approach


It is older than the trait approach , which depends upon modem statistical procedures. Hippocrates and Galen have associated personalities with certain kinds of body fluids called humors.

Galen has spoken of four kinds of human temperaments

            choleric ,

            melancholic ,


            phlegmatic and




Krrlchmer refers to following types of human personality based on bodily fluid. These are


            aesthenic (thin, long) who are shy and sensitive, withdrawn, pyknic (short fat) who are jovial outgoing with fluctuating moods and


            athletic (strong and sturdy) .


The athletic and asthenic type of body build, go with


what is known as schizothyme personality and the pyknic body goes with cyclothymic' s personality. The former is basically interested in him only and the latter extroverted.

Sheldon speaks of three types of body build

            Endomorphic (round fat and muscular)


            Mesomorphy ( hard  and muscular ) and


            Ectomorphy (delicate and lean) .


      Endomorpic individuals have the type of personality called viscerotonia - which implies love of leisure , desire for food and sleep .


      Mesomorphs have somatotomic personalities , who exhibit persistence in behaviour desire for adventure , courage and involvement in actions.


      Ectomorphs have cerebrotonia which implies disciplined behaviour, ready response to stimulation, lack of interest in social interaction, hypersensitivity to pain etc .


The most popular theory of Jungs, Extroversion and introversion also is not universally accepted since he himself saves that most persons appear to be a typical ambiverts.


Psychological theories of personality:


Personality theories are grouped under three major heads

            Psychodynamic theories ( Frend and Jung )


            Social learning theories ( of Dollard and Miller)


            Phenomenological theories ( Rogers and Maslow )


Psychodynamic theories of personality:


Psychoanalytic theories of personality are referred to as psychodynamic theory. This theory attempts to understand personality in terms of mental functions may be rational. Irrational , conscious or unconscious.

Freud' s theory of psychoanalysis emphasizes man as dynamic system of energies and the main storehouse of such energies is unconscious. The contents of the unconscious invariably exhibit conflicts. To Freud , the structure of an individual' s Personality consists of 3 separate agencies


                  ego and


                  super ego.


            Id is the inborn reservoirs of primitive psychic energy called libido , unconscious demanding immediate satisfaction on the basis of pleasure principle regardless of external which ego and superego develops and it consists of energy thing that is inherited.


            All the energy of human behaviour is provided by two inborn id instincts namely sex and aggression, which he spoke of Eros-life instincts and thantoes, death instincts.


            Ego embodies a rational cognitive capacity that demands of super ego.

            Id seeks pleasure ego test reality and super ego strives for perfection. From Anxiety , defense mechanism or unconscious attempts to reduce anxiety by denying or destroying reality.

The technique of Eric Berne' s transactional refers to wholesome transaction from childhood to adulthood . Freud also emphasizes the early experiences in personality development. He speaks of psychosexual development of the individual .

                  The oral stage , during infancy and


                  the anal stage between the age 2 and 3 ,


                  the phallic stage 3 to 5 ,


From 5 up to early adolescence the stage of Oedipuscomplex/electracomplex. Then from 5 up to early adolescence sexual force are subordinated which marks the latency, period and finally the genital stage of heterosexuality.

                  Psychosexual maturity is reached by an individual as the end result of successful passage through the full


sequence of stages.


Carl Jung differs from Preud in taking a more positive and optimistic attitude towards human nature believing that people not only try to gratify their instincts but also try to develop their potential.

Jung agreeing with Freudian view of unconsciousness, which represents the accumulated experiences, and culture of the human species throughout its evolutionary development from primitive times.

Alfred Adler' s personality theory stress the uniqueness of one' s personality looks upon aggression is more significant than sex as a motive of behaviour. He points to the innate striving for superiority.

To Erikson, personality is the resultant from interaction between the needs of a person and the demands of a society at a particular stage of development.


He refers to eight psychosocial stages of development. A particular type of crisis characterizes each stage. Ego identify crisis during adolescence and now an individual resolves such crises determines personality characteristics.

H.S.Sviiilan has stressed the interpersonal nature of personality and has laid on the acquisition of language as a means of normal personality development.


Social learning theories of personality


These theories say that consistency of behaviour, results not only from rigid personality traits but also from other factors like environmental stability.


Skinner and hull' s learning theories are based on the above factors.

Dollard and Miller pointed fear, as an important factor in personality development as it acts as a powerful motive or drive in the promotion of learning.

The ' role' theory of G.H.Mead speaks of different roles one plays in life (a son, pupil, leader, friend etc) and gradually internalizes the associated traits to form his personality.


A person' s behaviour depends upon the specific nature of the situation, how the situation is appraised by him as well as past reinforcement of behaviour in similar situations.


Behvoirists theories of personality:


BEHAVOIRISTS is such a skinner emphasize that conditioning alone is not adequate to explain human character and personality.


Phenomenological theories of personality:


This includes humanistic conceptions of personality. These theories emphasize the existence of positive growth promoting forces in personality beyond more conflict resolution or tension reduction and also stresses present rather than past experiences.


Maslow' s theory emphasizes inherent potentialities to seek self-actualization. Maslow & CarlRoger both dealt on humanistic and psychoanalytic theories on growth and self actualisation.

Roger' s client centered on non-directive counselling is popular. The most important concept is self. An individual with a strong positive self-concept seek growth and have pleasant productive relation with others.

G.Kelly' s cognitive theory of personality consists of personal constructs that is the ways a person has of evaluating himself and his circumstances.


Assessment of personality:


The oldest methods of measuring personality are





Phrenology etc.

More scientific techniques have been evolved to measure personality, which is very helpful in the field of education, employment and medicine.


In the field of education , to provide suitable courses , in the field of employment to select suitable person as per the requirements of a job and in the field of medicine to diagnose the mental diseases of patients for giving proper treatments.

Some of them are




            Case Study


            Rating Scale






            Projective techniques




There are two types of observation





To make observation more effective the observation can make use of tape recorders. Cameras and binoculars. Carefully intelligent and scientific observation is needed in observation method.


2-Case study:


P.V.Young says case study is a method of exploring and analyzing the life of a social unit be that a person, a family an institution cultural group or even entire community.


Characteristics of good case study










            Feed back

Steps in Case Study:


            Initial status

            Collection of exploratory data


            Diognosis of causal factors


            Looking forward to remedial development.


            Follow up process.


3- Rating scale:


Rating scale is used to quantify an observation. In this method a number of questions are asked to enable a person to rate himself or to enable others to do so. Teacher can use rating scales to categorize their students on a specific trait. Example for self-rating

2) In spite of faulty logic error , central tendency error and generosity error, it is used for rating students well in scholarship and the quality or leadership sincerity punctuality and honesty.


4. Questionnaire:


It is most popular method useful in collecting quantitative and qualitative information.

A questionnaire should collect information which is normally not available from others sources . It should be arranged in categories to ensure accurate responses. It should provide complete and clear direction, simplicity, familiarity, singularity, should be used.


The questionnaire should avoid questions of ambiguity, variety it should not be too lengthy. It should be printed Both the


methods of mailing and personal contact of administering the questionnaire have their own advantages and disadvantages.


5 Interview:


Interview is a technique of getting information directly from the subject. It is subjective in nature hence its findings should be supplemented with other methods.


6. Projective techniques:


Projective techniques are used to study the unconscious aspect of behaviour , it permits or encourages wide variety of responses and it is highly multidimensional .


Drever defines, a projective technique is interpretations of situations and events by reading into them their own experiences and feelings.

A Projective techniques is used for

            Clinical settings for digonostic use with the mental patients

            important projective tests are Rorschach ink blot test


            The maticc apperception test


            the world association test


            sentence completion test.


Rorschach ink blot test: is made up of ten ink blot patterns. 5 are in black and white, two are black and red and 3 are multicolored.


While administering the test encouragements is given when there is no response from the individual.

All the responses are taken down verbatim. It does not impose time limits. The scoring categories are named as










Thematic Apperception test developed Murray and Morgan consists of 30 pictures which portray human beings in a variety of actual life situations and 1 black card 10 for male, 10 for female and 10 for both. The maximum number of pictures used with any subject is 20.


The system of scoring taken into account of the following.

            Hero of the story


            Needs and conflicts of the hero


            Theme of story: the global view should be based upon, the responses of all the 20 pictures shown to the subject and the experiences of the examiner.


Word assiciation test are of two types





In controlled word association, the subject is given the word and is asked to give the antonym or synonym.

In uncontrolled word association, the subject is given a word and asked to reply and the first word that comes to his mind spontaneously is taken into account .


The interpretation of the tests depends on two factors (i.e.) the response word and reaction time. Inability to make any response or mere repetition of the stimulus word indicates one' s emotional blocking.

Sentence completion tests consists of a list of incomplete sentences, generally open at the end and requires completion by the subject who is asked to go through the list and answer as quickly as possible.

On the basis of these responses, the psychologist' s records observation, which indicate unhealthy or conflicting, healthy or positive attitude etc. Stimulus in the form of the following words may be represented.

            I wish to become---------


            My Mother----------

(3) My Teacher-----------


The above-mentioned incomplete sentences can be completed in many ways. From these answers, we can assess the personality of an individual.

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11th 12th std standard Class Nursing Health Care Hospital Hygiene Higher secondary school College Notes : Principles of psychology in nursing : Personality |

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