All About Personality

From eccentric and introverted to boisterous and bold, the human personality is a curious, multifaceted thing. We all have unique characteristics of our own, and we all value different personality traits in ourselves and others.

Questions of personality have vexed mankind from the dawn of personhood: Can people change? Can an angry person ease his rage, for instance, or a meek person finally speak out? What is the difference between normal and pathological behavior? And do others perceive us the same way we perceive ourselves? But while psychological research has made some progress on these questions—and in fact, a whole branch of study, known as personality psychology, is dedicated to them—there remain many facets of personality that we still don’t understand.

Personality is so pervasive and all-important that it presents a clinical paradox of sorts: It is hard to accurately assess one's own personality, yet impossible to overlook that of others. But since personality can make or break one's relationships at home and at work—and because we all want to be grounded in who we are—research will continue to dig deeper into why we are the way we are, and how our personalities influence our behavior.

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