Briefly define personality. Does one’s personality always predict one’s behavior? Why or why not?
There are so many ways I have read that define personality, that this question is actually quite difficult. I would state that personality is the combination of innate and nurtured traits unique to each person that affects their internal and external responses to certain stimuli. Having said that, I am not sure that personality will always be a predictor of behavior in that person. Two people who may have similar amounts of extroversion in them may respond in very different ways in certain situations based upon their upbringing and other issues, such as cultural or religious expectations. I do believe that both positive and negative personality traits have a strong effect on behavior, such as was shown in a recent study regarding poor leadership qualities and some of the more negative sides of behavior in the big five factor theory (Kaiser, et al, 2015). However, using the word always seems a bit over the top. For instance, if I have been out walking and in the hot sun, when suddenly I see a drinking fountain, is stopping for a drink a personality trait or simply a physiological response to a biological need? Now, on the other hand, not stopping because of a fear of public germs or water sample may in fact be a personality led behavior. I think it is a difficult balance to maintain the idea that personality can predict behavior, but not necessarily always predict behavior.