Evaluation of an individual’s personality allows paying more attention to various characteristics and therefore provides more reliable information about a person. Therefore, comparing information collected with the use of different perspectives can create a more detailed and complex image of an individual’s personality. This case study will focus on the personality evaluation of Paul, a 55-year-old computer technician, utilizing traits (the Big Five), learning theory, humanist, and sociocultural perspectives.
Firstly, the Big Five perspective evaluates an individual’s personality based on five factors: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. Starting from the extroversion parameter, it seems that Paul is an introvert even though his job requires him to function as an extrovert. While Paul may seem popular at work, his description mentions that he often feels that he needs to spend time alone after social contact, which is typical for introverts. Furthermore, Paul’s ability to convince everyone at work that their ordinary experiences were extraordinary testifies to his agreeableness. Next, on the scale of disorganized to well-organized in conscientiousness factor, Paul is inclined to disorganized characteristic because he lacks dedication in designing a trip and learning new skills. Paul’s favorite hobbies and leisurely lifestyle with plans for the distant future suggest he is very calm. Lastly, Paul is always open to new experiences, and it is possible that he has a great hidden creative potential.
Next, from the learning theory perspective on personality, Paul can be perceived as a highly attentive observer because his work is primarily based on observation of other people’s actions. Furthermore, Paul’s work function in training people to use correct technology methods suggests his memory of past experiences is very strong and reliable. While there is no specific information about Paul’s upbringing, it can be that his childhood experiences contributed to his current development. Thus, Paul’s approach towards people’s mistakes in operating computer systems suggests that his parents avoided punishing him for his mistakes and instead focused on finding the root of his mistakes.
Furthermore, the Humanism approach to personality focuses on studying how people use their free will for creative choices. The humanist theory of self suggests that differences between the individual’s self-image and his ideal and true self can lead to tension and anxiety (Coon & Mitterer, 2013). There is tension between Paul’s ideal self he shows at work, his self-image of a relatively young, creative, and open-minded person, and his true self of an introvert who prefers silence and comfort. The development of self-concept in individuals generally takes place in the adolescent age. Considering Paul’s age, it is likely that his frustration with the tension between self-image, ideal self, and true self is even higher. Furthermore, the tension explains why Paul lacks the motivation to finish things. His true self acknowledges that Paul does not need to travel and have new hobbies when he has a comfortable environment at home. Thus, travel brochures stay affixed to the refrigerator while Paul postpones his decision-making.
Lastly, the sociocultural perspective on personality suggests that people will behave differently in different social groups. Thus, even though there is no significant information about Paul’s cultural affiliations, it is apparent that the corporate culture of the work environment alters his behavior. Many professionals seem alike because the working environment requires them to behave a certain way (Coon & Mitterer, 2013). Furthermore, positive behavior and communication contribute to the employee’s performance, and in Paul’s case, his popularity encourages people to use his services more often.
Thus, conducting an evaluation of Paul’s personality with the use of different perspectives allowed the creation of a more comprehensive image. Therefore, using different perspectives and theories on personality allowed the assessment to shed light on entirely different sides of Paul’s personality, such as his learning process, traits, and self-development. The evaluation also allowed for defining the differences between Paul’s behavior at work and home and identifying the reasons for his inability to finish things.
Coon, D., & Mitterer, J. O. (2013). Psychology: A Journey (5th ed.). Cengage Learning US.