What are the current trends in personality research?
Speaking about the current trends in personality research I would like to note that they are certainly what was invented a while ago yet which attracts even the modern social scientists. For instance, the issue of consciousness and unconscious as initially proposed by Sigmund Freud are among the very topics that get studied most frequently. For instance, one currently starts to study three aspects of the unconscious such as biological, social and personal unconscious and their interaction.
The stages of personality growth are still studied with Freud, Erikson, and Piaget being the primary contributors to what one now calls transitional stages such as infancy, adolescence, and senescence. One learns about biological, ego and personality development, too.
The temperament development, according to the website http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/conclusions.html, is another area that represents current trends in personality research with the emotional stability and extraversion-introversion being the two primary personality dimensions. Jung and Eysenck are the founding fathers of modern research of temperament. The three more dimensions such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness found application in modern research while the following three (psychoticism, activity, and impulsivity) dimension still waiting for approval.
The issue of human learning as brought up by Bandura, Skinner, Kelly, Pavlov, or Tolman are currently of extreme importance to the social scientists. One currently distinguishes three kinds of learning such as environmental, social and verbal. All these different types of learning exists independently yet certainly interact with each other affecting the way people learn.
Another trendy area in personality development is the emotions that affect our daily functioning. Thus, one places the greatest attention to the study of anxiety, guilt, sadness, and anger as the primary emotions.
What, in your opinion, is the future direction of personality research and theory?
Although motivation had been studied greatly in the past it is still believed to have much greater future direction of personality research as the companies in the modern global economy need to work with foreign clients, employees and managers who apparently need to be motivated differently taking into account their personality differences. The motivation is said to have biological, social, personal and higher (competence motivation and altruistic motivation) motivators.
Another area that in my opinion will have future direction of personality research and theory and taking into account the stressful modern world is certainly the neurosis studies and the coping strategies. One learns about denial and repression which block experiences at the cost of emotional exhaustiveness. Distortion and rationalization on the other hand work around the offensive information. The coping strategies are represented by dependent style (inferiority sense and desire to manipulate others) and aggressive (superiority complex, i.e. humiliate others). The perfectionist, infantile and schizoid styles are also proposed yet not well understood and studied and this is where I believe the future direction will also go. Having read the online article available at http://www.personalityresearch.org/attachment.html I understand that attachment theory which had been proposed only in the 1990s is relatively recent and not well studied while having much potential and application to the modern world. The three stages, namely the protest, the despair and the detachment, through which a person goes through I find extremely important and open to debate, discussion and further interpretations which are believed to trigger future research in the area. The study of personality disorders will also be of future interest and study as humanity strives to understand its problems and develop the ways to overcome them.
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