The Question of Personality

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Psychology ・APA ・3 Sources

Personality is defined as a dynamic arrangement within an individual of the psychophysical processes that determine one's thought and conduct (Duke, 2002). It is the combination of traits or features that distinguishes a person. Personality theories tend to explain the features and behaviors of people in their surroundings. The techniques encompass a wide range of viewpoints, including dispositional, humanistic, psychodynamic, behaviorist, biological, social learning, and evolutionary perspectives. Furthermore, the ideas explain the evolution of personality and individual differences. The trait theory aims at understanding the personality by putting attitudes and certain types of behavior into the categories of traits (Spinath, Riemann & Angleitner, 2003). In fact, the trait theory takes a lexical approach to personality that supposes that the languages tend to acquire terms to describe the personality traits. Besides, it assumes that the personality dimensions can be understood using the conditions that exist. Importantly, traits predispose a person to act in a particular way regardless of the situation at hand hence it should always be constant across the positions over time. It is also referred to as the psychometric theories because of the application of psychometric tests in measuring the personality.

Barack Obama who is the former president of the United States of America had particular traits that enabled him to govern the country as he did and not otherwise. The critical events in his life includes plunging into politics by speaking at the anti-apartheid rally, graduating with political science degree, becoming the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, being elected Illinois state senate, winn9ng of the Iowa Democratic caucuses, winning the presidency, and the publishing of his books (Cooper, Connolly & Kugler, 2014). He is identified with specific traits that help him pull through all his achievements and failures. First, collaboration is one of the characteristics which was consistently seen as he was not forceful with his arguments. Instead, he listened to other ideas with an open mind and later made the decision. It also helped him in researching the reasons behind every decision to ensure best decisions are always made.

The second one is his art of decisiveness. He makes decisions that he believes are correct, indeed stand by them and defend them at all cost. However, he can take a second look if he is disproven efficiently with concrete proof. Also, he maintains an honest perspective in all situations and a sincere attitude towards the job that needs to be done. Compassion is another trait that is significantly attached to Obama. It is precisely depicted in his talks and relation with those deemed to be the lower class. He is also fearless of the critics' say on the decisions he makes that enable him to stand for his views soberly. It is these traits that are inertly employed in every step that he takes in life, every decision he makes, every action or move hence making him such a personality. These traits further compel him to automatically create a relationship both with the critics or those who do not like his ideologies and those who support the same. In fact, he comes out with an overall personality that depicts a determined person, open-minded to different philosophies, independent thinker, an orator, caring, confident, with integrity, analytical thinker, and of an average esteem (Cooper et al., 2014).

On the flip side, the cognitive-behavioral theories are conceptualized as a set that evolved from the clinical experience, theoretical writings, and the empirical studies of the cognitive and behavioral aspects of a person. It highlights on the learning and adapting to the learned thing to survive or make life better and smoother than before. Further, the approach posits that an individual learns to use one of the three maladaptive coping strategies that include the surrender in which the person always comply and is dependent on other people’s decisions in a bid to avoid conflict. Another coping strategy is the avoidance which compels the person to isolate himself, develop an addictive form of soothing himself, and a compulsive stimulus-seeking to depend on himself due to poor relations with other people. The third is the overcompensation that involves behaving in a manner opposite from the real feeling that the person undergoes.

The celebrity's book biography, it is clear that he either fails to feel enough passion and emotion or he does not act according to the degree of the two types of feelings. Consequently, he does not always address hands-on the critical problems that he encounters in his life. Therefore, he is one who tries to disconnect himself from the feeling of fury by the use of intellectual exertion. Subsequently, he strenuously tries to keep the matters in clear focus to avoid distractions by such feelings. Importantly, he does not merely contain his rage or even hold it deep inside his mind to gain control over it, somewhat, he dissociates such that there is a disconnection between how he thinks and how he feels (Duke, 2002).

Precisely, Obama learned this art of ensuring one makes proper decisions regardless of the feelings he experiences when making the decisions. In fact, it allows him to operate in a pure intellectual state always and also protects him from the influences of the excessive passions that are still very disruptive (Spinath et al., 2003). The celebrity applies the saying that the tongue is a sworn enemy of the neck and therefore turns a blind eye to his passion and rage making him appear like he is sleepwalking when he should be screaming at the very top of his voice due to an occurrence. It is an ability to disconnect himself from the feeling of a full force of his rage which brings out his calm personality, builds an excellent relationship with people, and make the decisions he feels right without the influence of anger or passion.

In conclusion, the personality theories help understand, learn and adopt various strategies to make life better and present the personality of people from their consistently repeated behaviors. Obama has shown in the biography that he learns and takes the skills and things learned like when campaigning for the presidency, he focused on making the voters fearful with the aim of switching off their rational thinking and make their emotional responses turned on towards favoring him. The fear is installed in the voters by certain words like taxes, government, and even welfare that he frequently used in the campaigns that saw him clinch the seat successfully. When in office he learns and employs the art of dissociating his thoughts from his feelings as discussed above to enable him to make his decisions soberly at all times.


Cooper, D., Connolly, T., & Kugler, T. (2014). Lay Personality Theories in Interactive Decisions: Strongly Held, Weakly Supported. Journal Of Behavioral Decision Making, 28(3), 201-213.

Duke, M. (2002). Theories of Personality and Theories of Art: A Budding Consilience. Journal Of Research In Personality, 36(1), 32-58.

Spinath, B., Spinath, F., Riemann, R., & Angleitner, A. (2003). Implicit theories about personality and intelligence and their relationship to actual personality and intelligence. Personality And Individual Differences, 35(4), 939-951.

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