Personality Factors on the College Campus: Review of a Symposium

Personality Factors on the College Campus: Review of a Symposium

Personality Factors on the College Campus: Review of a Symposium

Personality Factors on the College Campus: Review of a Symposium

Excerpt

Liberal education has as its aim the fullest possible development of the individual personality. The limits of human potentiality are unknown, and there is no generally agreed way of describing the fully developed individual; but it seems that one may set forth the essence of much psychological theory and include the explicit aims of many educators by saying that the highly developed personality is characterized chiefly by complexity and by wholeness.

In such a personality the processes of perceiving, thinking, feeling, and willing are sufficiently differentiated so that the individual is uniquely responsive to multitudinous aspects of his natural, social, and cultural environments; the largeness of his world is matched by the diversity of his interrelated sensibilities and capacities; he has breadth of understanding, subtlety of appreciation, and freedom in judgment and action.

At the same time, all these different parts and processes of the person are organized; communication among them is sufficient so that the person is capable of acting as a unit, calling upon such of his resources as are needed for the solution of new problems; the judging and controlling parts of the personality are in touch with the deeper sources of emotion and will; there is freedom of imagination and an enduring capacity to be fully alive.

The organization of personality has a fundamental stability, which is expressed in consistency of behavior over time; this durable structure underlies the individual's sense of direction, his independence of thought and action, his capacity to make and to carry out commitments to others and to himself. But the structure of the highly developed person is not fixed once and for all, nor is the consistency of behavior total or absolute; the in-

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