Twentieth Century Psychology: Recent Developments in Psychology

By Philip Lawrence Harriman | Go to book overview

PERSONALITY AND TYPOLOGY

ISIDOR CHEIN

College of the City of New York

This paper was undertaken in the hope of contributing to a clarification of some of the issues confronting the student of personality. Specifically, we shall consider the problem of the nature of personality and the problem of the typological approach to the study of personality.

From the viewpoint of systematic psychology, the first question to be answered concerns the place of personality study in the field of psychology. It is evident, from even a cursory examination of the psychological literature, that personality study is by no means coextensive with psychological research.

The writer is of the opinion that the subject matter of psychology may be classified under three headings: phenomena of behavior, phenomena of awareness,1 and conditions of behavior and awareness. If this view is sound and if personality constitutes proper subject matter for psychological research, then personality must be classifiable under one or more of these headings.

To those psychologists who have sought personality in the phenomena of behavior,, the concept of personality has tended to assume an antiquated flavor, there being little sanction for it outside of history and popular demand. A behavioral act is something complete in itself and, surely, does not constitute personality. Some psychologists have frankly given up; others have

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1
Although the two are distinguishable, both of these categories will be referred to, hereinafter, as "behavior", the differences between behavior and awareness being irrelevant for the present paper.

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