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Influence Of Big Five Personality Traits And Self-Efficacy On Person's Life

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The three big questions that we are constantly trying to answer throughout our lives are, “who am I?”, “How do people differ?”, moreover, “What is my future?” These are the questions we regularly ask ourselves because we are never delighted with the answer each time. Personality psychology is an area of study within psychology that investigates how the major mental systems—our motives, emotions, and thoughts—work together as a whole, and what that overall functioning means for a person’s life (Mayer, 2017). Impactful questions like these all have different answers for different people, but personality psychologists are motivated to answer these questions through research by focusing on critical parts and aspects of personality; such as the big five personality traits, dynamics of self-control, personality traits, motives, emotions, attachment styles, and mental models/schemas. This paper will discuss an objective self-assessment, analysis, and reflection of myself from a personality systems standpoint arguing that I have reached most of them successfully and will continue in this trajectory.

How I view myself and approach my personality is based on the humanistic approach, which emphasizes on psychological health and growth following a person’s innate nature and potentials (Bland, 2018). The humanistic approach focuses on the individuals free will, self-efficacy, and self-actualization to encourage individuals to fulfill their highest potential and maximize their overall well-being. With that being said, I also focus on the negative aspects of my personality as well to fix it.

Erikson believed that personality is developed in eight psychosocial stages that occur from infancy to adulthood. Erikson referred to this theory as the psychosocial theory because he thought that the crisis that we are faced with in life (social) conflicts with psychological needs as well (Santrock, 2014). As stated by Erikson, developmental change occurs throughout the human lifespan; that’s why he highlighted the importance of both early and later experiences of life. Erikson broke down his theory into eight stages that unfolds as we go through life. At each stage, the individual is faced with a distinctive task that must be resolved, according to Erikson, “this crisis is not a catastrophe but a turning point marked by both increased vulnerability and enhanced potential. The more successfully an individual resolves the crisis, the healthier development will be” (Santrock, 2014).

Mental models (schemas) are necessary to our understanding of the world we live in. Mental models provide us with clues to guide us to deal with the people and situations we encounter. Our predictions and responses to the world are as good as the mental models we have built, so we need to pay more attention to our perceptions and interpretations of the world; mental models take variations and forms (Mayer, 2017). The mental model that I want to focus on is the self and self models. I consider this mental model one of the most noteworthy models that we compose because they give us a sense of who we are.

Personality derives from our childhood experiences, different life experiences take a toll on our character and shape us as individuals. Early temperament in life form a concept and structure of adult personality, and adult personality is in light of childhood antecedents (Roberts, 2005). I am someone who is goal driven and motivated. I am open to new experiences as long as I feel safe and secure. At times I feel insecure about myself and my body, but other times I feel like I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I mostly make decisions based on logic and reasoning, I dont allow my emotions to get the best of me. When it comes to helping my friends and people around me, I am very caring and supportive. I am an optimistic person who believes that I am in charge of my life which allows me to have the ability to act as my discretion. I only hold myself responsible and accountable for the good and bad decisions that I make in my life. Put, a model of the self refers to a list of traits and features one belief in holding (Mayer, 2017).

There are different models when it comes to self; ought self, ideal self, actual self, and possible selves. Actual self refers to whom we think we are in reality. In reality, I am a student who sometimes is overly stressed and feels lost and confused. On the other hand, my ideal self is someone who has a Master degree with a rewarding career as a therapist. Markus and Nurius (1986) mentioned another category of possible people including desires self- tremendously confident selves we hope to become (Mayer, 2018).

Personally, my life has not always been easy. I was born in Iran, Tehran and moved to Los Angeles with my family when I was about ten years old. As in infant up to early adolescence, I had a secure attachment pattern with my loved ones. The secure attachment pattern is the healthiest attachment pattern in which the individual feels ambivalent security with their loved ones (Mayer, 2017). Unfortunately, after my parents’ separation, this attachment pattern quickly changed and turned into a dismissive/insecure attachment pattern, which an individual feels frustrated and rejected by others (Mayer, 2017).

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Some individuals with a dismissive attachment style choose not to be in romantic or close relationships due to the fear of rejection. These individuals have unique ways of dealing and coping with threats of separation or loss. At times the vulnerability is denied through repression to manage the feelings and emotions that were brought up in those situations. Other times, these individuals will focus their attention on different goals and issues (Catlett, 2015). I usually tend to shift my attention and focus on myself. I set new goals for myself and give it my all accomplish the goals. For example, I was in this stage of my life that I got into sports and working out. I shifted my focus and attention to create an ideal version of myself that had a perfect body. Learning more about this attachment style also teaches me more about my personality. Ever since this incident occurred, I always avoid romantic and intimate relationships to protect my ego. Instead of focusing on love and intimacy I usually focus on other activities to keep myself occupied, that way I convince myself that I don’t have time to focus on a romantic relationship at the moment. This makes much sense now, I dismiss and reject people before they have the chance to that to me. An inefficacy to establish and maintain significant relationships with others could be harmful to an individual’s personality. It could cause severe and constant frustration that could cause the person to attack, ignore, or even repudiate others (Santrock, p.321). This is a negative aspect of my personality that I am aware of; therefore, I will start improving myself in this aspect.

The fifth developmental stage of Erikson’s theory is identity versus identity confusion; Which occurs during adolescence, approximately between ages ten to twenty years old (Santrock, 2014). Erikson was one of the first people to consider identity as one of the foundation aspects of adolescence development. Erikson describes this stage as the stage of finding one’s true self. In this stage the adult is faced with identity confusion; Meaning the adult has to aim to find themselves, who they are, what they want to accomplish, whom they want to be and where they are headed in life, such as the career, relationships, families, and housing. The individual has a desire to have a sense of belonging to a society and fit in (Santrock, 2014,p. 276). In this stage of my life, I was confused with my identity. I was still adjusting to a new life in a new country and trying to figure out where I belong.

Additionally, to be able to answer the question of “who am I,” in a more scientific way, I have to look at the big five personality traits. I am a person that has high levels of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness. Neuroticism vs. Emotional Stability is also referred to as emotionality, ego strength (anxiety), dominant- assured, satisfaction, and effect (Srivastava, 2003). I experience different levels of neuroticism like any other person. I feel safe and secure with my life and who I am as a person. On the other hand, when it comes to school work, I tend to get anxious, and nervous. Since I have high levels of conscientiousness I am trustworthy and reliable, I show tremendous interest in specific tasks, and I have a strong will to achieve them. (Srivastava, 2003) I always work to my best abilities. When it comes to the extraversion trait, I’d consider myself as an ambivert, which is a trait in between introvert and extravert extremes (Davidson, 2017). Ambivert tends to naturally engage inflexible patterns of thinking and listening, unlike extroverts, ambiverts express adequate assertiveness and enthusiasm (Grant, 2013). High levels of agreeableness include the ability to have patience, to be a good listener, be warm and empathetic, and to promote harmony in social interactions (Murugesan, 2017).

Wants and needs fuel motivation to take action, Murray (1938) was very well aware of this concept, and he was able to formulate a list that consists of twenty to twenty-five needs aside from physiological needs. The needs that I most relate to are, power, ambition, and materialistic needs. Power needs that I refer to including dominance and autonomy; I like to be in charge of my surrounding environment and have independence. I don’t want to be micromanaged and controlled, I like to have my freedom, and I respect other people’s freedom and independence as well. Ambition needs refer to achievement, exhibition, and recognition. Ambition needs are the most fulfilling needs for me. I love to challenge myself and overcome challenging tasks. However, this is mostly an internal need, though recognition makes me feel appreciated, I mostly crave this recognition and appreciation from myself, as if I need to prove to myself that I can accomplish anything as long as I believe in myself. This need also relates to counteraction; Murray explained this as a way to make up for past failures by trying again to overcome the obstacles that were faced (Murray, 1938). Motives are the fundamentals of a person’s life. Achievement-oriented people are those who are motivated to compete against standards of excellence, attain unique accomplishments, and commit to pursuing long term as well as short term goals (McClelland et al., 1992). In a literature view on achievement, McClelland and Koestner (1992) concluded that those high in achievement needs, challenge themselves with goals that keep them improving, learning, and approaching their standards of excellence. McClelland (1992) noted that students with high achievement motivation would receive higher grades in the courses that will help them in pursuing their goals for the future. Having a character like this will help me increase my life satisfaction by succeeding in my goals for school, work, and overall well being.

Over time, achievement needs became impactful in my life. Accomplishing goals and feeling the satisfaction of completing goals that I would set became a motivation itself. This is also known as intrinsic motivation-involving self in activities that are viewed as rewarding to the individual (Mayer, 2017). Once I developed a sense of self that I was comfortable with, I decided that I would make small and significant improvements on myself every month both physically and mentally. When it came to the physical aspect, I agreed that it was time to stop smoking cigarettes and slowly transition into a healthier life. Engaging in activities based on personal interest and levels of curiosity to exercise and develop their own skills and knowledge without receiving a reward refers to Intrinsic motivation (Domenico, 2017). In a study on patients who were in a weight loss program (Williams et al., 1996) concluded that the patients who lost the most weight and kept it all of for nearly two years later were the patients who were self-motivated to lose weight.

Self-control and self-awareness are crucial aspects of life because we like to feel like we are in control. Greenwald (1980) in his terms explained this characteristic as a totalitarian ego-the ego acts like a dictator and behaves in three ways that are very similar to a dictator; egocentric, self-serving attribution, and confirmation bias (Greenwald 1980). For the ego to protect and preserve itself from shame, fear, and humiliation, it has created mental operations known as defense mechanisms that deny or distort reality (Freud, 1937). , and later it was systematized by Anna Freud to eight defense mechanisms. Academic psychologists rejected the concept of a defense mechanism for a while. Based on recent empirical studies by cognitive psychologists, the unconscious psychological processes (defenses) existence has been confirmed (Cramer, 2000). One of the defense mechanisms that I always find myself doing is regression- reverting to my childhood and earlier stages of life where life was much more beautiful and simple. Suppression is another defense mechanism that involves conscious blocking of unpleasant thoughts (Freud, 1937). For instance, when I am faced with an extremely stressful situation, there is an interplay of these two defense mechanisms. When I am having a tough time with an assignment, or I feel like I have so much work to do with so little time, I start to panic slowly. In situations like this, I will try my hardest to come up with an ideal answer or solution, but if I am not successful after numerous attempts, I avoid the whole situation. I consciously decide not to think or worry about the specific assignment for some time, and I watch princess Disney movies. Watching Disney movies takes me back to my childhood when life was much more enjoyable and straightforward. After I have given myself some time to cool down, I will go back to the assignment and look at it from a different perspective.

Referring back to the three major questions of “Who I am,” “How do we all differ”? “What is my future?” are still obscure and blurry for me. Not every person will have the answer to all these questions, according to Maslow, a few ever will. Maslow (1987) introduced the Hierarchy of needs that consists of physiological needs, safety needs, love and sense of belonging needs, following with the last but most crucial need esteem and self-actualization. To reach self-actualization, one must meet and satisfy all the other needs. A self-actualized individual has a profound appreciation of life and is connected to reality. The self-actualized individual realizes how painful some truths and human conditions could be, but yet has an appreciation for all. Even though I am still on the path of self-discovery, this is a level of achievement and recognition of life I want to reach eventually. To achieve self-actualization I have to work on significant aspects and part of my personality. I have to have an efficient perception of reality and adequate level of acceptance when it comes to parts of my life I don’t approve of. Instead of focusing on the negative characteristics of my personality, I will show more appreciation for my desirable traits. For instance, being a good friend, being as understanding as I can be in any given situation without judging anyone, being a good listener, accepting the people around me for exactly who they are. Sometimes I can be hard on myself and be very critical. That’s another feature of my personality that I have to improve. Self-love and self-appreciation is the first step to growth.

References:

  1. Catlett, J. (2015). Avoidant Attachment: Understanding Insecure Avoidant Attachment. Psychalive.
  2. Cramer, P. (2000). Defense mechanisms in psychology today: Further processes for adaptation. American Psychologist, 55, 637-646. 10.1037/0003-066X.55.6.637
  3. Davidson, I. (2017). The ambivert: A failed attempt at a normal personality. The History of the Behavioral Sciences,53. doi:doi.org/10.1002/jhbs.21868
  4. Domenico, S., & Ryan, R. (2017). The emerging neuroscience of intrinsic motivation: A new frontier in self-determination research. Front Hum Neuroscience,11. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2017.00145
  5. Grant, A. (n.d.). Rethinking the extraverted sales ideal: The ambivert advantage. Psychological Science,24, 1024-1030. doi:10.1177/0956797612463706
  6. Murugesan, R., & Jayavelu, R. (2017). The influence of big five personality traits and self-efficacy on entrepreneurial intention: The role of gender. Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies,3. doi:10.1177/2393957516684569
  7. Roberts, B., Caspi, A., & Shiner, R. (2005). PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT: Stability and Change. Annu. Rev. Psychol.,56, 453-84. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141913
  8. Santrock, J. (2014). Essentials of Lifespan Development. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  9. Srivastava, S., John, O. P., Gosling, S. D., & Potter, J. (2003). Development of personality in early and middle adulthood: Set like plaster or persistent change? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1041-1053. 10.1037/0022-3514.84.5.1041

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Influence Of Big Five Personality Traits And Self-Efficacy On Person’s Life. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/influence-of-big-five-personality-traits-and-self-efficacy-on-persons-life/
“Influence Of Big Five Personality Traits And Self-Efficacy On Person’s Life.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/influence-of-big-five-personality-traits-and-self-efficacy-on-persons-life/
Influence Of Big Five Personality Traits And Self-Efficacy On Person’s Life. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/influence-of-big-five-personality-traits-and-self-efficacy-on-persons-life/> [Accessed 5 Dec. 2022].
Influence Of Big Five Personality Traits And Self-Efficacy On Person’s Life [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2022 Dec 5]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/influence-of-big-five-personality-traits-and-self-efficacy-on-persons-life/
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