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Personal Constructs

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Personal constructs are effective in giving a clear description of an individual’s character and personality.  Individuals are different and, therefore, have different personalities that define them as people of unique characters. Personality is shaped by stable feelings, thoughts, and the behavioral patterns, all of which is described by different personality constructs.

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There is a relatively stable set of constructs about personalities; the concept of personality is largely dependent on the consistency and stability in the individual’s predisposition to respond to the situations across time.  However, the constructs are heavily influenced by many factors like the environment, culture, and religion among others. To have the correct set of adjectives to describe an individual if he or she is relatively normal, one has to interact with that individual over a long period of time so as to gauge him or her in different situations. For example, honest people have to practice honesty across a number of tempting situations while confident people have to have high self-control across the many situations, which might typically create insecurity to other people. 

For people to be considered as adventurous, they need to be able to take up risks on a regular basis. However, it is tricky to have a set of adjectives that fully describe the personality of an individual, because there is little evidence that any individual could have bundle of consistent personality traits.  Similarly, it is difficult to have a complete set of adjectives and personal constructs that can describe an individual. This is because the self is both a subject and an object and, therefore, is open to change over time. For instance, the body image and self-evaluation have changed enormously over an extensive period of time of growth and development.

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The changes in the physical appearance have the potential of influencing other people’s judgment. The discontinuity of social roles and social programs can influence an individual’s personality.  For example, individuals undergoing divorce have an increased rate of depression and anxiety during the difficult transition period. Some of the adjectives such as temperament have a direct biological base. Some personalities have higher speeds and are more energetic than others.

However, temperament tends to stabilize over time although it could be altered by the social traumas that are, for instance, related to the increase in the cortisol levels and stress hormones. Though an individual feels the same over time, his or her character becomes stable with time.  Different feedbacks from other people have a critical role in shaping the personality of an individual and, therefore, affect adversely the adjectives that can be used to describe the personality of that individual. Appraisals and adjectives used to describe an individual reflect a major contribution to a sensse of self-stability.

The responses have the tendency to develop into habits. For example, personal constructs are associated or linked with the groups of people around us. For instance, the same people visiting the same church or the mosques tend to possess personality traits acquired from the environment they frequent. In addition, memory and previous experience shape the personal constructs that could contribute to an individual’s personality. This is because memories give a thread of continuity to life. Accordingly, the combination of personal constructs used in describing an individual and the responses to different situation within the environment form a stable combination of personality constructs. Personality constructs convey the consistency in an individual character and, ultimately, their personality.

Stereotyping can occur in some of the personality adjectives that are influenced by biological factors. For example, men are more energetic compared to the ladies because of their biological capability and development.  In addition, people can be encouraged to develop a rich and complex set of personal constructs through counseling. It is only after counseling and behavioral realignment that people can possess and maintain more sustainable traits. Exposing individuals to different environmental factors can strengthen their personalities. This is because they will retain the personal constructs that are consistent over the changing environments and time.

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