Personality refers to the collective traits of an individual that distinguishes one from another. Each individual has a distinct personality and hence, it becomes an identity of that person. According to Gordon Allport, personality is defined as “the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his characteristic behavior and thought” (Chapter 8, slide 6). Our personality determines the kind of behavior we are most likely to display. For example, you may perceive me as an arrogant person just because I do not have a big circle of friends. On the contrary, I am a self-centered person and avoid seeking attention in public. So, the behavior we display in public becomes an identity for our personality even if it is incorrect.
Our behavior and personality are highly influenced from the environment we live in. In general, we classify others in various ways like boring, brave, happy and friendly; these are all personality traits and they influence the kind of behavior someone displays more often to you. Usually, we tend to generalize the personality of an individual based on any particular trait even if it is incorrect.
Albert Bandura, a well-known behavioral psychologist created the Social Learning Theory. Bandura believes that individuals have the ability to learn by observing the behavior of others. Bandura’s concept of reciprocal determinism states that the behavior of a person is not merely influenced by the environment, rather, the environment, behavior and the person are interlinked with each other (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Each factor has an influence on the other, so the environment influences the development of the people that in turn affect the environment.
Julian Rotter used Bandura’s concept to develop the term “locus of control” to describe the relationship of an individual with the personality (Rotter, 2011). “A locus of control orientation is a belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do (internal locus orientation) or on events outside our personal control (external locus orientation)” (Tobias & MacDonald, 1977). I used the locus of control theory developed by Julian Rotter to identify my own personality.
SUMMARY OF MY PERSONALITY
First of all, I am a highly determined person and do not believe in the existence of the word “impossible”. Sometimes, it is the effort and other times it is the attitude of a person that defines how we lead our lives. I strongly believe that we are responsible for whatever happens in our life; there is nothing like chance or luck, rather if one strives hard, then success is the only outcome in life. I work hard to achieve my goals and base success upon dedication and preparation; for example, without investing time, money, effort, and hard work, there is no chance that a student would pass an exam. I believe that people tend to get what they deserve in life so there is no point in blaming others for your failure.
I had been putting on a lot of weight and never been really concerned about what others said but when I realized that I was pushing myself to death, I was shocked. It seemed almost impossible to re-gain a healthy and fit life but I sought my personal goals and chose to remain dedicated until I succeed. Until and unless I worked hard, there was no chance that I reduced my weight; I had to skip meals and plan for my own lifestyle as it was my personal concern. I did not care what others were eating or I had a boring routine as compared to others because in the end, I had to achieve my result and this was more important.
I am a reserved and self-centered person with a small circle of friends; in other words, I am an introvert. I don’t believe in luck and also do not depend on others for my success; my life consists of specific events that have been triggered due to many factors that I have put in like my time, money, efforts etc. Though I listen to others and always evaluate the content of opinion, I do not focus on the person who holds this opinion. The status of the opinion-holder does not matter to me; in fact, if I find the content valid and reliable, then only I give it some significance or else I simply filter it out of my mind. I have always been a quiet person, but this is because I have complete control over me.
Usually, when I make decisions, I weigh my personal costs and benefits to identify what ought to be the decision. My main motivator is my personal concern in any case, rather than the objective facts. Of course, the situation also matters, but I base my decisions completely on my knowledge, concern, and intuition. I am highly skeptical when making an early decision and take my time to make a decision; how is it even possible to consider all the possible outcomes when an early decision is made and so I tend to take into consideration all aspects. Another very important aspect of my personality is that I exert full control by planning, organizing and evaluating.
Most of the theorists agree that traits can easily describe the personality but there is a dispute on the number of basic traits that complete the personality of humans. Rotter has used several traits to discuss his theory, locus of control. Locus of control is further divided into two segments, the internal locus of control and external locus of control. Considering all the different traits of my personality, I believe I fall under the category of people who have internal locus of control of personality. Locus of control in psychology refers to the extent upon which we can control the events that affect us. Internal control means that we have more control internally over the events of life while having the external control means that more control resides with the external forces (Blenner, 1980).
There are people with external locus of control who follow others and blame the external forces for failures; they feel powerless and blame fate (Blenner, 1980). These people are outgoing and have a bigger circle of friends and they do not have their own opinion rather, they base their decision on the opinion of others. The extroverts and all those who have an external locus of control are usually influenced by the status and position of the others (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). As I believe in my efforts and determination, I have an internal locus of control; I do not believe in luck and chances. If we fail it is only because we have been unable to put in the required efforts. I control my life and make all the things happen in my life; a failure results when I am unable to focus on achieving my goal completely or lack in efforts.
So, from the perspective of Julian Rotter, I possess a personality with a completely internal locus of control. I don’t make judgments, exert full control over my decisions; I am an introvert who would prefer spending some quality time alone thinking on how to make efforts to be successful. And, I would never give credit to others for my efforts, though at times, I would use certain information, but not until I have evaluated the reliability of the data. According to Rotter, people who have an external locus of control believe that events are beyond their personal control and hence, they are easily stressed (Chapter 7, slide 18). But, people like me are well aware that there is nothing to stress about as we can improve our situation by trying actively.
Blenner, J. (1980). An investigation of the relationship of internal-external locus of control and need achievement (1st Ed.).
Engler, B. (1999). Personality theories (1st Ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). Personality Classic Theories and Modern Research (Fifth Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.
Rotter, J. (2011). Rotter Internal-External Locus of Control Scale. 28 MEASURES OF LOCUS OF CONTROL, 10.
Tobias, L., & MacDonald, M. (1977). Internal locus of control and weight loss: An insufficient condition. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 45(4), 647.