Personality style has been defined as "an individual's relatively consistent inclinations and preferences across contexts."Eriksen, Karen & Kress, Victoria E. (2005). A Developmental, Constructivist Model for Ethical Assessment (Which Includes Diagnosis, of Course). "Beyond the DSM Story: Ethical Quandries, Challenges, and Best Practices" . Thousand Oaks, CA: Page Publications. ISBN 0761930329]
Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of personal traits and patterns of
behavior. "Personality includes attitudes, modes of thought, feelings, impulses, strivings, actions, responses to opportunity and stress and everyday modes of interacting with others." Personality style is apparent "when these elements of personality are expressed in a characteristically repeated and dynamic combination." [Young, Gregory G. (1978). "Your personality and How to Live with It". New York: Atheneum/SMI. ISBN 0689109180]
According to Oldham and Morris, "Your personality style is your organizing principle. It propels you on your life path. It represents the orderly arrangement of all your attributes, thoughts, feelings, attitudes, behaviors, and coping mechanisms. It is the distinctive pattern of your
psychologicalfunctioning—the way you think, feel, and behave—that makes you definitely you."Oldham, John M. & Morris, Lois B. (1995). "The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love and Act the Way You Do". New York: Bantam. ISBN 0553373935]
The origin of personality style is in some combination of
genetic inheritanceand environmental influence.
Personality style is usually represented dimensionally, as with the
Big Five personality traits, or as a classification of type, as with the Holland Codes.
"Personality styles should be recognized as constructed approximations of human experience" and should be arrayed on a continuum rather than be reifed or totalized. One should be vigilant to deconstruct the uses of personality style in favor of an ongoing reflexivity about the use and misuse of such labels.
McAuliffe, Eriksen and Kress contrast personality style theory with
stage theory. Style "represents long-term constructive preferences whereas stage represents current constructive capacity." Also, "style is relatively long-term and consistent over time, whereas stage tendencies are mutable..."
Personality style assessment can help individuals and practitioners appreciate human diversity, or, in the words of
Isabel Briggs Myers, respect "gifts differing".
"The range of normal variation in styles can explain much human behavior without reference to notions of pathology."
Personality disorderscan be reconceptualized as being on a continuum, with one end being a more adaptive inclination. And style assessment can also compliment the search for personality disorder.
Specific personality style theories that might be useful include Costa and McCrae's NEO PI-R personality inventory, Holland's person-environment matching theory, [Holland, John. L. (1985). "Making Vocational Choices: A Theory of Vocational Personalities and Work Environments". Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0911907270] Isabel Briggs Myers' personality type theory, [Myers, Isabel Briggs (1980); "Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type". Davies-Black Publishing; Reprint edition (May 1, 1995). ISBN 0-89106-074-X] Oldham and Morris' derivation of personality styles from DSM personality disorders, and Ivey's reconceptualization of the DSM personality disorders as a continuum of personality styles. [Ivey, Allen E., Ivey, Mary B., & Simek-Morgan, Lynn. (1997). "Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Multi-cultural Perspective". Boston: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 0205198902]
* [https://www.mhs.com/ecom/(2rcb0dj4cnsmpuuswsi5bxny)/product.aspx?RptGrpID=PSP Personality Self Portrait (PSP): John M. Oldham, M.D. & Lois B. Morris]
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