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Will The Real You Please Stand Up Know thyself advised an inscription on the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi But what is it that you know when you know yourself How do you gain this knowledge and what should you do with it Such questions are at the core of personality psychology which explores both self-knowledge and knowledge of others Some personality psychologists compare everyday life to a play in which we put on different faces or play different roles for different audiences Matthews 195 In fact the word personality comes from the Latin root persona meaning mask Allen 45 The impression we make on othersor the mask we present to the worlddetermines how people feel about us Our everyday performances have a profound effect on our lives so it pays to understand how others see us But are the acts we put on for others an indication of who we really are Do our outward behaviors reflect our true personality A complete picture of personality includes a look at thoughts and feelings the unconscious genetics and society We form our impressions of people from the way they present themselves physical appearance dress speech style and mannerisms These first impressions are rough estimates based on broad general and often highly subjective traits We usually find others clearly good nice warm charming or bad mean arrogant nasty Research shows that we make these evaluations within minutessometimes even within secondsof meeting someone Lima 219 First impressions may be rough estimates but they determine whether someone will continue to interact with you First impressions in a job interview can determine whether you get the job First impressions at a social gathering can determine whether a potential romantic partner wants to see you again Self-presentation is no game The way we present ourselves over time creates our reputationthe way people perceive us Because self-presentation affects whether and how potential employers romantic partners and friends continue to
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