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Personality has a significant influence with a persons thoughts actions motivations emotions and interpersonal relations It is a generalised term to describe the many different characteristics or traits people have that make up what is a persons personality Peterson 1997 defines personality as psychological characteristics of an individual that are general enduring distinctive integrated and functional Peterson 1997 p440 One of the most influential trait theorists has been Hans Eysenck Ryckman 1993 cites Eysencks definition of personality as a more or less stable and enduring organisation of a persons character Temperament intellect and physique which determines his unique adjustment to the environment Ryckman 1993 p278 His theory of personality has gained global acceptance and is regarded as one of the major systems by which human personality is assessed Eysenck believed that the basis of personality involves genetics physiology and environment Shackleton 1984 explains this association as follows Individuals inherit a particular type of nervous system that predisposes them in one direction or another the final shape of the personality being determined by the interaction between the persons biological predisposition and the environmental conditions encountered In the case of extraversion-introversion the position of an individual rests in the first instance on the balance between excitation and inhibition processes within the central nervous system Shackleton 1984 p50 Pervin 1975 defines traits as observed statistical relationships among pieces of behaviour Pervin 1975 p51 There are an enormous number of traits to personality but Eysenck categorised them into three basic dimensions Introversion - extraversion the degree to which a person is withdrawn or open neuroticism the extent to which people control their feelings and psychoticism the degree to which one is insensitive or detached Eysencks factor theory of personality which assumes three basic dimensions extraversion - introversion neuroticism and psychoticism Reber 1995 p274 Extraverts are seen as optimistic impulsive and dynamic people Introverts as shy quiet or unsociable in their behaviour Pervin 1975 described extraversion and introversion as distinguishing
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