Behavioural Analysis of Personality

PsychologyPersonality Psychology

Imagine you are passing by a store and observing your new classmate, who recently enrolled in your school. He is helping out an older adult to pass the road. What thought would come into mind: He has a kind personality. In this way, by observing an individual's behavior, you try to understand their nature. Analysing someone’s personality based on his behaviours is another dimension of personality observation.

What is the Meaning of Behavioral Analysis?

Observing someone's act, response, reaction, and overall behavior and then accessing the personality is the part of behavioral analysis. It is based on the principle of behaviourism, which is a branch of psychology. It focuses on the study of individuals' behaviours, which is the result of conditioning process. According to this concept, reinforcement and punishment can be used to shape individuals' behavior.

Here, the behavior, which is observable in different kinds of situations, becomes the key element. There are various ways to make inferences about one's personality through behavior.

  • Interview
  • Observation
  • Behavioral ratings
  • Nomination
  • Situational tests

Let's discuss each one of them separately.


Interview

An interview refers to one–on–one conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee. The goal is to obtain in-depth- information about the person.

There are three types of interviews.

  • In the unstructured interview, the interviewer provides little direction and probes the patient to take the lead and speak freely about what they choose. It may include open or projective questions posed by the interviewer, followed by the person's responses. It focuses on non-directive listening skills instead of questions or other directive interviewing approaches.

  • In a semi-structured interview, the interviewer develops a predetermined set of questions followed by either unplanned or free responses. It can come in many forms depending on the purpose. Although there is a structure, it provides a space for flexibility in how the interview is conducted.

  • The structured interview is a tightly managed process where the clinician uses a systematic set of predetermined questions. There is no opportunity for unplanned or spontaneous questions.

The interview method can take any form and structure depending on its usage and the age span for which it is being used. It is one of the important tools in research and practice.

The interview method can take any form and structure depending on its usage and the age span for which it is being used. It is one of the important tools in research and practice.

Observation

Observation is the most commonly used method to assess personality. It is a scientific tool for collecting data where researchers keep direct eyes on a particular person, event, or phenomenon. It requires rigorous training to get efficient information about the individual.

Following are some of the important types of observations:

  • Structured observation: A careful observation done by following a standardized procedure. The observer prepares the points beforehand on which the observation has to be made.

  • Participant observation: Observation is done by being an active group member.

  • Controlled observation: Observation is done with the help of mechanical equipment based on accuracy and standardization, etc.

This method is advantageous, but at the same time, it is expensive and time-consuming.

Behavior Ratings

Apart from the ways mentioned above, another form of understanding personality is by seeking information from the informants. Nomination is one of the ways through which each member nominates a certain number of group members on a particular trait of personality—for example, checking the names of emotionally stable, agreeable, extroverted people, etc.

It is a simple assessment where the rater rates members from their point of view. Data obtained can be compared with self-ratings, making it more reliable and valid. But, at the same time, it is influenced by the number of members in a group. The ideal number is considered 10. It is not a useful tool in clinical settings but a research tool that could help create better clinical tools.

Nomination

Apart from above-mentioned ways, there is another way of understanding personality by seeking the information from the informants. Nomination is one of the ways through which each member nominates a certain number of group members on a particular trait of personality. For example, checking the names of people who are emotionally stable, agreeable, extrovert, etc.

It is a simple assessment where the rater rates members from their point of view. Data obtained can be compared with self-ratings, making it more reliable and valid. But, at the same time, it is influenced by number of members in a group. The ideal number is considered 10. It is not regarded as useful tool in clinical settings, but a research tool which could help in creating better clinical tools.

Situational Test

A situational test, sometimes known as a situational judgment test, employs different situations requiring a response. The situation component includes a simulated condition with a problem either in written or video format with few alternatives. It requires a response, either to pick one design, rank, or rate the effectiveness of the option. The major point is that the situation is constructed based on what trait is being measured, and the case reflects that.

It majorly includes two instructions—knowledge-based instruction, which asks "what should you do," reflecting maximum performance. The behavioral tendency instruction depicts typical performance on "what would you do."

You have got a notification for an assignment that has to be submitted another day. You have a party to attend the next day afternoon. What would you do?

  • Finish the assignment by staying up longer at night.

  • You will mention some points today and elaborate on them after the party ends.

An example is to assess the trait of self-discipline.


Conclusion

Each personality tool has its advantage and limitation. Based on experience and the situational determinants, the researcher or psychologist can choose one or use more than one method to assess personality. Behavioral analysis of personality provides information about a person's behavior in a natural environment, but is not limited to the bias of the evaluator and respondent.

References

raja
Updated on 13-Oct-2022 11:19:47

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