(I really dislike that I cannot reply to my own posts—that’s why I encourage anyone who wants to ask a question directly related to one of my posts to go to my page and comment on it, as I have enabled disqus comments for quite some time now).
Anyhow, this is a response to user ask-disciple-kyouko who replied to my previous post with:
Basically, a personality disorder is any normal personality trait that is extreme to the point of compromising the person’s well-being or that of the people in their life, right?
I’m tempted to say yes, however, there is disagreement among researchers who study personality and personality disorders. The current and most dominant view of personality states that personality is made of three components, or levels:
The first level are dispositional traits. These are the traits we are born with. They tend to be consistent throughout our lifespans. Inventories can be used to discover a person’s dispositional traits, and, if the inventories are accurate, they can be used to predict a person’s behavior over a number of different situations. Again, we are born with these traits. They are the “outline” of our personality.
The second level are characteristic adaptations. Characteristic adaptations are the different ways we cope with situations depending on the situation. A person’s way of coping with stress as a young adult will be different from the way that same person copes with the same type of stress in later years in life—in other words, unlike dispositional traits which tend to stay the same over time, characteristic adaptations may change from situation to situation and time to time. Characteristic adaptations also include the person’s current goals and motivations. Simply put, characteristic adaptations are the person’s current goals and motivations for carrying out a behavior or acting a certain way.
The third level is life story. This is how a person brings together their past, present, and future to construct a sense of purpose in life. (We haven’t delve into this last level of personality in my personality psychology class yet, so I can’t describe it into much detail).
Just like a normal person’s personality is sketched by dispositional traits, so too can the personality of a person with a personality disorder. However, a personality disorder may also involve aspects of a person that go beyond traits, like characteristic adaptations for example. Again, the whole thing is a bit controversial and I am only an undergrad student trying to make sense of it all. This is as much as I know, unfortunately.
This information comes from my previously mentioned class textbook: The Person: An Introduction to the Science of Personality Psychology.
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- ask-disciple-kyouko said: Ah, I’m sorry for the inconvenience! I’m used to people having “missing e”, which enables you to reply to replies. Speaking of replies, thank you for going into such detail! This is pretty interesting!
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