Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness

Disorders of Personality

How do we define personality?

While there are multiple approaches to the study of personality, we can provide a general definition by stating that an individual’s personality involves stable patterns of perceiving and interacting with the environment, including the person’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses. This includes the individual’s self-perception, as well as their typical mode of relating to other people. Personality is largely established by late adolescence or early adulthood. It is conservative and difficult to change. Nonetheless, personality is not entirely fixed and there is possibility for change throughout adulthood.


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