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What is the nature of personality?

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Quick Answer

Personality is the term given to the attributes people take on that are attributed to personal life experience. Personality traits heavily influence the way individuals interact with the world and increases or decreases their chance at success in life.

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One of the dominant theories of personality psychology is the existence of the Big Five personality traits. Live Science explains that the Big Five include openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. These traits are believed to cover most of the individual differences that determine an individual's personality, and they come into play inmost aspects of life. Openness describes how open an individual is to new experiences, while conscientiousness describes their awareness of how their actions affect others. Extraversion refers to the amount of energy an individual takes from social situations, and agreeableness refers to their willingness to make concessions for others. Finally, neuroticism refers to the individual quirks and disordered behavior patterns.

Princeton University's Department of Psychology describes the nature of personality as a set of factors that determine cognitions, motivations and behaviors. Personality stems from a Latin word meaning mask, reinforcing the perception of personality in modern psychology as a mask that individuals wear in their interactions with the world around them.

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