Personality: consistent enduring patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that characterize one as an individual. (Hockenbury, 527) The pattern of behaviors and ways of thinking that characterize a person. (Floyd, 86) An individual’s way of thinking, feeling, and acting based on the traits he or she possesses. (McCornack, 92)

There are several theories and schools of thought that try to understand how personality develops. Personality influences how a person behaves. There is a consistency and noticeable order to behavior. Personality can be seen in interactions with other people, relationships, thoughts, and emotions. While personality is a psychological concept, biological processes have a large influence and impact on it. (Kleinman, 175-176)

Personal Impressions: effects produced on the mind, conscious, or feelings. (Oxford) Ideas about who people are and how we feel about them. For instance, when Sarah and Georgia met, Georgia thought Sarah’s quietness meant that Sarah was unfriendly and conceited. (McCornack, 95) (Often), a general sense of a person that is either positive or negative. (McCornack, 97)

Halo Effect: a tendency to interpret anything another person says or does in a favorable light because you have a positive Gestalt of that person. (McCornack, 99) (Also), a social phenomenon, that reputation or belief affect judgement. For example, we may regard people wearing (glasses) as especially intelligent. People distinguished in one field are often regarded as wise and learned in others. (OxfordMind)

Beautiful-Is-Good Effect: a tendency for physical attractiveness to create the perception of competency and intelligence. For example, a witness is viewed favorably and seems credible because she is good-looking. (McCornack, 330) Research has shown that we think attractive people are friendlier, more competent, and more socially skilled than less attractive people. (Floyd, 232)

Horn Effect: a tendency to interpret anything another person says or does in a negative light because you have a negative Gestalt of that person. (McCornack, 99)

Misunderstanding: confusion resulting from the misperception of another’s thoughts, feelings, or beliefs as expressed in the other individual’s verbal communication. (McCornack, 207)

Perception Checking: a five-step process to test your impressions of others and to avoid errors in judgment. It involves checking your punctuation, knowledge, attributions, perceptual influences, and impressions. (McCornack, 105)

Personality Traits: predispositions to behave or react in certain ways. Relatively stable - consistent over time and across situations. (Individuals) can modify how they display their personality traits. Personality traits reflect different dimensions of one’s personality. (Hockenbury, 527) Personal beliefs about different types of personalities and the ways in which traits cluster together. For instance, Bradley assumes that Will is a disorganized procrastinator because of Will’s casual, friendly manner. (McCornack, 95)

Source Traits: the most fundamental dimensions of personality; the broad, basic traits that are hypothesized to be universal and relatively few in number. (Hockenbury, 419) The ‘Big Five’ model (of personality traits) claims that the basis of personality comes from the interaction of five main traits. (Kleinman, 179) 

Agreeableness: the level of an individual’s friendliness, affection, trust, and positive social behavior. (Kleinman, 179)

Extroversion: the level of an individual’s sociability. (Kleinman, 179) Personality type that turns its attention toward the outside world. (Hockenbury, 408) Focuses energy primarily toward the external world and other people. (Collin, 340) Outgoing and talkative. Included as one of the four ‘superfactors’ in Hans Eysenck’s model of personality. He claimed that extroverts are chronically under-aroused and bored. (Collin, 319)

Introversion: personality type that focuses attention inward. (Hockenbury, 408) Focuses energy primarily toward (an individual’s) own internal thoughts and feelings. (Collin, 342) Shy and quiet. Included as one of the four ‘superfactors’ in Hans Eysenck’s model of personality. He claimed that introverts are chronically over-aroused and jittery. (Collin, 319)

Openness: the level of an individual’s “imagination,” “creativity,” and range of interest. (Kleinman, 179)

Neuroticism: the level of an individual’s emotional stability. Relates to one’s propensity to get emotional or become upset. (Contrasts to) emotional stability … one’s propensity to stay emotionally constant. (Kleinman, 179)

Surface Traits: personality characteristics or attributes that can easily be inferred from observable behavior. (Hockenbury, 419)

Type A Personality: hard-driving, competitive, easily-angered and time conscious. Predisposed to heart disease. (Bamford, 10/28/10) Editor's note - developed by R.H. Rosenman and Meyer Friedman. 

Type B Personality: laid back, slow to anger, and relaxed. (Bamford, 10/28/10)

Trait Theory: a theory of personality that focuses on identifying, describing, and measuring individual differences in behavioral predispositions. Focuses primarily on describing individual differences. (Hockenbury, 418-419) Suggests personality is unique to an individual and made up of a combination of characteristics responsible for making a person behave in a particular way. The characteristics are known as 'traits' (Kleinman, 176)