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A Really Big Picture of Personality



How do you describe personality? One way is to begin with a picture of where personality is in relation to its neighboring systems. For example, a biopsychosocial model is often used to position personality between a lower-level brain and higher-level social groups. A more complete model, however, would also distinguish what is inside personality from what is outside of it. An enlarged model that accomplishes that goal is presented. After personality is positioned, models that focus on the system’s inner function can be used to complete the picture. One such model, called the systems set, divides personality into such key areas as energy development and knowledge guidance. Both the positional and functional models are illustrated with examples from the life of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Using such models is one way to provide an organized description of a person.

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