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 Trait based personality in situations

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Patrician Shilo

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PostSubject: Trait based personality in situations   Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:01 pm

TW:   Some abelistic and medical language in direct quotes and link.
Also mention of paranoia and a bit of unreality in the link




Of the responses I got, I noticed a lot of discussion and emphasis on the use of traits as a practical definition of personality. While this trait based system is not an ideal measurement for all neurotypes, it is very much one we use on a daily basis to describe how we react to the world around us on a fairly consistent basis.

"With the possible exception of intelligence, highly generalized behavioral consis­tencies have not been demonstrated, and the concept of personality traits as broad predispositions is thus untenable." (Mischel, 1968)

While trying to explore the inherent problems brought up both in our class and by peers, Mischel unintentionally began a 20 year debate on the legitimacy of using traits without context as a basis of personality. Although this quote was meant to address the issues of not viewing the traits of a person, both exhibited and cognitive, without taking context into account, like many things it was misinterpreted and the meaning others assigned to it was what really took off. No matter what became more important, the original criticism or it's interpretation as an argument that trade face personalities were ineffective, this comment and the book it comes from began the discussion over whether personalities were based more on situations or a person's overall disposition.

We all wear different masks and exhibit different traits depending upon the environment and expectations of people around us. For example, a person will typically display extremely different reactions when playing a video game, especially a violent game that relies on fighting then they would in a college classroom or at work. This shows how different traits can manifest themselves, or not, depending on the situation and what the environment calls for. Of course how this works will differ from person to person, and will be extremely influenced by every individual's neuro type.


How do you all feel about how these traits change from situation to situation? I know some of you have already mentioned that you display various sides of your personality depending on where you are and who you're around. It would be interesting to see how all people of all neurotypes interact differently with each other depending upon the spaces they are in and what is expected.

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Zomomalungbarrowtodonos

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PostSubject: Re: Trait based personality in situations   Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:38 am

As I've said before, my Borderline Personality Disorder makes it so that whole everyone shows different traits around different people but maintain their own sense of self, the different traits I show become my sense of self for however long I show them. They become who I am rather than just an outward layer of myself, and they closely mirror whomever I happen to be interacting with at the time. 

When I'm alone I feel decidedly empty; void of traits despite knowing they're there somewhere. This is why I spend so much time on social media; when I'm interacting with people online my personality can at least in part be obvious to me.

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PostSubject: Re: Trait based personality in situations   Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:01 am

About how traits change depending on the situation, I sort of get it but I don't like it? I don't like being unpredictable/unreliable even to myself. And I find it challenging to distinguish between the duplicitousness that modern urbanites structure to be a matter of survival if not common courtesy, versus duplicitousness that's actually bad.

It reminds me of being in a grade school classroom, and whenever our teacher would take a bathroom break, one of the students would become a designated lookout-for-our-teacher-coming-back while the other students jumped around and threw stuff, and talked even more loudly than they would usually be talking. I didn't understand why there called for such a change in behavior, but after I had changed schools a couple of times, grew a bit older, I met teachers who (in extracurricular interviews for a project) expected that sort of thing to happen and even took it as a given.

I guess that I am/was either extraordinarily repressed—or not repressed enough to construct a healthy persona, which I understand to be a boundary between what a person performs and what a person internalizes, and that most people intuitively develop this. So most of my classmates would behave as "the obedient student" in the presence of a strict and scary teacher, and then behave as "the wild child" when it was just them and other kids (even in a habitat built for obedient students—especially because of that, even, because I found that teachers who conducted classes far more casually could just go take a bathroom break without flipping a switch on all known society. Replace all desks with throw pillows!)

I have tried to make my performance a reflection/extension/whatever of myself, such as...

(Religious oppression, substance addiction, family abuse, misrepresentation of mental illness description below.)

...after our parent passed away, my sibling developed a destructive substance abuse habit, and then (I believe) tried to keep me quiet about how destructive it was by demanding that I attend church service. (My sibling was Christian, and had developed ties in that community; I was not, so it would be validating to my sibling's bad behavior if I put myself in a space where my sibling would be considered flawed but holy but where I would be considered a selfish troublemaker rather than a victim of violent abuse.)

And I went along with it, because I gave the perilous benefit of the doubt that a win like that was what my sibling needed, and if I followed through then we'd be all right with each other again, like when we were kids. It wasn't physically difficult for me to sit in a place where someone was talking in general about this doctrine, that parable, or another. I could smile and nod at parishioners who would try to hook me up with their troubled kids who had also been misguided like I was about mental illness when it was really demons that needed to be loved away and then the sufferer would return to normal.

But eventually I grew to feel like my insides had turned into lifeless lint and ash, and my sibling's home behavior (rather than church behavior) worsened, with financial dishonesty of joint resources. So, I hope that means that I do have a personality that, against all conditioning and benefits, couldn't keep playing into that. Wouldn't, too, of course, but it felt more like the power of Nope had compelled me to run away from home when I had no skills or plan—So, that might have been my instinctive self, but I can't honestly say that we're well-acquainted.

(End of content warning.)

Life and relationships have proved too dynamic for me to confidently provide a promise of consistent personal description, as there were very situational acts that I (look back on and believe that I) couldn't help doing, but can't predict repeating.

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Patrician Shilo

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PostSubject: Re: Trait based personality in situations   Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:19 pm

I have greatly enjoyed reading your responses. It is always good to child status quo, and it is even better when neurodivergent people are involved in conversations about things like personality that directly impact them.

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