Measuring Personality in Childhood

Published: 2017-11-29 10:43:47
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Personality is defined as the systematic characteristics of feelings, thought, and behavior that makes an individual unique. Personality makes a person to express their real identities in the society. Raymond (1950) defines personality as the prediction of what a person will do in a given situation. The fundamental of personality has the following components; consistency. It is the trait that requires individual behaviors the same way when subjected to a different environment with a similar problem. For instance, a person will not change his opinion due to persuasion but will be guided by the fact of reasoning and not just a mere feeling and emotions. Personality is both psychological and physiological in that personality has psychological construct and it is influenced by biological needs and processes. It also impacts on behaviors and actions. Personality influences how people behave in certain situations. In addition, it can be seen on peoples' feeling, thoughts, and relationship. In childhood, personality is measured in terms of psychometrics and personality assessments. For example, children can be subjected to a language test to see how they can interpret and read letters.

Measuring personality is critical to the child development as it ensures that there are correct groupings which make children get the best from their childhood education. At childhood Level, the personality will help measure the cognitive abilities of children, emotions and character traits. It is at this level that teachers can enrich the children' experiences that lead to a complete children development. According to Duarte (2013), personality plays a critical role in shaping the character of children. It is at this level that children learn values, conduct norms that are accepted by the human capacities and be able to express themselves in a singular manner before the world. This research will assist the policy makers to formulate the early childhood education that values personal traits of children and to develop an appropriate curriculum for the children.

Previous research on the structure of personality in childhood was done by Shiner & Caspi (2013) it was found that personality in children was still in the early stage of development. On their study, they employed a group of 1557 twins to explain the hierarchical structure of personality in children and provide connections to investigate the rationale of measuring the personality in children. The study found that there was a higher order of personality in middle childhood that maps the previous finding on adults’ populations.Eysenk (2013) proposed a theory which classified personality in children in four main categories: introverted -neurotic, introverted –stable, extraverted- neurotic and extraverted -stable. These theories explain that traits are used to explain behavior and predict an outcome. The diagram below summarizes the theories of Eysenck where he found that personality is a function of traits and environment. For instance, extroverts were found to be people who are sociable and can become bored easily. Such people are carefree, impulsive and optimists. Introverts, on the other hand, were found to be people who are reserved, control their emotions and plan their actions adequately. Neurotics are those who are unstable and they are difficult to calm once they are upset. Such people were found to be moody and emotional. Stable individuals are those who are calm and are not worried.

According Eysenck (2013) personality is also a function of the excitations and inhibition processes of the nervous system. Cattell (1965) disagreed with Eysenck's view and argued that personality of an individual cannot be viewed in only a two dimension but should be examined in wider perspectives. Cattell collected data from life recorded data such as absence from work and children performance in school. The researcher will also collect data from the questionnaire designed to rate individual personality. The data were analyzed using factor analysis to found out which type of personality was grouped together with the same people. The chart below shows the results obtained.

According to Cattell’s theory of personality, the behaviors of individuals are dependent on various factors that make them respond differently. For example, in tension situations, individuals can be relaxed, cool or be stressed or unsatisfied. These factors can reveal the individual personality and can be used to shape the character traits of children for future development. Adorno(2012) argues that prejudice is as a result of authoritarian personality type.The study revealed that individuals with very strict upbringing by harsh and critical parents were most likely to develop an authoritarian personality.

From the reviewed literature, personality is critical in determining the behavior of children especially in early stages of life.The research of personality in children was done majorly by experiments where conclusions were made.This research will deviate from experimentation but will focus on the daily activities of children as a way of establishing their personality.It is the childhood where men and women develop and therefore measuring of personality at early childhood is critical for the development of free society. 

The methodology is a process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting the findings of the study.This study will focus on the objective approach where children are put in certain conditions are their reactions observed.Under this approach besides observation, rating scales are also used.For example, if the researcher wanted to rate children on their sociability, a scale can be used to rate them such as below.

The study will start by data collection using the various instrument for the study.For example, in this study, the researcher will use personality traits for questionnaire and charts to rank their interests as observed.From the data collected, it will be coded and tested for normality which further analysis will be done.

Hypothesis statement

Null hypothesis: Measurement of personality in childhood is significant in a child development

Alternative hypothesis: Measurement of personality in childhood is not significant in a child development.

Based on the above hypothesis, the research study will use variables to either reject the null hypothesis or fail to reject the null hypothesis.A variable is defined as anything that has quality or quantity that varies.There are dependent variable and independent variables.The researcher is interested in the independent variable which is the measurement of personality in childhood.The independent variables are factors that affect the measurement of personality in childhood.Examples of independent variables are represented in the flowchart below.

Data collection and analysis

The data will be collected with use of a traits questionnaire and observation. The data collected will then be analyzed using excel to explain both descriptive and inferential statistics of the outcome. The analyzed data will be then interpreted to get the actual result of the study.

References

Cattell (1965). Personality assessment. New York, Wiley.

Duarte, S. & Morse S. (2013). Measuring sustainability: learning by doing. London, Earthscan Publications. 

Eysenck, H. J. (2013). Personality structure and measurement. Place of publication not identified], Routledge.

Raymond (1950). Measuring personality adjustment in children nine to thirteen years of age. New York, AMS Press.

Shiner & Caspi, P. J. (2013). IQ and personality tests. London, Kogan Page Ltd. 

sheldon

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