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Personality and Social Behavior

  • By: Laura A. Brannon & Valerie K. Pilling
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definitions

Personality is an individual's typical way of feeling, thinking, and acting. Given that personality is typical, it is fairly stable over time. Social behavior refers to a person's feelings, thoughts, or actions as he or she relates to other people. These two definitions have a very close relationship. Knowing something about an individual's personality should allow psychologists to predict his or her social behavior. Similarly, knowing about a person's social behavior should give clues to aspects of his or her personality. In other words, an individual's personality and social behavior influence each other, and knowledge of one allows the inference of information about the other.

History and Background

People tend to describe others in terms of personality characteristics. Almost 20,000 English words can be used to describe ...

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