Topic 2 Personality traits

Definition: Personality is a set of traits and qualities that shape a person’s way of being and differentiate him or her from others.

Some personality traits are considered to be protective of mental health and to enhance emotional well-being: extraversion, cognitive flexibility, emotional stability. Hill & Argyle (2001) posit emotional stability as a major dimension of happiness.

Traits such as neuroticism (emotional instability), inflexibility, low frustration tolerance, perfectionism are considered risk factors for mental health. Persons high in neuroticism react to events with high levels of distress, anxiety, and worry, providing an explicit risk for various forms of psychopathology, particularly mood and anxiety disorders.

Although personality traits tend to be stable, all of us can train and work actively to potentiate some positive traits and make more flexible the negative ones.