The paper presents the results of a research survey focused on the identification of qualities that, from the perspective of university students, should poses a mature personality. Based on the analysis of the research data, the basic classification of the mature personality features is elaborated. Part of the paper is a comparison of the obtained data with Cloninger's seven-factor personality model. On the basis of the acquired data, it is possible to plan and think out an educationally focused methodology leading to the all-round development of the personality.
At first it is necessary to clarify the concept of personality itself. A lot of experts points to the existence of many definitions. For example, in the pedagogical and psychological dictionary it is stated that the concept of personality began to be officially used in psychology at the beginning of the 20th century; before that the term soul was widely used. One of the definitions states: "Personality is a hypothetical construct that is defined by general terms and is applied to a particular person" (Křováčková, Skutil et al., 2014, p. 68). There are more than eighty similar definitions. Allport tried to select the elements that match and are highlighted in all of them. The first characteristic point of the personality is the complexity that represents the synthesis of thought, feeling and acting. The following element is an integration that allows a person to get engaged in society and adapt to the current environment. This is related to the other personality trait which is the ability to adapt. It is universally accepted that every personality it is unique. Every person differs from the other, more or less, which is a very important indicator of personality. With uniqueness is connected the essence of an individual and it defines what is most typical for a person. Personality is generally understood as a prominent person, e.g. a scientist, actor, athlete. From the psychological and pedagogical point of view, however, the personality is "every person as an integrated and integrative, organized and organizing biopsychosocial unit with all relatively stable individual characteristics (constitutional, expressive, character, temperamental and intellectual)" (Křováčková, Skutil akol. 2014,p.69 ).
We can talk about the personality and its development only from the age of three when the child is able to refer to itself as "me". The concept "me" was dealt with by Cakirpaloglu, who considers it (like many other scientists) to be the main component of each person's personality, used to express consciousness of our existence and uniqueness in relation to the surrounding world. "Me" is a very essential component of our psyche. It affects not only our inner life, as it represents a set of characteristics of a given person, but also our life in a society that is affected by the mentioned characteristics. The development and nature of "me" can be different for each person, depending primarily on the age and individual stage of development. The term "me" is an indicator of one's own uniqueness that develops with "me" side by side. In pre-school age, uniqueness is characterized and understood in relation to external indicators, such as height or weight. Later, at about the age of nine, the character of uniqueness shifts into abilities and activities, such as the various hobbies of the individual. In early adolescence, attention is paid to relationships when one can be characterized, for example, by the level of friendliness. Moral characteristics as an indicator of uniqueness come in late adolescence (Cakirpaloglu, 2012).
Říčan (2010) dealt in his publication both, with the development of “me" and the uniqueness, and with the development of the whole personality. He first focused on biological maturation, which contributes to the formation of personality. "The maturation of the nervous system, including the brain, is a genetically programmed development process". For each person, this development is individual. Maturation can be influenced by education and learning, but according to the author only a small scale. At the same time, he says that psychic development without learning is unthinkable. It only depends on whether the individual is influenced positively or negatively by learning and education. Unfortunately, both options are possible. Also Zikmund Freud focused on the development, and above all on psychosexual development. Among many other scientists in this field we can name Erik Erikson, who wrote the theory of "eight stages of psychological development", Karl Jung, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Jean Piaget, etc. (Říčan, 2010).
Human personality is a much studied topic in both psychology and pedagogy, yet we are still experiencing new questions and discovering new peculiarities, which only proves the uniqueness of every individual's personality.
Classification of maturity of the personality with subsequent development of key characteristics in upbringing.
How do the respondents reflect a mature person? What characteristics should a mature person possess?
Purpose of the Study
The aim of the research is to find out what characteristics should have a mature person from the perspective of the university students; what characteristics are typical, and to compare the results of the research with the Cloninger´s seven-factor personality model.
The assumption was that students would put emphasis on self-sufficiency, serenity, openness, honesty, responsibility and honesty. Another assumption was that all the stated characteristics will be considered by the respondents to be more or less important in terms of maturity of the personality.Please replace this text with context of your paper.
A questionnaire consisting of four basic items was used to examine the views on the characteristics that characterize the mature personality. The first three questions provide basic information on respondents - gender, age and study or employment. The fourth item is extensive and forms the core of the whole questionnaire. 54 characteristics were presented to the respondents, whose task was by using a five-point scale to identify the extent to which is the characteristic feature typical for the mature personality. 0 meant the smallest importance while 5 indicated most important characteristics. The research group included a total of 218 respondents aged 20-49.
By the analyses of the research results, it was found out that the most important characteristics typical for the mature personality are mainly responsibility, politeness, self-sufficiency, serenity, determination and emotional stability. Other positions in the scale include fairness, honesty, tolerance, loyalty, self-esteem, conscientiousness, and receptiveness. For the sake of clarity, the first fifteen items are listed in Table
Research shows that most of the personality features that have been listed are considered by the respondents more or less important to a mature personality. So we can say that the individuality of each person is specific. Although mature personality can be seen differently, the basic aspects are the same or similar for most respondents. A mature individual should be primarily responsible for his or her behaviour, manors, and actions. At the same time a mature person should be polite, which corresponds to courtesy and social behaviour. Maturity of personality is further characterized by self-sufficiency in all respects. Very important is also the level of serenity, which is followed by emotional stability and decisiveness. A mature person should act honestly, be just and tolerant. Among the top ten most important characteristics was included loyalty, which is according to psychologists also a sign of maturity.
The comparison of the acquired data with the Cloninger's seven-factor personality model
Cloninger has developed a personality model that we can characterize as psychobiological. As the name suggests, the personality is, according to the author, composed of two basic components. The first component is temperament, which represents the hereditary characteristics of the personality. The second component is a character that represents reflection and interaction with the outside world, society.
Temperament is further divided into four dimensions to which we assign the individual characteristics used in the questionnaire. We will attempt to interpret the importance of individual characteristics from the point of view of the respondents and thus determine which dimension, according to respondents, is the most important indicator of a mature personality.
The first dimension is a new search for the following personality attributes: fearlessness, vigour, optimism, curiosity, creativity, communicativeness, practicality, independence and self-sufficiency. As less important indicators of mature personality, the respondents designate the fearlessness 3.25, vigour 3.25, optimism 3.37, curiosity 3.20 and creativity 3.18. While some of these characteristics are considered to be important, a small number of respondents (17) see them as very important. Somewhat more prestige has communicativeness and practicality. The most valued are independence (3.92) and self-sufficiency (4.42), which is even second in rank order.
Avoiding danger is the name of the second dimension for which tolerance is characteristic - at respondents the average factor on the scale 3.77, self-confidence 4.02, frugality 3.49 and adaptability 3.90. All of these personality traits are understood by respondents as important. However, it has to be said that these characteristics must be used in a reasonable and assertive manner, an exaggerated extent may be a negative feature (e.g. excessive frugality can lead to greed).
The third dimension was defined by the author as a dependency on reward, to which goodness, sincerity, receptivity, truthfulness, conscientiousness and scrupulosity can be attributed. All the characteristics of the given dimension were evaluated as important or very important. It should be noted that attributes related to reward dependence would not be connected with material reward in a positive sense but with a mental reward such as a good feeling or a sense of luck when helping others. Otherwise, the individual may look like a superficial materialist and cannot be considered a mature personality.
The last dimension in the field of temperament is resistance. The following features of the personality are typical: decisiveness, pride, purposefulness, principality, discipline, diligence, tidiness and ambition. In this category, the decisiveness (4.36) is the most important for the respondents, which they consider to be very significant. The following is the purposefulness (4.08), the diligence (3.97), the discipline (3.83) and the principality (3.75), which are considered important to very important. On the contrary, tidiness and pride are considered to be less important, and according to the respondents, are not the indicators of the personality maturity.
A proud person here is probably conceived as proud and smug, not compromising. Appropriate pride and self-esteem can definitely be positively assessed.
Cloninger divided character into three parts. The first component is self-control, which includes qualities such as conscientiousness, responsibility, self-esteem, politeness and tactfulness. All of the mentioned characteristics are appreciated by the respondents; they consider them to be very important for a mature personality. The most important is responsibility (4.56), which 156 respondents consider as very important.
Collaboration is the second component of a character, we can include sensitivity, openness, altruism, empathy, peacefulness, friendliness, tolerance, kindness, dedication, willingness to help and generosity here. These characteristics can be divided into three groups according to their importance. The first group consists of tolerance (4.25), empathy (4.07), and willingness to help (4.04) that respondents consider very important. The second group includes peacefulness, friendliness, kindness, dedication, and sensitivity that respondents have identified as important, ranging from 3.86 to 3.38 on the scale. The last group includes generosity (3.30), openness (3.18) and altruism (3.07), these are characteristics understood by the respondents as rather important. Sensitivity could be compared with empathy as well as openness with friendliness, similarity of terms was given intentionally to increase the validity of the questionnaire. This is why the results are interesting.
The last third component is self-transcendence, which includes serenity, wisdom, justice, loyalty, emotional stability, honesty and gratitude. Wisdom (3.89) and gratitude (3.70) are referred to as important characteristics of mature personality. Much higher ratings then have the other mentioned characteristics, which are considered to be very important, always from the point of view of more than a hundred respondents. Specifically, serenity 4.37, emotional stability 4.35, fairness 4.33, honesty 4.28 and loyalty 4.25.
From the analysis and comparison of the results with the Cloninger model we can state that, according to the respondents and from the point of view of personality maturity, the most essential are the characteristics that are not innate, so character qualities. However, temperament and biological properties are also important. From the above we can deduce that both the character and the temperament are of great importance for the personality formation. The two components are mutually influenced and complemented in the mature individual.
The first rated quality was flexibility, which was assessed by the third and fourth point on a scale; the two options were selected by142 respondents. Three respondents did not consider flexibility as a characteristic of a mature personality, though. Similarly, the sensitivity, which was an important indicator for 149 respondents, seemed to be unimportant for three respondents. In the same way were rated fearlessness and vigour. 120 respondents awarded decisiveness by the fifth point on the scale and 73 respondents evaluated this quality by the fourth point. Only two respondents believe that decisiveness cannot be considered as an indicator of a mature personality. The ability of openness as well as optimism were most often evaluated by point three, which means that respondents take these qualities as of medium importance. Altruism is moderately important for most respondents, while 7 people do not consider it an important indicator of mature personality at all.
As a very important characteristic was considered the deliberation, which was identified by 98 respondents by the fifth point and another 111 respondents inclined to award it by point three or four (medium to higher importance). The serenity was marked by 132 respondents as a very important characteristic of a mature personality. Although four people do not take it important at all, we can generally see it as one of the main components of a mature personality. A similar number of respondents considered as a very important quality politeness (136) and self-sufficiency (131). Indeed, all respondents believe that politeness is important in some way, no one zeroed it out, which was a unique case. The most important out of all characteristics is the responsibility that is considered to be a great indicator of the mature personality by 156 respondents, see Fig.
For a large number of respondents, empathy and sensitivity tolerance, honesty, self-sufficiency and self-esteem are important as well. Great value obtained truthfulness, willingness to help, tactfulness or loyalty. The least important characteristic of a mature personality is for most respondents popularity, tidiness, pride and curiosity.
The maturity of characteristics which identify the mature personality is very important aspect which plays vital role in planning and preparing methodology and activities with the use of the didactic aspects of upbringing, thus leading to the all-round development of personality. The priority aim is to support the attributes that form the basic stones of a mature personality.
This research has been partially supported by the Project SV č. 2103/2017.
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16 October 2017
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Education, educational psychology, counselling psychology
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Svarcova, E. (2017). Maturity Of Personality From The University Students’ Perspective. In Z. Bekirogullari, M. Y. Minas, & R. X. Thambusamy (Eds.), ICEEPSY 2017: Education and Educational Psychology, vol 31. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 472-478). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.10.45