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Holistic Personality Model


This is my model for how we could theoretically interpret personality as a whole.


The primary idea is that there are four primary and categorically distinct areas of personality and that different tests attempt to measure different aspects of our personality.


It starts from the bottom and moves up in terms of what is "core" to the personality. The first layer "processing" is such a core feature that it is strongly innate to our human programming. I like to describe this layer as your hardware, as if you were a computer. In models that would be a part of this layer such as MBTI or Socionics we see information processing being the primary focus. Cognitive functions, lenses of information interpretation. These models don't tell you WHAT you do but simply HOW you do.


Your core desire is your personal calling - almost like your "soul." What your mind, heart, and body all agree in unison that you are as a person, even if you don't consciously know it. Systems like Jung's 12 archetypes (such as the hero, the sage, etc.) encompass this layer as well as enneagram. Also in this layer are things such as fears, growth, decline, stagnation, and other aspects generally related to the life path as a whole.


Direction where we aim all of the above. Sometimes this is conscious and chosen, sometimes it is innate. Various models encompass both of these within this layer. Personality models such as Attitudinal Psyche seem more innate whereas vocational interests and traits may change over the lifespan as core desires unfold in the previous layer.


Finally, we have traits. The most surface layer of personality. Behaviors could theoretically be an aspect in this layer or maybe even in another layer of their own. Traits are what we can see, what we can measure, and what is clearly presented in terms of personality. There isn't a lot of psychodynamic theory at this layer as this is closer to behaviorism.


Combining all of these layers together and not overlapping models within a single layer we can come to a somewhat complete picture of what a person's personality might look like.

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