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Tony Paper

It seems that Tony is pretty well coaxed up with different personality traits; that is, being a party animal at the same time a serious employee. However it should be noted that such personality traits only manifest in selected situations. Tony is a party animal when he is with his friends (and boastful), but we do not expect him to be such when he is at work. Personality traits are only expressed in the right time and situation. Tony is less constrained to show his diminutive character to people at say, in a party. However, when social pressure sets in, when he is constrained to finish a goal, as in the workplace, the necessary thing to do is to utilize his other traits. In other words, different environments and situations demand different traits to be expressed. The implication is that different environments have varying degrees of pressure and control over the individual. In the case of Tony, the workplace offered greater pressure to him when regards to constraining his party type character. According to the person-situation theory, an individual’s personality stabilizes over time, and as such is not necessarily positively related to the character trait of the person. The person may show consistency only in situations that demand it.

True, Tony may be a party animal but the fact that the workplace prohibits him from acting like a party animal in his work is another thing. Because goals are expected of the individual, and certain measures of constrain are place to the individual, the person’s expression of the “party-animal” personality does not manifest. If we view Tony’s situation from the point of view of reciprocal determinism, we can see that Tony’s environment is interpreted by Tony’s disposition towards it. It should be understood that different people chose different environments because of the way the environment presents itself to those persons (his disposition of the environment) (Bandura 1986 – see model on the URL). In the case of Tony, he is both a product and creator of his environment.  This long-process of interaction will tend to reinforce each other, until such time that distinction between the two, in the psyche of the individual, blurs.

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Bandura, Albert. 1986. Bandura’s Model of Reciprocal Influences on Behavior. URL http://www.psy.pdx.edu/PsiCafe/Overheads/ReciprocalInfluences.htm. REtrieved August 10, 2007.

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