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Unlike the majority of personality definitions, where personality is most often defined as distinctive individual character or that inherent quality of human beings which makes them individual, personality in PCP is closer to the eyes of the beholder. Personality is an abstraction from the activity of a person, with subsequent generalization of this abstraction to all manner of relationships of that person to other persons.

Four points about personality are of crucial importance:

(1) it is not an inherent object that should be discovered, but an assessment based on abstraction of known activity of an individual person, so it can be generalized to the unknown activity of that person;
it is based on a person’s relationship to other persons and not on some inner substance;
it is not neutral, but a value-laden term; and
it is a course of events – a process, not a static entity.
The person in PCP is perceived as the intersect of many construct dimensions. This means that a person is a unique combination of dichotomous categorical interpretations. Although it is often said that PCP equates personality with personal construct systems, persons in PCP are above all social beings, construed in the realm of social relations. Society therefore presents the necessary condition for the constitution of personal beings, their persons and personalities. Furthermore, social situations and social relationships are not determined by some inner essence of individual beings that occurs within them. Instead, people are determined and formed by their interpersonal relations. Thus personality in PCP does not reside in the human personal interior, but in the social space with other personal beings. One has to enter these social relations in order to become a person him or herself. Furthermore, personality is not given at birth; instead it is potential which has to be constructed through mutual relationship with others. Simply stated, we need others to acquire our own personality. Talking about others, we reveal our own abstractions, dimensions of meaning which comprise our own personal systems. In order to assess the personality of an individual, we must assess the ways (s)he makes sense about others. Therefore, what one says about another person becomes the source of data about the speaker, more than the person who is being spoken about.

Dušan Stojnov
Establ. 2003
Last update: 1 December 2003