Make a list of some aspects of your personality that make you unique. Start taking a few pictures that could begin to express this. How could you develop this into a body of work? (OCA IAP, p66)
Personality is word used casually everyday when finding out about people we meet or other people’s perceptions of people, but what does it mean exactly? The American Psychological Association (apa.org) offers this definition:
Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. The study of personality focuses on two broad areas: One is understanding individual differences in particular personality characteristics, such as sociability or irritability. The other is understanding how the various parts of a person come together as a whole.
A well-known tool for assessing personality types is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (see reference below for details), which uses 16 different personality types to categorise people. There is no good or bad type, just different types, who have different preferences in how they interact with the world and other people. I took a free online MBTI test to rediscover my type (been many years since doing one). Without going into the details, here is a general description of my ‘ENTP’ type (Teamtechnology):
you are someone who challenges the status quo, seeking to uncover the hidden potential or new possibilities in different situations. You start projects and introduce change on an experimental basis, not knowing fully what is going to happen, but in the expectation that it will lead to an improvement. You enjoy the challenge of doing something that has not been done before and seems impossible.
This is a general description (or stereotype), but what of aspects of my own personality:
- Easily bored without sufficient challenge.
- Curious about many different topics – sometimes too many, both art and science.
- Capable of getting completely engrossed in areas of interest, to the exclusion of things that could be higher priorities.
- Not particularly patient with people.
- Enjoy debating (some might say arguing), even if I have no particular attachment to a point of view.
- Artistic and numerate.
I will reflect on these aspects of personality and consider how they might be portrayed photographically (making a part b. of this exercise).
Myersbriggs.org [website]. Available from: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/ [accessed 31.10.16]
Teamtechnology [website]. ENTP Personality Types In-Depth. Available from: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/personality/types/entp/overview/ [accessed 31.10.16]