I am reading a good book at the moment called “Strangers to Ourselves” by Tim Wilson.
Personality theory has normally focused on how to measure ‘personality’, with predictability of behaviour being the only really output of any research results (and the results were never particularly strong in that respect because personalities are more dynamic than lab tests can seemingly account for).
Tim theorises on the idea of a conscious personality, and an adaptive unconscious personality, which can be quite different.
The research is staggering.
For example, a persons conscious ideas about his or her beliefs and prejudices can often be completely contradicted by their automatic actions or responses in a situation. It comes down to that difference between who we think we are, and who we really are.
Our automatic responses account for a majority of our behaviours, yet they are the bits we filter out as part of our big defensive campaign to reinforce our ‘self beliefs’.
Its all very interesting. The more I learn about the automaticity of the mind and the unconscious, the more it dovetails with my experiences of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.