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Her improvement as a now member of the American society and capacity to become integrated in this new society became her goal of life. Before proceeding to accomplish her goals, she told us that she had an evaluation of herself and decided that none of the fundamental values of herself as an individual had changed. She was still extremely intelligent, was still an excellent surgeon, even if she could not practice it at the current time (this did not change the intrinsic value of herself as a surgeon or as a physician, determined by her knowledge, not by her position in society) and had the capacity to activate all these latent qualities. She mobilized herself so as to reach all the objectives she had proposed for herself.
Once on the top of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Mrs. Ionescu found herself somewhere on the third level, needing both acceptance as an individual from the new world she lived in and esteem and self-actualization. In the interview, she revealed that her initial steps were all determined by the need for esteem from the new society she had embraced. Before resuming her self-actualization process, she needed to re-obtain the acceptance of society.
From a trait factors theory, the interview revealed important characteristics of Mrs. Ionescu's personality. First of all, following on Hans Eysenck's division of personalities, she was identified as a combination of a sanguine type and a melancholy type, but with a solid inclination towards the former. The presence of melancholic characteristics in Mrs. Ionescu's characteristics came in the first period of her existence in the U.S. And was associated by the fact that she tended to be pessimistic about her future success in the U.S., both in her career and in integrating in the American society, and memories from her home, family and friends in her native country of Romania.
However, after she had established her goals and started to work on completing the studies needed to achieve her diploma, corroborated with her communicating better with her colleagues at the hospital and with an increase in confidence in her own forces, Mrs. Ionescu turned more towards the sanguine type. Optimistic and confident, she began to return to her sociable self.
If we follow some of Raymond B. Cattell's 16 Personality Factors, we see the same trend from a timid, sensitive and follower type of personality towards a uninhibited, tough-minded and leader-type person. Indeed, we can note from our interview and from Mrs. Ionescu's descriptions that the more she became used to the new society she lived in, the more she retrieved her old characteristics from her personality in Romania.
From the perspective of cognitive theory, the interview with Mrs. Ionescu revealed the same translation in her attitude as she evolved in the new society she was now living in. According to her, the intellectual focus she gave her thoughts enabled her to create an unreal imagery, in the beginning, of her position in the American society and in the hospital she worked in, but an imagery that she gradually transformed through hard work to encompass the new realities. The fact that she succeeded to become a doctor was also a direct consequence of her positive thoughts that influenced her into learning so as to achieve the goals she had set for herself in the beginning.
Subsequently, she changed her thoughts from the generally negative ones in the beginning of her stay to positive ones, better adapted to the dream that she wanted to fulfil. As such, she was able to approach her colleagues at work, develop a social life outside the hospital etc.
Mrs. Ionescu is currently a surgeon in the same hospital, a remarkable physician, a fully appreciated member of society and of the medical community. The interview revealed the underlying, fundamental traits and characteristics of her personality. We can conclude that her personality is a dynamic one that has evolved from the moment of her initial arrival in the U.S., when she felt insecure, pessimistic, melancholic, to the current state, where she is confident in her forces, able to face any challenge, sanguine and optimistic.
Heffner, Christopher. Personality Synopsis. August 2002. Chapter 5[continue]
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