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Studying Personality and Personality Disorders among People in the Caribbean: Advocating for an Emic-Etic Approach

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This article discusses issues relevant to the examination of personality and personality disorder in contexts, such as the Caribbean, which are under-represented in this scholarship. The article argues that because normal personality is the standard against which definitions of non-normality (and at the extreme, disorder) are derived, a crucial first step in identifying personality disorder is clear and culturally relevant definitions of normal personality. Two key conceptual perspectives on personality development and manifestation are presented, followed by a brief exploration, using the etic traits approach, of the problematic nature of any one perspective on normal personality. The article argues for the need for combined emic-etic approaches to understanding normal and non-normal personality, particularly in under-represented contexts such as the Caribbean. It ends by offering concrete suggestions on developing, in the Caribbean, programmes of research committed to these tasks.



02 Apr, 2013
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e-Published: 26 Aug, 2013
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