The Johari Window

The Johari Window is a way of looking at how people express their personality. Rather than trying to measure personality, the model simply splits it up into four sections. It suggests that each section represents personal information eg feelings, motivations etc and that we show or disclose the information differently. For example everyone is shown the ‘public’ section but we keep the ‘private’ section to ourselves.

The public area contains things that are openly known and talked about – and which may be seen as strengths or weaknesses. This is the self that we choose to share with others

The hidden area contains things that others observe that we don’t know about. Again, they could be positive or negative behaviours, and will affect the way that others act towards us.

The unknown area contains things that nobody knows about us – including ourselves. This may be because we’ve never exposed those areas of our personality, or because they’re buried deep in the subconscious.

The private area contains aspects of our self that we know about and keep hidden from others.

This model helps to explain some of the results that I got from my last research assignment. There were many things that I was perfectly happy for her to have ‘found out’ so these would go in the ‘open’ section. I thought that Meghan was tidy but not obsessively and maybe quite an open person. She found this surprising because she seen herself as quite parkickty. Maybe this result would fall into the ‘blind’ section. I think her close friends would be a better judge of this. It does explain why she was surprised by a few of the things I said but confirmed that some were true , when she thought about it.  Meghan told me that I seemed very organized from my photo’s but  told her that I try to be overly organized because I am actually quite forgetful. I HATE this about myself to combat it with, well, mass over-organizing (which I really oddly enjoy). Would this fit in the ‘private’ section? Probably not, from what I have read of the model, the ‘private’ section is, well, private. Could this area ever be exposed with this kind of research? Probably not and by nature would probably not be confirmed by person were it to be tapped into. The other section is of course ‘hidden’ and would also probably never be encountered in this kind of research.

It is still very impressive though that we were both able to tap into the ‘open’ section and indeed a little into the ‘blind’ section considering the fact that we had never met. It did feel odd though, trying to venture into these areas through a persons stuff rather than themselves.


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