Personality Theories Notes

Question – Discuss the dimensions and characteristic features of personality.

Answer – Now, if you carefully analyze all these personality definitions, you will find the following:

a) Psychophysical system: Personality is a system that has both psychological and physical aspects. The system consists of interacting elements, the main elements of which are features, emotions, intelligence, temperament, character and motivation. All of these factors are psychological factors, but they are based on physical neurology and endocrinology.

b) Dynamic organization: It means that the different elements of the mental system are independent, but function in an interlocking manner and can change. However, this change can occur in a gradual manner over a period of time.

c) Consistency: Since personality is a stable organization, it also has the elements of consistency. Consistency means that individuals behave the same way in different situations, and when the same situation is repeated over a period of time, behavioral consistency is found. Psychologists offer four types of consistency.

Type “A” consistency: In this type, the situation and behavior remain the same. For example, a football player was asked to play against the X team, and 10 days later he asked to play against the team.

Type “B” consistency: repeat the same behavior in two different situations. For example, a person appears in front of a selection committee for an interview, and then he appears in the interview for the same job in front of another committee in the final round.

Type “C” consistency: when individuals are required to behave differently under the same circumstances. For example, when an actor is required to imitate a different actor.

Type “D” consistency: when a person behaves differently in different situations. A person can behave in different situations depending on the needs of the situation, because he is affected by certain types of characteristics. For example, a person should treat his students differently than a colleague. His behavior with his parents is different from his friends.

d) Unique adjustments to the environment: Everyone has a dynamic psychological organization that can be adjusted. The reason is that everyone’s experience is unique, so their response to the environment is unique. You may notice that even if identical twins come out of the same embryo, they have the same genetic makeup, but respond differently to the same situation because their reference systems are unique.

e) Development of personality structure: Personality development is the natural quality of an evolving organism. Paths range from simple to increasingly complex factors and situations that individuals must pass. According to Heniz Werner, the psychological organization of babies at birth is slow to develop. Through interaction with the environment, the various parts of the child’s psychological structure gradually crystallize and distinguish from each other. When the differentiated parts are functionally organized, the analysis stage is followed by synthesis or integration. From the dispersed masses to the gradual differentiation, to the integration as a whole, is the development of personality structure.

f) Consciousness: Personality is conscious because it develops in our interaction with the environment. This interaction led to the formation of a self-concept. Self-concept means who we are and what we stand for. All human reactions are to protect the concept of self.

g) The potential for change: The possibility of change is another characteristic of personality. The early psychoanalytic view did see personality as a rigid structure. However, modern humanist theory not only proves that human beings have the ability to reorganize, but also proves that conditions have indeed promoted change. Integration or organization is the quality of human beings, that is, human beings occur naturally and normally. This is the result of the normal development of the personality structure. Disintegration, the function of separating parts from the entire system, is a pathological state of mental disorder (Goldstein).


On the basis of the researchers, psychologists have identified certain dimensions of personality to explain differences in personality. In fact, these dimensions are category scales that help us understand the individual’s behavior in terms of its main characteristics, motivation, temperament and personality. There are four main types of these dimensions: traits, motivation, temperament and personality.

1 Traits (Features): Traits are relatively permanent personality that force individuals to behave consistently in different situations. By measuring these characteristics, one can compare people. We call these features relatively permanent because they change over time. For example, an introverted person may not remain introverted after 10 years. Some important features are

(a) introversion-extroversion;

(b) neurotic stability

(c) psychosis.

2 Motivation : Psychologists generally believe that the existence of motivation is necessary for a person to engage in a particular behavior. This personality dimension includes all those motivational activities that lead to people moving toward a goal while producing a specific pattern of behavior. The motivational dimension includes the following:

a) Achievement motivation dimension
b) Dynamic power dimension
c) subordinate motivation dimension
d) Approval motivation dimension

3 Temperament: Temperament is the third major dimension of personality. It refers to the sum of human emotions and emotional tendencies. Sensitive, irritating, nervous, and pleasant are adjectives used to describe temperament. Temperament is considered to be the intrinsic quality of a person, meaning that it exists at birth.

4 Personality: Our character means moral excellence. As a dimension of personality traits, it means human morality or immorality. It is the learning aspect of personality and is obtained through the process of socialization. It is also known as conscience. In a way, it is similar to Freud’s superego, which means doing and not doing. Violation of conscience can lead to personal guilt.



Nature of Personality Theories

Descriptive Functions
Predictive Functions

Judging Personality Theories

1 Verifiability
2 Heuristic Value
3 Internal Consistency
4 Parsimony
5 Comprehensiveness
6 Functional Significance

Theories of Personality

1 Psychoanalytic Approach
2 Trait Approach
3 Constitutional Approach
4 Life-Span Approach
5 Humanistic Approach

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