What is Personality ?


What is Personality ? What do you think Personality is? Personality can be described as a number of qualities that a person possess that make him/her different from other people. One may describe this as the way you behave, think and interact with others. Psychologist describe these differences under the general term of personalities.  Take a moment and think about characteristics that may describe you…..for example…’i am curious’….’i am quiet’……’i am organised’…….These characteristics will often be different from others a distinction that describes personality differences.

Personality research is a widely investigated area of psychology. The perspectives and views of how or what defines are personality has lead psychologists to debate the idea of nature verus nurture. Are we born with our personalities or are they developed through the interaction with our environments. The balance of the research seems to indicate that we tend to be around 70%  genetically pre-determined and 30% influenced by the environment, however, the debates are ongoing within psychology.  It would appear from our experiences that people tend to be carry distinct characteristics, for example, can you describe a colleague, a family friend a boss. You may describe them as ‘decisive’ or ‘lazy’, it is the consistency that allows us to describe someone.

Personality assessment has grown through several years of psychological approaches to the study of personality. The different perspectives have given rise to the different assessment tools available today on the market. The psychologists have often worked from similar schools of thought but viewed the study of personality in different contexts. Below summarises the types of theories and the key figure within the different schools of thought:


  • Significant pionners of this school were Freud; Jung; Adler; Horney; Erickson
  • Deals with unconscious psychic conflicts

Social Learning:

  • Significant pionners of this school were Bandura; Mischel; Rotter
  • Personlity is a combination of our behaviour and perception of them


  • Significant pionners of this school were Maslow; Rogers; Kelly
  • Focuses on the individual and how to develop the self

Type Theories:

  • Significant pionners of this school were Jung; Sheldon
  • Types theories categories behaviour into categories


  • Significant pionners of this school were Allport; Cattell; Eysenck
  • Traits determine peoples perosnality