How to define personality

When we talk of personality, we don't mean a person has charm, a positive attitude toward life, a smiling face, or has won the "miss world" context. When psychologists talk of personality, they mean a dynamic concept describing the growth and development of a person's whole psychological system. The word personality has an interesting derivation.

It can be traced to the Latin words "per son are" which translates as "to speak through".

The Latin term was used to denote the masks worn by actors in ancient Greece and Rome. This Latin meaning is particularly relevant to the contemporary analysis of personality. Personality traditionally refers to how people influence others through their external appearances and actions. But for the psychologists personality includes -

  1. Eternal appearances and behaviour
  2. The inner awareness of self as a permanent organizing force, and
  3. The particular organization of measurable traits, both inner and outer.

Personality is an individual difference that lends consistency to a person's behaviour.

Personality is defined as a relatively stable set of characteristics that influence an individual's behaviour. For our purposes, you should think of personality as the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others. This is most often described in terms of measurable personality traits that a person exhibits.


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