The word personality is derived from the
Latin term persona, originally representing
the theatrical mask used by ancient
personality is seen as a complex pattern of
deeply embedded psychological
characteristics that are expressed
automatically in almost every area of
Personality is often confused with two
related terms, character and temperament.
Character refers to characteristics acquired
during our upbringing and connotes a degree
of conformity to virtuous social standards.
Temperament, in contrast, refers to a basic
biological disposition toward certain
MZ twins and DZ twins
Suggests heritability estimates of .5 for
Shared environment = what siblings share,
parenting practices, neighborhood, family
Nonshared environment is everything else.
More important than shared environment
Three types of person-environment transactions
Different individuals exposed to the same environment,
experience it, interpret it, and react to it differently
An individual's personality evokes distinctive
responses form others
Examples: coercive child, happy child
Individuals select or create environments of their own
Trait consistency steadily increases with age
Consistency peaked at 50-59 age
Lowest at ages 0 to 3
Some debate about this (ages 50 to 70 appear to
be more stable(
Certainly the 20s is an important time to look at
for personality development
People often gaining independence from families
Going to college and/or joining workforce
Getting into committed relationships and having
Personality TheoryPersonality Theory Main ideasMain ideas
Psychoanalytic TheoryPsychoanalytic Theory Emphasizes the importance of early childhood experiences,Emphasizes the importance of early childhood experiences,
repressed thoughts, and conflict between conscious andrepressed thoughts, and conflict between conscious and
unconscious forcesunconscious forces
Behaviorist TheoryBehaviorist Theory Focuses on the way rewards and punishment shape our actionsFocuses on the way rewards and punishment shape our actions..
Social Learning TheorySocial Learning Theory Cognitive-personal factors, our behaviors, and environmentalCognitive-personal factors, our behaviors, and environmental
factors interact to shape our personalitiesfactors interact to shape our personalities
Cognitive TheoryCognitive Theory Our analysis of our own perceptions, thoughts, and feelings shapeOur analysis of our own perceptions, thoughts, and feelings shape
our personalitiesour personalities
Humanistic TheoryHumanistic Theory Emphasizes our capacity for personal growth, development of ourEmphasizes our capacity for personal growth, development of our
full potential, and freedom to make choicesfull potential, and freedom to make choices
Trait TheoryTrait Theory Focus on identifying, measuring, and classifying similarities andFocus on identifying, measuring, and classifying similarities and
differences in personality characteristics or traitsdifferences in personality characteristics or traits..
All port's Trait Theory
Allport classified the labels according to
the degree to which they applied in
differing circumstances ,proposing
three levels of traits.
Cardinal Trait :a single characteristic that
determines behavior in almost all situations.
It appears to control almost everything a
person does ,unifying and integrating the
Central Traits : are not as broad as cardinal
traits but are relatively general and apply in
Secondary Traits :less consistent and less
generalized ,apply in limited circumstances.
Cattell`s Personality Factors : from a large
list of descriptive adjectives Cattell used
factor analysis to identify what he called the
16primary or source traits of personality.
He developed a test “16-PF” to measure an
individual`s expression of each of these traits.
The “Big Five.” A combination of new
research and analysis of older work has
shown that people in different cultures ,age
groups , and occupations consistently tend
to use five major categories or traits to
There are several different ways to evaluate
Questionnaires containing statements to
which the individual can respond with
answers such as “yes, may be, no” “true
,false ,can not say”.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
Most clinically-used personality test
Originally designed to assess abnormal
The subject usually is presented with a
series of ambiguous stimuli and asked for a
description of or a story about each.
The theory of these tests is that a person
will reveal some personality characteristics
By introducing them ( or projecting them
onto )the stimulus provided.
Rorschach Inkblot Test
Presentation and interpretation of a series
. of black and white and colored inkblots
Personality test that seeks to identify
people’s inner feelings by analyzing their
interpretations of 10 inkblots
Numerous scoring systems exist
Series of pictures depicting ambiguous scenes
Subject is asked to create a story about
Answers are scored based on themes, motives,
and anxieties of main character
Examiner or test situation may influence
Scoring is highly subjective
Tests fail to produce consistent results
Tests are poor predictors of future behavior