There are basically two different kinds of personality when you cut it down to it’s bare
bones - introverts and extroverts. Introverts prefer to be alone, spending their time
focusing on self-improvement and finding their calling. They look within for the center of
their life. Extroverts are the opposite, loving the company of others they are often very
The majority of movies focus on extroverts as they move the story along and tend to be
more dynamic. However an intriguing play on this concept is to have a character
outwardly appear to be either an extrovert or introvert but actually be the other. This can
lead to complex characters, such as one who outwardly shuns companionship but
internally craves it, possibly due to trust issue.
To expand on the introvert/extrovert personality types there are also four types -
sensation, thinking, feeling and intuitive.
Sensation: Sensation types live through their senses and they live in the now. They are
tuned into the colors, smells, shapes, and tastes around them. Occupation wise they
tend to be good at any job that is physical or sensory. This could be gardening, cooking,
painting, etc. They are driven most of all by visual appeal.
Intuitive: The intuitive type is a dreamer, and very creative. They have a strong idea of
what the future holds for them. Intuitive characters will act with future consequences in
mind. They are well suited for jobs as artists, writers and entrepreneurs. Intuitive types
are never found without a plan.
Thinking: As the name suggests thinking types like to use logic and deduction to solve
problems. They base their thoughts on facts rather than faith or instincts. Thinking types
make good businessmen/women, mechanics, detectives, etc. Inquisitiveness is a
common trait amongst thinking types.
Feeling: Feeling types are emotional, empathetic and get on well with others. They don’t
hide their emotions and are very upfront with others. Suited occupations include
teachers, social workers, carers, etc. Feeling types often have many strong
Characters tend to have two of the above types which dominate their personality while
the other two may still be apparent but take a backseat. Characters gain information
through their sensations or intuition and then it is processed by their thoughts or feelings.
Strange Behaviour Makes For Interesting Characters
The line between sanity and insanity is not as clear cut as most people would like. While
society would prefer that it was black and white, with the insane clearly marked by a
rubber stamp, that isn’t the case. Like most things there are subtle shades of grey. While
a phobia of snakes in an Englishman who’s never been in contact with them is
nonsensical it is also quite common. The key difference between this and a man who
believes that God is talking to them is that the second case can be a danger to others.
There are six basic types of abnormal behavioural patterns. Each pattern has a partner.
There are manics, depressives, paranoids, schizophrenics, psycho/sociopaths and
neurotics. To illustrate the relationships please see the diagram below.
Just like the personality types (sensation, intuitive, thinking and feeling) a character
won’t fall completely into one abnormal type. Manic-depressives vary between the two,
as do paranoid-schizophrenics and psycho/socio-neurotics.
Manics: Manics have total self-belief, they believe they can achieve absolutely anything
they set their mind to. The majority of comic book style villains are manics. Manics are
very excitable and sociable, and like to be active. They aren’t happy with sitting back and
letting things happen. Depressives: Depressives are the opposite, they feel like their life
is worthless and they can’t achieve anything. They withdraw themselves from social
situations and appear emotionally flat.
Schizophrenics: Schizophrenics are very self aware. They are highly sensitive, easily
embarrassed and shy around others. Because of this they try and avoid conflict, instead
they retreat to a safe place and brood. In extreme cases schizophrenics can hear voices
instructing them on what they should do or develop multiple personalities to defend the
Paranoids: Paranoids are very self-centred, thinking that everyone is out to destroy
them. Because of this paranoids types tend to be aggressive and defensive. Their
beliefs drive them to become leaders and gain power, thus putting themselves in a safer
position. They are bull-headed individuals who don’t take well to criticism and hold long-
standing grudges for the smallest of reasons.
Anxiety neurotics: See Allen, Woody. Anxiety neurotics fear everything and put a great
deal of thought and grief into the smallest of things. They spend their lives trying to avoid
anxiety yet actually cause the majority of anxiety for themselves. Anxiety neurotics can
also harbor obsessive/compulsive characteristics. This leads to ridiculous seeming
habits like only getting out of bed at an exact time or brushing their hair an exact amount
Psycho/Sociopaths: While I have grouped this pair together there is a difference
between the two. Sociopaths are antisocial characters, often holding a disdain for
humanity. Psychopaths are similar but with a mental unbalance, this leads them to
become cold blooded killers. Each have little to no empathy for people or creatures.
They make excellent villains. Psychopaths and sociopaths are particularly interesting
because they do no transform. They will never become well-rounded, normal characters.
Source: http://www.filmscriptwriting.com/characterpsychology.html (Retrieved