*** Excerpt from a book***


The origin or the etymological derivative of personality comes from the word “persona”, theatrical masks worn by the Romans in Greek and Latin drama. Personality also comes from the two Latin words “per” and “sonare”, which literally means “to sound through”. This concept extends to Jung’s component of “persona”, meaning “public image”, which refers to the role expected by social or cultural convention.

Definitions of personality by psychologists

1. Personality is the totality of individual psychic qualities, which includes temperament, one’s mode of reaction and character, two objects of ones reaction (Fromm, 1974)

2. Personality may be biologically defined as the governing organ or superordinate institution of the body in as much as it is located in the brain. “No brain, no personality” (Murray, 1951)

3. Personality is a person’s unique pattern of traits. (Guilford, 1959)

4. Personality is the record of a person’s experiences and behavior together with the psychological systems, which contribute casual determination to the existing and functioning record. Some casual determination is found within the record itself. (Cartwright, 1979)

5. Personality is the impression an individual makes on others. It refers to his/her social skills, charismatic qualities and the like (Hall, Calvin and Gardner, 1985)

6. Personality is generally defined as the individuals unique and relatively stable patterns of behavior, thoughts and emotion (Burger, 1990)

7. Personality is the stability in people’s behavior that leads them to act uniformly both in different situations and over extended periods of time (Felman, 1994)

All the definitions above equate personality as the essence or the uniqueness of behavior.

Allport’s definition of personality

In 1973, Allport defined personality as “what a man really is”. This statement indicates that personality is the typical and peculiar characteristics of a person. In 1961, after 24 years, Alport modified his definition as a dynamic organization within an individual of the psycho-physical system that determines his or her characteristic behaviors and thoughts.

dynamic organization – personality is constantly evolving and changing. A newborn infant lacks personality because his or her behavior keeps on changing. An infant’s personality is influenced by heredity and by the surrounding condition. Personality development begins at birth and unfolds gradually until death.

psycho-physical – personality is neither exclusively mental nor exclusively neural. The organization entails the operation of both body and mind. People’s functions includes vegetative, sentient and rational functions.

characteristic behaviors and thoughts – the replacement of the phrase “unique adjustments to the environment” in Allport’s original definition of personality (1937). The earlier definition seemed to emphasize too much in biological needs. His revised definition covers all behaviors and thoughts.

*** This information is from a book, I don’t know the book title and the author (just copied it in my notes). If you do, feel free to send me a message so that the book title and author will be added as source. ***