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There I no single definition of personality. Nearly everyone theorist and layman alike, has his own idea of what personality is. The term personality comes from the Greek personal which means “mask”. Thus personality is thought of as the appearance a person presents to the family and outsiders. The personally has, thus, been defined as a totality of personal’s manner or his general behavior pattern, that is the sum of his knowledge, skills, motives and action. Another conception of personality involves mainly on surface characteristics such as social kills. A personality description typical of this notion might be. “He is outgoing, smooth and confident.”

Even though the above notions of personality are less precise than the theoretical concepts of personality, each represents something about what personality is. Therefore instead of focusing on the fine points of a theoretical definition of personality. We will combine both formal and informal thoughts about what constitutes personality in order to arrive at a defection that will adequately serve our purpose. Thus the personality for our common perception is the way in which the individual is related to his circumstances. It is a combination of the knowledge, skills intention reflected in a person’s actions as evaluated by other people.

Some of the earliest systematic statements about personality were generally made by religious leaders, teachers and philosophers who wanted to explain why men behaved as they did and how men could best behave with respect to others. Theirs were, more or less, moralistic statements abbot what men could be. It can be assumed that an abnormal personality differs from the normal personality only in degree. Thus understanding the abnormal person world provide a good way to the understanding of the normal person. In addition to meeting the norms of the scientific theory, men could expect and adequate theory of personality in order to: (1) explain why some individuals behave consistently over long periods of time while others change rapidly, (2) help us understand personality disorganization or mental illness and the conditions that contribute to such disorganization, (3) revue a description of how personality develops, (4) name and describe the components that make up the structure of personality, (6) finally give us an understanding of how these different  components of personality work together. Thus, no theory today meets all the required norms.Yet the following statement which describes the current state of theories of the development of a personality seems tube appraise; “ There is no single comprehensive thirty of personality, simple definite  and no agreement bat the personality can be adequately measured or described what any method so far develop state is an incomplete disorganization of man’s behavior relevant to personality. Thus form the point of view unscientific precision and comprehensiveness personality theory is still growing, still immature.”

Personality theories developed so far can be divided into five major schools of thought: (1) Psychoanalytic (2) Self- Study Based (3) Cognitive (4) Trait (5) Learning Theory Approach. One paragraph for each of the five theories is given below:


Formulated by Sigmund Freud, this theory had such originality, depth, and complexity that its impact on western culture was deeply felt for seventy years. While his caused his preoccupation with the unhealthy personality, his view of man as dynamic (driven by physical and biological forces), and his conclusion about personality as being the ‘id,
the ‘ego’, and the ‘superego’. The id operates in an undisciplined and immature way and cannot make rational decision; the ego develops to guide these impulses and functions in accordance with the reality principle. A very important function of the ego is the satisfaction of the needs of the id but in a proper time, mode and place sequence. Besides governing the id and its impulse, ego must also control and direct the impulses of the superego which consists of the conscience and the ego ideal. Freud beloved that the energy for all motivation and the energy for the earring together of the three components of personality- id, ego and superego, derives from instinctual energy of the id. The id energy is divided into other life instincts (Eros) or death instincts (Tanat’s). In the normal person, the instincts are under the direction of the ego, making the ego the handmaid or servant of life forces. Death instinct, on the other hand, is under the control of the superego, meaning the superego the servant of death forces. According to Freud, a major source of personality conflict is the opposition to the life forces (Eros-Sexuality) imposed by he body of the opposition to the death forces (Tanat’s- Aggression) imposed by the society. In Freud’s view personality develops and grows as a result of a variety of processes, stresses and experiences, such as maturation deprivation, conflict and anxiety.


The best known self-theorist is Carl Rogers. The individual as a whole is the central focus of Roger’s theory of personality. He distinguishes between two components of the personality- the organism and the self. The organism is the center of experience, and experience is everything that is going on within a person are a particular time. The totality of experience is called the phenomenal field and it makes up a persona’s unique outlook or frame of reference. The phenomenal field includes both conscious and unconscious experience. The self, as a part of phenomenal field is best thought of as the concept of T, ‘me’, or ‘my self’. The self is in fact one’s own to others, and so on. There is also an ideal self who represents the ideal – motivation is focused on striving to achieve man’s goal of self-actualization. In order to achieve the goal of self-growth, four conditions are necessary. First, the choices available must be clearly perceived, that is, the individual must be aware of the alternative. Second, the choices must be clearly symbolized. Besides being fully aware of the alternatives, he must have clear cut descriptions and full understanding of choices. Third, he must be loved and respected by others. Stemming from positive regard by others is the fourth condition necessary for self-growth. In order for ht normal personality to continuously strive and grow toward self-actualization, it must be flexible enough to take in, understand, and organize the experiences which are inconsistent with the person’s self. A developing and reasonably mature personal must have values that are consistent with his behavior and be aware of his feelings, attitudes and impulses. If the above mentioned four feelings, attunes and impulses. If the above mentioned four criteria are met, then the personal will be more aware of him and come to accept and understand attempted behavior and purposes. He will then be able to think more flexibly and achieve greater creativity and productivity.

Cognitive Theory of Personality:

We noted above that while Freudian theory focuses on instincts and impulse, the Rogation theory focuses on experience or it may be called phenomenological. The cognitive theory propounded by George Kelly is a reaction against both Freudian and Rogation theories and is focused o cognition. George Kelly attributed most of man’s behavior to such processes as thinking, judging and anticipating rather than to instants, drives, growth or other and anticipation rather than to instincts, or the world as the primary influence on behavior. His system is highly rational in perspective. It is bases on his firm conviction that each man is capable of being a scientist and can construct his own theory and that each amen, to a great extent, is able to control and predict his own life. He can avoid the complexities of motivation. He assumes that man has the energy necessary for the active organism that he is “The organism is delivered fresh into the psychological world alive and struggling.” Thus in one grand gesture, Kelly swept away an issue that had bogged down personality theory for a long time. He felt that since man cannot solve the question of what motivation is, he developed a theory that avoided motivating. He did this simply developed a theory that avoided motivation. He did this simply by stating that motivation is a birthright of all living organisms.

In addition to Kelly’s theory, there have been a variety of other cognitive approaches to personality. These approaches have been concerned with more limited aspects of behavior than the total personality and are called mini theories. For example, in Fastener’s system, cognitions can be beliefs. Attitudes, ideas, or the perceptions of the real world. H.A. Within and G S Klein have formulations which are specific to perception.

Theories-Factor Analytical Approach:

Theorists who search for an understanding of personality through measurement factors (personality tests, attitude surveys, etc.) use what is called factor analytic approach. The summaries of such measurements taken on groups of people are called factors, or trait dimensions of personality. Thus, instead of using clinical inference of personality, analysts prefer to base their theories on traits, identified by the summary of personality measurements. Here the individual’s personality is described and summarized by a series of numbers representing his position on the basic trait dimensions. The trait value possessed by a person is assumed to be a relatively permanent characteristic of that individual which will be manifested by him in most of the situation. The most prominent theorist o the traits of personality along more substantive psychological dimensions into ability, term permanent, and dynamic types. Ability traits comprise the cognitive (knowledge) and competence (skills) components of personality. A key concept in the dynamics of cattle’s theory is attitude. This component conveys the notion of how much interested or how much motivated or how much motivated is a persona to do a particular thing.

Learning Theory Approaches to Personality:

 There has been great variety in the four types of personality theories discussed above. The fifth and final theory is called the learning theory which differs even more noticeably from the other. The learning theory of personality originated in laboratory is than since much of human behavior is learned, much of what we think of as personality is also learned. Albert Bandera has carried out his research in learning theory quite comprehensively. His approach has proved to be highly effective in describing both the conditions under which certain aspects of personality both the conditions under which certain aspects of personality are learned and the conditions under which such aspects are changed or modified. Social learning theory is based on the assumption that much of the Beauvoir that constitutes personality is learned thought imitation. By watching a model i.e. another persona behaves in a certain way, the initial learns to imitate that behavior. Observation of behavior whether aggressive, humane. Adequate, immoral, or whatever provides the conditions that are necessary for social learning. The emphasis is on cognition or knowing, with derives for. Observational experience. Competence or knowing how to do a particular thing is considered a secondary aspect of the theory. One important consequence of imitation is the leering of social norms by society. Children are provided with miniature vision of adult tools and implements that facilitate the imitation of behaviors performed by adult models. Thus the child learns new and often sex-linked behavior which may influence his thinking throughout his life.