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Personality is the characteristic sets of
behavior Behavior (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cur ...
s,
cognition Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual function Intellectual functioning refers to the "general men ...
s, and
emotion Emotions are psychological state A mental state is a state of mind that an agent is in. Most simplistically, a mental state is a mental condition. It is a relation that connects the agent with a proposition. Several of these states are a comb ...

emotion
al patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors. While there is no generally agreed upon definition of personality, most theories focus on
motivation Motivation is what explains why people or animals initiate, continue or terminate a certain behavior at a particular time. Motivational states are commonly understood as forces acting within the agent that create a disposition to engage in goal-d ...

motivation
and
psychological Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is ...
interactions with the environment one is surrounded by. Trait-based personality theories, such as those defined by
Raymond Cattell Raymond Bernard Cattell (20 March 1905 – 2 February 1998) was a British-American psychologist A psychologist is a professional who practices psychology and studies normal and abnormal mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and ...

Raymond Cattell
, define personality as traits that predict an individual's behavior. On the other hand, more behaviorally-based approaches define personality through learning and
habit A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of behavior Behavior (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (ling ...

habit
s. Nevertheless, most theories view personality as relatively stable. The study of the psychology of personality, called
personality psychology Personality psychology is a branch of psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is ...
, attempts to explain the tendencies that underlie differences in behavior. Psychologists have taken many different approaches to the study of personality, including biological, cognitive, learning, and trait-based theories, as well as psychodynamic, and humanistic approaches. The various approaches used to study personality today reflect the influence of the first theorists in the field, a group that includes
Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud ( , ; born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist Neurology (from el, νεῦρον (neûron), "string, nerve" and the suffix -logia, "study of") is a branch of medicine M ...

Sigmund Freud
,
Alfred Adler Alfred Adler (; ; 7 February 1870 – 28 May 1937) was an Austrian medical doctor, psychotherapist Psychotherapy (also psychological therapy or talking therapy) is the use of Psychology, psychological methods, particularly when based on regu ...

Alfred Adler
,
Gordon Allport Gordon Willard Allport (November 11, 1897 – October 9, 1967) was an American psychologist A psychologist is a professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns a living from a specified professional activity ...

Gordon Allport
,
Hans Eysenck Hans Jürgen Eysenck (; 4 March 1916 – 4 September 1997) was a German-born British psychologist who spent his professional career in Great Britain. He is best remembered for his work on intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many way ...
,
Abraham Maslow Abraham Harold Maslow (; April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs#REDIRECT Maslow's hierarchy of needs Maslow's hierarchy of needs is an idea in psychology ...
, and
Carl Rogers Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of Ame ...

Carl Rogers
.


Measuring

Personality can be determined through a variety of tests. Due to the fact that personality is a complex idea, the dimensions of personality and scales of such tests vary and often are poorly defined. Two main tools to measure personality are
objective testObjective tests are measures in which responses maximize objectivity, in the sense that response options are structured such that examinees have only a limited set of options (e.g. Likert scale, true or false). Structuring a measure in this way is ...
s and projective measures. Examples of such tests are the: Big Five Inventory (BFI),
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is a Standardized test, standardized Psychometrics, psychometric test of adult Personality psychology, personality and psychopathology. Psychologists and other mental health professionals use ...
(MMPI-2),
Rorschach Inkblot test The Rorschach test is a psychological test Psychological testing is the administration of psychological tests. Psychological tests are administered by trained evaluators. A person's responses are evaluated according to carefully prescribed gu ...
,
Neurotic Personality Questionnaire KON-2006The Neurotic Personality Questionnaire KON-2006 is a psychometric tool used for diagnosing personality dysfunctions that contribute to the development of neurotic disorders. The use of the questionnaire may facilitate the diagnosis of neurotic dis ...
, or Eysenck's Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R). All of these tests are beneficial because they have both
reliability Reliability, reliable, or unreliable may refer to: Science, technology, and mathematics Computing * Data reliability (disambiguation), Data reliability, a property of some disk arrays in computer storage * High availability * Reliability (computer ...
and
validity Validity or Valid may refer to: Science/mathematics/statistics: * Validity (logic), a property of a logical argument * Scientific: ** Internal validity, the validity of causal inferences within scientific studies, usually based on experiments ** ...
, two factors that make a test accurate. "Each item should be influenced to a degree by the underlying trait construct, giving rise to a pattern of positive intercorrelations so long as all items are oriented (worded) in the same direction." A recent, but not well-known, measuring tool that psychologists use is the
16PF The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) is a self-report personality test developed over several decades of empirical research by Raymond Cattell, Raymond B. Cattell, Maurice Tatsuoka and Herbert Eber. The 16PF provides a measure of norm ...
. It measures personality based on Cattell's 16-factor theory of personality. Psychologists also use it as a clinical measuring tool to diagnose psychiatric disorders and help with prognosis and therapy planning. Personality is frequently broken into factors or dimensions, statistically extracted from large questionnaires through
Factor analysis Factor analysis is a statistical Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, industrial, or social problem, it is c ...
. When brought back to two dimensions, often the dimensions of introvert-extrovert and neuroticism (emotionally unstable-stable) are used as first proposed by Eysenck in the 1960s.


Five-factor inventory

Many factor analyses found what is called the
Big FiveBig Five may refer to: Animals * the Big five game, Big Five, large African wild animals said to be most difficult to hunt: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo * Big Five animals of the Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India: Ind ...
, which are
openness to experience Openness to experience is one of the domains which are used to describe personality psychology, human personality in the Big Five personality traits, Five Factor Model. Openness involves six Facet (psychology), facets, or dimensions: active imagina ...
,
conscientiousness Conscientiousness is the personality trait In psychology, trait theory (also called dispositional theory) is an approach to the study of human personality psychology, personality. Trait theorists are primarily interested in the measurement of ' ...
,
extraversion The traits Trait may refer to: * Phenotypic trait in biology, which involve genes and characteristics of organisms * Trait (computer programming), a model for structuring object-oriented programs (a template class in the C++ programming langu ...
,
agreeableness Agreeableness is a personality trait In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is ...
, and
neuroticism In the study of psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an o ...
(or emotional stability). These components are generally stable over time, and about half of the variance appears to be attributable to a person's genetics rather than the effects of one's environment. Some research has investigated whether the relationship between happiness and extraversion saw in adults also can be seen in children. The implications of these findings can help identify children that are more likely to experience episodes of depression and develop types of treatment that such children are likely to respond to. In both children and adults, research shows that genetics, as opposed to environmental factors, exert a greater influence on happiness levels. Personality is not stable over the course of a lifetime, but it changes much more quickly during childhood, so personality constructs in children are referred to as temperament. Temperament is regarded as the precursor to personality. Another interesting finding has been the link found between acting
extraverted The trait theory, traits of extraversion (also spelled extroversion) and introversion are a central dimension in some human personality psychology, personality theories. The terms ''introversion'' and ''extraversion'' were introduced into psych ...
and positive affect. Extraverted behaviors include acting talkative, assertive, adventurous, and outgoing. For the purposes of this study, positive affect is defined as experiences of happy and enjoyable emotions. This study investigated the effects of acting in a way that is counter to a person's dispositional nature. In other words, the study focused on the benefits and drawbacks of introverts (people who are shy, socially inhibited, and non-aggressive) acting extraverted, and of extraverts acting introverted. After acting extraverted, introverts' experience of positive affect increased whereas extraverts seemed to experience lower levels of positive affect and suffered from the phenomenon of ego depletion.
Ego depletion Ego depletion refers to the idea that self-control Self-control, an aspect of inhibitory control Inhibitory control, also known as response inhibition, is a cognitive process Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquirin ...
, or cognitive fatigue, is the use of one's energy to overtly act in a way that is contrary to one's inner disposition. When people act in a contrary fashion, they divert most, if not all, (cognitive) energy toward regulating this foreign style of behavior and attitudes. Because all available energy is being used to maintain this contrary behavior, the result is an inability to use any energy to make important or difficult decisions, plan for the future, control or regulate emotions, or perform effectively on other cognitive tasks. One question that has been posed is why extroverts tend to be happier than introverts. The two types of explanations that attempt to account for this difference are instrumental theories and temperamental theories. The instrumental theory suggests that extraverts end up making choices that place them in more positive situations and they also react more strongly than introverts to positive situations. The temperamental theory suggests that extroverts have a disposition that generally leads them to experience a higher degree of positive affect. In their study of extraversion, Lucas and Baird found no statistically significant support for the instrumental theory but did, however, find that extraverts generally experience a higher level of positive affect. Research has been done to uncover some of the mediators that are responsible for the correlation between extraversion and happiness. ''Self-esteem'' and ''self-efficacy'' are two such mediators. Self-efficacy is one's belief about abilities to perform up to personal standards, the ability to produce desired results, and the feeling of having some ability to make important life decisions. Self-efficacy has been found to be related to the personality traits of extraversion and subjective well-being. Self-efficacy, however, only partially mediates the relationship between extraversion (and neuroticism) and subjective happiness. This implies that there are most likely other factors that mediate the relationship between subjective happiness and personality traits. ''Self-esteem'' maybe another similar factor. Individuals with a greater degree of confidence about themselves and their abilities seem to have both higher degrees of subjective well-being and higher levels of extraversion. Other research has examined the phenomenon of ''mood maintenance'' as another possible mediator. ''Mood maintenance'' is the ability to maintain one's average level of happiness in the face of an ambiguous situation – meaning a situation that has the potential to engender either positive or negative emotions in different individuals. It has been found to be a stronger force in extroverts. This means that the happiness levels of extraverted individuals are less susceptible to the influence of external events. This finding implies that extraverts' positive moods last longer than those of introverts.


Developmental biological model

Modern conceptions of personality, such as the
Temperament and Character Inventory The Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) is an inventory for personality traits devised by C. Robert Cloninger, Cloninger et al. It is closely related to and an outgrowth of the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ), and it has also be ...

Temperament and Character Inventory
have suggested four basic temperaments that are thought to reflect basic and automatic responses to danger and reward that rely on associative learning. The four temperaments, ''harm avoidance'', ''reward dependence'', ''novelty-seeking'' and ''persistence'', are somewhat analogous to ancient conceptions of melancholic, sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic personality types, although the temperaments reflect dimensions rather than distance categories. The harm avoidance trait has been associated with increased reactivity in insular and amygdala salience networks, as well as reduced 5-HT2 receptor binding peripherally, and reduced GABA concentrations. Novelty seeking has been associated with reduced activity in insular salience networks increased striatal connectivity. Novelty seeking correlates with dopamine synthesis capacity in the striatum and reduced auto receptor availability in the midbrain. Reward dependence has been linked with the
oxytocin Oxytocin (Oxt or OT) is a peptide hormonePeptide hormones or protein hormones are hormones whose molecules are peptides or proteins, respectively. The latter have longer amino acid chain lengths than the former. These hormones have an effect o ...

oxytocin
system, with increased concentration of plasma oxytocin being observed, as well as increased volume in oxytocin-related regions of the
hypothalamus The hypothalamus (from Ancient Greek wikt:ὑπό, ὑπό, "under", and wikt:θάλαμος, θάλαμος, "chamber") is a portion of the brain that contains a number of small Nucleus (neuroanatomy), nuclei with a variety of functions. One of ...

hypothalamus
. Persistence has been associated with increased striatal- connectivity, increased activation of ventral striatal-orbitofrontal-anterior cingulate circuits, as well as increased salivary amylase levels indicative of increased noradrenergic tone.


Environmental influences

It has been shown that personality traits are more malleable by environmental influences than researchers originally believed. Personality differences predict the occurrence of life experiences. One study has shown how the home environment, specifically the types of parents a person has, can affect and shape their personality. Mary Ainsworth's
Strange situation The strange situation is a procedure devised by Mary Ainsworth in the 1970s to observe attachment in children, that is relationships between a caregiver and child. It applies to children between the age of nine and 18 months. Broadly speaking, the a ...
experiment showcased how babies reacted to having their mother leave them alone in a room with a stranger. The different styles of attachment, labeled by Ainsworth, were Secure, Ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganized. Children who were securely attached tend to be more trusting, sociable, and are confident in their day-to-day life. Children who were disorganized were reported to have higher levels of anxiety, anger, and risk-taking behavior.
Judith Rich Harris Judith Rich Harris (February 10, 1938 – December 29, 2018) was an American psychology researcher and the author of ''The Nurture Assumption'', a book criticizing the belief that parents are the most important factor in child development, and pre ...
's group socialization theory postulates that an individual's peer groups, rather than parental figures, are the primary influence of personality and behavior in adulthood. Intra- and intergroup processes, not dyadic relationships such as parent-child relationships, are responsible for the transmission of culture and for environmental modification of children's personality characteristics. Thus, this theory points at the peer group representing the environmental influence on a child's personality rather than the parental style or home environment. Tessuya Kawamoto's ''Personality Change from Life Experiences: Moderation Effect of Attachment Security'' talked about some significant laboratory tests. The study mainly focused on the effects of life experiences on change in personality and life experiences. The assessments suggested that "the accumulation of small daily experiences may work for the personality development of university students and that environmental influences may vary by individual susceptibility to experiences, like attachment security". Some studies suggest that a shared family environment between siblings has less influence on personality than individual experiences of each child. Identical twins have similar personalities largely because they share the same genetic makeup rather than their shared environment.


Cross-cultural studies

There has been some recent debate over the subject of studying personality in a different culture. Some people think that personality comes entirely from culture and therefore there can be no meaningful study in cross-culture study. On the other hand, many believe that some elements are shared by all cultures and an effort is being made to demonstrate the cross-cultural applicability of "the Big Five". Cross-cultural assessment depends on the universality of personality traits, which is whether there are common traits among humans regardless of culture or other factors. If there is a common foundation of personality, then it can be studied on the basis of human traits rather than within certain cultures. This can be measured by comparing whether assessment tools are measuring similar constructs across countries or cultures. Two approaches to researching personality are looking at emic and etic traits. Emic traits are constructs unique to each culture, which are determined by local customs, thoughts, beliefs, and characteristics. Etic traits are considered universal constructs, which establish traits that are evident across cultures that represent a biological basis of human personality. If personality traits are unique to the individual culture, then different traits should be apparent in different cultures. However, the idea that personality traits are universal across cultures is supported by establishing the Five-Factor Model of personality across multiple translations of the NEO-PI-R, which is one of the most widely used personality measures. When administering the NEO-PI-R to 7,134 people across six languages, the results show a similar pattern of the same five underlying constructs that are found in the American factor structure. Similar results were found using the Big Five Inventory (BFI), as it was administered in 56 nations across 28 languages. The five factors continued to be supported both conceptually and statistically across major regions of the world, suggesting that these underlying factors are common across cultures. There are some differences across culture, but they may be a consequence of using a lexical approach to study personality structures, as language has limitations in translation and different cultures have unique words to describe emotion or situations. Differences across cultures could be due to real cultural differences, but they could also be consequences of poor translations, biased sampling, or differences in response styles across cultures. Examining personality questionnaires developed within a culture can also be useful evidence for the universality of traits across cultures, as the same underlying factors can still be found. Results from several European and Asian studies have found overlapping dimensions with the Five-Factor Model as well as additional culture-unique dimensions. Finding similar factors across cultures provides support for the universality of personality trait structure, but more research is necessary to gain stronger support.


Historical development of concept

The modern sense of individual personality is a result of the shifts in culture originating in the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
, an essential element in
modernity Modernity, a topic in the humanities and social sciences, is both a historical period (the modern era Human history, or world history, is the narrative of humanity Humanity most commonly refers to: * Human Humans (''Homo sapiens' ...

modernity
. In contrast, the Medieval European's sense of
self The self is an individual person as the object of its own reflective consciousness Consciousness, at its simplest, is or of internal and external existence. Despite millennia of analyses, definitions, explanations and debates by philosoph ...

self
was linked to a network of social roles: "the
household A household consists of one or several persons who live in the same dwelling In law, a dwelling (also residence, abode) is a self-contained unit of accommodation used by one or more households as a home A home, or domicile, is a s ...
, the
Kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox states th ...

Kinship
network, the
guild A guild is an association of artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functiona ...
, the
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...
– these were the building blocks of personhood".
Stephen Greenblatt Stephen Jay Greenblatt (born November 7, 1943) is an American Shakespearean, literary historian, and author. He has served as the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities Humanities are academic disciplines An academic disci ...
observes, in recounting the recovery (1417) and career of
Lucretius Titus Lucretius Carus ( , ; 99 – c. 55 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Rom ...
' poem ''
De rerum natura ''De rerum natura'' (; ''On the Nature of Things'') is a first-century BC didactic Didacticism is a philosophy that emphasizes instructional and informative qualities in literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written ...
'': "at the core of the poem lay key principles of a modern understanding of the world." "Dependent on the family, the individual alone was nothing," Jacques Gélis observes. "The characteristic mark of the modern man has two parts: one internal, the other external; one dealing with his environment, the other with his attitudes, values, and feelings." Rather than being linked to a network of social roles, the modern man is largely influenced by the environmental factors such as: "urbanization, education, mass communication, industrialization, and politicization."


Temperament and philosophy

William James William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States ** Americans, citi ...
(1842–1910) argued that temperament explains a great deal of the controversies in the history of philosophy by arguing that it is a very influential premise in the arguments of philosophers. Despite seeking only impersonal reasons for their conclusions, James argued, the temperament of philosophers influenced their philosophy. Temperament thus conceived is tantamount to a bias. Such bias, James explained, was a consequence of the trust philosophers place in their own temperament. James thought the significance of his observation lay on the premise that in philosophy an objective measure of success is whether philosophy is peculiar to its philosopher or not, and whether a philosopher is dissatisfied with any other way of seeing things or not.


Mental make-up

James argued that temperament may be the basis of several divisions in academia, but focused on philosophy in his 1907 lectures on ''
Pragmatism Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that considers words and thought as tools and instruments for prediction, problem solving, and action (philosophy), action, and rejects the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, ...
''. In fact, James' lecture of 1907 fashioned a sort of trait theory of the empiricist and rationalist camps of philosophy. As in most modern trait theories, the traits of each camp are described by James as distinct and opposite, and maybe possessed in different proportions on a continuum, and thus characterize the personality of philosophers of each camp. The "mental make-up" (i.e. personality) of rationalist philosophers is described as "tender-minded" and "going by "principles," and that of empiricist philosophers is described as "tough-minded" and "going by "facts." James distinguishes each not only in terms of the philosophical claims they made in 1907, but by arguing that such claims are made primarily on the basis of temperament. Furthermore, such categorization was only incidental to James' purpose of explaining his pragmatist philosophy and is not exhaustive.


Empiricists and rationalists

According to James, the ''temperament'' of rationalist philosophers differed fundamentally from the ''temperament'' of
empiricist In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, l ...
philosophers of his day. The tendency of rationalist philosophers toward ''refinement'' and ''superficiality'' never satisfied an empiricist temper of mind. Rationalism leads to the creation of ''closed systems'', and such optimism is considered shallow by the fact-loving mind, for whom perfection is far off. Rationalism is regarded as ''pretension'', and a temperament most inclined to ''abstraction''.
Empiricists In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, l ...
, on the other hand, stick with the external senses rather than logic. British empiricist
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * ...

John Locke
's (1632–1704) explanation of personal identity provides an example of what James referred to. Locke explains the identity of a person, i.e. personality, on the basis of a precise definition of identity, by which the meaning of identity differs according to what it is being applied to. The identity of a person is quite distinct from the identity of a man, woman, or substance according to Locke. Locke concludes that consciousness is personality because it "always accompanies thinking, it is that which makes everyone to be what he calls self," and remains constant in different places at different times. Rationalists conceived of the identity of persons differently than empiricists such as Locke who distinguished identity of substance, person, and life. According to Locke, (1596–1650) agreed only insofar as he did not argue that one immaterial spirit is the basis of the person "for fear of making brutes thinking things too." According to James, Locke tolerated arguments that a soul was behind the consciousness of any person. However, Locke's successor
David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) Cranston, Maurice, and Thomas Edmund Jessop. 2020 999999 or triple nine most often refers to: * 999 (emergency telephone number) 250px, A sign on a beach ...

David Hume
(1711–1776), and empirical psychologists after him denied the soul except for being a term to describe the cohesion of inner lives. However, some research suggests Hume excluded personal identity from his opus because he thought his argument was sufficient but not compelling. himself distinguished active and passive faculties of mind, each contributing to thinking and consciousness in different ways. The passive faculty, Descartes argued, simply receives, whereas the active faculty produces and forms ideas, but does not presuppose thought, and thus cannot be within the thinking thing. The active faculty mustn't be within self because ideas are produced without any awareness of them, and are sometimes produced against one's will. Rationalist philosopher
Benedictus Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (; ; ; born Baruch Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent Benedictus de Spinoza, anglicized to Benedict de Spinoza; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Port ...

Benedictus Spinoza
(1632–1677) argued that ideas are the first element constituting the human mind, but existed only for actually existing things. In other words, ideas of non-existent things are without meaning for Spinoza, because an idea of a non-existent thing cannot exist. Further, Spinoza's rationalism argued that the mind does not know itself, except insofar as it perceives the "ideas of the modifications of body," in describing its external perceptions, or perceptions from without. On the contrary, from within, Spinoza argued, perceptions connect various ideas clearly and distinctly. The mind is not the free cause of its actions for Spinoza. Spinoza equates the will with the understanding and explains the common distinction of these things as being two different things as an error which results from the individual's misunderstanding of the nature of thinking.


Biology

The biological basis of personality is the theory that anatomical structures located in the brain contribute to personality traits. This stems from
neuropsychology Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology. It is concerned with how a person's cognition and behavior are related to the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Professionals in this branch of psychology often focus on how injuries or illness ...
, which studies how the structure of the brain relates to various psychological processes and behaviors. For instance, in human beings, the
frontal lobe The frontal lobe is the largest of the four major lobes of the brain The lobes of the brain were originally a purely anatomical classification, but have been shown also to be related to different brain functions. The cerebrum, the largest po ...

frontal lobe
s are responsible for foresight and anticipation, and the
occipital lobe The occipital lobe is one of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex The cerebral cortex, also known as the cerebral mantle, is the outer layer of neural tissue of the cerebrum of the brain in humans and other mammals. The cerebral cortex ...

occipital lobe
s are responsible for processing visual information. In addition, certain physiological functions such as hormone secretion also affect personality. For example, the
hormone A hormone (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appr ...

hormone
testosterone Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of Male reproductive system, male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondar ...
is important for sociability, affectivity,
aggressiveness Aggression is overt or covert, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other harm upon another individual. It may occur either reactively or without provocation. In humans, aggression can be caused by various ...
, and sexuality. Additionally, studies show that the expression of a personality trait depends on the volume of the brain cortex it is associated with.


Personology

Personology confers a multidimensional, complex, and comprehensive approach to personality. According to Henry A. Murray, personology is From a holistic perspective, personology studies personality as a whole, as a system, but at the same time through all its components, levels, and spheres.Strack, S. (2005). ''Handbook of Personology and Psychopathology''. Wiley


See also

*
Cult of personality A cult of personality, or cult of the leader, Mudde, Cas and Kaltwasser, Cristóbal Rovira (2017) ''Populism: A Very Short Introduction''. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 63. arises when a country's regime uses the techniques of mass med ...
, political institution in which a leader uses mass media to create a larger-than-life public image *
Differential psychology Differential psychology studies the ways in which individuals differ in their behavior and the processes that underlie it. This is a discipline that develops classifications (taxonomies) of psychological individual differences. This is distinguis ...
*
Human variability Human variability, or human variation, is the range of possible values for any characteristic, physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album), a 1981 album by ...
*
Offender profiling Offender profiling, also known as criminal profiling, is an investigative strategy used by law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA), in North American English, is any government agency responsible for the law enforcement, enforceme ...
* ''
Personality and Individual Differences ''Personality and Individual Differences'' is a Peer review, peer-reviewed academic journal published 16 times per year by Elsevier. It was established in 1980 by Pergamon Press and is the official journal of the International Society for the Stud ...
'', a scientific journal published bi-monthly by Elsevier * Personality computing * Personality crisis *
Personality disorder Personality disorders (PD) are a class of mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. ...
*
Personality rights The right of publicity, sometimes referred to as personality rights, is the right of an individual to control the commercial use of one's identity, such as name, image, likeness, or other unequivocal identifiers. It is generally considered a pro ...
, consisting of the right to individual publicity and privacy *
Personality style Personality style has been defined as "an individual's relatively consistent inclinations and preferences across contexts."Eriksen, Karen & Kress, Victoria E. (2005). A Developmental, Constructivist Model for Ethical Assessment (Which Includes Diagn ...


References


Further reading

* * * {{Authority control Conceptions of self Epistemology Human development Metaphysics of mind Personality