Personality, deeply ingrained and relatively enduring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior. Personality usually refers to that which is unique about a person, the characteristics that distinguish him or her from other people. Thought, emotion, and behavior as such do not constitute a personality, which is, rather, the dispositions that underlie these elements. Personality implies predictability about how a person will act or react under different circumstances.
Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and individual differences. One emphasis in this area is to construct a coherent picture of a person and his or her major psychological processes. Another emphasis views personality as the study of individual differences, in other words, how people differ from each other. A third area of emphasis examines human nature and how all people are similar to one other. These three viewpoints merge together in the study of personality.
Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations (Ryckman, 2004). The word "personality" originates from the Latin persona, which means mask. Significantly, in the theatre of the ancient Latin-speaking world, the mask was not used as a plot device to disguise the identity of a character, but rather was a convention employed to represent or typify that character.
Theorists emphasize different aspects of personality and disagree about its organization, development, and manifestation in behavior. One of the most influential theoretical systems is the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud and his followers (see Psychoanalysis). Freud believed that unconscious processes direct a great part of a person’s behavior. Although a person is unaware of these impulses and drives, they strive to assert themselves. Another influential theory of personality is derived...