The Formation of the Human Personality

The Formation of the Human Personality

Running Header: THE FORMATION

The Formation of the Human Personality

The complex nature of the personality makes humanity interesting to study, but the definition of what the personality is and the constructs are a source of constant debate. A number of psychoanalytic and trait theoretical approaches attempt to explain the different aspects of the personality. Each approach has a different take on what influences human behavior and the formation of the personality, yet each strives to explain how and why personality traits emerge.

Personality Defined

The human personality consists of the characteristic pattern of thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that make a person unique (Friedman & Schustack, 2008). After formation, the personality will generally maintain consistency throughout the lifespan of the individual. Although there is disagreement regarding the formation of the personality, the basis of the personality is agreed to consist of a recognizable trend in behavior. Additionally, there must be a physiological need or tie to the behavior, the personality must influence how one will move and respond to the environment, and it must have multiple expressions.

Theories of Personality

Over time a variety of approaches have surfaced to explain how the personality develops, which include type theories, trait theories, psychodynamic theories, behavioral theories, and humanist theories (Friedman & Schustack, 2008). Personality type theories seek to fit people into distinct categories and personality styles. In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates and Galen classified four types of humor in people: irritable, depressed, optimistic, and calm. In the 1940s William Sheldon classified personalities by somatype. In this theory, an endomorph or fat person is considered to be relaxed and sociable, a mesomorph or fit individual is active and assertive, and an underweight person or ectomorph is considered quiet and restrained.

A more widely...

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