About me

Dr. P. Prince Dhanaraj

Ph.D. Education, Ph.D. Economics, Ph.D. Management

Educational Consultant,

Teaching, Research & International Collaboration
South India.



            Psychologically speaking, personality is all that a person is.  It is the totality of one’s behaviour towards oneself as well as others.  It includes everything about the person, his physical, emotional, social, mental and spiritual make-up.  It is all that a person has about him.


So definitely, the term personality signifies something deeper than mere appearance or outward behaviour.  How should it be given a proper meaning or definition is a difficult problem.  Actually subjective nature does not allow to reach to a clear-cut, well agreed definition.  That is why, it has been defined by many psychologists in so many ways according to their own points of view. Let us first begin with J.B. Watson (1930) the famous behaviourist.  He defined personality in the words given below:


Personality is the sum of activities that can be discovered by actual observations over a long enough period of time to give reliable information.

            Thus, Watson gives emphasis on the behaviour of an individual and considers personality as nothing but the useful effect one makes upon the person coming in his close contact. Morton Prince, accepting the role of both heredity and environment, defines it as :

Personality is the sum total of all the biological innate dispositions, impulses, tendencies, appetites and instincts of the individual and the dispositions and tendencies acquired by experience.

After evaluating 49 definitions of personality written by many eminent persons, All port summarizes his own concept in the following words:

Personality is a dynamic organization within the individual of those psycho-physical systems that determine his unique adjustment to his environment.

Although All port has tried to give a comprehensive definition of the term ‘personality’ by including the words organization, dynamic, psycho-physical system, unique adjustment and environment etc. yet he, like his predecessors, only describes it.  By emphasizing merely on theoretical aspect and describing it in terms of behavioural or dynamic concepts, the true nature of personality cannot be understood.  Contemporary psychologists like R.B. Cattell and Eysenck have so opined.  They very strongly feel that if personality cannot be demonstrated, measured and quantified, it should be called philosophy or art and not personality theory in psychology.


The world ‘PERSONALITY’ is derived from a Latin word ‘persona’ which denotes the mask worn by the actors while playing their role in the drama.

Personality is the embodiment of physical, emotional, social, mental, moral and other traits of a human being.

Each letter of the word ‘PERSONALITY’ implies its meaning as follows:

P – denotes Perception capacity

E – denotes Emotional maturity

R – denotes Responsiveness to the situation

S – denotes Sociability

O – denotes Originality

N – denotes Neutrality

A –  denotes Appearance (external)

L –   denotes Leadership feeling

I  –   denotes Integrated

T  –  denotes Tendency

Y  –  denotes Young (in thinking)


R.B. Cattell

Personality is that which permits a prediction of what a person will do in a given situation.



Personality is the more or less stable and enduring organization of a person’s character temperament, intellect, and physique, which determine his unique adjustment to the environment.



1.     The definition gives a balanced consideration to heredity and environment in building one’s personality.

2.     Eysenck stresses on the concept of structure and organization and criticizes just naming of some of the behavioural characteristics like bricks in describing a home

3.     This definition gives personality a physiological base.

4.     It gives a complete picture of the human behaviour patterns by including cognitive, conative, affective and somatic (constitutional) aspects.

5.     This definition aims at making personality somewhat measurable and assessable and thus gives it a scientific base.

The above-mentioned characteristics do not suggest that Eysenck’s definition has explained everything about the term’ personality’ nor does it claim that it does not have any weak point.  Like other definitions, this definition also suffers from some limitations and drawbacks, which are given below:

(i) Eysenck advocates that personality must have a physiological base, but such is not the case always.  Due to the very complex nature of personality, we cannot always have a physiological base.

(ii)  His definition leads us to form an opinion that personality is fixed and cannot be changed.

This is an extreme approach.  It is true that personality should be evaluated on the basis of generality of the behaviour.  However, on the other hand, changes cannot be denied. A person, who is an extrovert, may turn into an introvert depending upon so many intervening factors.

Thus for understanding the concept of personality, the evolution of an ideal definition still needs further research.  In fact, concepts like personality are difficult to be explained as they have the identity like sound or electricity where the impact can be felt but their real nature is always undisclosed. Something about them can be known by their utility or by describing some of their characteristics and distinguishing features.  Let us seek the meaning of the term ‘personality’ on similar lines.



1.     Firstly, personality is something unique and specific. Each one of us is a unique pattern in ourselves.  No two individuals, not even identical twins, behave in precisely the same way over a period of time.  Everyone of us has specific characteristics for making adjustments.

2.     The second main characteristic of personality is self-consciousness. The man is described as a person or as having a personality when the idea of ‘self’ enters into his consciousness. In this connection H.R. Bhatia (1968) writes. “We do not attribute personality to a dog and even a child cannot be described as a personality because it has only a vague sense of personal identity.”

3.     Personality includes everything about a person. It is all that a person has about him.  It includes all the behavior patterns, i.e. conative, cognitive and affective, and covers not only the conscious activities but goes deeper to semi-conscious and unconscious levels also.

4.     It is not just a counting the bricks how can we describe the wall of a house? It needs something more and actually personality is more than this:  It is an organization of some psycho-physical systems or some behaviour characteristics and functions as a unified whole.  Like when describing an elephant, we cannot say that it is like a pillar only by examining its legs.  Similarly by looking at one’s physique or sociability, we cannot pass judgment about one’s personality.  It is only when we carefully study all the aspects-biological as well as social-we can form an idea bout his personality.

5.     Personality is not static, it is dynamic and ever in the process of change and modification. As we have said earlier, personality is all that a person has about him.  It gives him all that is needed for his unique adjustment in his environment.  The process of making adjustment to environment is continuous.  One has to struggle with the environmental as well as the inner forces throughout one’s life.  As a result, one has to bring modifications and changes in one’s personality patterns and it makes the nature of personality dynamic instead of static.

6.     Every personality is the product of heredity and environment. Both contribute significantly towards the development of the child’s personality.

7.     Learning and acquisition of experiences contribute towards growth and development of one’s personality. Every personality is the end product of this process of learning and acquisition.

8.     Everyone’s personality has one more distinguishing feature, that is aiming to an end or some specific goal. Adler, in his book ‘individual Psychology’ opined that a man’s personality can be judged through a study and interpretation of the goals he has set for himself to achieve and the approaches he makes to the problems in his life.  In this way, he gives a very concise meaning to the personality of an individual by calling it ‘lifestyle of an individual’

Indeed this short and concise explanation of the term has a wide meaning.  It draws a  beautiful portrait of an individual’s totality.  It may be understood as the sum total of one’s way of behaving towards oneself as well as others.  It also predicts one’s nature of behaviour as to how will one behave in a particular situation and one’s pattern of adjustment to the ever changing forces of environment.




Man is a member of a complex society.  His final aim is self-actualization.  His present is determined by the past experiences and future expectations.

Man is born with some inborn capacities for personality pattern.  As he grows the personality pattern is determined by his needs and the environment he faces.

Environmental factors activate the individual’s personality along with the hereditary factors.  The individual personality is not permanent but it is growing and develops its existence.  The  factors  which  influence  the  human  personality are

a) Physique

b) Chemique


Ink –Blot Test

Hermann Rorschach (1884-19220 A Swiss Psychiatrist developed this technique in the year 1921.  Unfortunately he died after a year in 1922.

1.     Test Material : The test has 10 cards on which in-blots patterns are mounted on a stiff cardboard of 8×10”. Five blots are made up of black and grey (card No. 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7). Two are black and red (Card No. 2 and 3) and three are multi coloured (Card No. 8, 8 and 10)

The ink-blots are highly unstructured and they do not have any specific meaning. 


            The cards are presented at a time in a particular order.  The individual is asked to specify what he/she sees in it,.  The individual is allowed to take his/he own time and is permitted to give any number of responses he likes.  The experimenter take note of the responses given by the subject and the time taken for each card.

 Scoring :

For scoring, the responses are entered in specific symbols and are entered in four columns.

1.     Location : Location refers to the part of the blot with which the subject associates his response is identified. The responses are given in symbols W-Whole blot, D-large details, d-small details, s-white spaces.

2.     content : This deals with the content of the response realized by the subject. Symbols  re given. H-Human objects like rivers, mountains etc., O-Inanimate objects like lamp, shade etc.

3.      Originality : If the response is original the symbol “O” is given and if it is popularly recognized by many individuals, the symbol “P” is given. Determinants : It emphasizes the manner of perception i.e. particular characters  which aid the subject to give his/her response.  Symbols are given as follows : Form

(f) Colour (c)  Movement (M) Shading (k)


 Interpretation : In the table, different symbols are taken into account i.e. retile frequencies are taken not of. On the basis of the frequencies, interpretation is made.

For e.g.

1.     In the number of “W” is greater than “d” the subject is considered mature and                Intelligent

2.     If colour is more than movement, the subject is considered as extrovert.

3.     Poor colour or colour naming responses are considered to indicate lack of emotional control.

4.     If the individual sees human beings, he/she is regarded as stable and if animals he/she are seen is regarded as unstable.

Thus, the test is used in the assessment of personality.

2.     Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)tat.jpg

            The test consisting of perception of a certain picture in a thematic manner (revealing imaginative themes) is called TAT or Thematic Apperception Test.  This test was developed by Murray and Morgan (the following pictures)520p 

Test material and administration:

            It consists of 30 pictures which portray human beings in a variety of actual life situations. Ten of the cards are meant for males, 10 for females and 10 for both.  In this way, the maximum number of pictures used with any subject is 20. The test is usually administered  in two sessions, using 10 pictures in each session.  The pictures are presented one at a time.  They are vague and indefinite.  The subject is told clearly that this is a test of creative imagination and that there is no right and wrong response.  He has to make up a story for each of the pictures presented to him, within a fixed time.  He has to take care of the following aspects while knitting the story :

1.     What is going on the picture?

2.     What has led to this scene?

iii. What would happen in such a situation?

In making up the stories the subject unconsciously projects so many characteristics of his personality.  There is no time to think.  Therefore, the stories express his own life-natural desires, likes and dislikes, ambitions, emotions, sentiments etc.  Its special value resides in its power of exploring the underlying hidden drives, complexes and conflicts of the personality.  An expert examiner can know much about the personality of his subject by carefully interpreting the given responses.


Scoring and Interpretation :

            Originally Murray analyzed the contents of the stories according to the need and presses (the need of the hero and the environmental forces to which he is exposed).  Today this way of interpretation is not generally followed. Nowadays, the system of scoring and interpretation takes into account the following:

(a)  Hero of the story – What type of personality does he have?

(b)  Theme of the story – What is the nature of the theme or plot used in making the       story

(c)  Style of the story – Length of the story, language used, direct or indirect                   expression, forced or poor expression, organization of the contents, originality and  creativity etc.

§  The content of the story – What interests, sentiments, attitudes do they depict. In      which  manner (reality or fantasy) has the behaviour been expressed? What inner      state of the mind does the story reveal?

§  Test situation as a whole – The subject’s reaction to be listed as whole

§  Particular emphasis or omissions – The omission, addition, distortion and attention to particular details

§  Subject’s attitude towards authority and sex.

§  Outcome. Conclusion of the story – happy, unhappy, comedy etc.,

As a whole, the recurring themes and features contribute more than a single response towards interpretation.  Moreover, the global view of one’s personality should be based on the responses of all the 20 pictures shown to the subject.  There are so many chances of misinterpreting the stories contents by an immature examiner.  Therefore, the future of TAT hangs on the possibility of perfecting the interpreter more than in perfecting the material.  He should be given full opportunity for acquiring essential knowledge and training for this purpose.


Cat (Children Apperception Test)

            TAT test works well with adults and adolescents but for children it is not suitable.  For children between 3 to 10 years, the CAT was developed by D. Leopold Bellak.

Description of the Test: It consists of 10 cards. The cards have pictures of animals instead of human characters since it was thought that children could identify with animal figures more readily than with persons.  These animals are shown in various life situations.  For both sexes, all the 10 cards are needed.  The pictures are designed to evoke fantasies relating to a child’s own experiences, reactions and feelings.  Whatever story the child makes, he projects himself.  It is a colour-free test but it demands some alterations according to the child’s local conditions.

Administering the test : All the 10 cards are presented one by one and the subject is asked to make up stories on them.  The child should have confidence and he should consider story-making a pleasant game.

Interpretation : Interpretation of the stories is centered around the following eleven variables:



1.     Hero : The personality traits of the hero as revealed in the story

2.     Theme of the story : what particular theme has he selected for the story building?

3.     The end of the story : Happy ending or unhappy, wishful, realistic or unrealistic.

4.     attitude towards parental figures : Hatred, respect, devotion, grateful, dependent,   aggressive or fearful.

5.     Family role : With whom does the child identify himself with in the family.

     6.Other outside figures introduced : Objects or elements introduced in the story but         not shown in the picture.

7. Omitted or ignored figures : Which figures are omitted or ignored should be noted               as they may depict the wish of the subject that the figures were not there.

8.     Nature of the anxieties : Harassment, loss of love, afraid of being left alone etc.,should also be noted.

9.Punishment for crime : The relationship between a crime committed in the story  and       severity of punishment given for it.

  10.Defense and confidence : The type of defenses, flight, aggression, passivity,                      ted  regression etc. the child takes, nature of compliance or dependence, involvement in    pleasure and achievement, sex desire etc.

   11.Other supplementary knowledge : The language, the overall structure of the stories, time taken for completing them and the reactions of the subject at the time of  making the story etc.,With all this knowledge an expert interpreter can pronounce judgment on the various aspects of the child’s personality.

3.     Word Association Test

            In  this technique there are a number of selected words.  The subject is told that: the examiner will utter a series of words. The subject is told that :

(ii) after each word the subject is to reply as quickly as possible with the first word that      Comes to his mind, and

(iii) there is no right or wrong response.

The examiner then records the reply to each word spoken by him; the reaction time and any unusual speech or behaviour manifestations accompanying a given response. The contents of the responses along with the other recorded things give clues for evaluating the human personality and thus help a psychologist in his work.

4.     Sentence-Completion Tests

            The tests include a list of incomplete open-ended sentences, which require completion by the subject in one or more words.  The subject is asked to go through the list and answer as quickly as possible (without giving a second thought to his answers).   For example, we can have the following sentences:

I am worried over…………..

My hope is  …………………

I feel proud when …………..

My hero is ………………….

The sentence completion tests are regarded as superior to word association because the subject may respond with more than one word. Also there it is possible to have a greater flexibility and variety of responses and more area of personality and experiences may be tapped.

In addition to the projective techniques mentioned above, there are some others which may prove useful in many situations.  These are play technique, drawing and painting tests etc.  Both these techniques are very useful in the case of small children.  In the former, the examiner

Observes the spontaneous behaviour of the children while playing or constructing something with the help of given material and in the latter, the natural free hand drawing and paintings of the children are the matter of the study.  Both these techniques provide a good opportunity for the careful analysis of a child’s personality.



5.     Free Association and Dream Analysis Test :

This technique was used by Freud to find out the repressed unconscious desires, emotions and feelings of individual men and women.  According to this method the psycho-analyst first of all wins the confidence of the subject. The subject is then asked to take a comfortable position and recline on a sofa and is encouraged to talk about his trouble, freely.  At a certain point in his free conversation the subject stops and resists in expressing his ideas freely. After many sittings of this type the analyst comes to know some significant factors of personality.  The analyst also interprets the dreams of the subject.  Certain repressed desires which the subject cannot express in the conscious world find their expression in a different form in his dreams.  Thus an analysis of his dreams also gives a clue to his personality.


Evaluation of Projective Techniques :

Projective techniques have some  outstanding features which give them some sort of superiority over the other techniques of assessing the personality.  They are given below.

1.     The nature of appraisals being made by these techniques is usually well-disguised. The subject is ordinarily not aware of the true purpose of the test ad even if he has knowledge, he cannot know what aspects of his responses are significant or what significance do they have. Therefore, there is no danger of distortion of the response or to give selective responses by the subject.

2.     In these projective techniques, the tasks presented to the individual are usually both novel and unstructured. The subject cannot depend upon an established, conventional and stereotyped pattern of responses.  He is to respond quite independently.  Therefore, by these techniques, we can be saved from the danger or practice and coaching effects from which most tests suffer.

3.     Scope and area of their application is very wide. They make little or no demand on literacy or academic skills and are equally useful for children as well as adults.

4.     Most of the essential aspects of the unconscious behaviour, of which the subject himself has no knowledge, can be revealed through these techniques. In this way, these techniques play a great role in disclosing the private world of the subject and hence have a unique advantage of evaluating the total personality of an individual.



Despite all these good points at their credit, the projective techniques also suffer from some weakness.  They are :

1.     Standardized projective tests are costly. Also there is a shortage of such tests.

2.     The standardized work suffers from many weaknesses. Proper norms and objective

Interpretation are hardly available for these tests.  Also they are not highly reliable and valid.

1.     They are time-consuming both in administration and scoring.

2.     The interpretation task is subjective and needs well-trained and experienced persons, who are generally not available.

But these above mentioned limitations on the part of projective techniques do not make

them less significant.  In fact with the essential training and knowledge at his command, an expert psychologist is sure to gain important information about the subject, which is otherwise not available.  On the other hand, it is also true that the projective techniques alone are not the answer to all the questions regarding human personality and adjustment.  They should always be supplemented with other techniques of the personality so that comprehensive and detailed picture of the personality make-up of an individual is obtained.



A well integrated personality has got the following characteristics:

1.     Self-Consciousness :

A person with a normal personality has no idea of self-regard and a feeling of self-consciousness. He takes a critical view of praise and blame of others about him. He tries to judge himself as others would judge him.

2.     Personality is social :

We come to have an idea of social consciousness, when we come in interaction with other individuals in the society.  It is by interaction with them that our personality develops.  It is only in this society that we come to know the value of adjustment with others.  The individual comes to have a personality, when other react to his actions and qualities.

3.     Personality continuously adjusts itself : It is in the society that the individual comes across various types of stimuli. He has to adjust himself accordingly. This adjustment depends on his organic structure, his attitude, goals and dispositions.  It is by adjustment, that the individual comes to have personality.

4.     Personality strives for goals :

All our actions have some purpose in view. These purposes may be determined by our organic and psychological needs.  Some of them are also determined by the demands of civilized society.  Goals do determine the personality of the individual.

5.     Unity of Personality :

As our entire body functions in doing something; in the same way, all our actions are affected by the total pattern or our personality.  The child may not achieve this unity at the infancy and childhood stage.  As he matures, develops his self-regarding sentiment, he comes to have integration of personality.



1.     Observation

            The ways in which a student passes through his situations and environments may be observed and his personality may be assessed. It we want to find out the leadership qualities inherent in him, we have to observe his behaviour in classroom, play ground, group activities, extra curricular activities, teamwork in social activities etc.  The observation has to be recorded and analyzed to find out the possible leadership qualities in the student.


A list of questions are given to a student and his personality is assessed through his promptness in answering the questions.

For example, if you want to find out whether an individual is an extrovert or an introvert, we have to ask the following questions.

1.     Would you like to be free?                                                Yes                Undecided                   No

2.     Do you have proper relations with    Your friends?                                                                                                                                                                          Yes                Undecided                   No

3.     Personality Inventory

This is also of similar questionnaire type with a slight difference. A questionnaire is used for any purpose of test but the personality inventory is used only to evaluate the assessment of personality.  In questionnaire, questions are raised in the form of questions with three alternate answers but in the inventory three statements are given and one has to be answered. For e.g.

1.     I always like to be wealthy                                              

Yes                  Undecided                No

2.     I cannot see others being unhappy                              

Yes                  Undecided                No

The perfect example for a personality inventory today is the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory (MMPI). This most popular inventory was prepared and standardized by S.R. Hathaway and J.C. Mekinky.  This inventory consists of 550 statements which are to be answered in three alternatives namely, true, false and cannot say.

On the basis of the answers given, an individual’s personality is evaluated.


Sample item of MMPI :

1.     It makes me nervous to have to wait                    

True              Cannot Say                 False

2.     Sexual things disgust me                                          

True              Cannot Say                 False


This inventory is intended for persons who are 16 years or older ones who are able to read and understand.  Each item is related to one of the nine clinical scales like:

1.     Hypochondriasis (HS), 2. Depression (D), 3. Hysteria (Hy), 4. Psychopathetic deviant (Pd), 5. Masculinity and feminity Interest (Mf), 6. Paronia (pa), 7. Psychosthenia (pt), 8. Schizophrenia (Sc), 9. Hypomania (ma).

2.     Rating Scales

            In all personality assessment techniques the answers have to be given by the individual but in rating scale personality of a individual is not assessed by himself but by other persons who know the individual well.  If a student’s social behaviour is to be assessed, it is not to be assessed by himself, but by a person who knows him well, preferably the teacher.

A rating scale consists of 3 or 5 or 7 points on a scale.  They are descriptive.  One point which most suits the person should be chosen for answering.

E.g. If we want to evaluate the emotional behaviour of an individual the following five points rating scale may be used.

Highly                Occasionally            Socially                Very rarely        Not at all

Emotional           Emotional              Average               Emotional          Emotional

The teacher should prefer on of the points which suits the pupil.  But this method is highly subjective and not objective.

5.     Interviews

In an interview one has to face a chain of questions directly and the personality of the individual is assessed.  Following are the two types of interview.  In structured interview answers to the questions are prepared well in advance and then he/she attends the interview. But in an unstructured interview questions are asked based on situations and needs.


Physique & Chemique


The physique comprises factors like appearance, complexion, body-built, symmetric-proportion, colour and physical beauty, etc. The individual’s personality is not determined by the physique factor directly, but it has its own indirect bearing on the individual’s personality development. For example, the physically handicapped usually are abnormal both physically and psychologically.  But some physically handicapped persons develop themselves into normal personalities.


1.     Chemique

Chemique means the feasible effects of the ductless (endocrine) glands on human body.  The endocrine glands release chemical substance called hormones and spread it into the blood stream.  If these glands do not function properly, it will affect the structure of the body and the behaviour, and personality of the individual.

The functions of the major endocrine glands are as follows:

1.     i) The pituitary gland: It has two lower rounded parts (lobes) which lie at the base of the brain. It produces pituitary hormone which influences the growth and development of other glands and control the chemical equilibrium of the body. The surplus activities of the gland may result in an abnormal growth of the body whereas insufficient activity will result in the subnormal growth of body and sexual development.

1.     ii) The thyroid gland : It has two lobes situated on either side of the larynx. The hormone is called thyroxin.  The abnormal secretion of thyroxin will lead to nervousness, restlessness, dizziness and loss of sleep whereas the deficiency of thyroxin will result in swelling of face, abnormal growth of lips, abdomen and tongue.  Hence the gland plays an important role in maintaining the personality.

§  iii) The adrenal glands : We have two kidneys and are covered by two adrenal glands.          The glands are situated just above the kidneys.   The  hormone is called drenalin. It activates the heart to maintain the blood circulation normal.

1.     iv) The sex glands (gonads): These glands have key role for the sex motivation. The  male sex glands are the testes which secrete  the hormones called ‘estrogen’  and protogen.   These  hormones  have  great  importance  on   the  development  of personality and growth of the body. The secretions of male and female sex glands influence the  growth  and development of the characteristics that differentiate the male from the female. The secondary sex characteristics develop with the secretions of the hormones

1.     Environment

            The growth of individual’s personality largely depends upon his environmental factors. Without considering one’s environment the personality of a person cannot be explained. The environment has impacts on the personal development.  Following are the environmental factors which influence the personality development.

1.     Home : Family influences the personality of an individual to a very great extent. The attitude of parents towards the child, towards one another, towards other people, and the events and objects influence one’s personality.  Family has the predominant role in shaping the individual’s personality.  The behaviour showed by parents towards the child, relatives and friends and other objects influence one’s personality.  Unfriendly relationships also affect the individual.

2.     School : The personality of a child is also influenced by the following school factors.

3.     Cheerfulness : Cheerfulness means the happy and gay state of mind under all circumstances. In order to teach children to remain cheerful, healthy and cheerful surroundings of things and people should be created and restraints and frustrations should be minimized.

4.     Enthusiasm : Enthusiasm means strong eagerness with courage and energy. In order to infuse the spirit of enthusiasm in children pleasant and encouraging experiences of life should be taken and stories of romance and adventure should be told to them.

5.     Sense of humour : Humor means light mood. It helps a person to take things lightly and to keep irritation away.  In order to create sense of humor in children, they should be surrounded with funny and humorous persons and serious attitude in dealings should be avoided.

6.     Courage : Courage is exactly opposite of cowardice. Children can be made courageous by telling them about brave and courageous personalities and events of adventure from history and mythology and by teaching them to help themselves.

7.     Unselfishness : Unselfishness is opposite to self-centeredness. Children can be made unselfish by inducing them to mix with others and to share their joys and sorrows.

8.     Sympathy : Sympathy is linked with unselfishness. It means feeling for others. In order to make children sympathetic towards others, they should be taught to spare their things for others.

9.     Calmness : Calmness is opposite of excitedness. It makes a person restful.  Calmness can be fostered in children by keeping them in calm and quite environment and by avoiding the situations of tension and excitement.

10.            Self-confidence : Self-confidence means confidence in one-self. One who lacks self-confidence develops feeling of inferiority.  He becomes nervous and feels embarrassed in the presence of strangers or when he is asked to come to the stage to speak, or to sing, or to act. Constant fault-finding in a child and his undue criticism destroy self-confidence.  Self-confidence can be fostered in children by giving them ample opportunities to show their abilities, by praising their efforts, by making them feel that they are capable of doing everything and by encouraging them to do things themselves.  Freedom develops self-confidence and helplessness breaks it down.

11.            Self-assertiveness : Self-assertiveness means to exert oneself and to take a lead.  It is a natural tendency in children and it should not be curbed.  In order to develop self-assertiveness in children, they should be encouraged to assert themselves in various fields, to come forward and to express themselves.

12.            Society : The society and its circumstances, the environments also play a vital role in deciding one’s personality development.

13.            Cultural differences : An individual’s personality is also determined by the culture in which he/she is reared.

14.            Learning

Learning is a life-long process through which the individual accumulates experiences and it influences his/her personality and its development.


Theories / Approaches of Personality

            The theories of personality are classified under four categories:

1.     Type Theory : Based upon the physical characteristics the people are categorized into different types.

2.     Trait Theory : Trait means special or peculiar features. This theory explains personality in terms of traits.  Raymond B.Cattell’s theory is the best example of this type of theories.

3.     Trait-cum-type Theroy : These theories make use of both the above points.  The best known among them is the view of H.J.Eysenck.

4.     Psychoanalytic Theory : The aim of this theory is to explain the growth and development of personality. The well accepted among them is Freud’s theory of Personality.






1.Type Theory :

1.     Hippocrates’ Classification :

Hippocrates, one of the disciples of the great philosopher Aristotle, grouped personality on the basis of individual’s temperament and suggested the following types:

1.Choleric                – Emotionally weak, bodily strong and easily tempted

2.Melancholic          – Emotionally and bodily weak-Pessimist (who fails to understand hat                                        is happiness.)

3.Phlegmatic            – Emotionally strong – able to control his emotions – bodily weak –                                              lazy type – always happy.

4.Sanguine               – Bodily strong – Energetic – control type – an optimist   (who knows,                                        understands what is happiness)

1.     Kretschmer’s Classification

Ernst Kretschmer, the German Psychologist has classified individuals on the basis of certain body types and assigned personality characteristics to each of them.

  Body Type              Body Characteristics                                 Personality Characteristics

1. Pyknic                   Fat types, in whom fat                              Social and helping to others   (having fat )           is more than muscle Bodies)

2. Athletic                 Healthy, balance                                      Energetic, optimist,

(balanced body)     between muscles                      can adjust to any situation and                                                                                                                  bone development

3. Leptosomatic         Thin, lean and tall,                                  Unsociable, shy, pessimist

(ean and thin)         no muscle, only bone                             and always alone


Projective Technique


            Projective Techniques try to evaluate the unconscious behaviour of the individuals. They try to evaluate the total personality of an individual and not separate segments.

Projective techniques are based on the phenomenon of projection.  In these techniques, relatively indefinite and unstructured stimuli are provided to the subject and he is asked to structure them in the way he likes.  While doing so, he unconsciously projects his own desires, hopes, fears, repressed wishes etc. in an imperfect form.

Following are the common projective techniques which are in existence :

1.     In Blot Test

2.     Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

3.     Sentence Completion Test

4.     Story Telling and Story Completion Test

5.     Free Association and Dream Analysis Test


Sheldon’s Classification

William H. Sheldon also classified certain body types and gave certain personality characteristics. He also classified human beings into certain types according to their physical structures and attached certain temperamental characteristics to them as given in figure



Personality Type            Somatic or body structure            Personality Characteristics description


1. Endomorphic        Person having highly developed            Easy going, sociable and  viscera but weak somatic affectionate.  structure. (Like Kretschmer’s Pyknic types)          Craving for muscular

2. Mesomorphic             balanced development of viscera           activity, self-assertive.  and somatic structure.  Loves risk and adventure (Like Kretschmer’s Athletic type)

3. Ectomorphic    Weak somatic structure as well     Pessimistic, unsociable and as undeveloped viscera.    Reserved. (Like Kretschmer’s Leptosomatic)


The approach adopted by the above psychologists to classify on the basis of correlation between structure of the body and personality characteristics, is lopsided. It is somewhat misleading. There does not exist such perfect body-mind or body-heart correlation as the propagators of these approaches have assumed.

1.     Jung’s Classification :

            Jung (Carl Gustav Jung) divided people into three types depending on their social behaviour and status.

1.     Introvert: Introvert is one who is more interested in his own thoughts and feelings than in things outside himself. They are interested in writing reading, day dreaming etc. They want to deliver their views through writing than speaking.

2.     Extrovert : Extroverts are those persons interested in what goes on around them than in their own thoughts and feelings. They are social and friendly with everyone. Therefore, extroverts are the persons who look outward rather than inward. They are chiefly interested in objective things, events, other people and their activities.

3.     Ambivert : No one is either completely an introvert or an extrovert. Everybody is a combination of the two.  If the introversion and extroversion are equally balanced, the person is called ambient.

Trait Theory

            According to the famous English Psychologist, R.B. Cattell and individual’s nature and behavioural patterns are fundamental to the study of personality.  These are called as personality traits.  Any quality which is firm and does not yield to any change easily is called a trait.  An individual’s personality is a synthesis and collection of all such characteristics or traits. Cattell, classified two types of traits.

a. Surface Traits : We can realize surface traits, external traits in an individual’s      behaviour. Eg.  Irritability.  He will be excited to irritation very easily.

b.  Source Traits : Every individual has his own source traits (internal traits).  These are inherent. Surface traits depend on source traits.  An individual may have a surface trait of irritability when he has a source trait of emotionality.  These traits are permanent.

According to Cattell, a collection of these traits is an individual’s personality.

Type-cum-Trait Theory

The famous German Psychologists Hans J. Eysenck,  advocated his own views regarding personality. This theory is a combination of both the type and trait approaches.  Eysenck classified four types of personality. They are 1) Introvert, 2) Extrovert, 3) Neurotic and 4) Psychotic.

The above kinds of personality are derived on the basis of a collection of personality traits.

Let us consider a specific response which later develops into a habitual response.  These habitual responses will cultivate traits.  Such traits in a multitude develop into a personality type.

For example we ask a boy to do a specific work.  But he is not able to do the work.  He may not wish to see you.  This response is the outcome of a specific situation.  This is called specific response.  This is the first stage.

Similarly we can ask him to do another kind of work on another event.  Then we can find that he is not interested in doing that work also.  His disobedience becomes a habit in him.  Gradually it becomes a habitual response in him.  This is the second stage.

Because of his inert (lazy) nature, he fails to join others.  He seems always to be aloof and it becomes his nature.  This is the third stage.

All these traits will make a particular personality of him.  This personality type is called introversion.  This is the fourth stage.

Psychoanalytic Theories

The aim of this theory is to explain the growth and development of personality.  The well accepted among them is Freud’s theory of personality.


The father of Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud is the founder of the school of psychology which is called as psychoanalysis.  According to him personality consists of Id, Ego and Superego. The Id likes to find pleasure and avoid pains and is impulsive.  It works with the seeking the pleasure principle.  The term ‘Id’ refers to the totality of biological drives.  Ego is an obstacle to the philosophy of Id.  It works with the reality principle.  Superego refers to conscience. This is made up of the moral values and judgments according to conscience.


The super ego serves as a censor by judging the actions of the Ego and impulses of the Id. “Ends justify the means” is the philosophy of Id. Thus, Id is like animal demanding gratification.  Ego tries to get satisfaction out of Id impulses.  Super-ego is the conscience.  According to psychoanalytic theory, the interaction among the three is the cause for the development of personality.

For e.g. a boy wants to have a book which belongs to another. Id says him to take it irrespective of whom it belongs.  Ego advises him that it belongs to somebody and he should  not take it without permission.  Super ego properly will advise him that if he wants it the other boy should be ready to give and he should not get it through anti-social ways.  Ego and the super-ego have an impact on the human behaviour and development of personality.



Assesments / Tools and Techniques



            Everybody is curious to know about his own personality or that of others. We want to describe it and know what type of personality or the personality traits are possessed by us or others.  It needs the knowledge and skill for the assessment or measurement of personality.  There are various methods and techniques which can help us in this task.  But before discussing these methods and techniques which can help us in this task. But before discussing these methods and techniques, let us first decide about using the terms assessment and measurement since it is often argued that personality can’t be measured, it can only be assessed.

Whether Personality is Measured or Assessed?

            The answer of this question lies in a question itself-Is the measurement of personality possible? If not then let us analyze difficulties that one faces while trying to measure it.

Difficulties in the Measurement of Personality

            There are three basic elements involved in any process of measurement which are responsible for the success or failure of this process.  They are

(1) Nature of the thing we want to measure.

(2) Nature of the instruments with the help of which we have to measure it.

(3) Nature of the person who is going to measure.

Let us evaluate the personality measure on the above criteria.

Nature of the Thing (Personality)

Nature of the thing (Personality) is so complex that it is hardly possible to make it an object for measurement.  Firstly, because, personality is not a thing.  It is an idea, an abstraction. While attempting for its measurement, we wrongly try to give it a concrete shape.  Secondly, what is tare in the personality, which we want to measure, is not clear.  Psychologists have no agreement about the dimensions or elements of the personality.  Thirdly, personality is a dynamic phenomenon.  It is not static.  How can we measure a thing, which is ever in a process of change and modification.  The measurement will certainly differ from time to time and hence it is not proper to call it measurement.

Nature of the Instruments


The process of measurement, in addition to the subject of measurement, requires the tools and the satisfactory units of measurement.  In personality measurement, we also encounter difficulties in this direction such as

(a) There is no zero (starting point) for reference as the base of personality.  After all, no child is born with zero personality.

(b) In measuring a rod, we can measure it in terms of the units of length like  centimeters, inches etc. In measuring temperature, we have units in terms of degrees  but in psychological measurement, we do not have any such equal or regular unit of  measurement.

(c) For measurement, require scales or measuring instruments that are exact, reliable and valid in terms of their results.  In the field of personality measurement, we do  not find such satisfactory instruments.

The Nature of the Person (Examiner)


To a great extent, the objectivity, reliability and validity in any process of measurement depends upon the competency and impartiality or objectivity on the part of the person who performs the task of measurement.  After all he is a human being with his own beliefs, likes and dislikes, tastes and temperaments and hence we cannot check the influence of his subjectivity on any work of personality measurement.

            Various kinds of techniques are used in psychology to evaluate one’s personality characteristics and the various personality traits he/she possesses.  These techniques will help to find out the defects in individual personality also.  Hence all techniques can be used to evaluate the individual’s personality



Personality and Assessment

Choose the Correct Answer :

1.     The word ‘persona’ means

a.  Actor’s dress        b. Actors’s hair style          c. Actor’s mask       d. Actor’s Face

2.     Consciousness, sub-consciousness and unconsciousness are found in

a. Soul                b. Behaviour           c.   Mind                       d.  Personality

3.     Adrenal glands are situated

a.  Above the kidneys                          b. In the sex organs

c.  At the base of the neck                  d. At the base of the brain

4.     Who classified the individuals into introverts and extroverts?

a.  Hippocrates              b. Kretchmer          c. Jung                   d. Eynseck

5.     The person who gives medical treatment to the mental illness people is

a.  Psychologist               b. Psychiatrist         c. Physician           d.  Counselor

6.     An example for personality disorder is

a. Paranoid disorder                     b. Schizopherina disorder

c. Maladjusted behaviour            d. Isolated behaviour

    7. The disease that outbursts due to uncontrollable hatred anger turned to open is

    a. Amnesia         b. Hysteria              c. Schizophrenia           d. Hypomania


8. The Projective method of measuring personality is

          a. Autobiography                       b. Case history method

         c. Story completion test            d. Interview method

9. An individuals regular and individualistic behaviour pattern is denoted by

           a. earning              b. Motivation           c. Intelligence              d. Personality

10. Who said “Personality is a dynamic organization within the individual of those “Psycho-physical systems that determine his unique adjustment to his environment”

          a. Goddard                 b. Allport                  c. Standford                 d. Guilford

11. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)  is used to measure

         a. Attitude             b. Aptitude           c.   Personality        d.  Intelligence

12. Differential Aptitude Test (DAT) measures

        a. Personality             b. Intelligence       c. Aptitude      d. Interest

13. “ Id “ Means

         a. Pre-conscious mind                   b. True conscious mind

          c. Conscious mind                           d. Unconscious mind

14. “ Ego “ Means

          a. Pre-conscious mind         b. True conscious mind

           c. Conscious mind                 d. Unconscious mind

15. “ Super Ego “ Means

          a. Pre-conscious mind              b. True conscious mind

          c. Conscious mind                       d. Unconscious mind


16  ‘ Libido ‘ Means

          a. Life instinct                               b. Unconscious mind

          c. Sexual energy                            d. Death instinct

17. Personality disorder arises due to

         a.  Mental disorder                        b. Mental conflict

          c.  Delinquency                             d.  Inferiority complex

18.  The Developmental theory of personality was formulated by

          a. David McClelland                     b. Sigmond Fred

          c. Jean Piaget                                  d. David Ausubel

19. Ink-Blot test was developed by

         a.Alfred Adler              b. Murray, Morgan      c. Gardner Murphy      d. Hermann Rorschech

20. Ink-Blot test is used to measure

          a. Intelligence      b. Teaching-Learning             c. Personality           d. Micro-Teaching

 21.  Thematic Apperception Test was developed by

           a. Binet                      b. Murray                      c. Gutherie                d. Freud

 22. How many cards are used in the Ink Blot Test?

             a.  10 cards                 b. 15  cards           c. 20  cards                 d.  25 cards

 23. How many cards are used in the Thematic Apperception Test

             a. 10 cards                 b. 20  cards           c. 30  cards                 d.  40 card

 24. Which is not the method to assess Personality

             a. Sentence Completion Testion            b. Observation method

             c. Case Study method                               d. Experimental method

25. Sentence completion test was developed by

             a. Klausmeir           b. Pyane                 c. Rorschech              d. Murray