Personality Theories, Research Paper Example

According to various psychologists personality refers to changing organization within an individual with those factors that influences his or her characteristic behavior and how he/she thinks. The definition point out that personality is organized. The definition generally point out that there exists many causes/influences of our behavior.

Elements of personality

It is important to think of the term personality as it organizes our thinking about personality. It enables us to identify and know that personality has a number of different elements which influence overall behavior of a person. For example if someone is hardworking today, the odds are high you will be hardworking subsequent days. If you are lazy today, you will still be lazy when you wake up the next day.

Another aspect of personality is that it should occur frequently. The response should occur in a wide are and in different situations. A hardworking person (will tend to be so in many different situations for instance in school, at work or in most social occasions).

Each theory of personality is based on the fact that each one is different in his/her own way. Every one has most probably unknown quantity of aggression, humor, virtue and happiness. Despite the strong influences brought about as a result of heredity, past experiences and current environment, there is still unique thing concerning our response capabilities as to mandate the study of your personality.

Techniques of Study

In discussion of personality, psychologists majorly deal with universal characteristics by studying unique examples in an individual case. Nomothetic studies deals with those characteristics such as aggression, this involves study of large numbers of people who may be similar only that they share this one character. Use of idiographic technique involves studying a single individual to represent complete, complex, interacting system. The difference between idiographic technique and nomothetic technique is that idiographic technique identifies what the significant variables is estimated to fall or apply for each individual. The nomotheic technique supplies the group-based data.

 Merits of theories of personality

Theories of personality are of significance in studying personality. Personality theories aid in organizing what is conversant to us or estimated concerning overall data. Flexibility is shown in a situation whereby theory is adjusted as new data is developed. Example of theoretical models is trait theories of personality; they are regularly revised in encroachment of new data (Hella, 2004)

Theories plays important role in research. It acts as a guidance tool that suggests and organizes findings hence the research will have glue which research is required to explain the findings an example of a theory that performs this function include; (social learning theories).

Theories provide a formal sentiment of the linking element of its subject matter. Psycho-analytic theory of Sigmund Freud formally shortened his work regarding his main analysis. The theory also summarizes is views concerning the structure of personality and the role of what is known in psychoanalysis.

Theories play a role in identifying the significant aspects of a situation. For example as pointed out in the (derivative psycho dynamic theories of Carl Jung and Alfred Adler). This theories isolate the unimportant features of phenomenon being studied, theories plays an important part in the study of personality in all fields (areas of psychology).

Major theories of personality theory

Type of theory Theorist/theory Basic idea
Biological(or trait) William Sheldon/constitutional psychology

Gordon All port/psychology of the individual

Raymond B. Cattell/factor theory

Human behavior is associated to accompanied effects of organisms inherited capabilities and past experiences
Psychoanalytic theory Sigmund Freud /psychoanalytic theory of psychosexual development

Alfred Adler/individual psychology

Erik Erikson/psychosocial theory of adjustment

Carl G.Jung/Analytical psychology

Human behavior is determined by an individual’s past experiences which affects his/her perceptions of current events.
Social learning organization John dollard and Neal E.Miller/reinforcement theory

Albert bandura/social learning theory

B.F.skinner/radical behaviorism



Human behavior arise from an individual past learning, current view of things, and higher level processes of thinking
Humanistic Carl R.Rogers /person-centered theory

Abraham Maslow/Holistic Theory

Human behavior can be understood only in terms of the individual view of self and others leading towards personal satisfaction


Trait theories             

Trait theories are the main theories labeled in terms of dependent variable characteristics. William Sheldon, an American medical doctor, presented most interested today’s views of theory of personality he identified three different types of human physique. Sheldon believes that each of us could be evaluated on a 7-point level as to the amount of each form represented in an individual’s body. According to him a pure endomorph would be presented as a 7-1-1.Sheldon went further to present that there is a close relation between measures of our external look and individual’s temperament. To him there is relationship between physique and behavior (Hall, 2002)

Raymond B. Cattell depend on data collected from; person’s life record, self-rating and objective tests. He identified major personality factors from his study drawn from people’s life records in individuals and across people in general. The methods use by Raymond to gather data comprised of; primarily correlation (analysis) and complex statistics. Cattell differentiates between surface traits, which are observable patterns of behavior and source traits which is seen as underlying, internal traits which are responsible for overall behavior. This theory as some critics that is, it loses the individual person in the process where too many data are bundled (Hurlock, 2008)



Hall, C (2002) theories of personality 3rd edition Wiley Eastern Ltd

HJella, L.A (2004) personality theories McGraw Hill

Hurlock, E.j (2008) personality Development, Tata McGraw hill

Pervin, S (2008) personality-theory and research, 4th edition John Wiley and sons