Written by Dr. Deepti Bhandari, Ph.D (Psychology) | 

Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Aug 30, 2018


Personality is indeed a complex concept to define, for it encompasses the gamut of an individual’s behavior, from perceptual tendencies to reactions given to a specific situation.

It is a controversial term to define and has garnered an uneasy consensus on its meaning. Personality takes into account, individual differences as well as the environmental demands put on the individual and society.

Personality Types

The term ‘Personality’ was coined nearly 2000 years ago, from the word persona. Persona literally means the ‘outer covering’ or ‘the mask’, which referred to the costume, worn by stage actors in that era. Several psychologists have tried to define the term ‘personality’ but the most approximate definition yet, of the term, has been given by G. W. Allport. According to Allport, ‘Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psycho-physical systems that determine his characteristic behavior and thought.’

Allport reviewed some 50-odd definitions before coming to this conclusion. It states that: personality is dynamic, growing and changing, throughout one’s life span. It forms an organized pattern in a healthy person; it involves the inseparable union of physical and mental functions; personality is a complex system of variously interacting elements; it motivates or determines everything that we do.

Hence there is no correct or incorrect definition of personality. It can be defined in ways that are useful for a given purpose.

"Personality is to a man what perfume is to a flower." — Charles Schwab


  1. Ewen RB. An Introduction to Theories of Personality. New Jersey, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 1993.
  2. Mathur SS. Health Psychology. Agra, India: Shri Vinod Pustak Mandir; 2010

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vicky32 Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hello i just wanted to know are people born an Introvert or Extrovert i am asking because i feel like i am an introvert in some ways been like this however i also have some family member who acts as if they are also introvert they act very shy dull and don't communicate too well with the rest of the family at family gathering like i said before i feel like i am one as well i don't care for being around a lot of people i can be shy at times and maybe a little dull but i can also be loving and caring at the same time.

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