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What is Personality :-

It is a stable set of internal characteristics and tendencies that determines the psychological behavior of people. It is particular pattern of behaviour and thinking that prevail across time and contexts and differentiates one person from other.

In simple terms “Personality is an individual’s characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting, across time and situations.”

Theories of Personality View of the causes and motives underlying personality and personality development.

  1. The Psychoanalytic Approach
  2. The Humanistic Approach
  3. The Trait Approach
  4. The Social-Cognitive Approach


The first of the modern personality theories was developed by Sigmund Freud and is known as psychoanalytic theory. The psychiatric practice of this theory is called psychoanalysis.

To understand Freud’s theory of personality, concept of the unconscious need to be cleared. This is the cornerstone idea in psychoanalytic theory. Freud believed that most behaviors are caused by thoughts, ideas, and wishes that are in a person’s brain but are not easily accessible by the conscious part of the mind. In other words, The brain knows things that the mind doesn’t. This reservoir of conceptions of which human is unaware is called the unconscious. Psychoanalytic theory proposes that personality characteristics are mostly a reflection of the contents of the unconscious part of the mind.

Personality Structures

Freud suggested an analogy about the mind. He said that the mind is like an iceberg in the ocean, floating 10% above the water and 90% below. The unconscious, Freud proposed, makes up the vast majority of our mind. In Freud’s view, only about 10% of our behaviors are caused by conscious awareness—about 90% are produced by unconscious factors. According to psychoanalytic theory, most of what controls our behaviors, thoughts, and feelings is unknown to our aware minds. Normally, the unconscious guides us.

Freud said that the mind could be divided into three abstract categories.

These are the id, the ego, and the superego. Although these are known as structures, do not take the term literally. Freud did not mean that these are physical parts of our bodies orour brains. He coined these terms and proposed this division of the mind as abstract ideas meant to help us understand how personality develops and works, and how mental illnesses can develop.

  1. The id:

Latin for the term “it,” this division of the mind includes our basic instincts, inborn dispositions, and animalistic urges. Freud said that the id is totally unconscious, that we are unaware of its workings. The id is not rational; it imagines, dreams, and invents things to get us what we want. Freud said that the id operates according to the pleasure principle—it aims toward pleasurable things and away from painful things. The id aims to satisfy our biological urges and drives. It includes feelings of hunger, thirst, sex, and other natural body desires aimed at deriving pleasure.

  1. The ego:

Greek and Latin for “I,” this personality structure begins developing in childhood and can be interpreted as the “self.” The ego is partly conscious and partly unconscious. The ego operates according to the reality principle; that is, it attempts to help the id get what it wants by judging the difference between real and imaginary. If a person is hungry, the id might begin to imagine food and even dream about food. (The id is not rational.) The ego, however, will try to determine how to get some real food. The ego helps a person satisfy needs through reality.

  1. The superego:

This term means “above the ego,” and includes the moral ideas that a person learns within the family and society. The superego gives people feelings of pride when they do something correct (the ego ideal) and feelings of guilt when they do something they consider to be morally wrong (the conscience). The superego, like the ego, is partly conscious and partly unconscious. The superego is a child’s moral barometer, and it creates feelings of pride and guilt according to the beliefs that have been learned within the family and the culture.

Stages of Development

Believing that most human suffering is determined during childhood development, Freud placed emphasis on the five stages of psychosexual development. As a child passes through these stages unresolved conflicts between physical drives and social expectation may arise.

These stages are:

 Oral (0 – 1.5 years of age): Fixation on all things oral. If not satisfactorily met there is the likelihood of developing negative oral habits or behaviors. The driving force during this stage is interest and pleasure in activities involving the mouth (hence the term oral), such as sucking and biting.

 Anal (1.5 to 3 years of age): As indicated this stage is primarily related to developing healthy toilet training habits. The term anal, of course, refers to the anus, the rear end (the opposite end of oral)

 Phallic (3 – 5 year of age): This stage occurs approximately during the preschool years. The development of healthy substitutes for the sexual attraction boys and girls has toward a parent of the opposite gender.

 Latency (5 – 12 years of age): The development of healthy dormant sexual feelings for the opposite sex. The term latent means that something is present or has potential without being active or evident. During this stage, sexual urges are taking a recess; they are at a minimum.

 Genital (12 – adulthood): All tasks from the previous four stages are integrated into the mind allowing for the onset of healthy sexual feelings and behaviors. This final of the psychosexual stages arises during adolescence when teenagers begin again to show sexual interests. This stage leads to adult affection and love

It is during these stages of development that the experiences are filtered through the three levels of the human mind.(Which has been discussed above).

It is from these structures and the inherent conflicts that arise in the mind that personality is shaped. According to Freud while there is interdependence among these three levels, each level also serves a purpose in personality development. Within this theory the ability of a person to resolve internal conflicts at specific stages of their development determines future coping and functioning ability as a fully-mature adult.


Trait theorists are primarily interested in the measurement of traits. Trait is the habitual pattern of behaviour, thought and emotions.

It is stable over time, differ among individuals and it influence behaviour of human beings.

A trait can be thought of as a relatively stable characteristic that causes individuals to behave in certain ways. The trait approach to personality is one of the major theoretical areas in the study of personality.

The trait theory suggests that individual personalities are composed of these broad dispositions.

Unlike many other theories of personality, such as psychoanalytic or humanistic theories, the trait approach to personality is focused on differences between individuals. The combination and interaction of various traits form a personality that is unique to each individual.

Gordon Allport’s Trait Theory

In 1936, psychologist Gordon Allport found that one English-language dictionary alone contained more than 4,000 words describing different personality traits. He categorized these traits into three levels:

 Cardinal Traits : These are traits that dominate an individual’s whole life, often to the point that the person becomes known specifically for these traits. People with such personalities often become so known for these traits that their names are often synonymous with these qualities. Allport suggested that cardinal traits are rare and tend to develop later in life.

 Central Traits: These are the general characteristics that form the basic foundations of personality. These central traits, while not as dominating as cardinal traits, are the major characteristics you might use to describe another person. Terms such as intelligent, honest, shy and anxious are considered central traits.

 Secondary Traits: These are the traits that are sometimes related to attitudes or preferences and often appear only in certain situations or under specific circumstances. Some examples would be getting anxious when speaking to a group or impatient while waiting in line.

Raymond Cattell’s Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire

Trait theorist Raymond Cattell reduced the number of main personality traits from Allport’s initial list of over 4,000 down to 171, mostly by eliminating uncommon traits and combining common characteristics. Next, Cattell rated a large sample of individuals for these 171 different traits. Then, using a statistical technique known as factor analysis, he identified closely related terms and eventually reduced his list to just 16 key personality traits.

According to Cattell, these 16 traits are the source of all human personality. He also developed one of the most widely used personality assessments known as the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF).

Eysenck’s Three Dimensions of Personality

British psychologist Hans Eysenck developed a model of personality based upon just three universal trails:

 Introversion/Extraversion:

Introversion involves directing attention on inner experiences, while extraversion relates to focusing attention outward on other people and the environment. So, a

person high in introversion might be quiet and reserved, while an individual high in extraversion might be sociable and outgoing.

 Neuroticism/Emotional Stability:

This dimension of Eysenck’s trait theory is related to moodiness versus even-temperateness. Neuroticism refers to an individual’s tendency to become upset or emotional, while stability refers to the tendency to remain emotionally constant.

 Psychoticism:Later, after studying individuals suffering from mental illness, Eysenck added a personality dimension he called psychoticism to his trait theory. Individuals who are high on this trait tend to have difficulty dealing with reality and may be antisocial, hostile, non-empathetic and manipulative.

The Five-Factor Theory of Personality ( Big Five theory):

Both Cattell’s and Eysenck’s theory have been the subject of considerable research, which has led some theorists to believe that Cattell focused on too many traits, while Eysenck focused on too few. As a result, a new trait theory often referred to as the “Big Five” theory emerged. This five-factor model of personality represents five core traits that interact to form human personality. While researchers often disagree about the exact labels for each dimension, the following are described most commonly:

used on identifying and measuring these individual personality characteristics.

  1. Extraversion:

Extraversion is characterized by excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness and high amounts of emotional expressiveness.People who are high in extroversion are outgoing and tend to gain energy in social situations. People who are low in extroversion (or introverted) tend to be more reserved and have to expend energy in social settings.

  1. Agreeableness:

This personality dimension includes attributes such as trust, altruism, kindness, affection and other prosocial behaviors. People who are high in agreeableness tend to be more cooperative while those low in this trait tend to be more competitive and even manipulative.

  1. Conscientiousness:

Standard features of this dimension include high levels of thoughtfulness, with good impulse control and goal-directed behaviors. Those high on conscientiousness tend to be organized and mindful of details.

  1. Neuroticism:

Neuroticism is a trait characterized by sadness, moodiness, and emotional instability. Individuals who are high in this trait tend to experience mood swings, anxiety, moodiness, irritability and sadness. Those low in this trait tend to be more stable and emotionally resilient.

  1. Openness:

This trait features characteristics such as imagination and insight, and those high in this trait also tend to have a broad range of interests. People who are high in this trait tend to be more adventurous and creative. People low in this trait are often much more traditional and may struggle with abstract thinking.

It is important to note that each of the five personality factors represents a range between two extremes.

For example, extraversion represents a continuum between extreme extraversion and extreme introversion. In the real world, most people lie somewhere in between the two polar ends of each dimension.


It refers to the psychological classification of different types of people, based on two pairs of psychological functions:

Perceiving functions

Judging functions.

The two perceiving functions- sensation and intuition

The two judging functions- thinking and feeling

Type Theories:

Type theorists have explained personality on the basis of physique and temperament. Temperament refers to emotional aspect of the personality like changes in mood, tensions, excitement, etc. A ‘type’ is simply a class of individuals said to share a common collection of characteristics.

Five important ‘Type theories’ of personality are explained here:

  1. The Four Humors – Ancient Greeks (~2000 BC – 0 AD)

Ancient Greek philosophers such as Hippocrates 400 BC and Galen, 140/150 AD classified 4 types of “humors” in people. Each type was believed to be due to an excess of one of four bodily fluids, corresponding to their character. The personalities were termed “humors”.





Choleric yellow bile Depressed Melancholic black bile Optimistic Sanguine blood Calm Phlegmatic phlegm

  1. CG Jung’s Classification:

CG Jung has classified personality on the basis of sociability character as Introverts and Extraverts.

Introverts are described as people who share characteristics such as shyness, social withdrawal, and tendency to talk less. Because of these characteristics these people appear to be self-centered, unable to adjust easily in social situations. They are not easily suggestible. They are future oriented, very sensible and rigid in ideas.

Extraverts share a tendency to be outgoing, friendly, talkative, and social in nature. They prefer social contacts, generous, sportive, and courageous.

They are happy-go-lucky persons and show interest in present reality than future. They express their feelings openly. Take decisions quickly and act upon quickly. They are not affected easily by difficulties.


There are only few people who are pure introverts or pure extraverts. The remaining majority of people possess both the qualities of introverts and extraverts.

Such people are called as Ambiverts. This classification was made by psychologists who came after Jung.

  1. Ernest Kretschmer’s Classification:

German psychologist Kretschmer has attempted to correlate physique and character. From his studies on mental patients, he found that certain body types are associated with particular types of mental disorders. He has classified personalities into four types:

  1. Pyknic type:

These are people who are short and having round body. They will have personality traits of extraverts. These people are more prone to suffer from a mental disorder called Manic Depressive Psychosis (MDP).

  1. Asthenic type:

These people will have a slender or slim body. They will have the personality traits of introverts. These people are more prone to suffer from a serious mental disorder called Schizophrenia.

  1. Athletic type:

These people will have strong body. They are more energetic and aggressive. They will be strong enough, determined, adventurous and balanced. They are comparable with ambiverts. They are more prone to suffer from MDP.

  1. Dysplastic type:

These people will have unproportionate body and do not belong to any of the three types mentioned above. This disproportion is due to hormonal imbalancement. Their behaviour and personality are also imbalanced.

  1. William Sheldon’s Classification:

Sheldon has proposed a theory of personality correlating temperament and body type. He has divided people into three types:

  1. Endomorph:

These people will have soft, fat and round body, having predominance of abdominal region. They are sociable and relaxed (can be compared to pyknic type).

  1. Ectomorph:

These are the people who are tall, thin and flat chested, having the skin, bones and neural structure predominantly. They are shy, reserved and self-conscious (can be compared with asthenic type).

  1. Mesomorph:

These people are well built with heavy and strong muscles appear predominantly. They are physically active, noisy; adventurous by nature (can be compared to athletic type).

  1. Type A and Type B Theory

Type A individuals can be described as impatient, time-conscious,concerned about their status, highly competitive,ambitious,business-like,aggressive,having difficulty relaxing. Type A individuals are often described as ” stress junkies.”

Type B individuals, in contrast, are described as patient, relaxed, and easy-going under-achivers, generally lacking any ense of urgency. Because of these characterstics, Type B individuals are often described as apathetic and disengaged.

Type Vs Traits

Personality type refers to the psychological classification of different types of people whereas personality trait refers to psychological classification of different levels or degrees.

For example, according to type theories, there are two types of people, introverts and extroverts. According to trait theories, introversion and extroversion are part of a continuous dimension, with many people in the middle.

DETERMINANTS OF PERSONALITY Personality is a result of the combination of four factors – 1. Physical environment 2. Heridity 3. Culture 4. Particular experiences.

  1. Personality and Environment: Geographical environment sometimes determines cultural variability. That the Eskimos have a culture different from that of the Indians is due to the fact that the former have geography different from the latter. Man comes to form ideas and attitudes according to the physical environment he lives in. To the extent that the physical environment determines cultural development and to the extent, that culture in turn determines personality, a relationship between personality and environment becomes clear. Some two thousand years ago, Aristotle claimed that people living in Northern Europe were owing to a cold climate, full of spirit but lacking in intelligence and skill. The natives of Asia, on the other hand, are intelligent and inventive but lack in spirit, and are, therefore, slaves. Montesquieu, in the eighteenth century, claimed that the bravery of those blessed by a cold climate enables them to maintain their liberties. Great heat enervates courage while cold causes certain vigour of body and mind. At high temperatures, it is said there is disinclination to work and so civilizations have grown up where the temperatures have been average near or below the optimum. The physical conditions are more permissive and limiting factors than causative factors. They set the limits within which personality can develop. Thus, climate and topography determine to a great extent the physical and mental traits of a people, but it cannot be said that they alone determine human behaviour. Most kinds of personality are found in every kind of culture. The fact remains that civilizations have appeared in regions of widely different climate and topography. Peoples are monogamous in high altitudes and flat lands, under tropical temperate and arctic conditions. Men’s attitudes and ideas change even when no conceivable geographic change has occurred. Proponents of geographic determinism oversimplify the human personality and so their interpretations are to be accepted only after close scrutiny.
  2. Heredity and Personality: Heredity is another factor determining human personality. Some of the similarities in man’s personality are said to be due to his common heredity. Every human group inherits the same general set of biological needs and capacities. These common needs and capacities explain some of our similarities in personality. Man originates from the union of male and female germ cells into a single cell which is formed at the moment of conception. He tends to resemble his parents in physical appearance and intelligence. The nervous system, the organic drives and the duchess glands have a great bearing upon personality. They determine whether an individual will be vigorous or feeble, energetic or lethargic, idiot of intelligent, coward or courageous. Likewise the nervous system and glandular system may affect the personality of an individual. The nervous system affects the intelligence and talent of the individual. The hormones affect the growth of personality. Too many or too less of hormones are harmfulFor a normal personality there should be a balanced secretion of hormones. Heredity can never be considered as charting a fixed and definite course of anyone’s personality. Heredity only furnishes the materials out of which experience will mould the personality. Experience determines the way these materials will be used. An individual may be energetic because of his heredity, but whether he is active on his own belief or on behalf of others is a matter of his training. Whether he exerts himself in making money or in scholarly activity is also dependent upon his bringing. It is, therefore, an individual’s heredity alone would not enable us to predict his traits and values.
  3. Personality and Culture

: There can be little doubt that culture largely determines the types of personality that will predominate in the particular group. According to some thinkers, personality is the subjective aspect of culture. They regard personality and culture as two sides of the same coin.

Personality is an individual aspect of culture, while culture is a collective aspect of personality.” Each culture produces its special type or types of personality.

Some studies have demonstrated that each culture tends to create and is supported by a “basic personality type.”

The culture provides the raw material of which the individual makes his life. The traditions, customs, mores, religion, institutions, moral and social standards of a group affect the personality of the group members. From the moment of birth, the child is treated in ways which shape his personality. Every culture exerts a series of general influences upon the individuals who grow up under it

. Ogburn as we noted above, divided culture into “material” and “non-material.” According to him, both material and non-material culture have a bearing on personality.. The American Indians who have no clocks or watches in their culture have little notion of keeping appointments with any exactness.

According to him, they have no sense of time. The personality of an American Indian differs from that of a white man in the matter of punctuality and this is because of differences in their culture. Similarly, some cultures greedy value cleanliness as witnessed by the saying: “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” This trait of cleanliness is greatly encouraged by the technology of plumbing and other inventions that are found with it.

Cleanliness, therefore, is a matter not of heredity but of the type of culture. As for the connection between the non-material culture and personality, language affords an instructive example. one of the principal differences between man and animals is that he alone possesses speech.

Language can be learnt only in society. People who cannot speak exhibit warped personality. Since language is the essential medium through which the individual obtains his information and his attitudes, therefore, it is the principal vehicle for the development of personality. Moreover, speech itself becomes a trait of personality

. Another illustration of the influence of culture on personality is the relationship of men and women. In the earlier period when farming was the principal business, women generally had no occupations outside the home, and naturally, therefore, they were economically dependent upon their fathers or husbands. Obedience was a natural consequence of such conditions. But today hundreds of women work outside the homes and earn salaries.

They enjoy equal rights with men and are not so dependent upon them as they were in the past. Attitude of independence instead of obedience has today become a trait of women’s personality. With the growing realisation of the importance of culture for personality, sociologists have recently made attempts to identify the factors in particular cultures which give a distinctive stamp to the individuals within the group.

Ruth Benedict analyzed the cultures of three primitive tribes and found that cultures may be divided into two major types—The Apollonian and the Dionysian. The Apollonian type is characterised by restraint, even temperances, moderation and co- operativeness, whereas the Dionysian type is marked by emotionalism, excess, pursuit of prestige, individualism and competitiveness.

The personality of the Hindus in India differs greatly from that of Englishmen. Why ? The answer is ‘a different Hindu culture’. The Hindu culture lays emphasis not on material and worldly things, but on things spiritual and religious. In every Hindu family there is a religious environment. The mother gets up early in the morning, takes bath and spends an hour in meditation. When the children get up, they go and touch the feet of their parents and bow before the family gods or goddesses. The Hindu child from the very birth begins to acquire a religious and philosophical personality built on the “inner life.”

From the various illustrations cited so far it is thus clear that culture greatly moulds personality. The individual ideas and behaviour are largely the results of cultural conditioning. There is a great difference of ideas between the Hindu devotee immersed in religion and the Russian Communist who thoroughly rejects it.

However, it should not be concluded that culture is a massive die that shapes all who come under it with an identical pattern. All the people of a given culture are not of one cast. Personality traits differ within any culture, some people in any culture are more aggressive than others, some are more submissive, kind and competitive. Personality is not totally determined by culture, even though no personality escapes its influence. It is only one determinant among others.


  1. Personality and Particular Experiences:

Personality is also determined by another factor, namely, the particular and unique experiences. There are two types of experiences one, those that stem from continuous association with one’s group, second, those that arise suddenly and are not likely to recur. The type of people who meet the child daily has a major influence on his personality. The personality of parents does more to affect a child’s personality.

If the parents are kind, tolerant of boyish pranks, interested in athletics and anxious to encourage their child’s separate interests the child will have a different experience and there shall be different influence on his personality than the one when the parents are unkind, quick tempered and arbitrary. In the home is fashioned the style of personality that will by and large characterise the individual throughout his life.

Social rituals,’ ranging from table manners to getting along with others, are consciously inculcated in the child by parents. The child picks up the language of his parents. Problems of psychological and emotional adjustments arise and are solved appropriately by each child in terms of the cultural values and standards of the family. The family set up tends to bring the child into contact with his play-mates and teachers. What his play-game members are, and his school teachers are will also determine his personality development.

Group influences are relatively greater in early childhood. This is the period when the relationships of the child with his mother, father and siblings affect profoundly the organisation of his drives and emotions, the deeper and unconscious aspects of his personality.

A certain degree of maturation is needed before the child can understand the adult norms. The basic personality structure that is formed during this period is difficult to change. Whether a person becomes a leader, a coward, an imitator? Whether he feels inferior or superior, whether he becomes altruistic or egoistic depends upon the kind of interaction he has with others. Group interaction moulds his personality.

Away from the group he may become insane or develop queer attitudes. As a child grows he develops wish for response and wish for recognition. To his organic needs are added what are called ‘sociogenic’ needs which are highly important motivating forces in personality. How the idea of self develops in the child is an important study. The self does not exist at birth but begins to arise as the child learns something of the world of sensation about him. Our view of self conception is usually based on the opinion of others about us. It does not. However, mean that we value all opinions about our conduct equally. We attach importance only to the opinions of those whom we consider for one reason or the other significant than others.

Our parents are usually most significant than others since they are the ones who are intimately related to us and have greatest power than others over us especially during the early years of life. In short, our early experiences are very important in the formation of our personality. It is in early life that the foundations of personality are laid.

The children brought up in the same family differ from one another in their personality; they have not had the same experiences. Some experiences are similar while others are different. Each child enters a different family unit.

One is the first born; he is the only child until the arrival of the second. The parents do not treat all their children exactly alike. The children enter different play groups, have different teachers and meet different incidents. They do not share all incidents and experiences. Each person’s experience is unique as nobody else perfectly duplicates it. Thus, each child has unique experiences exactly duplicated by no one and, therefore, grows a different personality.

Sometimes a sudden experience leaves an abiding influence upon the personality of an individual. Thus a small child may get frightened at the view of a bloody accident, and even after the accident he may be obsessed of the horror of fear. Sometimes a girl’s experience with a rapist may condemn her to a life of sexual maladjustment. It may be referred that personality is a matter of social situations. It has been shown by social researchers that a person may show honesty in one situation and not in another. The same is true for other personality traits also. Personality traits tend to be specific responses to particular situations rather than general behaviour patterns. It is a dynamic unity with a creative potential.

Heredity, physical environment, culture and particular experiences are thus the four factors that explain personality—its formation, development and maintenance. Beyond the joint influence of these factors, however, the relative contribution of each factor to personality varies with the characteristic or personality process involved and, perhaps, with the individual concerned.

Genetic or hereditary factors may be more critical for some personality characteristics, while environmental factors, (cultural, financial), may be more important for others. Furthermore, for any one characteristic, the relative contribution of one or another factor may vary from person to person.

Also there is no way yet known to measure the effect of each factor or to state how the factors combine to produce a given result. The behaviour of a juvenile delinquent is affected by his heredity and by his home life. But how much is contributed by each factor, cannot be measured in exact terms.


Psychologists seek to measure personality through a number of methods. The most common of these methods include objective tests and projective measures.


An objective test is a psychological test that measures an individual’s characteristics in a way that isn’t influenced by the examiner’s own beliefs; in this way, they are said to be independent of rater bias. They usually involve the administration of a bank of questions that are marked and compared against standardized scoring mechanisms, in much the same way that school exams are administered.

Objective tests tend to have more validity than projective tests (described below); however, they are still subject to the willingness and ability of the examinee to be open, honest, and self-reflective enough to accurately represent and report their true personality. The most common form of objective test in personality psychology is the self-report measure. Self-report measures rely on information provided directly by participants about themselves or their beliefs through a question-and-answer format. There are a number of test formats, but each one requires respondents to provide information about their own personality. They typically use multiple-choice items or numbered scales, which represent a range from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

  1. Self-report

Self-report measures typically use multiple-choice items or numbered scales, which represent a range from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).

Self-report measures are used with both clinical and nonclinical populations and for a variety of reasons, from diagnostic purposes to helping with career guidance. Some of the more widely used personality self-report measures are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Neo Pi-R, MMPI/MMPI-2, 16 PF, and Eysenck Personality Questionnaire.

  1. Myers-Briggs

Type Indicator The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality. The MBTI is one of the most popular personality inventories used with nonclinical populations; it has been criticized, however, for its lack of statistical validity and low reliability. The MBTI measures individuals across four bi-polar dimensions:

 Attitudes: Extraversion-Introversion. This measures whether someone is “outward-turning” and action-oriented or “inward turning” and thought-oriented.

 The perceiving function: Sensing-Intuition. This measures whether someone understands and interprets new information using their five senses (sensing) or intuition.

 The judging function: Thinking-Feeling. This measures whether one tends to make decisions based on rational thought or empathic feeling.

 Lifestyle preferences: Judging-Perceiving. This measures whether a person relates to the outside world primarily using their judging function (which iseither thinking or feeling) or their perceiving function (which is either sensing or intuition).

  1. Neo Pi-R

The Revised Neo Pi (personality inventory) is designed to measure personality traits using the five factor model. According to the five factor model, the five dimensions of personality lies along a continuum of opposing poles and include Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.

  1. Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory (MMPI)

The Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory (MMPI) is the most widely used personality inventory for both clinical and nonclinical populations, and is commonly used to help with the diagnosis of personality disorders. It was first published in 1943, with 504 true/false questions; an updated version including 567 questions was released in 1989, and is known as the MMPI-2. The original MMPI was based on a small, limited sample composed mostly of Minnesota farmers and psychiatric patients; the revised inventory was based on a more representative, national sample to allow for better standardization. The MMPI-2 takes 1–2 hours to complete. Responses are scored to produce a clinical profile composed of 10 scales: hypochondriasis, depression, hysteria, psychopathic deviance (social deviance), masculinity versus femininity, paranoia, psychasthenia (obsessive/compulsive qualities), schizophrenia, hypomania, and social introversion. There is also a scale for ascertaining risk factors for alcohol abuse. In 2008, the test was revised once more using more advanced methods; this is the MMPI-2-RF. This version takes about one-half the time to complete and has only 338 questions. Despite the new test’s advantages, the MMPI-2 is more established and is still more widely used. Although the MMPI was originally developed to assist in the clinical diagnosis of psychological disorders, it is now also used for occupational screening for careers like law enforcement, and in college, career, and marital counselling.

  1. 16 PF The 16 PF (personality factor) inventory measures personality according Cattell’s 16 factor theory of personality. The 16PF can also used be used by psychologists and other mental health professionals as a clinical instrument to help diagnose psychiatric disorders and helpwith prognosis and therapy planning. It provides clinicians with a normal-range measurement of anxiety, adjustment, emotional stability, and behavioral problems. It can also be used within other areas of psychology, such as career and occupational selection.
  2. Eysenck Personality Questionnaire The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire is based on Eysenck’s model of personality, and was developed from a large body of research and laboratory experiments. Eysenck’s inventory focuses on three dimensions: psychoticism, extraversion, and neuroticism.


Projective measures, unlike objective tests, are sensitive to the rater’s or examiner’s beliefs. Projective tests are based on Freudian psychology (psychoanalysis) and seek to expose people’s unconscious perceptions by using ambiguous stimuli to reveal the inner aspects of an individual’s personality. Two of the most popular projective measures are the Thematic Apperception Measure and the Rorschach test.

The advantage of projective measures is that they purportedly expose certain aspects of personality that are impossible to measure by means of an objective test; for instance, they are more reliable at uncovering unconscious personality traits or features. However, they are criticized for having poor reliability and validity, lacking scientific evidence, and relying too much on the subjective judgment of a clinician.



 Rorschach

Test The Rorschach test consists of ten inkblots, which were created by Herman Rorschach dribbling ink on paper and then folding over the paper to create a symmetrical design. During the test, participants are shown the inkblots and asked what each one looks like. The test administrator then asks questions about the responses, such as which part of the inkblot was linked to each response. This test can be used to examine a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning, and is thought to measure unconscious attitudes and motivations.

 Simulated inkblot

This simulated inkblot is similar to those that make up the Rorschach test; a Rorschach inkblot would be filled in rather than a dotted pattern.

 Thematic Apperception Test

The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) consists of 30 cards (including one blank card) depicting ambiguous drawings. Test-takers are asked to tell a story about each picture, including the background that led up to the story and the thoughts and feelings of the characters. Like the Rorschach test, the results are thought to indicate a person’s personality characteristics and emotional functioning.


Styles of learning, Models of memory, Causes of forgetting.


Style of Learning

Learning styles are the different ways people interpret, organize and represent information. For example, some people learn best by having information presented to them in audio form, such as in a classroom lecture or audio book. Others need hands-on experience or real-world contexts to fully grasp a new concept.

There are seven types of learning styles which are as flows:-

  1. Visual (Spatial) : These people prefer to use pictures, images, diagrams, colors and mind maps.
  2. Physical (Kinesthetic) : These people are the “learn by doing” people that use their body to assist in their learning, Drawing diagrams, using physical objects or role playing are all strategies of the Physical learner.
  3. Aural (auditory-musical) : People who prefer using sound, rhythms, music, recordings, clever rhymes
  4. Verbal ( Linguistic) : The verbal learner is someone who prefers using words, both in speech an in writing to assist in their learning. They make the most of word based techniques, scripting and reading content aloud.
  5. Logical (Mathematical) : The people who prefer using logic, reasoning and “systems” to explain or understand concepts. They aim to understand the reasons behind the learning, and have a good ability to understand the bigger picture.
  6. Social (Interpersonal) : These people are the ones who enjoys learning in groups or with other people, and aim to work with others as much as possible.
  7. Solitary (Intrapersonal): The solitary learners prefer to learn alone and through self-study.

A frequently-mentioned learning style model is the VAK/VARK model proposed by Neil Fleming in 1992, which divides people into visual, auditory, read/write or kinaesthetic learners.

Models of Memory

Memory refers to the set of processes involved in storing information. This specificprocess is termed as retention. Memory can be defined as a perceptually active mentalsystem that receives, encodes, modifies, and retrieves information. one can not directlyobserve the process of memory. It can be studied indirectly by measuring retention.Three basic methods of measuring retention are : Recall, Recognition, and Relearning.

Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) suggest that memory is made up of a series of and describe memory in terms of information flowing through a system.

Accordingly, it can be described as an information processing model (like a computer) with an input, process and output.

Psychologist Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) suggests that memory is made up of a series of stores (see below), and describe memory in terms of information flowing through a system.

Accordingly, it can be described as an information processing model (like a computer) with an input, process and output.

Sensory input - Sensory memory - Short term memory  Long term memory

He has discovered that memory is not a single or unitary system. It has more than one distinct system. In other words, there are more than one type of memory. According to the most acceptable model of memory there are three major systems of memory : Sensory Memory; Short-Term Memory (STM), and Long-Term Memory(LTM). Information moves successively through these three systems if attention is given to the material. If attention (focused awareness) is not given, information does not move further into the system.

Sensory Memory :

A clear visual image of any object will last in sensory memory for about half a second after the stimulus is removed. Sensory memory holds representations of sensory input for very brief periods of time, depending upon the modality involved. There are different sensory registers for each of the senses.

Short-Term Memory (STM) :

It holds relatively small amounts of information for brief periods of time, usually 30secondsor less. This is the memory system that when look up the phone numbe rdial it. If it connected on the first instance the telephone number is forgotten.

However, if the line engaged for some time  and keep on dialing the number and through repeated dialing rehearsal of the telephone number it is pushed to the long-term memory (LTM) storage.

However, it has been found that short-term storage is more than a passive “holding area” (e.g. holding a telephone number). On the contrary, it involves active processingof information. This finding has led psychologists to use the term working memory.It means that something active goes on during the short-term memory.

Long – Term Memory (LTM) :

It refers to the memory system for the retention of Large amounts of information for long periods of time. It is the memory system that permits to remember events that happened many years ago, yesterday, last year, and so on. It is the long-term memory that allows us to remember factual information making it possible for us to learn different subjects, appear for examinations andcommunicate with others. It brings continuity and meaning to our life.

When human pay attention to a piece of information and engage in active rehearsal the Material is stored in the long-term memory (LTM). Information in the sensory memory Enters short-term memory when it becomes the focus of the attention. If person does not pay attention to the incoming sensory information, the material fades and quickly Disappears. One has to pay attention to certain information and not to the other.

Paying attention to certain aspects of the world is what we call. “selective attention”. The information from STM is often rehearsed by us. This rehearsal helps the transfer of that information from STM to LTM.


In recent years psychologists have conceptualized memory into four types as given below

:Semantic : This deals with knowledge, meaning and generalized experiences. What ever we remember from books and information about world events and meanings of words are included in it.

Episodic : It refers to the experiences which are personal to an individual. You do so many things in a day. They are your unique experiences. Memory of such experiences is accessible by you only. They are part of your episodic memory.

Procedural : This deals with memory for actions or ways of doing certain things or performing certain activities.

Meta Memory : It is memory for your memory. We not only remember things but also remember that we can remember. People may be good or poor in understanding their own memories.

Causes of Forgetting

Forgetting is the inability to remember. Psychologists generally use the term forgetting to refer to the apparent loss of information already encoded and stored in long- term memory.

The main causes of forgetting are :

1 Retrieval Faliue

2 Ineffective Encoding

3 Interference

4 Decay or Fading

5Motivated Forgetting

6 Amnesia

  1. Retrival Faliure

The inability to retrieve a memory is one of the most common causes of forgetting. Retrieval failure is the failure to recall a memory due to missing stimuli or cues that were present at the time the memory was encoded. With retrieval failure, the information still exists inmemory, but just not readily without specific cues. A good retrieval cue will be consistent with the original encoding pf the information.

  1. Ineffective Encoding

The inability to remember information may sometimes have less to do with forgetting and more to do with the fact that is never made its way into long-term memory. This type of forgetting is caused because the person did not pay attention in the first palace. Encoding failure or ineffective coding may prevent information from entering long-term memory, and thus the information never being stored to be able to be retrieved at a later date.

  1. Interference

Interference occurs when information gets confused with other information in our long-term memory. The interference theory suggests that some memories compete and interfere with other memories, and that memory loss occurs when information stored either before or after a given memory hinders the ability to remember it. Essentially, cues for different memories may be too similar so a wrong memory gets retrieved.

There are two types of interference:

Proactive (when newly learned information makes people forget old information)

Retroactive (When old information makes people forget newly learned information)

Proactive interference is when an old memory makes it more difficult to remember new information. Current information is lost because it is mixed with previously learned information that may be similar.

Retroactive interference occurs when new information interference with the abilty to remember previously leaned information. Basically it occurs whaen information works backwards to interference with earlier information, so previously learned information is lost because it is mixed up with new and somewhat similar information.

  1. Decay Theory (Fading)

The decay theory suggests that when something new is learned, a memory “trace” is formed in the brain and over time the trace begins to fade and disappear, unless it is occasionally used. With this theory if information is not occasionally retrieved, it will eventually be lost. The decay theory explains the loss of memories from sensory and short-term memory, but not from long term memory.

With the decay theory, when information fades from long-term memory, what really fades is the link to that information, not the information itself. The information is there, but we just cannot find it.



  1. Motivated Forgetting

The Motivated Forgetting theory suggests people forget because they push unpleasant thoughts and feeling deep into their unconscious. People may actively work to forget memories, especially those of traumatic or disturbing events or experience.

The two basic forms of motivated forgetting are:

Suppression: a conscious form of forgetting.

Repression: an unconscious form of forgetting.

  1. Amnesia

The term amnesia refers to loss of memory. It is a kind of memory disorder which occurs from a loss of what has already been stored. There are two kinds of amnesia.

  1. Psychological amnesia:

This kind of amnesia takes place as a result of major disturbances in the process of encoding, storage and retrieval. There are different kinds of psychological amnesia:

(ii) Biological amnesia:

This amnesia is caused due to abnormal functioning of brain. Such abnormality may be due to causes such as, a blow on the head, temporary disturbances in blood supply to brain, certain drugs like, marijuana, alcohol, brain diseases and some other damages to brain.

These problems may result in amnesia called transient global amnesia which is a profound memory loss.

It is called global because all the stored information is lost and no new memories can be formed during this state. There are two types of such amnesia —

Anterograde amnesia in which there will be inability to store new information from after the incident, and

Retrograde amnesia in which there will be forgetting of the past memories before the incident.

Chronic alcoholism produce brain damage and leads to a disorder called Korsakoff syndrome in which memory loss is predominant. Arteriosclerosis and Senile dementia due to age and Alzheimer’s disease caused due to brain disease also cause amnesia.

In addition to these causes-passages of time, disuse, relative inactivity, absence of appropriate stimuli, obliterating memory stimuli, emotional shock, set or preparedness of the individual, meaningless material, etc. may also cause forgetting.



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