Concepts of personality

Personality | Definition, Types, Nature, & Facts

Margaret Mead

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Key People:
Sigmund Freud Karen Horney Wilhelm Reich Harold Lasswell William Sheldon
Related Topics:
psychological development ego five-factor model of personality personality disorder hubris

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Read a brief summary of this topic

personality, a characteristic way of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Personality embraces moods, attitudes, and opinions and is most clearly expressed in interactions with other people. It includes behavioral characteristics, both inherent and acquired, that distinguish one person from another and that can be observed in people’s relations to the environment and to the social group.

The term personality has been defined in many ways, but as a psychological concept two main meanings have evolved. The first pertains to the consistent differences that exist between people: in this sense, the study of personality focuses on classifying and explaining relatively stable human psychological characteristics. The second meaning emphasizes those qualities that make all people alike and that distinguish psychological man from other species; it directs the personality theorist to search for those regularities among all people that define the nature of man as well as the factors that influence the course of lives. This duality may help explain the two directions that personality studies have taken: on the one hand, the study of ever more specific qualities in people, and, on the other, the search for the organized totality of psychological functions that emphasizes the interplay between organic and psychological events within people and those social and biological events that surround them. The dual definition of personality is interwoven in most of the topics discussed below. It should be emphasized, however, that no definition of personality has found universal acceptance within the field.

The study of personality can be said to have its origins in the fundamental idea that people are distinguished by their characteristic individual patterns of behaviour—the distinctive ways in which they walk, talk, furnish their living quarters, or express their urges. Whatever the behaviour, personologists—as those who systematically study personality are called—examine how people differ in the ways they express themselves and attempt to determine the causes of these differences. Although other fields of psychology examine many of the same functions and processes, such as attention, thinking, or motivation, the personologist places emphasis on how these different processes fit together and become integrated so as to give each person a distinctive identity, or personality. The systematic psychological study of personality has emerged from a number of different sources, including psychiatric case studies that focused on lives in distress, from philosophy, which explores the nature of man, and from physiology, anthropology, and social psychology.

The systematic study of personality as a recognizable and separate discipline within psychology may be said to have begun in the 1930s with the publication in the United States of two textbooks, Psychology of Personality (1937) by Ross Stagner and Personality: A Psychological Interpretation (1937) by Gordon W. Allport, followed by Henry A. Murray’s Explorations in Personality (1938), which contained a set of experimental and clinical studies, and by Gardner Murphy’s integrative and comprehensive text, Personality: A Biosocial Approach to Origins and Structure (1947). Yet personology can trace its ancestry to the ancient Greeks, who proposed a kind of biochemical theory of personality.

Physiological type theories

The idea that people fall into certain personality type categories in relation to bodily characteristics has intrigued numerous modern psychologists as well as their counterparts among the ancients. The idea that people must fall into one or another rigid personality class, however, has been largely dismissed. Two general sets of theories are considered here, the humoral and the morphological.

Humoral theories

Perhaps the oldest personality theory known is contained in the cosmological writings of the Greek philosopher and physiologist Empedocles and in related speculations of the physician Hippocrates. Empedocles’ cosmic elements—air (with its associated qualities, warm and moist), earth (cold and dry), fire (warm and dry), and water (cold and moist)—were related to health and corresponded (in the above order) to Hippocrates’ physical humours, which were associated with variations in temperament: blood (sanguine temperament), black bile (melancholic), yellow bile (choleric), and phlegm (phlegmatic). This theory, with its view that body chemistry determines temperament, has survived in some form for more than 2,500 years. According to these early theorists, emotional stability as well as general health depend on an appropriate balance among the four bodily humours; an excess of one may produce a particular bodily illness or an exaggerated personality trait. Thus, a person with an excess of blood would be expected to have a sanguine temperament—that is, to be optimistic, enthusiastic, and excitable. Too much black bile (dark blood perhaps mixed with other secretions) was believed to produce a melancholic temperament. An oversupply of yellow bile (secreted by the liver) would result in anger, irritability, and a “jaundiced” view of life. An abundance of phlegm (secreted in the respiratory passages) was alleged to make people stolid, apathetic, and undemonstrative. As biological science has progressed, these primitive ideas about body chemistry have been replaced by more complex ideas and by contemporary studies of hormones, neurotransmitters, and substances produced within the central nervous system, such as endorphins.

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Morphological (body type) theories

Related to the biochemical theories are those that distinguish types of personalities on the basis of body shape (somatotype). Such a morphological theory was developed by the German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer. In his book Physique and Character, first published in 1921, he wrote that among his patients a frail, rather weak (asthenic) body build as well as a muscular (athletic) physique were frequently characteristic of schizophrenic patients, while a short, rotund (pyknic) build was often found among manic-depressive patients. Kretschmer extended his findings and assertions in a theory that related body build and personality in all people and wrote that slim and delicate physiques are associated with introversion, while those with rounded heavier and shorter bodies tend to be cyclothymic—that is, moody but often extroverted and jovial.

Despite early hopes that body types might be useful in classifying personality characteristics or in identifying psychiatric syndromes, the relations observed by Kretschmer were not found to be strongly supported by empirical studies. In the 1930s more elaborate studies by William H. Sheldon in the United States developed a system for assigning a three-digit somatotype number to people, each digit with a range from 1 to 7. Each of the three digits applies to one of Sheldon’s three components of body build: the first to the soft, round endomorph, the second to the square, muscular mesomorph; and the third to the linear, fine-boned ectomorph. Thus, an extreme endomorph would be 711, an extreme ectomorph 117, and an average person 444. Sheldon then developed a 20-item list of traits that differentiated three separate categories of behaviours or temperaments. The three-digit temperament scale appeared to be significantly related to the somatotype profile, an association that failed to excite personologists.

Also during the 1930s, personality studies began to consider the broader social context in which a person lived. The American anthropologist Margaret Mead studied the patterns of cooperation and competition in 13 primitive societies and was able to document wide variations in those behaviours in different societies. In her book Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935), she showed that masculinity is not necessarily expressed through aggressiveness and that femininity is not necessarily expressed through passivity and acquiescence. These demonstrated variations raised questions about the relative roles of biology, learning, and cultural pressures in personality characteristics.

Notes on Concept of Personality by Unacademy


Your lineage, upbringing, and life experiences have formed you into the person you are now. Many individuals think that your unique set of ideas, feelings, and behaviours make up your personality. The concept of personality doesn’t have a widely agreed-upon definition, although many people think it to be a stable and evolving trait. People’s responses to various situations may be predicted by psychologists by analysing their personalities. Some of psychology’s most fundamental concepts might give you a sense of how concepts of personality develop.


There are a plethora of theories out there to explain why people behave the way they do. Others choose to study individual differences in personality over the method by which it is formed.

Concept of personality in organisational behaviour

People’s personalities are based on a set of broad qualities or dispositions, according to trait theories of the concept of personality. In an effort to figure out which characteristics make up the core of a person’s personality and how many different kinds of personality traits there are, several hypotheses and research projects have been undertaken.

As a psychologist, Allport was one of the first to identify personality characteristics. People of a certain culture have many of the same characteristics. Characteristics that are essential to a person’s identity are known as central qualities. A person’s “cardinal qualities” are those that are so pronounced that they are the primary focus of attention.

Allport estimated that there were up to 4,000 distinct personality qualities. There are, according to renowned psychologist Raymond Cattell, around 16. They exist on a continuum, according to Cattell, therefore everyone has at least some of these characteristics.

Extroverts, neuroticism, and psychoticism are the three most common personality qualities, according to psychologist Hans Eysenck.

It’s safe to say that the “Big Five” hypothesis of personality traits is now the most commonly recognised and extensively used one. Five broad personality dimensions are proposed by the theory:

• Agreeableness 

• Conscientiousness 

• Extroversion 

• Neuroticism 

• Openness

The Big Five idea asserts that each feature occurs on a wide spectrum. There is a range for each attribute in an individual’s personality.

Your extroversion, conscientiousness, and agreeableness may all be high, but your openness and neuroticism may be in the middle.

How Personality Develops and Changes Through Life

While his psychosexual development hypothesis is a well-known theory, it’s one of the most controversial. To paraphrase Sigmund Freud, a child’s personality changes over many stages. Each erogenous zone has a certain concentration of libidinal energy, which drives all human activity.

After successfully completing a stage, a person may go to the next phase of development. Fixations that arise as a consequence of failure at any time in one’s life might have an impact on one’s mature personality.

Erik Erikson, a psychologist, came up with a set of eight stages of psychological growth. In Erikson’s theory, the development of a person’s personality and psychological capacities occurs in phases.

During each stage of personality growth, a person will experience a crisis that will signal the beginning of the next phase in their growth and development. Completing each stage effectively may lead to the development of healthy personality development.

Erikson was more interested in the role that social interactions play in moulding one’s unique qualities. He was more concerned with the development of one’s “ego identity” than anything else.

How Personality Is Tested

Psychologists have devised a variety of

personality tests, evaluations, and inventories in order to better understand and analyse people’s unique personalities. The tests are commonly employed in a broad range of circumstances. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), for example, is often employed as a pre-employment screening tool.

There are a variety of exams that may be used to assist individuals in better understanding their own personalities. To identify personality disorders, several tests are employed as both screening and assessment instruments.

Many parts of your life may benefit from a greater grasp of your personality. Relationships with friends, family, and colleagues may improve if you realise that you are a good team player or that you need time to recharge.

You may have come across a variety of online

personality tests (for example, an online quiz that tells you whether you are extroverted or introverted). In some cases, these tests claim to uncover the “true you”, while in others, they’re just for fun.

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders affect the way individuals think, act, and communicate with one another.

Antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder are all included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Treatments for people with personality problems are now accessible, which is welcome

. The difficulties that mental illness may impose on your life can be better managed if you seek the help of mental health professionals.

There are specialists who can assist you in implementing the treatment strategy.

A Word From Verywell

Personality is a broad issue that involves almost every aspect of a person’s identity. The personality of a person may be interpreted in a variety of ways. A person’s personality develops in stages, with some theories emphasising an individual’s qualities and others concentrating on the multiple concepts of personality development and stages that occur throughout life.

The purpose of a psychologist is not just to understand how individuals think and behave, but also to diagnose personality disorders that may cause pain or difficulty in essential aspects of one’s life. People suffering from personality disorders may be able to get assistance from psychologists if they are able to identify the problems they are experiencing at home, school, work, or in their personal relationships.


The concepts of personality study the differences and similarities between people’s personalities. Personality disorders are assessed, diagnosed, and treated by psychologists. Extroverts, neuroticism, and psychoticism are the three most common personality qualities. The Big Five idea asserts that each attribute occurs on a wide spectrum. Completing each stage effectively may lead to the development of a healthy personality. Many parts of your life may benefit from a greater grasp of your personality. Personality is a broad issue that involves almost every aspect of a person’s identity. Personality development disorders affect the way individuals think, act and communicate with one another. Antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and narcissistic disorder are all included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Project "Concepts of Personality" Grade 10

In the process of working on a children's research project on psychology on the topic "Concepts of Personality ", the author set a goal - to begin the formation of the main theoretical base for a system of views on personality through familiarizing students with the topic.

More about work:

In the student project on social science "Concepts of personality", the author studied the existing concepts of personality and analyzed the concepts through specific examples. In the practical part of the study, a 10th grade student of the school correlated all the concepts of personality and gave their general characteristics, made a conclusion about the system of views on personality.

Ready research work on psychology and social science on the topic "Concepts of personality" contains basic information about the concepts of personality of psychologists of different schools and years. The project explains what a person is and what are its components. The schoolgirl studied the history of the emergence of the concept of "personality", gave a definition of the concept of "concept of personality", demonstrated the classification of personality theories.


1. What is a personality? And its components:
1.1 The history of the concept of personality.
1.2 Personality psychology.
1.3 Components of personality theories.
1.4 Classification of personality theories.
2. Domestic concept of personality:
2. 1 A. Myasishchev, Smirnov, Malyshev.
2.2 A.G. Kovalev, L.I. Bozovic.
2.3 V. Rubinstein.
3. Foreign concepts of personality.
3.1 S. Freud.
3.2 A. Adler.
3.3 C. G. Jung.
3.4 G. Allport, R. Cattell, G. Eysenck.
3.5 B. Skinner.
3.6 A. Maslow.
4. Practical part.
4.1 Interrogation.
4.2. Lesson.
4.3 Product.


Relevance of the topic

. The concept of personality is a very important topic to study, which is for us on a par with political and environmental issues. But more inaccurate than the rest. A variety of views and are the reason. As in other areas, the study is aimed at improving the quality of human life and begins with theoretical knowledge. That is why the theme of my project activity is the concept of personality.

The purpose of work : To begin the formation of the main theoretical base for a system of views on personality through familiarization with the topic of students.

Tasks of the work:

  1. To study the existing concepts of personality.
  2. Analyze concepts through concrete examples.
  3. Correlate all the concepts of personality and give a general description.
  4. Make a conclusion about the system of views on personality.

Research methods:

  1. Analysis.
  2. Simulation.
  3. Study and generalization.
  4. The object of research is personality.

Subject of study - concepts of personality.

Hypothesis: all concepts have common fundamental features from which you can create a new model of the concept of personality.

The topic of my project activity was not chosen by chance, it refers to such concepts as society and psychology. At the same time, it affects all spheres of human life. In our time, man develops in all directions, and in each of them we study the processes regarding ourselves and the benefit to mankind. And it is the personality that is the initiator of the manifestation of qualities acquired throughout life, which makes it an unofficially significant part of all processes associated with a person. To begin the study of such a complex phenomenon, we begin with concepts, theories, and historical facts. Then we analyze the information, form our own assumptions.

In the investigation, we try to confirm or refute our hypotheses by giving examples. And in conclusion, we draw a conclusion on the work done.

The history of the concept of personality

In the Old Russian language until the 17th century. there was no need for a word that would correspond, albeit remotely, to modern ideas and concepts about personality, individuality, individual. In the system of the ancient Russian worldview, the signs of an individual were determined by his attitude to God, the community or the world, to different strata of society, to power, the state and homeland, native land from other points of view and were expressed in other terms and concepts.

Of course, some signs of personality (for example, singularity, isolation or separateness, the sequence of character, realized on the basis of certain signs, concentration or motivation of actions, etc.) were alive, obvious to the consciousness of an ancient Russian person. But they were scattered according to different designations and characteristics of a person, a human individual (a person, people, soul, being, and some others).

Social and artistic consciousness of the ancient Russian people before the XVII century. the concept of a single concrete personality, individuality, self-consciousness, a separate human " and "as a carrier of social and subjective features and properties (cf. the absence of the genre of autobiography, stories about oneself, portrait techniques, etc. in ancient Russian literature).

The word personality is formed as an abstract noun to the adjective personal, denoting: 'belonging to, peculiar to some person'. This word was formed not earlier than the second half of the 17th century. At the end of the 18th century, in connection with the development of styles of sentimentalism, it began to become more and more acutely and deeply realized in the use of the word personality meaning: `individual, personal properties of someone, personal dignity, originality, discovery of personal qualities and sensations, feelings, personal essence' (cf. in the language of Karamzin, in Russian translations of the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, etc.).

From the beginning of the 19th century. Europeanisms are used in the Russian literary language: individual, individuality and indivisible tracing paper (individuum, fr. individu). Along with these expressions, words inherited from the Russian literary language of the 18th century are also used to denote the idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthe personality: being, person, creature, person, character, and some others.

Only in the 20-30s of the XIX century. in the Russian literary language, the meaning of the word personality has been fully formed: `monad, in its own way, perceiving, reflecting and creating the world in itself in its only characteristic way'. There are antinomies of the personal, individual, indivisible and general or public. The concept of personality is associated with the idea of ​​the internal unity, indivisibility and integrity of an individual human being, of his individual uniqueness.

In the Russian literary language of the 1940s and 1950s, three shades in the use of the word personality stand out especially prominently: properties and qualities; 90,059 people as a social unit, as a subject of civil rights and obligations - in their relation to society;

  • a separate, isolated being, determined by external, individual signs.
  • While in the styles of journalistic and socio-political literature of the 60s the word personality is filled with new social, progressive-democratic content (cf. " developed personality ", " thinking personality ", ", etc.), in everyday colloquial speech it expands its meaning to a general, indefinite pronominal indication of a single person as a type, character (colloquial synonyms: character, type, subject).

    In the word personality, the modern Russian language distinguishes three main meanings:

    • Separate human self, human individuality as a carrier of peculiar social and subjective features and properties. For example, the personality of Pushkin; respect for another's personality; personal integrity, etc.
    • A person in terms of his character traits, behavior, social status: a bright personality, a dark, suspicious personality, a noble personality, a rare personality, etc. This meaning is sometimes blurred and synonymously equated with the general meaning of the word person.
    • Man as a subject of law and as a civil person. For example, an identity card, to identify the identity of the murdered person, to determine the identity, etc.

    Personality psychology

    Knowledge of the elementary foundations of personality can play an important role in the life of any person. In order for us to most productively fulfill our goals and effectively interact with the people around us, we need to have at least an idea of ​​what a personality is, how personality develops and what are the features of this process. A more thorough approach to this is such a science as personality psychology.

    Personality psychology is a branch of psychology that studies personality and various individual processes.

    From the point of view of personality psychology, a personality is a social individual, an object and subject of social relations and the historical process, manifested in communication, activity, and behavior.

    Its formation is influenced by such factors as:

    • Natural environment.
    • Social environment.
    • Activities.

    And they also form:

    1. The individual psychological side.
    2. Worldview side.
    3. Socially psychological side.

    From these properties of human nature are added:

    • Moral character.
    • Worldview.
    • Moral character.

    By which our first and subsequent impression of a person is formed and the relationship that will bind people to each other and in society. Currently, there is no generally accepted opinion on what approach should be applied to the study of personality to explain human behavior. At this stage of development, there are various alternative theories that describe the personality as an integrated whole and explain the differences between people.

    Theory is a system of interrelated ideas, constructions and principles, the purpose of which is to explain certain observations of reality. Theory is always speculative and cannot be " Correct " or " Incorrect ". Nevertheless, a theory is accepted in the scientific world as valid and credible to the extent that the results of observations of a phenomenon are consistent with the explanation of the same phenomenon that follows from the theory itself.

    Components of personality theories

    Components of the latest theories of personality In the latest theories of personality, we can distinguish the following components: 1) the author's worldview 2) the nature of the psyche, 3) the determinism of behavior 4) the foundations of the theory, 5) localization 6) development 7) personality tasks, 8) personality structure , 9) levels of personality, 10) approaches to the study of personality, 11) harmonious personality, 12) promising direction.

    • The worldview of the author - the philosophy of the authors influences the terms and main ideas of theories.
    • The nature of the psyche - each theory explains what the psyche is and what its nature is.
    • Determination of behavior - personality theories explain which factors have a greater influence on human behavior, external or internal.
    • The basis of the theory - all theories are based on previous concepts or have an independent, original basis.
    • Localization of personality - in each theory of personality it is indicated where the substance with which we identify ourselves is located.
    • Personal development - personality theories represent the stages that a person goes through in the process of his development.
    • Tasks of personality - theories of personality point to the tasks that people face.
    • The structure of personality is a basic component of any theory of personality, each theory explains what elements the personality consists of.
    • The highest level of personality - personality theories indicate the pinnacle of development that a person can reach.
    • The study of personality - each theory focuses on the study of one or another component of personality.
    • A harmonious personality is a whole person, personality theories describe various ways in which one can come to this wholeness.
    • A promising direction - at present, two opposing poles can be distinguished, to which modern theories of personality are inclined, the first is parapsychology, the second is physiology.

    Classification of personality theories

    Personality theories can be classified by:

    1) According to the method of explaining the origin of personality:
    A) Psychological.
    B) Sociological.
    C) Socially psychological.

    2) According to the method of obtaining personal data:
    A) Experimental.
    B) Not experimental.

    3) By the angle of view on the personality:
    A) Structural
    B) Dynamic.

    4) By age range:
    A) Pre-school and school period of life.
    B) All life from birth to the last days.

    5) Concepts that describe personality:
    A) Traits and qualities of personality.
    B) Forms of personality behavior.

    Domestic concept of personality: A. Myasishchev, Smirnov, Malyshev

    A. Myasishchev, Smirnov, Malyshev and others. Personality is a system of relationships, relationships are components of the structure. For example, Myasishchev argued that personality as a social product is determined primarily by the social meaning of orientation (ie, "the dominant property that subjugates others and determines a person's life path"). The level of a person is expressed by the degree of his consciousness, ideological wealth, etc., etc.

    If the dominant attitude covers all aspects of the personality, then it is characterized by integrity. The disadvantage of this kind of understanding of personality is fuzziness, ambiguity.

    Problems of socio-psychological research Myasishchev considered: interaction, communication in a team, a person with a team and intergroup communication; mutual influence of personality and social group; changes in mental activity and personality under the influence of intra-group factors: the structure of the personality, its components and their socio-psychological characteristics. Along with the problems, Myasishchev also revealed the tasks of social psychology: the study of people in their interaction; identification of changes in behavior and activities under the influence of the group; disclosure of various types of these interactions; optimality conditions for interactions.

    Myasishchev emphasized that the general psychological plan of the individual is inseparable from the socio-psychological plan of the collective, but is not identified with it. Therefore, the study of personality and consciousness is important to carry out in the unity of two plans - individual and collective, in joint activities, communication, relationships.

    A.G. Kovalev, L.I. Bozhovich

    Personality in the works of A.G. Kovaleva acts as an integral formation of mental processes, mental states and psychological properties.

    Psychological processes form the foundation of a person's mental life. Mental processes form mental states that characterize the functional level of mental activity. Before the formation of stable mental properties, the states characterize the developing personality of the child as a whole (the child is capricious, calm, affective, balanced, etc.). The change of states changes the face of the child's personality. Under certain conditions, one of the states can become stronger and determine some features of his character (excitable, shy, depressive, etc.).

    Mental properties are formed from mental processes functioning against the background of mental states. Mental properties characterize a stable, relatively constant level of activity characteristic of a given person. In turn, the level of activity determines one or another social value of the individual and constitutes the internal subjective conditions for the development of a person. In the process of development, mental properties are connected in a certain way with each other and complex structures are formed.

    As such A.G. Kovalev considers temperament (a system of human natural properties), orientation (a system of needs, interests and ideals), abilities (intellectual, volitional and emotional properties), character (a system of relationships and behaviors). The author notes that the selection of these structures is to some extent conditional, since the same properties characterize not only the direction, but also the character, and influence the manifestation of abilities. However, he continues, these structures should be distinguished as relatively autonomous, because in the presence of the same properties, for example, orientation, people can differ from each other in abilities, temperament and character.

    If in the concept of A.N. Leontiev, the central place belongs to the concept of " personal meaning ", then L.I. Bozhovich as a system-forming feature of the personality structure is " the inner position of the personality ", or its orientation. Based on a theoretical analysis,” writes L.I. Bozhovich, - we put forward a hypothesis that the integral structure of the personality is determined, first of all, by its orientation ".

    The basis of orientation is formed during life « is a steadily dominant system of motives, in which the main, leading motives, subjugating all the others, characterize the structure of the motivational sphere of a person ". The presence of such a hierarchical system ensures the highest stability of the individual. It is the content of the orientation of the personality that determines all its features: interests, aspirations, experiences, character traits. Moreover, according to L.I. Bozhovich, not only the complex of qualities inherent in the personality, but the structure of each of them depends on the orientation of the personality.

    It becomes obvious that the leading sphere in the structure of L.I. Bozovic is an affective-motivational sphere. The process of development and formation of the child's personality is considered as a gradual transition from elementary, unconscious or partially conscious needs that directly induce his behavior to needs that are mediated, acting through consciously set goals and intentions.

    V. Rubinshtein

    Almost 90 years ago Sergei Rubinshtein proposed an idea that laid the foundation for the scientific approach in Soviet psychology. He was one of the first among domestic scientists to put forward the principle of the unity of consciousness and activity. The theory is that consciousness induces a person to perform certain actions, and they, in turn, form his consciousness. So Soviet psychology moved on to scientific experiments in which the human psyche was studied through its behavior.

    Rubinstein outlined his theory in the book " Fundamentals of General Psychology ". In the same place, he summarized and analyzed almost all the experience of world research in this scientific field. This book has become one of the best domestic textbooks on general psychology and a source of knowledge for many generations of specialists. Let us briefly talk about the principle of the unity of consciousness and activity, as well as the related concept of personality according to Rubinstein.

    Foreign concepts of personality. Freud. Personality theory 3. Freud

    Sigmund Freud believed that the psyche consists of three layers - conscious, preconscious and unconscious - in which the main structures of the personality are located. In the unconscious layer there is one of the personality structures - Id (It), which is actually the energy basis of the personality. The id contains innate unconscious instincts, which, striving for their satisfaction, determine the activity of the subject. There are two main innate unconscious instincts - the instinct of life and the instinct of death, which are in antagonistic relationship, creating the basis for internal conflict. Libido is that specific energy that is associated with the life instinct.

    The second structure of the personality - the Ego (I), according to Freud, is also innate and is located both in the conscious layer and in the pre-consciousness. In this way, we can always realize our self, although this may not be easy for us. The child is born, according to Freud, with " oceanic feeling I ", including the whole surrounding world. Over time, he begins to realize the boundary between himself and the world around him, to localize the I to his body, thus narrowing the volume of the Ego.

    The third personality structure — Super-Ego (Super-I) — is not innate; it is formed in the process of life. The mechanism of its formation is identification with a close adult of the same sex, whose traits and qualities become the content of the Super-Ego. In the process of identification, children also form the Oedipus complex (in boys) or the Electra complex (in girls).

    There is an unstable balance between these three personality structures. The instincts contained in the id strive for satisfaction, dictating to a person such desires that are practically impossible to fulfill in any society. The super-ego, whose content includes conscience, self-observation and ideals, warns a person about the impossibility of fulfilling these desires and stands guard over the observance of the norms accepted in society. The ego becomes, as it were, an arena for the struggle of conflicting tendencies that are dictated by the id and the super-ego. Such a state of internal conflict, in which a person is constantly located, makes him a potential neurotic. The ability to maintain one's mental health depends on psychological defense mechanisms that help a person, if not prevent, then at least mitigate the conflict between the Id and the Super-Ego.

    A. Adler. Adler's individual theory of personality

    Alfred Adler (1870–1937) was a proponent of the psychoanalytic movement. The basis of his theory was the position that a person cannot be separated from society. In his works, he especially emphasized the social determinants of personality, and also argued that each person creates his own destiny. Adler believed that the main purpose of personality theory is to serve as a beacon, a guide for any person in his pursuit of psychologically healthy behavior.

    Consider the main theses of Adler's theory.

    1. Man as a whole. A person is a single whole, everything in him is interconnected (brain, body, mental life). Adler defined the structure of an indivisible and self-consistent personality as a lifestyle.

    2. Human life is a constant self-improvement. A person strives for self-improvement and development all his life. People are constantly on the move towards personally meaningful goals. They independently plan and choose their actions regarding their achievement. The goals that people set for themselves, as well as the ways to achieve them, help to understand the importance this or that person attaches to his own life. It follows from this that people determine their own destiny. 3. Man is a creative principle. Just as it is impossible to deny the importance of heredity and the environment in the formation of personality, so it is impossible not to take into account the creative power of the person himself. By creative power, Adler understood free, conscious activity that affects all human experience: memory and imagination, perception and dreams. It is she who provides the opportunity to manage her own life.

    4. Man is a part of the social system. A person is a member of society, therefore the essence of his nature can only be understood through an understanding of social relations. Every person has a natural desire to cooperate with other people.

    5. Individual features. Human behavior always depends on the opinion of people about themselves and those around them, on the quality of interaction with these people. People's behavior is determined by their personal beliefs, according to which they build their lives and relationships with other people. It doesn't matter if their point of view is true or false. This is the subjective world of each person. Human behavior reflects the individual subjective perception of reality.

    C. G. Jung. Psychological concept of C. G. Jung

    Like Z. Freud, C. G. Jung singled out the conscious and unconscious spheres in the structure of the personality (soul) of a person. The conscious sphere, according to C.G. Jung, includes conscious thoughts, feelings, memories and sensations, allowing a person to perceive himself as a complete and permanent person. In the structure of the unconscious sphere of personality, C.G. Jung singled out two separate but interacting components: the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The personal unconscious is a more superficial layer of the unconscious, the content of which is sensory complexes. The collective unconscious is genetically inherent in every person. The content of the collective unconscious is represented by archetypes. Archetypes are images of the memory of mankind, essentially similar to attitudes: they determine a person's predisposition to certain reactions in certain conditions. The point of view of C. G. Jung on the subject of personality structure can be presented in the form of a certain table. If C. G. Jung's ideas about the conscious sphere of the personality and the personal unconscious largely coincide with the content of the theories of Z. Freud, then the concept of the collective unconscious is a feature of analytical psychology.

    CG Jung came to the conclusion about the existence of archetypes on the basis of an analysis of the significant similarities between the images he repeatedly observed in the descriptions of fantasies, dreams of his patients, with the images contained in the myths and fairy tales of many cultures. C. G. Jung believed that such similarities are due to their common nature: reduced activity of consciousness and lack of concentration.

    The functional meaning of archetypes, according to C. G. Jung, is, on the one hand, in the transfer of significant information about environmental objects and their properties from generation to generation and, thus, contributes to the adaptation of individuals to environmental conditions. On the other hand, archetypes can play the role of psychological protection: “religious myths can be interpreted as a kind of mental therapy for the suffering and unrest of all mankind.

    Personality typology K.G. Jung

    Another important discovery of CG Jung in the field of personality psychology is the classification of the so-called ego-orientation developed by him and the description of the characteristics of extraverted and introverted personality types. CG Jung came to the idea of ​​the existence of two radically different types of personality on the basis of an analysis of his own twenty years of experience working with patients.

    He drew attention to the fact that the functioning of the mental sphere of some people is focused mainly on the object - external conditions, while the source of the mental activity of other people is the subject - internal factors. C. G. Jung called the phenomenon of turning mental activity to the external environment extraversion: he lives as it directly corresponds to objective conditions. C. G. Jung gave the name of introversion to the opposite phenomenon - the turning of mental activity to the inner world of a person: introverted consciousness sees external conditions and nevertheless chooses the subjective determinant as decisive. In the development of personality typology

    CG Jung did not confine himself to classifying people according to ego orientation. Based also on his own many years of experience, he discovered that “Consciousness orients itself in the environment in the following four functional ways: through a sensation indicating the presence of something; reflection, explaining to us what it is; a feeling that tells us whether it is pleasant or not, and an intuition that tells us where it comes from and where it goes.”

    CG Jung called sensation, thinking, feeling and intuition mental functions. All these functions are present in every person, but one of them, as a rule, dominates over the others. Therefore, both extraverted and introverted types of personality, depending on the predominance of the value of one or another mental function, can also be thinking, feeling, sensing or intuitive.

    Thus, CG Jung's personality typology is built on two grounds: the predominant ego orientation (extraversion or introversion) and the leading mental function (thinking, feeling, sensation or intuition). The interaction of both forms eight basic types of human personality: extraverted thinking, extraverted feeling, extraverted feeling, extraverted intuitive, introverted thinking, introverted feeling, introverted feeling and introverted thinking.

    G. Allport, R. Cattell, G. Eysenck

    G. Allport's definition of personality: “ Personality is a dynamic organization of those psychophysical systems within an individual that determine his characteristic behavior and thinking ”. Propriotic functions: 1) The body as the basis of self-consciousness. 2) A sense of respect due to the success of achieving certain goals. 3) Identity itself. 4) Expansion of the self. 5) Image of yourself. 6) Rational self-management. 7) Setting and achieving goals.

    R. Cattell's theory of personality is based on a system of 2 types of personality traits: 1. Initial traits are fundamental traits that determine the way a person behaves. R. Kettell divided them according to the criterion of conditionality and content. According to the criterion of conditionality: constitutional features, features formed by the external surrounding world. According to the content criterion: abilities, temperament, dynamic traits.

    G. Eysenck's theory In the studies of personality structure G. Eysenck distinguishes: 1. Introversion - extraversion. This dyad is associated with the level of cortical activity of the brain. Extroverts tend to focus their interests and thoughts on others. An introvert is the opposite, which means that his mental activity is directed inward of himself.

    2. Neuroticism - stability. This dyad is associated with the activity of the limbic system. Thus, G. Eysenck singled out 4 types of people: stable introvert, neurotic introvert, stable extravert, neurotic extravert.

    B. Skinner. B. Skinner's concept of personality

    A separate line in the development of behaviorism is represented by the system of views of B. Skinner, who put forward the theory of operant behaviorism. His mechanistic concept of behavior and the technology of behavior developed on its basis, used as a tool for controlling people's behavior, have become widespread in the United States and have an impact in other countries, in particular in Latin America, as an instrument of ideology and politics.

    Skinner studies the behavior of an organism. Retaining the two-term scheme of behavior analysis, he studies only its motor side. Based on experimental studies and theoretical analysis of animal behavior, Skinner formulates a position on three types of behavior: unconditioned reflex, conditioned reflex and operant. The latter is the specificity of the teachings of B. Skinner.

    Skinner, argued that personality is a set of social skills formed as a result of operant learning.

    Skinner claimed that the human body is " black box ". Its content (emotions, motives, intrapsychic conflicts, drives) cannot be objectively measured, so they should be excluded from the scope of empirical observation.

    Skinner proposed a functional analysis of behavior as a method for studying behavior. He pointed out that behavior is best studied by referring to how it relates to prior events. He believes that behavior can be learned and controlled by manipulating the environment in which the organism is included. In this case, there is no need to consider the mechanisms operating inside the body.

    Skinner believes that it is necessary to abandon the idea that behavior is generated by forces that are inside the individual (traits, needs, thoughts, feelings), in favor of more scientific ideas about forces that lie outside the person. He believes that human behavior is regulated not from the inside, but from the outside - by the environment. According to Skinner, the study of personality is finding the peculiar nature of the relationship between the behavior of the organism and the results of this behavior, which reinforce it later. According to this view, individual differences between people should be understood in terms of behavior-environment interactions over time. This approach focuses on predicting and controlling observed behavior.

    When considering Skinner's approach to personality, two types of behavior should be distinguished: respondent and operant behavior.

    Responsive behavior implies a characteristic response evoked by a known stimulus, the latter always preceding the former in time. Operant behavior is determined by the events that follow the response. If the consequences are favorable for the organism, then the probability of repeating the operant in the future increases.

    A. Maslow

    In Maslow's theory of personality, when describing a self-actualizing personality, it is emphasized that such people are inherent in the acceptance of themselves and the world, including other people. These are, as a rule, natural people, adequately and effectively perceiving the situation, centered on the task, and not on themselves. At the same time, people are characterized not only by acceptance of others, openness and contact, but also by the desire for solitude, autonomy and independence from their environment and culture.

    Thus, Maslow's theory of personality includes the concept of " identification "and" alienation ", although these mechanisms of mental development were not fully disclosed by him. However, the general direction of his reasoning and experimental research gives us the opportunity to understand his approach to the mental development of the individual, his understanding of the relationship between the individual and society.

    The scientist believed that each person is born with a certain set of qualities, abilities, which constitute the essence of his Self, his " self " and which a person needs to realize and manifest in his life and activity. Therefore, it is precisely conscious aspirations and motives, and not unconscious instincts, that make up the very essence of the human personality, distinguish man from animals.

    However, this striving for self-actualization encounters various difficulties and obstacles, misunderstanding of others, and one's own weaknesses and insecurities. Therefore, many people retreat before difficulties, refusing to express themselves, to self-actualize. Such a refusal does not pass without a trace for the personality, it stops its growth, leads to neuroses. Maslow's research showed that neurotics are people with an undeveloped or unconscious need for self-actualization.

    Thus, the company of others is necessary for a person, since he can self-actualize, manifest himself only among other people, only in society. But society, by its very nature, cannot but impede a person’s desire for self-actualization, since any society, according to Maslow, seeks to make a person a template representative of his environment, it alienates the personality from its essence, from its individuality, makes it conformal.

    At the same time, alienation, preserving the self « ", the individuality of the individual, puts him in opposition to the environment and also deprives him of the opportunity to self-actualize. Therefore, in his development, a person needs to maintain a balance between these two mechanisms, which, like Scylla and Charybdis, guard him in the process of his personal development and seek to swallow and destroy a person. Optimal, according to Maslow, is identification in the external plan, in the communication of a person with the outside world and alienation in the internal plan, in terms of his personal development, the development of his self-consciousness.

    It is this approach that enables a person to effectively communicate with others and at the same time remain himself. This position of Maslow, his thoughts about the need for confrontation, but not hostility, between the individual and society, the need for alienation of the influences of the environment, tendencies towards stereotyping, conformism that society is trying to impose on the individual, and made him popular among intellectuals, primarily among the scientific and creative , since this position largely reflected not only the concept of Maslow himself, but also the concept of the relationship between the individual and society of this entire social group.

    Maslow's thesis that the goal of personal development is the desire for growth, for self-actualization, while stopping personal growth is death for a person as a person, for his " self " has also received recognition. At the same time, spiritual growth is hindered not only by physiological needs, fear of death, bad habits, but also group pressure, social propaganda, which reduce the autonomy and independence of a person. It must be emphasized that, in contrast to psychoanalysis, which considered psychological defense as a boon for the individual, as a way to avoid neurosis, Maslow considers psychological defense to be an evil that stops personal growth.


    In order to find out how schoolchildren are aware of personality in our time, I arranged a small survey among high school students:

    Question 1)

    Question 2) At the same time, awareness of oneself as a person is below average, but at the same time, quite a few textbooks most often rely on the person, the benefit for the person, the dangers for the person.


    When I did my work, I saw the goal in front of me - to acquaint students with the views on personality and give impetus to the thoughts of what it means to them, but how to do this in times of technology? And I decided that my work itself would be the product, which I would provide to the Internet as a source for open use. So I hope that my work will become an example for other students and perhaps open up new concepts of myself and others for people.


    From the work performed, we can draw the following conclusions:

    • the goal was achieved.
    • tasks were completed.

    Looking at the data of sociologists, we see significantly different points of view about personality. And this diversity is very exciting because each of us has our own concept of this and we want to be heard, we want to make a small contribution to the society in which we ourselves realize ourselves in life. But in many unexplored social spheres there are equally interesting concepts that mean something different for everyone.

    And why did I put the personality in the first place? The answer is simple, we first of all recognize ourselves, through the world, through others, through experience. The world does not revolve around us, but the world is us and each of us is that new and unique part of it that makes our world the way it is. A long time ago, people could define themselves as machines or animals, but the real life has come, while we began to understand ourselves, our significance and others as equal to ourselves!

    To write this work, the resources of the Internet were used.


    Modern domestic concepts of personality | Student-Service

    One of the most theoretically and empirically substantiated models of personality structure today is the model proposed by BS Bratus (b. 1945).

    In 1968 B. S. Bratus graduated from the Department of Psychology of Moscow State University. PhD thesis on the topic "Psychological analysis of one of the types of personality pathology" was also defended by him at 1968. He devoted his doctoral dissertation to the study of anomalies in the development of personality. Main areas of research: pathopsychology, personality psychology, philosophy of psychology. Author of over 150 publications.

    In the understanding of this psychologist, a personality is a systemic formation that is not a projection onto one of the planes: semantic, moral-value, existential or activity, but is reflected in each of them in its own way. For the process of personality formation, Bratus calls the principle of activity mediation the leading principle: in order to form stable semantic structures, it is necessary to involve a person in such activities and life problems, where he could really implement, defend, test his principles and aspirations. In this activity, they would have grown together, fused with his actions and deeds, and become personal values. At the same time, B. S. Bratus writes that “the mental always acts, proceeds ... within the framework of certain biological (physiological, organismic) conditions.” He finds valuable Rubinstein's formula about the external, acting through internal conditions - as a result, the role of the biological factor is not relegated to the last plan by scientists.

    BS Bratus identifies the following levels of the personality's mental apparatus.

    • Actually personal, or personal-semantic level, “responsible for the production of semantic orientations”, as well as for determining the general meaning and purpose of one’s life, relationships with others and oneself.
    • Individual performance level , or the level of realization at which semantic orientations are realized in a specific activity - this level bears the imprint of character traits, features and properties. Semantic orientations cannot by themselves ensure the appropriation of human essence, they only determine one or another stable relationship (our italics. - S.T.) to it. Here we are talking about the level of implementation, "reification", objectification of these relations.
    • Psychophysiological level, characterizing the features of the structure and dynamics, modes of functioning of mental processes. Without this level, personal processes would seem to “hang in the air” and would be understood without taking into account the role of the biological, neurophysiological base, which determines both the very possibility of the functioning of the processes of mental reflection, and the essential features of the structure and dynamics, the modes of this functioning.

    BS Bratus makes one, but very important reservation. The use of the term “level” here is rather conditional, it is rather about the components, parameters, floors that exist simultaneously, albeit deeply interconnected and interdependent, but still not absorbing or replacing each other. The concept of a floor-by-floor approach is still unusual and is associated more with construction than with psychology, therefore, in this case, “level” terminology is used.

    Development, from the point of view of B. S. Bratus, is primarily semantic development, that is, moral and value development. This is a constant struggle for the purification of the image of a person in oneself. In the process of development, the previous levels are not destroyed, but are transformed. For development, the leading process is the process of self-realization, which means familiarization with the generic essence, gaining the fullness of one's existence as a person.

    In the concept of Bratus, the life task of the individual includes the search for the meaning of life through activity. The main thing is not the purpose of the activity, but its moral assessment.

    In general, the concept of B. S. Bratus can be attributed to the moral and spiritual concepts of the individual.

    In recent decades, there has been a bright, persistent interest of domestic psychology in the spiritual aspects of human existence, which also manifested itself in the concept of B. S. Bratus. It is obvious that the consideration of the spiritual world of the individual at the present stage of development of philosophy, psychology, sociology closely intersects with the categories of religious topics.

    The original concept of personality (Table 1), based on the "patristic" approach to a person, is concept by M. Ya. Dvoretskaya (born 1960). Personality is understood by her as irreducibility to nature, as a psychological tool (tool) belonging to a person. The phenomenon of personality covers the level of meta-ontology, or supra-existential. The vital task of the individual is deification (holiness), which is evidenced not by outward piety, but by God-like properties. Holiness is alienation from the world of sin; not just moral perfection, but an active force that deeply transforms a person and the world as a whole. The purpose of human existence is determined by God, who created man in his own image and likeness.

    On the basis of personality types, M. Ya. Dvoretskaya distinguishes levels of life self-determination:

    • at the vital level, realization is carried out through pleasure;
    • on the social - through altruistic behavior;
    • on the existential - through salvation.

    "Deification" takes place at the highest (metaontological) manifestation of the existential level.

    Holiness is considered as the norm of personal development. Thus, the life task of the individual is presented as the spiritual and moral perfection of the individual on the path of knowing God.

    As noted earlier, in modern Russian psychology:

    there are concepts of personality that basically support the theory of traits. In particular, these include the approach of A. G. Shmelev , the author of a number of universal psychosemantic methods in the study of personality, a prominent specialist in the field of psychodiagnostics of personality traits. Shmelev's approach is distinguished by a special practical orientation in the description and study of personality. Under personality trait as the main personality characteristic Shmelev understands hereditary dispositions, styles and strategies of behavior to determine classes of situations, as well as personal constructs as a means of categorizing impressions when perceiving a person by a person. Thus, the psychosemantic approach to the psychology of traits turns out to be much broader than the traditional psychodiagnostic approach presented in all textbooks on personality psychology (Allport, Eysenck, Cattell). In his interpretation, the whole cycle of works on the psychology of personality constructs (J. Kelly) should be attributed to the psychology of traits. According to Shmelev, personality is an ideological, in a sense, supra-scientific category.

    Special attention, in our opinion, deserves the position of DA Leontiev , director of the Institute of Existential Psychology and Life Creation.

    Dmitry Alekseevich Leontiev - Doctor of Psychology, Professor of the Faculty of Psychology of Moscow State University, Director of the Institute of Existential Psychology and Life Creation. Published over 300 papers. Specialist in the field of personality psychology, personal psychodiagnostics. Created and headed the publishing house "Sense" at 1990

    From the point of view of Leontiev, the concept of meaning is central in personality psychology, and its key issue, which integrates various systems of regulation of behavior and life in the world, can be considered “Why do people do what they do?”. Personality, according to D. A. Leontiev, is not a static unchanging category, but "a changing personality in a changing world. " Personality is an individualized form of being of the social essence of a person. His personality image, on the one hand, is not 100% original, on the other hand, it is not a retelling of any ready-made theory or set of theories. The purpose of his research is to approach a more multifaceted and unbiased idea of ​​personality. Before considering the theory of D. A. Leontiev, one should pay attention to the fact that the author singled out levels in the personality structure, hierarchized them, while emphasizing that the boundaries between them are rather arbitrary.

    The highest level is the level of the nuclear structures of the personality, that psychological skeleton, or frame, on which everything else is subsequently layered: if it is, everything else is strung. Here the author includes such categories as spirituality, responsibility and freedom of a particular person.

    The second level is the relationship of the individual with the world, taken from their content side, that is, in fact, what is denoted by the concept of "the inner world of the individual. " Here are such categories as the needs and values ​​of the individual, relationships, constructs and the meaning of life (the latter, in our opinion, occupies a middle position between the two listed levels. - S.T.).

    Finally, the third, lower level is expressive-instrumental structures that characterize the typical forms and methods of external manifestation, interaction with the world, its outer shell (character, abilities, roles). This level can safely be called the external world of the individual.

    Functions of a personality - separating oneself from the surrounding world; presentation and structuring of relations with the world; subordination of one's life activity to the stable structure of these relations.

    The development of personality in ontogenesis in its main features repeats the historical path of the formation of man, culminating in the emergence of the phenomenon of personality in anthropogenesis. The transformation of an individual into a personality occurs when he masters his behavior, forms a system of internal regulation of activity. First, there is a hierarchization, a structural complication of activity; then - the spread of understanding beyond the limits of the present situation; then comes the progressive mediation by social obligations and values; the last stage involves the development of awareness of semantic organization.

    Thus, the concept of D. A. Leontiev is an example of the modern development of the activity approach, and it can be designated as activity psychology of meaning.

    * * *

    The question of personality structure is still open. Allocate analytical and integral approaches to the consideration of the structure of personality. The first allows you to reveal the statistical, and the second - the dynamic structure of the personality. There are three main aspects in the statistical structure of personality: universal, socially specific and individually unique in the human psyche. The way of communication between these aspects is the self-consciousness of the person who relates these aspects to each other. The equivalent of a dynamic structure is the concept of a mental attitude, or the mood of a person. According to the views of S. L. Rubinshtein, mood, unlike other emotional formations, is personal.

    It is worth noting that the second approach to understanding the personality structure is still insufficiently developed. Moreover, most of the characteristics described by us in the next section of this publication are undoubtedly related to the category of personality mood. In this regard, we will focus only on the definition of the concept of mood, proposed by L. V. Kulikov.

    Mood is a relatively stable component of mental states, the main link in the relationship between personality structures and various components of mental states - individual emotions and feelings, experiences of events occurring in the spiritual, social and physical life of the individual, the mental and physical tone of the individual.

    In principle, the structure of personality is based on the idea of ​​correlation. Consequently, the question of whether something in the structure of a person is absolute or relative is decided each time in specific conditions and within the limits of a morally positive assessment of the situation of a person's personal development. In fact, the personality structure, taking into account the uniqueness of the personality of the researcher himself, should be unique and original. This subjective orientation speaks in favor of relativity. The personality of a person develops depending on the measure of his freedom and responsibility, and only their harmony ensures the independent and creative development of a person. Thus, we again came close to the concept of activity. It is activity that is the link that unites many of the concepts that will be discussed further. The main sources of activity are human needs, and perhaps even more so, values. The activity of the attitude is a form of activity, or self-consciousness, of a person, mainly represented by a value attitude towards oneself.

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