Personality can be defined as being a certain set of characteristics or traits that a person possess that is determined by several factors, including background, situations and behaviors. Many people have many personalities that must not be confused with split personality syndrome. No two people in this world have the exact same personality, not even identical twins. Personalities are developed from many things. Experience, background, and behaviors, the list is endless much like the list of different personalities. “we can say that personality is a pattern of relatively permanent traits and unique characteristics that give both consistency and individuality to a person’s behavior” (Feist & Feist, Chapter 1, 2009). Personalities have been studied for a long time. There is an endless list of different personalities in human beings. There are several different theories surrounding personality, There are several major theories, they include, social learning perspective, psychodynamic, humanistic, biological, behaviorist and dispositional perspective.
A famous name in personality psychology is Gordon Allport. He was born in Montazuma, Indiana, in 1897 He developed the original theory of personality. “Allport is best known for the concept that, although adult motives develop from infantile drives, they become independent of them. Allport called this concept functional autonomy. His approach favored emphasis on the problems of the adult personality rather than on those of infantile emotions and experiences. In Becoming (1955) he stressed the importance of self and the uniqueness of adult personality.” ("Encyclopedia Britannica", 2013)
Social Learning Perspective
The social learning perspective had been developed by Albert Bandura who was born in 1925 in Canada. He later became an American Psychologist, in which he was most famous for the Bobo doll experiment. Where he placed a clown like doll in a room with a bunch of adults and had preschool children watch from another room how the adults treated Bobo. The children were then placed in the room with the doll and he studied how the children interacted, and treated the doll. It was a great development for the social learning theory. Bandura stressed that people learn by observing and imitating their peers. Learning is a big part of behavior and personality.
The Humanistic approach had been discovered in the 1950s after the psychodynamic approach and behaviorism ran its course. Carl Roger and Abraham Maslow were the founders of the Humanistic approach. Maslow developed the theory shortly after the birth of his first child, when he discovered that he was not in total control of the situation of another human being. Maslow’s primary interest was in self-actualization, he later went onto develop the hierarchy of needs pyramid that many have become familiar with. Carl Rogers was the first humanistic theorist. Carl soon into his career of a psychologist learned that his patients often referred to themselves of who they once were, and the motivation for his patients to want to change.” According to Rogers, all living organisms are innately endowed with an actualizing tendency, a forward drive not only to survive but also to grow and reach their full genetic capacity.” ("Chapter 12 Personality", 2010).
The Trait approach
Henry Odbert and Gordon Allport developed a list of 18,000 words that could describe a person. “By eliminating synonyms, obscure words and words referring to moods and other temporary states, they brought the list down to forty-ﬁve hundred, and then grouped words that were similar into about two hundred clusters of related traits. For Allport, these traits were the building blocks of personality” ("Chapter 12 Personality", 2010). The five factor model was developed using this theory. The five factor model is the basic five biggest personalities in people. Neuroticism,