Personality: Meaning, Characteristics and Nature


Personality is the unique combination of patterns that influence behaviour, thought ,motivation and emotion in a human being . an individual's personality is the combination of traits and patterns that influence their behaviour , thought motivation and emotion.


The word personality is derived from a Greek word "persona" which means "to speak through." Personality is the combination of characteristics or qualities that forms a person's unique identity. It signifies the role which a person plays in public. Every individual has a unique, personal and major determinant of his behavior that defines his/her personality. Personality is a complex, multi-dimensional construct and there is no simple definition of what personality is. 


According to GORDON ALLPORT, “Personality is the dynamic organisation within the individual of those psychological systems that determine his unique adjustment to his environment.”

According to FLOYD L. RUCH, “Personality includes external appearance and behaviour, inner awareness of self as a permanent organizing force and the particular pattern or organisation of measurable traits, both inner and outer.”

According to FRED LUTHANS, “Personality means how a person affects others and how he understands and views himself as well as the pattern of inner and outer measurable traits and the person-situation interaction.”

According to SALVATORE MADDI, “Personality is a stable set of characteristics and tendencies that determine those commonalities and differences in the psychological behaviour (thoughts, feelings and actions) of people that have continuity in time and that may not be easily understood as the sole result of the social and biological pressures of the moment.”


  • Personality refers to both physical and psychological qualities of an individual.
  • It is unique in the sense that no two individuals are same in terms of their personality.
  • Personality is the manner of adjustment of individual to the organisation, environment and the group.
  • Personality is dynamic. It changes with the time and situation.
  • Personality is a system. It has input, processing and output mechanisms.
  • Personality influences goal achievement and performance of an individual.


  1. PSYCHO-PHYSICAL SYSTEM : Personality happens to be such a system which combines two types of qualities-psychological and physical traits. Psychological traits include character, temperament, intelligence, etc. On the other hand, the physical qualities are characterised by complexion, weight, health, etc. Personality is neither completely psychological, nor physical, instead it is a mixture of both.
  2. DYNAMIC ORGANISATION: Personality is a dynamic organisation. Organisation simply means the combination of some qualities both psychological and physical. In other words, we can say that when we look at all the qualities of a person collectively, we can call it organisation. The different traits of an organisation cannot be separated. To be dynamic means, which is subject to change. There are always some changes in the traits of the organisation from time to time. It is because of this that the personality has been given the name of being a dynamic organisation. For example, somebody can be honest and punctual today but it is quite possible that he may not be honest and punctual tomorrow.
  3. CONSISTENCY : Consistency happens to be the third chief characteristics of personality. It simply means the consistent behaviour of an individual on two different occasions. For example, if a person possesses the quality of being punctual at home, he would be punctual in the office as well.
  4. ADJUSTMENT ABILITY : Personality and adjustment ability have a deep relation. It is only on the basis of his personality that a person makes adjustment with the atmosphere or surroundings. In case a person fails to make adjustment with his surroundings, it can be said that he lacks personality. In other words, personality happens to be the power or strength that helps an individual to make adjustment with his surroundings. Everybody possesses a different personality. It is because of this that different people adjust differently to some similar surroundings.
  5. UNIQUENESS : Personality has the quality of being unique. Any two individuals, however similar they may be, cannot be having the similar personality. That is precisely the reason that an individual behaves differently. Every individual happens to be a combination of various unique qualities Consequently, every individual has a unique personality of his own.
  6. WHOLENESS : Every individual possesses a variety of psychological and physical traits. All these traits go to form personality. In other words, every trait or quality forms a part of personality. The sum total of all the qualities alone go to form personality. In this way, it can be said that personality is a complete unit in itself. These inherent qualities cannot be separated. In case these qualities get separated the very existence of personality vanishes
  7. PERSISTENCY : Persistency happens to be a significant quality of personality. If we take away persistency from personality, what is left is simply a failure. It is only the people with a strong personality who can adjust themselves with every kind of condition or circumstance and it is only such people who achieve success. A personality that lacks persistency cannot be called a good personality.
  8. SOCIABILITY : It is an undoubted fact that personality gets influenced by social interaction. When an individual comes in contact with different people in society, he undergoes different types of experiences. These experiences richly contribute to the development of personality. When personality comes in contact with social influences, it achieves maturity which gives a glow or a sparkle to personality.
  9. SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS : Self-consciousness means ‘knowledge of the self or ‘consciousness about the self. When a person gets conscious about his self, personality gets reflected. In other words, so long a person does not get to know his ownself the question of personality is simply irrelevant. It is a common knowledge that a child lacks self-consciousness, so he lacks personality also. As he grows and starts getting to know himself, his personality also starts reflecting itself