Different Personality Perspectives


There remain a number of definitions of the term personality. An extremely great number of personality theorists define personality as an entity’s nature or quality, or that which makes one be distinct. To be distinct implies that one has to have a collection of features known as traits. Psychologists define personality as the typical outline of rational, acting, and emotion or sensation that perseveres strenuously and across states of affairs. The typical outline, therefore, simply means the coherent and the distinguishing habits in which our rationale, acts, and emotions or sensations are well-thought-out. When discussing personality, we dwell on the completeness or the entire individual. Therefore the persisting or the surviving features that an individual holds define his or her personality. There is no hypothesis that has entirely concealed what personality entails, thus making it a challenging chore to comprehend. As a result, many theories have been developed to tackle both the structural and the functional aspects of personality.

Ewen (2003) stated that theories present dissimilar answers on how to deal with the functioning of personality ranging from the function of the conscious and the unconscious issues, how early experiences affect one’s personality, among many more factors.

Personality Perspectives

There are a number of theoretical personalities. The following are the main perspectives in present psychology.

The Biological Perspective

The event of having psychology as a distinct science came up as a result of studying physiology. These days this perspective is referred to as biological psychology. It is as well known as Biopsychology, and at times it is referred to as physiological psychology. The biological perspective calls attention to behavior relating to both the physical and the biological sources.

The behavioral perspective has had remarkable growth over the last era of years. This has greatly been contributed to by developments in being able to look at and comprehend one’s intellect and nervous structure. Researchers have carried out scans ranging from Magnetic resonance imaging scans and position emission tomography. These two scans scrutinize the image of brain activity by revealing the metabolic processes. The scientists can now examine the aftermath of brain injury, illness, and medication in an approach that initially was not possible.

The Behavioral Perspective

The behavioral psychology perspective is used to lay emphasis on erudite behaviors. This perspective used to be in control all along, but in the 1950s, it started to lose its grasp. It is, however, currently used to examine the nature in which the behavior can be learned and strengthened. The major application of the behavioral principle is in the mental condition system. The psychoanalysts and the counselors use this perspective when addressing different illnesses.

The Cognitive Perspective

The cognitive psychological perspective took control in the 1960s. It is currently identified as the “cognitive revolution”. Its major area of study is on the mental processes. This entails the ability to retain knowledge, the rational, diagnostic, or analytic processes, communication with words, and policymaking. At present, the cognitive perspective has remarkably grown thanks to Jean Piaget and Albert Bandura.

The Social Cognitive Perspective

According to Bandura, the social cognitive theory stressed the social source of behavior besides the cognitive procedure that prejudiced both the individuals functioning and actions. Bandura’s social cognitive hypothesis argued that the cognitive issues are core to a person’s function, and one can acquire knowledge without direct added support. This is through observation of replica. This is what he called observational learning.

He further argued that some of the ancient methods of learning which included punishments and laws of added support, were relevant only to performance but did not lead to the acquisition of knowledge. According to Bandura, one should not be limited within the boundaries of unpleasant physical sensations or sensual gratification so as to learn. An individual can greatly learn by plainly viewing and inspecting others, comprehending what others do, and making overall observations of the globe. This type of learning may hardly be seen through the behavior of a character. It is with this that Bandura proposed a four-level plan for having observation learning. The four steps were:

Joining the attentional processes. This includes all the ways of increasing the possibility of behavior being attended to. It entails the incentive and awakening levels, the sensual volume, ancient support, and all that relates or involves the sensory perception.

Keeping or holding all the processes, which may include an observer’s aptitude to encode, recall, and being in a position to make meaning or a denotation of things observed.

The drive procreation processes. These processes include the power or capacity of an observer being in a position to perform behaviors observed which includes the bodily power and presence of responses.

The enthusiasm or the incentive process entails all the external supports, supports experienced through others through imagining and self-support. One has to be highly motivated so as to be in a position to mimic a person’s behavior.

In addition, Bandura argued that actions or deeds are influenced by a number of factors. These factors are correlated, and they exist within the surroundings as well within a person in the form of a feeling of being associated with action, ability to acquire knowledge, and constitutional personality. This is what Bandura referred to as reciprocal determinism.

The Cross-Cultural Perspective

Cross-cultural psychology is one of the latest perspectives that has tremendously pledged fully. The psychoanalysts and the counselors use this perspective to examine one’s behavior in relation to diverse cultures. A study on these diverse cultures enhances one to have a broadened knowledge of the effect of culture on one’s behavior and thinking.

The Evolutionary Perspective

The physiological processes can be described by evolution. Van Teslaar (1924) stated that Evolution Psychology is thus used by psychoanalysts and researchers who explain the rule of natural selection and direct it to the psychological occurrence. The perspective thereby proposes that the cerebral activity continues living as a result of the evolutionary purpose. This is what consequently sustains continued existence and imitation.

The Psychodynamic Perspective

Sigmund Freud was a neurologist with momentous and influential education in the biological sciences. He thus had a lot of influence on human behavior since an individual with substantial knowledge of Fauna and Flora could be in a position to command or control a set of qualities and behavioral consequences for humans.

The efforts of Sigmund Freud led to the creation of the Psychodynamic perspective. The perspective highlights the function of the unconscious mind, initial childhood knowledge, and the interactive relations to describe a person’s actions and to care for persons anguishing from mental illnesses. The chief supposition of this perspective was that all actions and deeds could be explained in relation to the inner contradiction of the mind.

It was assumed that all individuals had a common set of makings and abilities. Therefore Sigmund Freud had his view on personality growth and development in early childhood whereby he said that the development was not influenced by any communal or cultural changing aspects.

Freud maintained that instinct was what determined one’s behavior and concentrated on the Oedipus complex, the state of being latent, emotions linked to sexuality, and the levels of development as the biological objects and techniques, and not affected by the surroundings that an individual lives in. He believed that the unconscious mind has unsettled conflict, which determines an individual’s actions or deeds, and experiences. In addition, he suggested that these conflicts present themselves when one is dreaming or in one’s fanaticizes; however, these conflicts are horrific, and so they come into view in camouflaged or symbolic forms.

According to Freud, the personality of a grown-up person is divided into three, namely the id, the ego, and the superego, whereby the id is the theoretical part of the human psyche, and it is the blending of the gratification seeking wishes which one is born with. The ego arises later, controlling the wishes of the id. The superego is the character involving right and wrong that one develops as a result of interaction with the parents and society. It can therefore be termed as the sense of right and wrong. The ego’s role is to control and maintain a steady state between the id and the superego.

Freud believed that children went through five levels of development which he termed as psychosexual stages. This was as a result of his categorical emphasis on sexuality as the driving force in development. The five stages suggested were; “the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency period and finally the genital stage” (Berberoglu, 2005).

A child experiences the phallic stage when he or she is between three and five years. Sexual identification is experienced at this stage. A young boy at this stage goes through the Oedipus complex, which involves disturbing conflicts, and the boy identifies himself with the father so as to resolve the conflict.

Most psychodynamic scholars are of the idea that the entire human life may be made clear by employing a psychodynamic method. Freud’s bequest made in the will was his discovery of rehabilitation and the fourth treatment of the mental disorder. From his theory, one should use artificially induced conditions to approach a patient’s unconscious thoughts, after which he can develop ways of resolving the conflicts.

However, the Freudian hypothesis faced criticism in that anthropologists found out that some of his theories could not be proven. According to Mitchell and Black (1995), the anthropologists were able to prove that there existed differences between societies where, on no occasion, dormancy occurred and societies where other values of routine were present. They found out that societies had a great effect on an individual’s behavior as well the personality. Sociologists also found that there exists a large influence of surroundings and society on an individual and that an immobile cosmos and unchanging personality qualities, as well as behavioral abilities, did not survive in all humans.

Some of the founders of the neo Freudian school of psychology had confidence in having the biological grounds for an individual’s personality and actions or deeds should be substituted with the social situations or circumstances in affairs causing nervousness and disagreements, struggling for the exaggerated sense of being better than other persons by self-perfection, and in the struggle to work for community good.

The Humanistic Perspective

Humanistic psychology came to its existence in the 1950s. This Humanistic perspective, according to Rogers, Kirschenbaum, and Henderson (1989), emphasizes the irrefutable image of all that appertains to a human. Human nature is perceived to be good, and the theorists behind this perspective were Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. The two theorists emphasized ways that would permit contentment of the potential. The perspective pointed out the importance of incentive on one thought in addition to behavior. The notion of Self-actualization is vital in this perspective. To emphasize more on the humanistic perspective, one can view the two theorists differently as follows:

Abraham Maslow’s Conception of Personality

Abraham Maslow is a Humanistic Psychologist who established the hypothesis of personality. His hypothesis has had an effect on a number of disciplines, with education being one of them. The high number of disciplines has been attributed to the elevated intensity of Maslow’s hypothesis practicability. The hypothesis precisely explains the realism of what a person lives through. A good number of individuals find it easy to comprehend what Abraham Maslow exclaims. From what one lives through and behavior, people have found some truth in what Maslow stipulates in his theory and have not been in a position to proclaim.

It is extremely hard for human beings to believe that they have been subjected to some mechanical forces ranging from incentives and backups, which constitute behaviorism, or the unconscious visceral instinct, which constitutes psychoanalysis. Human beings emphasize abilities. They trust that one aims at a higher stage of competence. Human beings certainly aim at attaining the uppermost level of consciousness and knowledge. When a person attains such a high level of consciousness and knowledge, he or she, according to Abraham Maslow, is regarded to attain the “self –actualization level”.

The self-actualized person can as well be termed as the “fully operating being”. Abraham Maslow went ahead and came up with a hierarchic hypothesis of needs, with the lowest level corresponding to the instincts in creatures. Abraham Maslow stated that a person’s character and nature are very weak, but as time passes by, his or her natures and character become stronger and stronger. If subjected to a suitable environment, then one develops in a respectable and lovely manner actualizing the abilities inherited. If, however, the environment is not conducive,

Then people will tend to develop in a manner that is not attractive and end up being unrespectable citizens though this is a rare case.

Abraham Maslow came up with a total of five basic needs that are hierarchical. He stated that one could not move to the second level until he or she fulfills the first, just like one cannot move to the third level having not satisfied the second level. Further than the five, he started to be basic, and there exists such as the ability to grasp something, esthetic gratefulness, and entirely soul needs. These needs include;

Physiological Needs The Physiological need can as well be referred to as biological needs. They are made up of nourishments, water, oxygen, and comparatively a steady body temperature. They are the most important physiological needs that one cannot survive without. One can only move to the next level after these conditions get to the point of not controlling a person’s thoughts and actions.

  • Safety Needs, as earlier stated, one cannot move to the second level of hierarchical satisfaction without satisfying the first one. In this second level, the security wants to become vigorous and full of life. Unlike young ones who always present traces of insecurity and requisite of being safe, the grown-ups little forget the need of this want, and it is only when they are exposed to emergency cases or situations where they have a muddled social setup like an extensive riot when they realize the essence of safety needs.
  • Needs of Love, Affection, and Belongingness, with the satisfaction of both the physiological and the safety needs respectively, the needs for love, affection, and belongingness come into view, and as Abraham Maslow suggested, at this level, one incapacitates the emotional state of aloneness and estrangement. With this need, one gives and as well receives Love, Affection, and Belongingness.
  • Needs for Esteem, the needs for esteem come to view after satisfaction of the first three needs stated earlier. The need for esteem concerns both the individual esteem and that which one attains from others. A person can feel contented, self-assured, and useful in society if he or she is steady and is admired by society. Otherwise, if the wants are not satisfied, then one has a mediocre feeling, which makes him or her be discouraged, feeble, powerless, and having no value.
  • Needs for Self-Actualization, the needs for self-actualization get to be viewed with the satisfaction of the already mentioned four needs. According to Abraham Maslow, self-actualization is when one wants to be and do that which he or she was born to do, just like an instrumentalist must play an instrument, an art creator must paint, and just like a writer of poems must write, these wants to present themselves and are experienced in signs of impatience. It is very easy to foretell a situation of impatience. This is when one is starving or famished, insecure, not respected or acknowledged, or lacking self-respect. Such individuals feel on the limit or verge, anxious, and have fidgety.

Abrahams Maslow’s theory of hierarchy is well illustrated by a pyramid with the base, which is large, indicating the lower needs and the upper part representing self-actualization. Maslow pointed out that society creates obstacles that prevent people from moving up towards self-actualization in the right direction. He thus recommended that the education sector should be such that it builds an individual towards a growing person and not an inhibiting tactic person as it is currently. He further suggested that instructors should address their learner’s potential as they aim to attain self-actualization. To help learners to attain self-actualization, the instructors should pay attention to:

  • Teaching learners to be genuine or trustworthy for this will enable them to be conscious of their interior selves and thus be in a position to take notice of their feelings.
  • Teaching learners to surpass or go beyond their cultural cocoon and do what the world expects out of them.
  • Teaching learners to respond to their vocation calling enables them to end up making the correct career and getting to meet their right mate. Letting learners be aware that life is valuable and that there is great happiness involved in life and if people are keen to follow the same then they find life to be worth living.
  • Teaching learners to agree to take other persons the way they are despite any weaknesses they may have and go ahead to assist them in discovering their inner feelings. From the knowledge of abilities and weaknesses, one is in a position to understand what kind of potentials exists.
  • Teaching learners on techniques of acquiring their basic wants or needs, which includes possessions, freedom from danger, and esteem needs.
  • Teaching learners to review their consciousness by making them aware that there is a need to appreciate loveliness among other existing beautiful things in society.
  • Teaching learners that management is good and absolute renouncing is bad. With management, one is in a position to make something become better.
  • Teaching learners to surpass or go beyond the frivolous or the insignificant teething troubles and struggle with important troubles in life. Some of these teething problems include unfair treatment, unpleasant physical sensations, painful experiences, and the end of being alive.
  • Finally, teaching learners to make good choices. The learners should therefore be exposed to scenarios where they are expected to make the right choice.

Carl Rogers’ Conception Of Personality

Carl Rogers was a powerful psychologist who was amongst the initiators of the humanistic approach to psychology. He was a clinical psychologist, and it was out of his work in the clinic that he developed his hypothesis. His hypothesis was client-centered, but later, he called it person therapy. According to Symington (2007), clinical therapists have an enduring respect for the self-esteem of people and curiosity or concern in the people as subjects more willingly than objects. He thus focused on specific and distinct traits or functioning of individuals rather than the broad generalizations about human behavior. To him, the essentials of human character are positive (Rogers, 1989). He further added that human beings are trustworthy organisms. Rogers’s beliefs were pointed towards his hypothesis of personality. He summarized his conception of personality under the following;

  • Actualizing Tendency, Rogers (1989) alleged that individual “organism” has a hidden and significant “actualizing tendency” which targets to advance all the dimensions in a manner to uphold the organisms and shift them in the direction of independence or sovereignty. This actualizing tendency has a direction that is positive and exists in all living organisms. However, the actualizing tendency can be concealed or submerged, but it can never be demolished without the total elimination of the organism (Rogers, 1989). The idea of actualizing tendency is the only driving force in the hypothesis. It embraces all incentives, nervousness, wants or drive decliners, and the imaginative as well as the trends to seeking gratification (Throop and Castellucci (2004). According to Totton (2010), actualizing tendency is a “biotic coerce to satisfy the genetic blueprint,” and therefore, each individual has a directive to satisfy his or her potential.
  • Self, the living thing entails all the occurrences present at any particular instance, both conscious and unconscious Totton (2010). According to Throop and Castellucci (2004), as growth occurs, a fraction of the occurrence gets differentiated, and this advances to be the “self”. The “self” matures through communication and collaboration with the other individuals and takes in awareness of a human and functioning. Totton (2010) defined the self as the prearranged set of qualities that one notices using senses as unusual to himself as herself.
  • Self-Actualizing Tendency, according to Elkins (2009), self-actualization tendency includes the actualization of that fraction of encounter represented in the self. Throop and Castellucci (2004) viewed it as a driving force towards experiencing oneself in a manner that is coherent with a person’s conscious perception of the particulate nature of a person. Both the self-concept and the self-actualization are perceived to be connected to the secondary wants.
  • Organismic Valuing and Conditions of Worth, Elkins (2009) proposed that there is usually a tendency of a person unconsciously adopting another person’s positive values or attitudes whom he or she wants to impress, which he referred to as “conditions of worth”. The conditions of worthy interrupt the “organismic valuing process”.
  • Fully Functioning Person and the Self, an individual may encounter a positive situation that has no conditions or limitations influenced by the already portrayed outcomes. This is when no conditions of worth are involved. According to Schneider et al. (2001), this perfect individual condition is exemplified in the “fully functioning person”. This human is in a position to live independently and communicate freely, and lives a wealthy life. According to Elkins (2009), a high-quality life entails a process, and it should be noted that it is not a condition of being. It is, therefore, a direction and not the end of a journey.


The significance of Abraham Maslow in our world of labor and the successful handling of things successfully is astonishing and amazing. His clarifications and establishment of the meaning of the humanoid conditions continue being basically or essentially helpful in comprehending and dealing with all personality types of actions and communal questions.

He is one of the most well-known theorists after he developed the Hierarchy of Needs theory. The theory is a straightforward, stylish, and graceful model for comprehending numerous characteristics of human inspiration, more so in the workplace.

With close examination of Carl Roger’s view of self, one can be able to view a person’s condition and the underlying conditions for advancing or stepping up their conditions. Carl’s perception of the humanistic conception has both strong points and weak points. His conception is precious, for it has contributed to the study of people, acknowledging one’s activity, power of independent action and choice, and the significance of the self.

The numerous perspectives discussed in recent psychology make it available for the investigators and the learners to approach dissimilar challenges and come up with novel ways to make it clear and forecast a person’s actions and deeds. In addition, the numerous perspectives assist the investigators and the learners in acquiring new handling approaches for problem deeds.


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PsychologyWriting. "Different Personality Perspectives." September 7, 2023. https://psychologywriting.com/different-personality-perspectives/.