Meaning and definition of personality
Like many terms in psychology the word personality has a long popular usage. We must take special care to give it a strictly scientific meaning if we are to use it in psychology. The term personality is derived from the latin root persssona which means mask. In olden days the actors used to put on the mask while coming on the stage so that their identity would not be made known to the audience.
Different psychologists have defined personality in different ways. We shall discuss a few definitions. We may define personality as the individual social stimulus value. According to this the personality of an individual refers to the behaviour and the physical appearance of an individual and also how an individual impresses upon others by his behaviour. However the judgement of others may be wrong because the behaviour of an individual towards others varies from person to person and from time to time. Therefore it is wrong to judge a personality of an individual in terms of social stimulus value.
G.W.Allport defines personality as "the dynamic organization, with in the individual of those psychological systems that determines his unique adjustment to his environment". According to this definition, the various psychological traits which determine the personal adjustment of the individual are organized into a dynamic unit. So there is always flexible adjustment to the environment.
Eysenck defines that "personality is the more or less stable and enduring organization of a persons character temperament, interact and physique which determines his unique adjustment to the environment.
Morton prince defines personality as "Sum total of all, the biological innate dispositions, impulses, tendencies, appetites and instincts of the individual and the acquired disposition and tendencies.
Munn in his book states that personality may be defined as " the most characteristic integration of an individual structure, modes of behaviour, interest attitudes and abilities and aptitudes, especially from the point of adjustment in social situations". This definition is a comprehensive one which includes all the points about personality. Hence this definition is regarded as to most suitable one.
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