By going through these Maharashtra State Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 3 Personality students can recall all the concepts quickly.

Maharashtra State Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 3 Personality

Meaning Of Personality:
The word personality is derived from the Latin word ‘persona’ which was used to refer to masks worn by actors during a stage performance, Thus, the meaning of personality was interpreted as ‘projected behaviour’ of an individual.

According to Gordon Allport, “Personality is the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determines his unique adjustments to the environment.”

Factors Affecting Personality:
Personality is shaped by biological factors like heredity and endocrine glands and by psychosocial factors like family, peer groups, school and culture.

Heredity – It implies the genetic inheritance of an individual. Heredity affects the physical characteristics, such as height, physique, etc. It also influences the self-concept which in turn influences personality.

Endocrine glands – Personality is shaped by endocrine glands like pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, gonads, etc. Over secretion or under secretion of hormones produced by these glands can adversely affect our personality.

Family – As the first agency of socialization, the family exerts a strong influence on personality. Aspects of family such as family structure, atmosphere, and relationships, family interactions and ‘ childrearing practices influence personality, for e.g., if parents show rejection or overprotection, etc., towards the child, it may leads to low self-esteem and adverse effects on the personality.

Peer group – It refers to individuals of the same age group, e.g., classmates or sharing the same interests, e.g., members of a sports club. Influence of the peer group is most noticed in adolescence since it serves as a reference group.

The influence of peer group on the person may be positive such as developing healthy gender attitudes, skills of communication, etc., or it may be negative e.g., developing aggressive tendencies, prejudices, etc.

School – Various aspects of school such as teaching-learning process, academic and co-curricular facilities, role of the teachers, school location, management and discipline, etc., influence the child’s personality, for e.g., teachers who are well qualified, creative, build a rapport with the students, tend to motivate students and help to develop a good personality.

Mass media – It includes print media such as newspapers, audio-visual media such as T.V., and new media such as Internet, etc. Media is a source of information, education, entertainment and even socialization. It has a considerable effect on our value system, behaviour patterns and personality. However, excessive dependence on media may lead to egocentrism, poor academic performance, sleep disturbance, etc.

Cultural factors – Culture refers to the customs, values and social behaviour of a particular society. Every culture has its own set of beliefs, norms, expectations, etc., which influence the thoughts, feelings and behaviour of its members.

Maharashtra Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 3 Personality

Perspectives Of Studying Personality:

Perspective Assumption Main Psychologists
(1) Psychoanalytic Early childhood experiences and the unconscious mind play a role in personality development. Sigmund Freud
(2) Humanistic Free will and psychological growth are important in personality development. Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow
(3) Trait Every individual possesses an unique set of traits that determine personality. Gordon Allport, Raymond Cattell
(4) Type Every individual has an unique personality type based on his/her physique, temperament and mental characteristics. William Sheldon


(5) Social Cognitive Observational learning and cognitive processes play a role in personality development. Albert Bandura

Carl Jung’s Theory of Personality:
Carl Jung classified individuals into introverts and extroverts, based on the characteristics exhibited by them.

Characteristics of introverts are :

  • they tend to look within themselves for stimulation
  • they are shy, reserved, avoid social interactions
  • they choose careers and hobbies that do not involve much social contact
  • they may be sensitive to criticism.

Characteristics of extroverts are:

  • they depend on external stimulation and evaluate themselves based on impressions of others
  • they tend to be outgoing, cheerful, optimistic
  • they choose careers and hobbies that bring them in contact with others
  • they tend to be enthusiastic, and full of energy.

NOTE: In real life, most individuals tend to exhibit a blend of traits of introverts and extroverts, i.e., ambiverts.

Maharashtra Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 3 Personality

Allport’s Theory of Personality:
A trait is a relatively enduring and consistent way of thinking, feeling and acting. It is some distinctive characteristic of the person that leads him/her to behave in more or less consistent ways across situations and over a period of time.
Allport categorised traits as :

Cardinal Traits – It is a single trait that dominates the individual’s personality. Every action of the person can be traced to the influence of this trait, for e.g., in case of Gandhiji honesty was the cardinal trait, in case of Napoleon it was ambition.

Central Traits – These traits are ‘core’ or ‘basic’ characteristics that form the building blocks of personality. There are about 5-10 traits such as sensitivity, sociability, diligence, etc., that can best describe an individual’s personality.

Secondary Traits – These traits play a minor role in personality as they appear only in specific situations or under specific circumstances. They are sometimes related to preferences or attitudes.

Five-factor Model of Personality (OCEAN):
The Big Five Theory, based on the trait perspective was proposed by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa.
The five broad trait factors are –

Openness to Experience – People who are open to experience are intellectually curious, imaginative, appreciative of art, sensitive to beauty. They sometimes tend to think and act in nonconforming, adventurous ways.

Conscientiousness – It concerns the way in which people control, regulate and direct their impulses. People high in conscientiousness are hardworking, disciplined, responsible, dependable, etc., while those low on conscientiousness tend to be careless, unorganised, spontaneous, undisciplined, etc.

Extroversion – People high on this trait are assertive, talkative, sociable, enthusiastic, etc., while those low on extroversion tend to be shy, reserved, avoid social interactions, etc.

Agreeableness – It refers to the ability of a person to get along with others and show a concern for social harmony. People high on this trait tend to be friendly, cooperative, generous and believe that people are basically decent and trustworthy.

Neuroticism – It refers to a tendency to experience negative emotions such as anger, anxiety or depression more intensely and for longer periods than most people. Those who score high on neuroticism tend to be irritable, fearful, emotionally unstable and interpret ordinary situations as threatening and hopeless.

Maharashtra Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 3 Personality

Measurement Of Personality:
Personality can be assessed using techniques such as Self Report Measures (Inventories), Behavioural Analysis Techniques and Projective Techniques.

Behavioural Analysis Techniques:
Behavioural analysis (techniques) such as Interview and Observation can provide information about an individual’s personality in a variety of situations.

Interview – It is a process in which the interviewer collects information about the personality of an interviewee by asking him/her specific questions. The main types of interview depending on the purpose of assessment are Structured interview and unstructured interview

Structured interview – The number, type and sequence of questions to be asked in the interview are pre-determined. The answers expected are also specific. This type of interview is used where exact quantification is required, for e.g., industrial psychologists use structured interviews to select employees for a job.

Unstructured interview – The type and sequence of questions to be asked by the interviewer are not pre-determined. Detailed answers can be given and scoring is often subjective. It is employed by clinical psychologists, counsellors, etc.

Observation – The types of observation include Naturalistic observation, Laboratory observation, Participant observation, Non-participant observation, etc. This method is useful only when there is a trained observer, clear objectives and adequate guidelines to carry out the observations.

Self-Report Measures (Inventories):
The individual provides information about his/her personality by responding to statements questions on the inventory, for e.g., Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Cattell’s 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire (16 PFQ), etc. Responses are scored in quantitative terms and interpreted on the basis of norms that are developed for the test.

Projective Techniques:
Projective techniques emerged from the psychoanalytic perspective. The individual responds freely to relatively unstructured or ambiguous stimuli/material. It is assumed that individuals project their own personality onto these stimuli, often revealing personal conflicts, coping styles, etc. Projective techniques cannot be scored in an objective manner.

They use various materials like ink-blots, ambiguous pictures, incomplete sentences, word associations, etc. Main projective techniques include Rorschach’s Ink-Blot Tests, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Sentence Completion Test, etc.


→  Cardinal traits – In Allport’s theory of personality it refers to a trait that is so powerful and pervasive that almost every act of the individual is influenced by and can be traced back to it.

→ Central traits – In Allport’s theory of personality it refers to relatively general characteristics of an individual that apply to most circumstances.

→ Extrovert – An individual who is social, outgoing and openly expressive prefers social interactions.

→ Introvert – An individual who is reserved, quiet and prefers working independently.

→ Neuroticism – One of the personality factors in the Big Five Factor Model characterised by the tendency to experience negative emotions such as nervousness, tension and worry.

→ Interview – An assessment tool for data collection involving face to face communication that can be used for diagnosis and in research.

→ Trait approach – According to this perspective every individual possess specific characteristics and patterns of behaviour that shape personality.

→ Type approach – According to this perspective individuals are classified into groups based on certain characteristics which shape personality.

→ Rating Scale – An instrument in which a respondent gives a numeric value (i.e.rates) to an object or stimulus.

→ Questionnaire – An instrument typically used in a research study that consists of a series of questions that is used to collect information from the participants.
→ Projective methods – They are techniques which use vague or ambiguous stimuli which allow the individual to reveal their personality through their unique responses.