Introduction to Personality
Personality is derived from the Latin word persona. Persona refers to a theatrical mask worn by Roman actors in Greek dramas (Feist & Feist, 2009). Personalities can change and are as different as each mask worn in these dramas. A person plays a role in life and his or her personality creates the character that he or she portrays on life’s stage. Each individual has his or her own set of traits and characteristics that form the foundation to his or her personality. Understanding the basis of personality is a fundamental part of understanding human behavior.
Personality has a basic definition. According to Feist and Feist (2009), “personality theorists have not agreed on a single definition of personality” (para. 5). Personalities change from person to persona; no personality is the same. Personality, according to Feist and Feist (2009), is defined as “a pattern of relatively permanent traits and unique characteristics that give both consistency and individuality to a person’s behavior” (2009). Traits form the foundation of a person’s personality, and characteristics build on the foundation set by a person’s traits.
Traits are defined as a contribution to an individual’s differences in behavior. This includes behaviors seen over time and the stability of behavior across situations (Feist & Feist, 2009). Traits can be the same within a family, group, community, or society. The pattern in which a person uses the traits gives each individual his or her own personality. A person’s characteristics also offer unique qualities that help an individual form his or her exclusive personality. A person’s personality consists of characteristics like temperament, physique, beliefs, and intelligence (Feist & Feist, 2009).
Characteristics are what set a person’s personality apart from others. Each person has a unique level of specific characteristics that form his or her personalities. Some characteristics...