Introduction to personality

According to John Watson, personality can be defined as the ability for humans to set goals, engage in social interactions, make rational decisions, and carry out goals and plans comes from the frontal lobes of the brain.

The term personality comes from the Latin word ‘persona’, meaning; Mask. Most writers define personality to be dynamic and characteristics an individual possess which would affect motivations, behaviours, goals and, cognitions in different stages of their life.  It is also reflected to the other stages of life including marriage, education, employment, business and investments. Other aspects of personality include trust, over confidence, propensity to maximize, success and regret. There is the essence of nature and nurture in personality. Personality combines nature with nurture. We know that some people are shy by nature and others are outgoing because even babies exhibit outgoing behavior or shy. But we also know that shy babies do not always grow into shy adults. Nurture can help shy children overcome their shy nature. In 1994, Zuckerman found that “sensation-seeking” behavior peaks in adolescence and diminishes with age [Brown, I.D., (1988)].

Personality is “the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual or a nation or a group; especially: the totality of an individual’s behavioral and emotional characteristics.” Personality affects feelings, behavior, preferences, and thoughts. It also reflected in all the parts of life, including wages, schooling, teenage pregnancy, investments entrepreneurship, longevity, and crime [Birnbaum, M.H. (2000)].


  • Brown, I.D., & Groeger, J.A. Ergonomics, 1988.
  • Birnbaum, M.H. (2000). Psychological experiments on the Internet. New York: Academic Press.

Priya Chetty

Partner at Project Guru
Priya Chetty writes frequently about advertising, media, marketing and finance. In addition to posting daily to Project Guru Knowledge Tank, she is currently in the editorial board of Research & Analysis wing of Project Guru. She emphasizes more on refined content for Project Guru's various paid services. She has also reviewed about various insights of the social insider by writing articles about what social media means for the media and marketing industries. She has also worked in outdoor media agencies like MPG and hotel marketing companies like CarePlus.

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