Personality Psychology

Personality Psychology

Want To Study Psychology?

Psychology Programs

"The ultimate goal of personality psychology is to construct a scientifically credible account psychological individuality. Such an account must situate a person in a biological and cultural context while specifying how that person is similar to and different from other persons."

Dan P. McAdams

Who Are You, Really? The Puzzle of Personality

Brilliant TED Talk by Dr. Brian Little, an internationally acclaimed scholar and speaker in the field of personality and motivational psychology. 

Historical Highlights

Character and Personality

On the 8th of September 1932, The first volume of 'Character and Personality: An International Quarterly of Psychodiagnostics and Allied Studies' was published by Duke University. 

Devoted to 'scientific contributions bearing directly or indirectly on the diagnosis of human behavior, in its individual and group deviations, typological characteristics and idiosyncrasies,' the journal was supported by, and included contributions from, such luminaries as Alfred Adler, Pierre Janet and Carl Jung.

In 1945, Character and Personality: An International Quarterly of Psychodiagnostics and Allied Studies changed its title to the Journal of Personality.

Gordon W. Allport (Nov 11, 1897 - Oct 9, 1967)

Gordon W. Allport

One of the most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century, Gordon Allport pioneered research on human personality and is renowned in this field for his three-tiered trait theory of personality consisting of: 

Cardinal Traits: Rare but powerful determinants of a person's behavior. 

Central Traits: Influential and common to all but not direct determinants of behavior.

Secondary Traits: Also common to everybody but highly situation specific so not influential in every context.

Allport spent the majority of his academic career at Harvard University during which time he also became renowned for his groundbreaking social psychological research into a range of topics such as rumor, religion and particularly the nature of prejudice, which was the title of Allport's landmark book on the subject first published in 1954.

Gordon Allport was elected president of the American Psychological Association in 1939 and in 1963 was presented with The American Psychological Foundation Gold Medal Award along with an accompanying scroll which read: 'To Gordon Allport, outstanding teacher and scholar. He has brought warmth, wit, humanistic knowledge, and rigorous inquiry to the study of human individuality and social process.'

Concepts of Trait and Personality by Gordon Allport

See following link to read this classic article by Gordon Allport in full for free.

Concepts of Trait and Personality

Quality Personality Psychology Resources

Personality Theories E-Text

Dr. George Boeree, professor in psychology at Shippensburg University has written an excellent electronic textbook created for undergraduate and graduate courses in Personality Theories. Dr Boeree has kindly made this publication freely available for educational purposes. This very useful resource includes informative accounts of the personality theories put forward by the most influential thinkers in the field. These include

  • Sigmund Freud
  • Erik Erikson
  • Carl Jung
  • Alfred Adler
  • Hans Eysenck
  • Abraham Maslow
  • Carl Rogers

CLICK HERE To Access This Comprehensive Personality Theory Resource.

The Personality Project

Very thorough information portal provided courtesy of William Revelle, Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, Illinois; the aim of which is to "guide the interested student, researcher or serious layperson to recent developments in the field of personality research."

CLICK HERE To Explore The Personality Project Website. 

Essential Reading

Me, Myself, and Us

How does your personality shape your life and what, if anything, can you do about it?

Are you hardwired for happiness, or born to brood? Do you think you’re in charge of your future, or do you surf the waves of unknowable fate? Would you be happier, or just less socially adept, if you were less concerned about what other people thought of you? And what about your "Type A" spouse: is he or she destined to have a heart attack, or just drive you to drink?

In the past few decades, new scientific research has transformed old ideas about the nature of human personality. Neuroscientists, biologists, and psychological scientists have reexamined the theories of Freud and Jung as well as the humanistic psychologies of the 1960s, upending the simplistic categorizations of personality "types," and developing new tools and methods for exploring who we are. Renowned professor and pioneering research psychologist Brian R. Little has been at the leading edge of this new science. In this wise and witty book he shares a wealth of new data and provocative insights about who we are, why we act the way we do, what we can - and can’t - change, and how we can best thrive in light of our "nature."

Me, Myself, and Us explores questions that are rooted in the origins of human consciousness but are as commonplace as yesterday’s breakfast conversation, such as whether our personality traits are "set" by age thirty or whether our brains and selves are more plastic. He considers what our personalities portend for our health and success, and the extent to which our well-being depends on the personal projects we pursue.

Through stories, studies, personal experiences, and entertaining interactive assessments, Me, Myself, and Us provides a lively, thought-provoking, and ultimately optimistic look at the possibilities and perils of being uniquely ourselves, while illuminating the selves of the familiar strangers we encounter, work with, and love.

See following link for full details.

Me, Myself, and Us

Recent Articles

  1. Facts About Dreams

    Dec 06, 16 11:15 AM

    Facts About Dreams. Classic article from 1961 in which Lawrence Galton tackles a range of questions about dreams.

    Read More

  2. Florence Mateer: Today in the History of Psychology (6th December 1887)

    Dec 06, 16 10:00 AM

    Florence Mateer was born. A pioneer in the field of experimental and clinical psychology, Mateer is best known for influential work on classical conditioning, intelligence testing and child psychopath…

    Read More

  3. Common Dreams: A Classic Article From 1925

    Dec 06, 16 09:39 AM

    Common Dreams: Article from 1925 by James J. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D, documenting and seeking to explain our most common dreams.

    Read More

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Back To The Top Of The Page

Go Back To The Types of Psychology Page

Go From Personality Psychology Back To The Home Page