Theories of the Development of Personality

A thorough study of human personality has come from many sources. Psychological case studies focused on individuals in distress, while philosophy, physiology, anthropology, and social psychology explored the nature of man. Today, there are many theories underlying the development of personality. Physiognomy, Biological, and Humanist theories are just a few of the many approaches to personality. Each approach has pros and cons, but none is entirely correct. The most common theories have at least one thing in common: they all involve the study of human behavior.


Physiognomy of personality is an ancient science. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras used it to select students. Aristotle said that broad faces indicate stupidity, whereas round faces indicate courage. In the 16th century, philosophers and physicians became interested in physiognomy and began looking for external clues. Today, we use physiognomy to learn more about a person’s personality.

Behavioral theories

Behavioral theories of personality can be very useful in analyzing behavior in a variety of situations. For example, extraverts tend to have lower baseline arousal and seek stimulation from social situations. However, behaviorists do not account for the deeper meaning behind our actions. Some of our actions may be motivated by our fears of losing our job or not having enough money to pay the bills. Similarly, we may have to sacrifice our values or larger personality for the needs of others.

Humanist theories

Humanistic psychology emphasizes the individual’s responsibility for his or her own behavior and the unique characteristics that make us human. It considers each individual as a unique individual, oriented toward society and striving for self-actualization. It also looks at an individual’s relationship to society, and how these relationships influence him or her. While some humanistic theories can be difficult to apply to everyday life, the principles of the humanistic approach are widely accepted in the field of psychology.

Biological theories

There are many different theories of the development of personality. These theories can differ in some ways and are not mutually exclusive. Some are more empirical than others, and they all claim that personality is heritable. For instance, research on twins often looks at the differences between identical twins and compares them to ones who were raised separately. Some theories even link certain parts of personality to certain biological processes. To learn more about how these theories work, read the descriptions below.

Trait theories

The two main traits used to describe personality are extraversion and conscientiousness. While both have merit, they don’t provide a complete picture of what determines each person’s personality. Trait theory, by contrast, can be used to explain differences in personalities. The five-factor model tracks agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience. However, this theory can be confusing because it doesn’t explain how an individual develops his or her personality over time.