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The Eight Aspects of Personality


Introduction of the Eight

Do you enjoy going to the mall and watching people converse with others? Are you constantly observing other people? Do you like putting puzzles together? People are puzzles, every piece more important and interesting than the last. There are many different ways of observing personality. Here are the main eight aspects of personality:

  • Psychoanalytic (Unconscious)
  • Neo-Analytic (Ego Forces)
  • Biological
  • Behaviorist
  • Cognitive (Conditioned and Shaped)
  • Traits
  • Humanistic (Spiritual)
  • Interactionist

Each aspect is a different view of someone's personality. They each give a different insight into an individual, to things you might never have noticed. Try them on someone you know. Did it help you?


This area involves the unconscious which was realized and first analyzed by Freud. He named the three pieces of the unconscious: Id, Ego and Superego.

Id includes the pleasure part which is hid in the unconscious for our wants and desires. The superego exists in the conscious and the unconscious. It consists of the judge in life, the person who stops all of the playful and foolish actions. Ego consists of reality and exists in the conscious, what others see of you. This part consists of an even combination of the Id and the Superego.

Also in this area is the psychosexual stages of development which Freud discovered while watching children. He realized people have different stages that they go through in life. Sometimes they go back to the earlier stages. If there is an issue in one of the stages, they will show signs of that stage later in life. In each stage one area of their body gives them pleasure. The question is what gives them pleasure in each stage?

  • Oral - Birth to 18 months. They focus on the mouth, always chewing and tasting.
  • Anal - 18 months to 3 years. They are focused on controling their bowels.
  • Phallic - 3 to 6 years. The realization of sex differences. What makes them different from the opposite sex?
  • Latency - 6 to 12 years. In this stage, not too much happens. They are calm and remain observant to their schooling.
  • Genital - 12 to adulthood. Adult sexual. They start focusing on their relationships more, desiring to become like their parents independently.


The Neo-Analytic, or Ego, aspect of personality is partially done by Jung, a friend of Freud. (Personally, I like Jung more than Freud.) Both Freud and Jung liked looking at dreams and had archetypes for analyzing those dreams. Archetypes are universal symbols for explaining emotions. Thankfully, Jung's archetypes were not as sexual as Freuds. For example, he thought a dark forest in a dream meant a dark time, or something the person was frightened of like a situation. Jung also believed in three parts of the psyche: Conscious Ego, Personal Unconscious, and the Collective Unconscious.

  • Conscious Ego - What others and that person are aware of in that individual making decisions.
  • Personal Unconscious - Part of the person that they are unaware of.
  • Collective Unconscious - Shared memories of all mankind.

There are also four functions of the mind in each person. Thinking (solving problems) vs. Feeling (emotions). Sensing (Do you feel something there?) vs. Intuiting (Asking questions about a subject).

Also in this aspect are the famous two attitudes: Introverted and Extroverted. When someone is introverted, they remain at home, reading books, shy, and withdrawn. An extrovert constantly wants to be around friends and going out. They are outgoing, talkative, and doing activities with sports or something outdoors.

Another piece of this aspect consists as the three tasks in life: Occupational, societal, and love. The job, society, and family. Also there is the effects of birth order. The oldest child is typically a leader, the middle child can get along with anyone, while the youngest is the joker.


Biological is what we are born with. What cannot be changed by their surroundings? DNA, genetics? Are people born bad? Does temperment effect personality? Psychologists fight over these questions time and time again. Some believe in nativism, natural selection, behaviored genomics, etc. However, there are four basic aspects of temperment that employers look for in this area.

  • Activity - Will they take the action when necessary or when they want too?
  • Emotionality - Will their emotions get in the way?
  • Sociability - Are they friendly and easy to get along with?
  • Aggression/Impulsivity - Do they act on impulse or do they think about their actions?

It is widely believed that nature wins over nurture, not fully, but most of it is nature. The reason why this is believed is because of the Minnesota Twin Study. Psychologists studied over a hundred twins that were split at birth at least 25 years after seeing each other. Each twin was in a different environment, different religions, different economy levels, etc. Yet most of the twins had the same watches, same toothpaste, smoked the same cigarettes, clothes done at the same laundry company, liked the same foods, and the list goes on. It is believed that we are 80% nature and 20% nurture. However, we can be slightly changed by our surroundings.

Not only our genetics can effect us but also personality toxicollogy. This means drugs, alcohol, harmful substances. These each effect an individual differently because two people are never the same.

Some people believe in somatotypes, which are reading body types. They claim each individual's personality is linked to their body type.

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  • Mesamorphs - They are obese and stocky. They are thought of as jolly.
  • Ectomorphs - Buff and muscular, they are they strong and powerful egotistical people.
  • Endomorphs - Tall and thin, these people are intelligent and educated yet awkward.



Cognitive considers people as information processers. In this view, people can be change thought processing, the way we think. Some of the key concepts are perception, observation, scientist methods, and decision making. There is a lot of human study to capture human thought. A big part of this theory is to put yourself in another person's shoes.

For example, there is a couple having relationship problems. To help these problems, a psychologist might have them role-play each other's place in the relationship. They might have training in listening to each other. Or, they could be shown videos or spend time around another couple who have more cooperative interaction focusing on what problems they might be having.

One of the main positive point of views about the cognitive approach is that it captures the nature of human thought. One of the negative points consists of ignoring unconscious and emotions.


Behaviorists do not have a good reputation. They are considered sometimes heartless and cruel. Their vision of a utopia is conditioning and reinforcing certain behaviors for the person to do what benefits society. They normally change and modify a person to benefit those around them including the individual. There is very little free will.One of the most famous behaviorists, B. F. Skinner, only believed in giving rewards and punishments. The word "personality" meant nothing to him. He believed everyone could be trained into how they are later in life.

Their strength is usually forcing a scientific analysis of what shapes personality. Their weakness is that they sometimes dehumanize unique potentials through comparisons. They sometimes compare humans to rats or other animals. They also sometimes ignore advances in cognitive and social psychology.



Traits involve motives, skills, and sometimes have free will. In this area, people are categorized by their actions, and focuses more so on the individual. Some of the methods include factor analysis, self-reports, and testing of styles and/or skills. Some of the concepts include dimensions of personality and unique personal styles. There are many different personality tests. Think of them as a way to understand who you are. Some of them have as many as 16 personality factors including: outgoing, suspicious, imaginative, emotionally stable, venturesome, tense, controlled, etc. A great example of traits is the Myers-Briggs test. This is a test given by many business companies to see what personalities their employees have and if they fit the job requirements.

A strong point of traits involve good assessment techniques and capturing personalities in basic dimensions. A weak point consists of labeling individuals on the basis of the tests.



Humanists are pretty free and open minded. They believe in seeking spiritual fulfillment as a free willed individual. They emphasize struggle for self-fulfillment and appreciate the spirit of each person. Healthy and successful people are normally studied so that others can follow in their footsteps to become healthy and successful as well. They consider each individual's walk different and special. However, they are not very scientific in their search for personality. Sometimes they do not concern themselves with reason and can have inconsistent theories. Some of their techniques involve interviews, self-exploration, creativity and special achievement, self-report tests, and observation.

Humanistic psychologists usually encourage self-knowledge through plenty of experiences according to each individual. They normally say retreats, closure, and trust are necessary. Sometimes they will advise you to start painting, writing down your thoughts, dancing, or traveling to open yourself up. There is a client-centered therapy that is empathetic with only positive regard to the client developed by Dr. Rodgers. There is even a widely known video of him with a client that lasts almost 14 hours of him with one client. She finally leaves her abusive boyfriend in the end without the psychologist suggesting her to do so.


They usually view humans as a continuing film between themselves and the environment. They emphasize outside influences on people and studies personality across time, not just in one day. They believe that we are different in different situations and pull on the best aspects of new approaches. They are difficult to define and study through many methods. Sometimes they do ot consider the complicated relationships of personality, behavior, and situations. This being said, they may overlook biological possibilities and influences. Some of their methods include observation, classifying siutations, self-report tests, projective tests, biographical study, longitudinal study.


teachME on January 18, 2016:

is there an example of humanistic and interactionist

Amanda Littlejohn on March 12, 2013:

Thanks for a thorough and interesting account of the various schools of psychological thought regarding the nature of the human personality.

I think, as often is the case when there is great diversity of opinion, no single paradigm encompasses the whole truth but each touches on some important angle or aspect of the truth. Fascinating and useful stuff, well researched and presented, too!

Bless you :)

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on March 12, 2013:


This is great hub which is well-researched and well-written. You have given me a good refresher on a lot of the psychology I learned when younger. Voted up as interesting and very useful. Sharing with followers.

Leah Lenau (author) from Houston, TX on September 22, 2012:

Howard S. Friedman and Miriam W. Schustack. "Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research". Fifth Edition. Pearson, 2012.

Jackie on September 22, 2012:

Maybe if you could please mention the book from which you got this extremely useful information that would greatly help. P.S i have gone through a few of your blogs and i can see myself returning here often :)

Jackie on September 22, 2012:

how do i reference this? :) this is exactly what i am looking for but i am just having difficulty on how to reference

Christin Sander from Midwest on July 28, 2012:

very good introduction to the aspects of personality. I remember studying these in my psych class and found all the different views very interesting. There were points I could relate to in some, particularly humanism. I enjoyed psychology a lot and this intro is well written - voted up and interesting.

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