Examining Characterising and Measuring Personality

Human being have been characterising one another for centuries. Hippocrates thought personality manifested itself in four different humors, whereas tradition Chinese medicine practitioners believed it was down to the earth’s five elements. The Ayurveda Hindus believed in three different mind-body principles known as the tri-dosha theory, and then Freud decided it was all in the mind and invented the concept of the id, the ego and the super ego. Maslow took this further by developing his pyramid of self-actualization and the motivation to fulfill basic desires, but none of this has really helped us to actually measure personality.

Examining certain characteristics and analysing how these combine to create someone’s personality is difficult to measure empirically, giving rise to two theories, the trait, and social cognitive perspective theory. This lead to the definition of personality as fundamental traits or characteristic behaviors and conscious motives. The mind may be complex, but the personality is one of the most difficult concepts to measure, not that we have ever stopped trying.