The sum total of all the characteristics of a person---including the mental, moral, physical, and social
qualities---as they are perceived
by other people. The word may be used either in a popular
sense, in which the meaning is linked simply
to the type of person as seen by others, or in a psychological sense, in which
the meaning is more complex and sometimes less obvious.
personality as the result
of the interaction between
instinct and the environment. Other schools of psychology
and psychiatry have more complicated explanations, combining the effects of heredity, upbringing, experience, and biochemical factors.
One of the most widely followed divisions
is Carl Jung's categories
personalities. The distinction in technical terms is that the extrovert directs his libido and instinctual energy
toward the environment, whereas
the introvert has weak instinctual energy and directs
it inward toward himself. Most persons combine aspects
of both personality types, and the extreme examples
of either can be recognized by their behavior.
Personality may have no medical connotations at all. To describe a person as having an "unpleasant" personality or a "miserable" personality is not to suggest that he is in any way mentally ill. On the other hand, there are various defects in behavior
or life-style that are regarded widely as personality disorders
. These are characterized
by pathological trends in personality structure, with or without anxiety---in most cases
manifested by a lifelong
pattern of abnormal action
Sociopathic personality disturbance
for instance, may be a pathological
relationship between the person
and the society in which he lives, manifested
by irresponsibility, inability to feel guilt, impulsiveness, and poor interpersonal relationships.
Various mental disorders often
are expressed in terms
of personality. Sufferers will be categorized as paranoid personalities
, borderline personalities, schizoid
personalities, or dependant personalities. There are also authenticated
cases of multiple personality
, which most authorities believe
are delusional in character. In all these cases
personality is distorted into an abnormal type by the underlying mental or emotional disorder.