What are the Elements of Personality?

There are several factors that contribute to our personality. These factors have received greater or less importance at the hands of different psychologists. Here we shall discuss some of the important elements. These elements generally stated are: –

Personality-- What type of a person are you?

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1. Personal appearance.

2. Intelligence.


3. Emotional life.

4. Temperament.

5. Character and moral traits.

Some of these elements are congenital while others are acquired. The latter are determined by environment and education, the former are not so determined.


1. Personal Appearance

The size and shape of a person influences his personality. If a man is tall, of good physical proportions, and well-muscled, his personality is likely to be affected favorably. He is likely to be respected by his fellows and popular with them.

A physical “deviate” on the other hand, has his own personality problems. By a ‘deviate’ we mean someone who varies or deviates considerably from the average. A person who is very small, very tall, too fat or too thin is a deviate. Being a deviate lessens the feeling of confidence and personal worth.

It is true that there can be a relationship between physical development and certain personal attitudes, especially in the case of deviates. But the fact is that no one can judge personal and intellectual qualities by physical appearance.


2. Intelligence

Intelligence is an inborn capacity to perceive the right thing, at the right place, at the right moment. It is the general mental adaptability to new problems and conditions of life.

Intelligence is certainly an asset. It enables easy adjustment even under difficult circumstances and thus helps in building up personality. Intelligent people are able to adjust themselves to changing environments with great ease, efficiency and speed and hence they are said to have good personality.

3. Emotional Life

The core of an emotional experience is feeling. When feelings violent and the composure of our mind is disturbed we have no longer feelings but emotions. An emotion is thus noting but an intense and violent feeling. Emotions play a very important part in the individual and social life of man.

They determine to a very great extent his physical and mental health. They also determine whether a person will be liked in the society or will be treated as a nuisance. Emotions are to be sublimated.

They should not be repressed. Repressed emotions give us complexes which further lead to disintegrated or maladjusted personality.

4. Temperament

Man may be rational animal, but at times he is extremely emotional also. Intense and violent feeling is emotional long drawn out emotion is a mood. Mood when it becomes permanent influences our temperament.

Temperament is partly physical and partly mental. Diet and climate also affect our temperament and temperament affects personality. Differed types of temperament have resulted in different types of personalities:

(a) Choleric Type

He is also known as the violent type. He is energizing, full of ambition and courage but easily excitable to anger.

(b) Sanguine Type

He is active, cheerful and optimistic in his pursuits.

(c) Melancholic Type

He is humble, sad, depressed and pessimistic.

(d) Phlegmatic Type

He is slow, dull and unemotional. He is also known as ‘apathetic’ or ‘indifferent type.’

Cyril Burt holds that majority of the cases belong to the mixed- type- Thus, there is a considerable overlapping of these temperament.

5. Character and Moral Traits

Character is the sum of all tendencies, which the individual possesses. It is the organisation of instincts and habits under the sentiment of self-regard. If this organisation is strong, character is strong.

It is weak, the character is weak. Character includes our sentiments and habits in the widest sense of the term. It is the product of the interaction of instinctive dispositions with the physical and social environment under the guidance of intelligence. Character and the personality of the individual are very closely related.

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