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Personality and character: concepts and differences


Very often we use the words character and personality to refer to particular behaviors or the sum of behaviors of a person. But these terms are used interchangeably and interchangeably , which is a serious mistake, since they do not mean the same thing.

Next we will define and show the differences between personality and character.

What is personality?

“Personality is the characteristics or mixture of characteristics that make a person unique” (Weinberg and Gould, 1999).

Personality is a set of innate qualities and traits that define a person’s way of being. This originates from birth. A baby already has its own personality and although it is not well defined yet, it will develop as the baby grows and increases its socio-cultural interaction, mainly with its environment.

During the first five years of life , personality development will depend on the interaction of instinct and environment.

Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior.

The ideographic view of personality states that each person has a unique psychological makeup and some traits are possessed only by one person, unlike the nomothetic view, which emphasizes the comparability of individuals.

We can consider that different people have the same personality because they have similar behavioral traits, but that is not true, since each person is unique and unrepeatable, just like their personality.

Depending on the traits of an individual, different types of personalities can be organized : funny, outgoing, energetic, optimistic, pessimistic, confident, distrustful, serious, lazy, shy, nervous, sensitive, insensitive, affectionate, among others.

Personality according to Freud

For Freud, personality is developed through the interaction between nature (innate instincts), unconscious processes and the environment (parental influences).

“As a child moves through different stages of development, the location of the libido, and therefore the sources of pleasure, change” (Freud, 1905).

In adulthood the personality emerges as the set of early childhood experiences. It is shaped through how these experiences are consciously and unconsciously processed in the stages of human development.

Some subjects fail to meet the needs required at each stage of development. When this occurs, the results can be psychopathologies such as personality disorders – a mental condition that disrupts normal personality patterns.

Phases of personality according to Freud

Freud created 5 phases of the personality according to his theory of sexual affective development:

Oral (0 – 18 months): Fixation on all things oral. If this phase is not fulfilled, there is a probability of developing negative oral habits or behaviors.
Anal (18 months to 3 years): This phase is mainly related to stool and the development of toilet training habits.
Phallic  (3 – 5 years): Their genitals become their object of study and source of pleasure.
Latency (5 – 12 years): Healthy latent sexual feelings develop for the opposite sex.
Genital (from 12 years): All the tasks of the four previous stages are integrated into the mind, allowing the initiation of healthy sexual feelings and behaviors.

Personality types

Some studies have been done to decipher different types of personalities. So far 16 types have been differentiated, which we will detail below:

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The inspector

They are people who at first glance tend to be intimidating, formal and very serious. Usually individuals with this personality type are reserved, calm, quiet and correct.

Bright mind

It is the least common personality type and represents only 3% of the world’s population. They are introverted, quiet, reserved, self-sufficient people and tend to feel comfortable in solitude. They are interested in ideas and theories. They pride themselves on their creativity, unique perspective, and vigorous intellect. They excel at developing plans and strategies, and they don’t like uncertainty.


People with this personality type are overflowing with charisma and self-confidence , so they project authority in a way that draws crowds behind a common goal.

The counselor

They are idealistic people who exude creative imagination and brilliant ideas. They have a different way of looking at things, which is usually deeper than the rest. Their thoughts escape the superficiality of the world around them and always go beyond the visible.

The donor

They are outgoing, idealistic, charismatic, ethical people and generally know how to connect with others regardless of cultural or personality differences. They have a high level of empathy and a great capacity to help people.

The adventurer

True artists, but not necessarily in the typical way that we know it, rather, it is that they use aesthetics, design, their actions and emotions to overcome the limits of society. They are outgoing and cheerful people who generally try to flee from political and social barriers.

The craftsman

They are mysterious people who are usually very rational and logical, but also quite spontaneous, unpredictable and enthusiastic. They love to explore the world around them with their hands and their eyes, touching and examining everything with great rationalism and lively curiosity.

The provider

They are social people and outgoing. Their need to interact with others and make them laugh is what generally makes them popular. They are always seen laughing and entertaining with a gross and earthy humor. These people love to be the center of attention and generally tend to be cheerleaders in high school and college.

What is character?

Character refers to a set of values ​​and beliefs that define the subject’s behavior towards others and towards himself. It depends on the experiences learned and lived within early relationships.
The learning that gives rise to the formation of character comes from the interaction of the subject with their close environment and the social environment .

Character can be assumed to be the factor that determines and controls an individual’s behavior.

As we can see, the definition of personality proposed by Freud is remarkably similar to what would be the formation of the character of the individual; This happens because it is the character that makes up the personality , that is why we find a finite relationship between the two concepts.

It should be noted that the biggest difference between personality and character is that personality is innate and character is formed as the individual grows and their experiences increase.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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