Here is a compilation of term papers on ‘Personality’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short term papers on ‘Personality’ especially written for school and college students.

Term Paper on Personality

Term Paper Contents:

  1. Term Paper on the Meaning of Personality
  2. Term Paper on the Features of Personality
  3. Term Paper on the Determinants of Personality
  4. Term Paper on the Theories of Personality
  5. Term Paper on Personality Traits

Term Paper # 1. Meaning of Personality:

The term personality is derived from the Latin word ‘per sonare’ which means to speak through. The term personality means how an individual influences others by external appearance. In management literature the definition given by authorities are to be considered before arriving at clear cut idea about the concept. D.C. Mc Clelland defines personality as the most adequate conceptualization of an individual’s behaviour in all its detail which the scientist can provide at a moment in time.


The features of this definition are:

(a) The entire individual behaviour contributes to personality.

(b) Personality is a theoretical interpretation.

(c) The divergence in interpretation is not unexpected and it should be recognized.


(d) Personality and behaviour are capable of change and adjustment.

Allport has defined personality as “The dynamic organisation within the individual of those psychological and physical systems which determines his unique adjustment to his environment”.

Thus personality is a wider concept which deals with individual and is associated with his interaction with others. To psychologists it deals with the study of the unique traits of an individual the relationship between traits and the way in which he adjusts himself to other persons and situations. The heart of human behaviour is the response of the individual to day-to-day life situations.

As identified by B.J. Kolasa, personality is connected with the following:


(a) It embraces all unique traits.

(b) It deals with the pattern of individual’s adjustment in connection with interaction with others and his environment.

Term Paper # 2. Features of Personality:

Personality relates to the psychological growth and development of the individual.

H. Bonner has identified six propositions to clarify the nature of personality:


(a) Human behaviour is composed of acts.

(b) Personality visualised as a whole actualises itself in a particular environment.

(c) It is distinguished by self-consistency.

(d) Personality is a goal directed behaviour.


(e) It forms a time integrating structure and

(f) It is a process of becoming.

(a) Human Behaviour:

Human behaviour is goal oriented and every individual is involved completely in the achievement of goals. Personality must incorporate the entire act instead of single, behaviour. Personality is highly generalised and represents a unified conception of human behaviour.


(b) Influence of Environment:

It is environment that produces interaction of individual which results in the creation of fairly stable structure of relationships. This interactional character of individuals has been the focus of attention of all theorists. In recent years behavioural scientists are increasingly utilised to sensitize managers to the interactional environment to enable them to act in it and on it effectively.

(c) Self-Consistency:

Normal personality is characterised by a state of dynamic equilibrium. This means that personality is always subjected to change and it maintains its identity. Though it is flexible, it tends to maintain its continuity.


(d) Goal Directed Behaviour:

Individual’s personality differs from one individual to another. This is due to the fact that even-one tends to strive for the attainment of goals through his personality. Individuals maintain self- consistency and self-stability in the goal attainment process. The power of the individual to select and to strive for goals provides a dynamic feature to personality. Management literature gives a wide stress for unity and individuality of a personality and the perpetual attempts to strive for need satisfaction.

(e) Time Integrating Structure:

Personality embraces the past and anticipates the future. In interpreting human behaviour the behavioural scientists and psychologists emphasise the past. The behaviourists are of the view that every individual is a product of conditioned responses and it is responsible formation of habits. The psychologists are of the opinion that individuals tend to enact in new styles the primitive solutions to conflicts with which they are confronted in childhood.

These interpretations are no doubt correct but they ignore the individual’s anticipation about the future. Management is future oriented as it always plans its performance for the future. Recently attempts have been made to emphasis the forward looking feature of personality which plays a crucial role in various decisions in organisations.

(f) Process of Becoming:


Personality is viewed as organisation of potentialities in actualizing themselves. The organisational change and development is to incorporate in an environment which is conducive in complete actualization of human personality. This leads to industrial humanism.

Term Paper # 3. Determinants of Personality:

Personality is a combination of psycho, physical, social environment which makes personality dynamic.

The main determinants of personality of an individual are:

1. Biological

2. Cultural

3. Family and social


 1. Biological Factors:

The three important biological factors which influence personality are:

(i) Heredity

(ii) Brain and

(iii) Physical features

(i) Heredity:


This influences physical and psychological factors of human beings. These factors are transmitted by parents to children by genes in the choromosomes. Psychologists and geneticists have accepted the fact that heredity plays an important role in one’s personality. Importance of heredity varies from one personality trait to another. This is generally important in determining a person’s temperament rather than values and ideals.

(ii) Brain:

This is the next biological factor which influences the personality of the individual is the brain. The research for its influence on personality is on. The preliminary results from the electrical stimulation of the brain indicate that better understanding of human personality and behaviour can be made by analysing the brain.

(iii) Physical Features:

This is another factor that contributes to personality. An individual’s external physical features may be related to his approach to the social environment, to the expectations of others and to their reactions. These in turn may have impact on personality development.

2. Cultural Factors:


Culture is traditionally considered as the major determinant of an individual’s personality. Culture determines what a person is and how he will learn. This is considered as the framework within which every individual is grown and brought up. So this influences the behaviour of the individual. Though everybody accepts that culture influences personality, researchers are unable to establish co-relation between the concepts of culture and personality.

3. Family and Social Factors:

There are two important processes to be understood:

(i) Socialisation Process

(ii) Identification Process

Socialisation process refers to the contribution of family and social group in combination with culture. It initially starts from the mother and then to other members of the family and social group with which he is associated. They play a significant role in shaping an individual’s personality. The identification process starts when an individual tries to identify himself with other members of the family. Normally a child emulates certain actions of parents.


This has to be examined from the following:

(a) Similarity of behaviour between the child and the model.

(b) The child’s motives or desires may resemble that of the model.

(c) The process through which the child actually takes on the attributes of the model.

Besides socialisation and identification processes the home environment influences the personality of an individual. The overall environment at home created by parents is critical to personality development.

Term Paper # 4. Theories of Personality:

Personality is an important cognitively oriented variable in the study of organisational behaviour. Personality represents the person completely. Personality includes perception, learning, physique and a lot more of an individual. Personality is a dynamic concept which is determined by psycho, physical, socio environmental combination of factors. Various authorities try to explain different determinants of personality. Each theory advocates specific view of the major determinants of personality.

The important theories of personality are:

1. Intrapsychic theory

2. Type theories

3. Trait theories

4. Social learning theory

5. Self theory

1. Intrapsychic Theory:

Sigmund Feud is the most influential theorist in personality.

According to him human mind consists of three elements. They are:

(i) Pre conscious

(ii) Conscious and

(iii) The unconscious one.

The pre conscious element can be recognized only through Freud’s association method. The conscious element is concerned with thoughts, feelings, beliefs and desires. This is guided by reasoned reality principle. The unconscious element is basically concerned with ideas and wishes that can be determined only by hypnotism, analysis of dreams and Freudian therapeutic techniques. This cannot be learned through introspection. This is guided by the famous “hedonistic principle” of pleasure.

The second important advocation by Freud is the development of an organisation of personality consisting of three structures within the human mind. They are id, ego, and superego. These parts of the mind are primarily responsible for human behaviour and personality. Let us explain these concepts. Id represents a storehouse of all instincts and it represents an individual’s natural urges and feelings. It is the foundation upon which all other parts of personality are erected. It is the reservoir of the “psychic energy”. It is primitive, immoral, insistent and rash. Freud calls it as “Libido”.

It is oriented towards increasing pleasure and avoiding pain and it strives for immediate satisfaction of desires. The important characteristic of id is that it cannot tolerate uncomfortable levels of tension within it and seeks to release tension as soon as it develops. Id, in fact, is capable of resolving the tension in reality.

The next concept is ego. It is reality oriented thinking, it is largely practical and works in an executive capacity. Ego is the conscious mediator between the realities of world and id’s demands. It constantly works to keep a healthy psychological balance between the impulsive demands and superego’s restrictive guidance.

It is said to be the executive part of the personality as it controls the gateway to action, selects the features of the environment to which it will respond and decides what instincts will be satisfied.

Ego performs the following tasks:

(i) It observes accurately what exist in the outside world.

(ii) Records these experiences carefully

(iii) Modify the external world in such a way as to satisfy the instinctual wishes.

So it performs the jobs of perceiving, remembering and functioning accordingly. The important characteristic of ego is that it has the ability to distinguish between mental images and actual sources of tension release and it responds to the real sources of tension reduction.

The third concept of Freud is Superego. It is the moralistic segment of human personality. The primary concern of superego is to determine whether the action proposed by ‘ego’ is right or wrong so that the individual acts in accordance with the values and standards of the society. The violation of these may make individuals to feel guilty. According to Freud that ego’s role is to mediate between id and superego. An individual’s personality becomes disorderly when either id or superego become dominant.

According to Freud human beings mind becomes a battlefield due to constant interaction between id, ego and superego.

His theory was criticised on the following grounds:

(i) The methodology adopted was subject to criticisms.

(ii) Freud’s assertions are largely untestable and his concepts are difficult to define and are ambiguous.

2. Type Theories:

Type theories attempted to classify individual into convenient categories with the object of describing personalities. The two important authorities associated with this theory are William Sheldon and Carl Jung.

William Sheldon’s Physiognomy Theory:

He has identified some relationship between the physique types of individuals and their personality temperaments. He has identified three body types. They are Endomorphic, Mesomorphic and Ectomorphic.

The Endomorphic people have soft and spherical appearance, highly developed abdominal area, underdeveloped bone muscle etc. Their personality has the liking for comfort loves fine food, eats too much, likes to be surrounded by people and desires affection. Evenly tempered and is tolerant of others.

They easily get along with people and prefers to be led than to lead Mesomorphic people have a strong and athletic built. They possess harden and rectangular physique with a strong and tough muscle. They like physical adventure and risk-taking. He needs muscular activity of bone and vigorous physical activity. Finally, Ectomorphic people are thin, long and has poorly developed physique.

They have linear and fragile chest and delicate body. They are usually thin with light muscles. They display restraint, inhibition, and desire for concealment. They tend to be distrustful of people. They react over quickly, sleep poorly and prefer solitude when they are troubled men­tally. They are anxious, ambitious and dedicated.

The next important authority in Type theory is Carl Jung. He was one of the students of Freuid. He developed two-part theory of personality. His approach is known as analytical psychology. It is known as Extrovert-Introvert Theory. Some people are extroverts and some are introverts.

Extroverts are optimistic, outgoing, gregarious and sociable. They are basically objective oriented and pragmatic in their attitude and approach. They are friendly, enjoy interaction with others and dislike solitude. Introverts are quite, retiring, enjoying solitude. They are not so sociable, rigid, less flexible and subjective oriented.

Individuals may be extroverts or introverts. The mixture of these two ingredients determines the kind of overall personality on an individual.

3. Trait Theories:

The authorities who have advocated this theory view personality from the understanding of Traits. The leading authorities who have considered Traits as the basis for personality are Allport, Cattell and Sheldon.

Allport is of the view that each individual possesses a set of traits that are not possessed by others. Thus he emphasized the uniqueness of personality. According to Cattell it is the factor analyses that are responsible for development of personality. William’s Sheldon physical structuring and its influence on personality were discussed under Type Theories.

Though trait theories give recognisition to continuity of personalities, they suffer from the following drawbacks:

(a) Trait theories are descriptive rather than analytical,

(b) The vital missing link in trait theories is how traits are organised within the personality. Further, the theories have not listed the important traits influencing personality and their interactions with others have not been clearly discussed.

4. Social Learning Approach:

Social learning theory considers that situation is an important determinant of behaviour. This theory has made a significant contribution to personality. It facilitates us to look more clearly at human actions as reaction to specific conditions or circumstances rather than merely symbolic manifestation of internal and unconscious forces. Generally the actions of an individual in a given situation depend on specific characteristics of the situation and individual’s appraisal of the situation.

The behaviour of an individual may be more or less consistent when the situations encountered by the individual are relatively stable. Responses to situations can also be acquired or learnt without direct reinforcement facilitates learning by focusing attention.

The reinforcement that controls learned behaviour by any one of the following:

(i) Direct

(ii) Vicarious and

(iii) Self-administered

(i) Direct:

This means social approval or disapproval or alleviation of aversive conditions and other tangible rewards.  

(ii) Vicarious:

This means observation of someone else receiving reward or punishment for similar behaviour.

(iii) Self-Administered:

Reinforcement theory plays a vital role in social learning. Through its specific emphasis on precision in the determination of environmental variables that elicit specific behaviour.

Social learning theory was subject to the following criticisms:

It neglects individual differences and over emphasises on the importance of situational factors in behaviour.

The experimental methods used by this theory are sensitive to the impact of situational variables and are apt to emphasize change in behaviour.

5. Self Theory:

This theory was developed by Carl Rogers and his associates. This theory places emphasis on the individual as initiating, creating influential determinant of behaviour within the environmental frame work. In his Self-theory Rogers has given three important concepts.

They are:

(a) Self-concept

(b) The organism and

(c) The development of self.

(a) Self-Concept:

Rogers defines the self-concept as “an organised, consistent, conceptual gestalt composed of perceptions of the characteristics of the I or me and the perceptions of the relationships of I or me to these perceptions.”

Personal self-concept means an individual’s psychological processes such as perception, motivation and attitudes etc. that consist of him. The perceived self-influence’s the person’s perception of the world and his behaviour. An individual with a strong positive self-concept is likely view the world quite differently from one whose self-concept is weak.

The essence of this concept is that individuals normally are active creators and initiators rather than passive reactors to the pressures of environment. The point to be remembered here is that self-concept does not necessarily mean or portray reality. The social self (me) is the way an individual appears to others and the manner this person thinks as he appears to others. It represents the type of person an individual likes to be. If the ideal self is closer to the real self then the individual will be more fulfilled and happy.

(b) The Organism:

The organism is the focus of all experience. Every individual is well- versed in his area of activity and performs well in connection with frequently referred situations. So behaviour is influenced by area of performance and not by stimulating conditions of events in the external field of environment.

Individuals evaluate every experience in relation to his self-concept. When they are confronted with symbolized circumstances they perform with full consciousness. In case of unsymbolised circumstances they remain outside the consciousness of the individual. The point to be noted here is that distorted symbolization results in inappropriate behaviour.

(c) The Development of Self-Personality:

According to Roger the basic force in motivating the human organism is self-actualization. This means a tendency towards fulfillment, towards the maintenance and enhancement of the organism. The question of self- actualization of both the organism and the self is subject to profound influence of the social environment. This is developed from childhood and every individual is made to discriminate between thoughts and actions that are considered worthy and un-worthy.

Rogers is of the view that the innate tendency towards self-actualization often runs counter to two needs:

(i) The need for their regard.  

(ii) The need for positive reward.

The need for their regard is one of internalization of those actions and values that others approve. It may be conditional or unconditional. Need for positive reward is universal. The individual’s may give positive regard acceptance that is not conditional to specific behaviours.

Self-theory is appreciated due to the fact that it is organised around the concept of self. According to this theory that personality and behaviour are largely determined by individuals. In other theories the individual is the medium through behaviour is elicited and having been acted upon by external elements over which the individual has no control.

Self-concept is helpful to managers in assessing the approach he has to take up in reinforcing motivation and leadership techniques in the process of achieving the required performance. Same techniques and approach cannot be applied to all individuals.

Monetary rewards and authoritarian leadership may be successful with unintelligent, insecure and indecisive workers. This may not be acceptable to intelligent, independent and confident workers. The individual maintains the self and the organisation provides the external environment. How the interaction of the individual takes place in the context of external environment is known as personality.

So in every organisation there must be a good match between the individual personality and organisation. Any mismatch between the two may lead to confusion and chaos, loss of interest by the members in the organisation, low morale and poor job satisfaction.

Term Paper # 5. Personality Traits:

Researchers have identified five traits that are especially relevant to organizations.

They are:

1. Agreeableness

2. Conscientiousness

3. Negative emotionality

4. Extroversion

5. Openness

1. Agreeableness:

This means person’s ability to get along with others. These people are better at developing good working relationship with fellow- workers, subordinates and superiors.

2. Conscientiousness:

Means number of goals on which a person focuses. People who focus on relatively few goals at one time are more likely to be organised, systematic, careful, though, responsible and self-disciplined.

3. Negative Emotionality:

People with personality are relatively poised, calm, resilient and more secure. They are expected to handle job stress, pressure and tension in a better way.

4. Extroversion:

This reflects a person’s comfort level with relationships. They are sociable, talkative, assertive and open to establishing new relationships. They are good job performers and they are likely to be attracted to jobs based on personal relationships.

5. Openness:

This refers the capacity to entertain new ideas and to effect changes wherever necessary. They will listen to new ideas, beliefs and attitudes in response to new information.