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Lesson Eight: Personality

An Overview of Personality

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Lesson Eight: Personality

Welcome to lesson eight of the Introduction to Psychology course! You've come a long way in your exploration of psychology. So far you have covered a wide range of topics including psychology history, states of consciousness, memory and learning. In this lesson, we'll focus on one of the largest and most popular topics in psychology – personality!

Our personality touches every aspect of our daily life, so it's little wonder that the study of personality is one of the largest topics within psychology. For this lesson, we will look at some of the major theories that have emerged to explain and understand human personality.

Syllabus for this week:

  • What is personality?
  • Freud's theory of personality
  • Maslow's hierarchy of needs
  • Self-efficacy and personality
  • Trait theory of personality

Click the links below to read the articles and resources related to each topic in this lesson. Remember, while there is no homework, you are solely responsible for learning the information included in each lesson. It is entirely up to you to study the material, take notes and review the information. Good luck on today's lesson!

An Introduction to Personality

In order to understand personality, it is important to start by defining what we mean when we say personality. Learn how psychologists define personality and how it influences our behavior and actions in this introduction to personality.

Freud's Theory of Personality

Famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud suggested that there are three critical elements of personality - the id, the ego, and the superego. Learn more about how these elements work together to influence behavior... Read more

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often portrayed as a pyramid. According to this theory, the most basic needs (such as the need for food or water) make up the base of the pyramid. Needs become increasingly complex the higher you move up the hierarchy. Maslow's theory also emphasizes the importance of self-actualization, or achieving individual potential. Learn more about the five levels in Maslow's hierarchy of needs... Read more

Self-Efficacy and Personality

According to Albert Bandura, how you feel about yourself can have a major influence on your personality. Your self-efficacy, or belief in your own abilities, impacts your behavior, thoughts and feelings. Learn more about what self-efficacy is and the role it plays in personality... Read more

Trait Theory of Personality

If I asked you to describe your own personality, you would probably use a number of adjectives such as kind, friendly or funny. Each of these terms describes a trait. The trait theory of personality suggests that personality is composed of a number of broad traits. Learn more about the trait theory of personality... Read more

Personality Psychology Study Guide and Quiz

You're almost done with this lesson, but first it is time to review what you've learned about personality and take a brief quiz. Start by exploring this personality study guide to review the basics including the major theories, thinkers and key terms. Next, test your knowledge in the personality psychology quiz.

Final Thoughts

Congratulations, you have reached the end of lesson eight! While there was a quiz included in this lesson, remember that there are no formal grades issued in this class. Did you do well on the quiz? Then you can feel free to move on to lesson nine of this series. Did you not do as well as you hoped on the quiz? Don't worry! Just spend some extra time reviewing the information included in this lesson and then go back and retake the quiz.

This lesson offers a general overview of personality psychology, but there is still plenty to learn about this fun and fascinating topic. You can browse through our selection of personality quizzes in order to learn more about yourself.

Also be sure to check out our section on personality to learn some fascinating facts about personality as well as more in-depth information on theories of personality and personality disorders.

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Next: Lesson 9

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