Q. What is personality? How is it different from ability? Explain why don’t psychologists have consensus over the definition of psychology. 10 marks , 150 words.

5 thoughts on “Personality”

  1. Personality is defined as individuals, unique and relatively stable patterns of behavior, thoughts and feelings. Whereas ability is defined as the best one can do on a particular measure in a limited time( speed test) or with unlimited time ( power test).

    In order to see individuals personality and ability two different test are conducted :
    Ability is mostly measured by aptitude test. Aptitude test are specifically designed to test a candidates ability to perform challenging task and react to different work related situations.

    Personality is measured by personality test and consists of a self report questionnaire in which covert questions are used to judge the aspects of the candidates personality that are relevant to the work place. All the information gathered on the candidate is collated into a personality profile.

    Therefore, ability and personality are different can be judge by two different test in an individual. The result of the test may not be perfectly reliable but to some extend it is real way to assess a personality and ability of individual.

    Psychology is defined as a branch of science which deals with behavior and cognitive processes. Expert don’t have consensus over this definition as it fails a coherent system of knowledge that maps the relevant portion of the world. Psychologist generally fails to realize that the fundamental problem of psychology does not exsists at the level of data and information in the form of research but it fails at the level of knowledge. This is a reason psychologist find it difficult to define the field.

  2. Personality refers to the unique and consistent behavior patterns and mental processes that a person shows over the time . For example, being optimistic in various situations, normal as well as stressful.

    Personality is very different from ability. As ability refers to the mental strength. The ability on an individual to carry out comprehension, reasoning, etc. Ability is more dynamic as compared to personality. It’s the personality which makes each and every individual unique (different from other) and also caters to the fact that individuals have different interpretive dispositions. This is not the case with ability, each and every individual has ability but how they use it and in what context it’s up to them.

    Psychology is the scientific study of behaviour, mental processes and experiences. Since, its origin as a separate field as “psychology”, there has been a lot of debate on the subject matter of psychology and so is the definition. Initially, according to Wilhelm Wundt, we should focus on the conscious part with the help of introspection. Then, behaviourists (Pavlov, Thorndike, etc) focussed on the overt behaviour as its the one which is measurable. Now, in 21st century we have developed a lot of instruments which can measure mental processes too like EEG, can predict about the attention level. Now, also its open to many controversial things. So, that’s the reason why psychologists don’t have consensus over the definition of psychology.

  3. Personality is an amalgamation of biological disposition and external acting factors . When these two factors act on any individual it leads to formation of unique personality which is stable over time . There are several factors which altogether constitute personality i.e., traits ,character,habit,temperament etc.

    Whereas ,the ability of any person is defined as his/her capacity to do work. Ability in any person may also be predicted by observing his personality empirically. For example – a child having good IQ,good health and always scoring good in exam is expected to perform well in academics. Here, in this example being ‘studious’ is his personality and scoring good is part of his ability. But what if he falls ill? Of course, his ability to perform well will be affected.

    Psychology has its origin in 16th century renaissance and it’s continuously evolving since 19th century . Due its uncertain evolution it’s not defined but many psychologist have reached over consensus to define it as a “study of cognitive process and human behavior.”


    It refers to uniqueness in behavioural patterns, emotions and thoughts which remain relatively stable across different situations and over different times.
    For eg- A person who is cheerful will show optimistic , hopeful and joyous behaviour in most of the times. Thus cheerfulness is a trait of his personality.


    1. While ability defines mental and physical strengths like lifting weight, running a marathon, solving puzzles, managerial abilities , etc. Personality mainly focuses on characteristic traits of behaviour like tendency to work hard is part of personality.
    2. Abilities can develop over a period of time but personality is relatively consistent. For eg- A person who has interest in studies and particularly in mathematics, let say. When he is a child he is able to solve simple problems like addition, as he grows his mental ability increase and he can solve complex algebraic equations. later on , he may become a mathematician.
    We see here that abilities have develop but his nature of being studious is consistent.
    3. Abilities are similar i.e., if two persons can play football, they both have same abilities. But personality is dependent on many factors like society, culture, genes, parental influence , etc. Moreover, No two persons have same set of traits .
    4. Abilities can be measured with certainty by various physical tests, IQ tests, etc.
    But personality cannot be known with certainty . There are various approaches to personality like psychoanalyst, behavioural, humanist.

    Psychology is as old as human civilization and find roots in ancient philosophy and spirituality. Modern Psychology emanates from various theories like – structuralism by Wundt, Functionalism by William James , Behaviourism by Freud
    There are many debates on what Psychology should focus upon – brain, genes, conscience, Nurturing, socio-cultural factors, overt and covert behaviour , etc.
    Thus there is a lack of consensus over the definition of psychology.

  5. Personality is an amalgamation of internal and external human characteristics which makes every individual unique is some way form others. Behavior consistency which shown by an individual across certain situation shows the how well the personality s\he has.

    Where personality define our characteristics traits like- hard working, positive attitude,etc. ability is our physical strengths such as running, swimming, jumping,etc. As our running capacity, jumping length will increase after making consistency in doing these work. Here the consistency in doing hard work to increase those capacity shows our personality.

    However psychology has its root in ancient era, it starting develop from the mid 19th century where it was started from Structuralism, the study of consciousnesses, by William Wundt. But many psychologists were there who criticize it and gives new theory of psychology. And gradually it started to incorporating many new theories in defining psychology but the lack of scientific proof in the theories make it difficult for the psychologist to believe completely on any theory. Hence, lack of consensus over definition of psychology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.