Personality is an individual’s unique and relatively stable pattern of behaviour, thoughts and emotions.
According to Freud, there are three levels of consciousness, namely the conscious, the preconscious and the unconscious.
The three basic parts of personality are id, ego and superego which correspond roughly to desire, reason and conscience.
The id is irrational and impulsive, seeking immediate gratification. The ego is realistic and logical, postponing gratification until it can be achieved in socially acceptable ways. The superego imposes a moral code. Freud believed that all human beings move through a series of psychosexual stages viz. oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital stages.
Psychodynamic theories of personality suggest that human beings are constantly struggling to control the sexual and aggressive impulses of the id. Humanistic theories of personality suggest that people strive for personal development and growth. Rogers believed that many individuals fail to become fully functioning persons because distorted self- concepts interfere with personal growth.
According to Maslow, self-actualization is a stage in which an individual has reached his or her maximum potential and becomes the best human being he or she can be. All port suggested that human beings possess a small number of central traits that account for uniqueness in individuals.
According to Cattell, there are sixteen source traits that underlie differences between individuals on many specific dimensions. Research findings point to the conclusion that there are five basic dimensions of personality: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness to experience. The Type A behaviour pattern involves a cluster of traits: impatience, competitiveness and hostility. People high in the Type A behaviour pattern are more likely to experience heart attacks.