The term 'personality' has been derived from the Latin term 'persona' which means to 'speak through'. The Latin word denotes the masks worn by actors in ancient Greece and Rome. Therefore, a very common meaning of the term personality is the role which the person (actor) displays in the public domain at large. Personality is a dynamic concept describing the growth and development of a person‘s whole psychological system-it looks at some aggregate whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. For psychologists, personality includes:
i) Eternal appearances and behaviour
ii) The inner awareness of self as a permanent organizing force, and
iii) The particular organization of measurable traits, both inner and outer.
Allport (1937) defined personality as ―the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his unique adjustments to his environment.
Personality traits are the key antecedent of an individual‘s cognitions and affective states that may influence his or her task and interpersonal or socio-emotional role behavior (in teams). – (Moynihan and Peterson, 2001)
Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations. (Ryckman, 2004)
According to Cattell (1965) that which permits a prediction of what a person will do in a given situation.
Personality is the organized, developing system within the individual that represents the collective action of that individual‘s major psychological subsystems (Mayer, 2007).
Personality refers to those characteristics of the person that account for consistent patterns of feelings, thinking, and behaving (Pervin, Cervone & John, 2005).
Personality is the set of psychological traits and mechanisms within the individual that are organized and relatively enduring and that influence his or her interactions with, and adaptations to, the intrapsychic, physical, and social environments (Larson & Buss, 2005).
J.B Kolasa(1978) defines personality as – "Personality is a broad, amorphous designation relating to fundamental approaches of persons to others and themselves. To most psychologists and students of behaviour, this term refers to the study of the characteristic traits of an individual, relationships between these traits and the way in which a person adjusts to other people and situations".
According to Gluck(1968) – "Personality is a pattern of stable states and characteristics of a person that influences his or her behaviour toward goal achievement. Each person has unique ways of protecting these states".
James D Thompson and Donald Van Houten(1967) define personality as – "a very diverse and complex psychological concept. The word 'personality' may mean something like outgoing, invigorating interpersonal abilities ... but we must also recognize and explain the fact that development results in man acquiring a distinctiveness or uniqueness which gives him identity that enables him and us to recognize him as apart from others. These distinguishing characteristics are summarized by the term 'personality'.
From the above definitions we can say that personality is a very diverse and complex psychological concept. It is concerned with external appearance and behaviour, self, measurable traits, and situational interactions.