Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In regards to the definition of personality, the above posts have clearly defined it. As for the aspects of masks, I would say that people do wear different "hats." Not that people do not wear masks, because they do, but not all people don masks to hide. Hats, on the other hand,can be worn to define a specific personality for the atmosphere. As a teacher, parent, spouse, and daughter, the hats I wear differ. Not that my personality changes much, but in some circumstances, my personality differs based upon the atmosphere. For example, when I walk into a classroom, I genuinely care about my students. Sometimes, by showing that I care, some students may tend to take advantage of my empathy. Therefore, I tend to hide the extent to which I care because I can not turn off my caring completely. Instead, the "hat" tends to cover up a little of my caring.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Taking up the question of whether or not personality is the same as identity (or is completely descriptive of our identity), I would answer in the negative. Personality is part of the identity but not the entirety of our identity. 

Perhaps the term identity needs some more defining before we can usefully compare it to personality, but for the purposes of this discussion we might simply say that identity consists of a broader set of identifiers than personality, some of which are almost impersonal and based on social status, country of birth, etc. 

Given all that goes into identity, I would say that personality is a smaller concept than identity and so our personalities do not completely define our identities.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that personality is one of those words that is used differently in common parlance than by psychologists. One's personality is the sum of the intangible traits that one exhibits in interacting (or in refusing to interact) with others. A person may be introverted or extroverted in dealing with other people. But personality also entails other aspects that include how a person goes about solving problems. Do they think analytically or go by their gut feeling? How do they view the world? Are they a person of faith or skeptical? What do they value? All of these are aspects of personality.

tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ayn Rand writes about the connection between identity and personality inAnthem. The main character observes different personality traits between himself and others. One of his friends seems to laugh a lot and this draws attention to himself. He notices that other people have physical difficulties, too, or that they behave differently at night than they do during the day. These different personalities help him to identify himself and who he is as compared to others. Along these lines, personalities seem to be more unique. Interesting discussion!

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to, personality is the combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another.

When we use the term "personality" in everyday life (as opposed to when we are conducting psychological research) we are usually referring to how a person relates to other people. Do they have a "sparkling" personality or a quiet personality? Are they fun to be around or do they complain incessantly to anyone who will listen?

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

So are you asking whether our personalities are really disguises?  In part they are, but not completely.  We can try to project a particular image and a particular personality.  But we cannot truly avoid having our "true colors" show.  If we have, for example, a quick temper, we will not be able to disguise that for long.

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Our personality is our disposition. Disposition is used to refer to our usual mood, temperament, spirit, and habits. There are many personality theories that provide insight into whether our personalities are based formed due to "nature or nurture" experiences.

kc7092 | Student

personality is a unique patterning of behavioural and mental processes that characterises an individual and the individuals interactions with the environment. the key word in the definition of personality is individual.


so we can say that personality psychology is the study of individuals, with special emphasis on understanding, what makes a person unique.


henry murray once stated that every person is in some ways like all other people, in others ways like some other people and in stilll other ways like no other person. 


while personality psychology considers al these aspedcts of the person, at present it gives more atention to how people difer.



kc7092 | Student

personality is derived from  word which means persona that is mask. it is a disguise. we carry with ourself each day. 



do you agree and how it reflects our identity?