Insight into your personality

‘Character is destiny.’

Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, 540–480 BC

We all make judgements about our own and other people’s personalities, using labels for ourselves like ‘outgoing’, or ‘shy’, or ‘aggressive’. Sometimes these perceptions are accurate and useful in understanding and predicting people, sometimes they are not. What can psychology add to our common-sense understanding of our individual differences?

In the 1920s Gordon Allport was one of the first psychologists working in this area and made the term ‘personality’ popular. Hans Eysenck was one of the pioneers of rigorous research into personality and was the psychologist who discovered ...

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