Making Sense of it!


How often have you come across a situation when suddenly, multiple pairs of eyes follow the presence of a complete stranger (a stranger is used here, as s/he elicits the maximum ‘wow’ affect).  If by the grace of God, or the person’s self-motivation, or the hard work of some grooming class, the entire effect is net positive, you shall definitely hear someone express her sentiment – What a Personality! We all have been witness to situations which aid in firmly associating the use of the term ‘personality’ with a generic sense of well-being and good looks, presentable enough to stand out from others. And thus gets entrenched in the minds of the ‘common man’ that a personality is something that only the thoroughly blessed possess. Children of a lesser God aren’t destined to be complimented with a nice personality. What a waste indeed!

PersonalitySometimes, we add to the expression, using adjectives such as pleasant, charming, positive, attractive and the likes. We are not totally off the mark, as humans have an evolutionary penchant for heuristics….anything that can lessen an effort. In other words, do less work. Thus, the expression – Attractive Personality is a sum total of the assessment of a person, based on visible parameters – looks, mannerisms, body language, attire and body structure, and what not. Is this ‘sum of totals’ wrong? Let’s explore further…

I. The smallest sentence. The most complex of creations. The sum total of our experiences and learning determine how and what we think and act. This response is almost pre-meditated and is consistent across situations. Personality thus is an individual’s consistent response to a situation. The situation and the response are both manifested at the physiological and sociological level. Let us decipher this with an illustration.

Mr. X is an extrovert. The moment you read the word ‘extrovert’ I bet you could see a man who is confident, outspoken, not at all timid or shy and one who can easily talk to strangers. Mr.X is traveling to meet his cousin. En route (in the train) he catches easy banter withi his fellow passengers (strangers), to the extent that they all end up exchanging telephone numbers and promises of catching up on each other the next time they are in town (though that never happens!).

Mr. X reaches his cousin’s house. The cousin has to attend a party in the evening and asks Mr. X to come along. What according to you would be our guy’s response? Yups, Mr.X would be glad to go. Why should he refuse? He is an extrovert. Isn’t that what extroverts do? Talk to strangers, make friends easily, talk on any topic for hours with complete strangers…..these are behavioral patterns that we associate with an extroverted PERSONALITY.

Notice how both situations are similar? Mr. X is pitched into the arena, with total strangers around him. And his response? Consistent. Adaptation to the situation, manipulating the events to his advantage. And by the way, he did not do all these because he is an extrovert. He is an extrovert because of his consistent behavioral responses to similar environments.

Why is it then that personality is so very important to marketing? Because, what we do is totally in sync with the way we intend to behave in situations that confront us. Self-imagery works at the conscious as well as the sub-conscious level. Our choice of product categories, brands, shopping outlets or belief systems and attitudes – are influenced by and in turn determine the way we would like to behave overtly. And when we acknowledge the fact that every person has a unique personality, it surely does baffle the market.

Thus, the expression – ‘he has a confident personality’ is testimony to the subjective, heuristically determined assessment of observable behaviors of an individual in a given setting. Just that the observed behavior should not be considered the determinant of the ‘confident personality’. It is rather the resultant.

I shall discuss the popular personality assessment tools and scales in the next article. It shall help you to ‘peep’ into your inner-self too. Who knows, there may be someone hiding in there?





I am Ravi Vaidya, a management educator by profession. This is where I intend to be myself, where I can ‘I’deate.


  1. Being a human, Personality of people impacts more to other`s mind with them first impression and it carry forward. it is not about the outside beauty but it about the gratitude, positive attitude, behavior, tone of voice, attires. it is a very helpful for marketing to understand consumer and their need for product & service.

  2. Humans are diverse and adaptable creatures. We learn and we grow. In the same way ‘Personalities’ tend to be inconsistent and not all of us will color precisely within the designated type lines in our whole life. Of course it has its long term effects which describe person’s inherent characteristics as whole. So, Personality is very subjective. You have one personality at home and completely another in office. You may have real life personality diagonally opposite to your virtual personality.
    Everyone has different personalities compartmentalized on basis of ‘Apperance, Thoughts, Bubbliness, Smartness, Sense of Humour’ and lot more.. Personality reflects the mannerism and attitude of a person how one behaves with the external world or internal world. In nutshell Personality means the “way you speak”,” how you behave”,” what you think”,”what you decide” and “what you discuss”.

  3. If we talk about the marketing then definitely an extrovert personality is needed. Because marketing is the field where one must be dynamic, talkative, adeptive and problem solver. This kind of person can easily get in to the situation with the customers and can identify the need or problem of the customer. This helps to the marketer for marketing the right product or services to the right customers at right time.

  4. Personality is defined as the characteristic set of behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors. While there is no generally agreed upon definition of personality, most theories focus on motivation and psychological interactions with one’s environment.
    According to me personality should not be judged by looking at the person. Personality should be judged by their behavior , how their behavior is , how they behave in their ups and downs, one should understand the other, and talk things in their words, put their ideas also in a systematic way..It’s not that the look does not matter it is a part of personality but we can’t fully dependent on looks both matters…

  5. Some people judge a person’s personality by looking at their hand writing, many people judge people’s personality by their dress code or way of speaking.
    Personality comprises of many things like manners, looks, behaviour, actions, speech, etc.
    By judging people from one or two things, we can get to know only a outer part of iceberg of ones personality. To know the inner part of ones personality, we have to form a strong bond with the person.

  6. Personality – something formed because of one’s consistent behaviour.
    Personality – traits that one exhibits.
    Personality – how one is perceived or want to be perceived.
    Personality – wholly how a person is.

  7. Personality is determined by the experiences and learnings of an individual that he has got through the socialization process from his birth to present. According to me in developing personality above mentioned two factors are important but also there are other factors like family background, schooling, friend circle, culture and the environment in which that individual has brought up.

  8. Your personality does not change just from one day to another, actually it changes hardly at all. If there are any changes these are very limited and slow. If they occur they may be caused by trauma or life changing experiences. Your personality is something that you always take with you, it affects your thinking, feelings and behavior, where and with whom you are, in any situation at any time. Personality helps you to adjust Your personality helps you to “survive” and deal with the daily challenges surrounding you. In a sense your personality is in part psychological but also physiological. Thus, Personality is defined as the characteristic set of behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors.

  9. A person’s personality is defined by their characteristics, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. These aspects start developing during childhood, and are strengthened and molded as the person grows into adulthood.
    Having a personality is embracing everything average about you. Accepting who you are. The mixture of all your features, average or high league, defines you.
    Having a personality is embracing everything average about you. Accepting who you are. The mixture of all your features, average or high league, defines you.
    A person’s personality forms during their childhood and is shaped through an interaction of two factors, their inherited tendencies and their environment. Inherited tendencies are aspects of your personality passed on to you by your parents, such as shyness or having a happy outlook.

  10. Every person has different abilities, body language, and hence a different personality.
    While major characteristics that some might find similar pertaining to a particular type of personality, say ‘introverts’ are considered pretty reserved and ‘extroverts’ are considered the out-going and free type of people, but each person(belonging to whichever category) still has a differentiating characteristic(s) from the rest of the others. These differentiating characteristics are not exactly overt and one must try to know the person better to unveil them.
    Marketers therefore divide(segment and target) the market on the basis of these similar characteristics that people possess and make their marketing plans accordingly.

  11. Personality is made up of the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make a person unique.
    A person inherits a lot of personality traits from parents. Our friends, surroundings, choices determines to a great extent by our individual personality and the way we behave.

  12. Personality refers to the long-standing traits and patterns that propel individuals to consistently think, feel, and behave in specific ways. Our personality is what makes us unique individuals. Each person has an idiosyncratic pattern of enduring, long-term characteristics and a manner in which he or she interacts with other individuals and the world around them. Our personalities are thought to be long term, stable, and not easily changed.

  13. This system includes five broad traits that can be remembered with the acronym OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.

  14. Personality does not change just from one day to another, actually it changes hardly at all. If there are any changes these are very limited and slow. If they occur they may be caused by trauma or life changing experiences.

  15. An individual’s personality helps marketers to describe consumer segments as it provides for orderly and coherently related experiences and behaviour.

    Personality characteristics may be a basis for product positioning.

Add Comment

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

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