Personality theories and different personality types

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

what are personality type theories?

Personality type theories are theories that tend to classify people into different categories based on some of their personality traits.

Each theory divides people into different groups based on some common traits, by knowing to which group you belong to you can know about some of your personality traits and you can use this information to better understand yourself.

can personality type theories provide complete personality

Off course not, each theory covers some of the personality traits a person has and not all of them so by using one of these theories you can know some information about someone and not all of his personality traits.

The good news is that you still can know much more about that person by combining more than one theory together. After all those personality theories are not mutually exclusive. For example A person could have a type A personality according to one theory and in addition he could have a mesomorph body type according to another theory. In such a case that person will have both the personality traits of a type A personality and the traits of mesomorph. ( see the picture below)

what are the common personality type theories?

There are many personality type theories around but the most famous ones are:

  • Somatotypes by William Sheldon: the somatotypes personality theory classified people into three major groups based on their outer appearance. What’s really good about this theory is that its very accurate and can be applied just by noticing the person’s physical appearance (no need to interact with him).
  • Jungian types by Myers Briggs: Also called the the Myers-Briggs Personality Type indicator (MBTI)and its one of the most famous personality theories out there. It classifies people into 16 different groups based on four different preferences (extroversion and introversion, sensing and intuition, thinking and feeling, judging and perceiving). The different combination of the four preferences gives 16 unique combinations, Each one has its own personality traits. The problem with MBTI is that you have to interact with the person in order to know to which group he belongs to.
  • Type A and type B personality: this theory classifies people into different groups called the type A, b, c and type d personalities. The type A for example is an achiever,he is always conscious about time and have got problems relaxing on the other hand the type b is a relaxed person who does not give that much attention to time
  • Face reading: Face reading is a method that can used to know someone's personality traits based on his face features. Even if the accuracy of face reading might not be 100% still its worth checking out
  • Behavior prediction based on the past actions: That's one of my favorite theories because it uses individual psychology not only to understand the person's personality but to even predict his future behaviour.

Are those three theories enough?

No, The human being is very complex to be understood in terms of theories that’s why I strongly recommend using body language, face reading, graphology and any other theory you come across in addition to the above ones when assessing someone’s personality.

Using all of these together will give you a robust understanding of people, you may even understand some people more than they understand themselves.

Did that help?

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