What is Character?

What Does Carácter Mean

When we speak of character , we refer to the way in which an individual habitually reacts to certain types of stimuli or certain situations, considered as typical of a profile, characterization or inclination within which other individuals also fit.



Often this character is expressed from a characteristic considered predominant or main within the way of being of a person . For example, if you often display generous and detached tendencies, you will be told that you are altruistic ; If you tend to keep anger or annoyance for a long time or find it difficult to forgive the mistakes of others, it will be called spiteful . In both cases it is a generalization.

Despite the fact that the study of character began in the 20th century with the intention of becoming an exact science , that is, of being able to classify all the personalities of the human being in detail, today it is accepted that they are only part of approximations to the personality.

Commonly a distinction is made between strong and weak characters , or of good and bad character, according to different evaluation ranges, which generally have to do with irritability, patience , temperance and resilience or submission and passivity, depending on the context. .

The character assessment is today a useful tool for companies and organizations that want to have a quick and general profile of their potential employees .

See also: Conduct

Character and temperament

The sum of character and temperament determine the personality of human beings . But while character is a predominant tendency in certain situations, temperament is a general disposition of the individual before the world, that is, his usual way of relating to reality .

Thus, while character is due to an external stimulus, temperament is linked to endocrine functions and is genetically determined, so there is a hereditary component in it and it manifests itself in physical and psychological traits. It could be said that while character is the way to respond to situations, temperament is the common posture when nothing happens.

Difference between character and personality

Character is just one of the elements that make up personality , along with temperament and learned habits . If the character is a predominant reaction to specific situations, the personality on the other hand is a complex and diverse conjunction of the virtues, defects, tendencies, feelings, thoughts and, finally, the psychic characteristics of a person. While the character is simple and general, the personality is complex and unique.

Thus, while character can be reduced to an attribute or an idea that encompasses a certain tendency in the reaction, personality is a construction rich in nuances , difficult to apprehend in its totality and with many folds and contradictions, which makes it difficult to quickly conclude some type of predictability with respect to the individual.

Character examples

At the beginning of the 20th century, René Le Senne (1882-1954) tried to create a concrete classification of the possible characters of the human being, in order to determine who were more prone to crime, and postulated that there were eight. Although it is known today that reality is not so simple, we can cite them as an example below:

  • Nervous character (emotional, inactive, primary). It is a hypersensitive character, whose inactive posture before the world causes him to accumulate a lot of energy and react uncontrollably. You are prone to crime only when you react without weighing the consequences of your actions, pure instinct.
  • Passionate character (emotional, active, secondary). Unlike the nervous, the passionate is very active: aggressive, paranoid, tends to wield his emotions and follow them to the end, which is why he is often found involved in crimes of passion and crimes of hate, jealousy or revenge.
  • Choleric character (emotional, active, primary). In this character, emotionality is reactive, conditioned for initiative: combativeness, initiative, aggressiveness, which makes it prone to sexual activity and artistic expressiveness.
  • Sentimental character (emotional, inactive, secondary). Not predisposed to delinquency, the sentimental person is held back by the burden of his emotions, which prevent him from taking action. However, sometimes you can give in to the nervous nature and then live in the grip of regret.
  • Blood character (unemotional, active, primary). It is a character that pursues the most immediate satisfaction of his bodily urges: eat, drink, have sexual intercourse. All greedily, which is why it is often linked to theft and sexual offenses.
  • Phlegmatic character (unemotional, active, secondary). They are cold, impassive, cerebral and orderly, given to reflection and planning , their foray into crime tends to be meticulous, planned, as in scams, or white collar crimes.
  • Amorphous character (unemotional, inactive, primary). A radical laziness predominates in him, so he rejects reflection and usually lives his immediate present, with the least possible effort. It can be easily influenced towards the crime by third parties, since it is manipulable and suggestible.
  • Apathetic character (unemotional, inactive, secondary). Everything does not matter to him. They tend to have deficiencies in dealing with the world and with others on equal terms, so they will often seek the company of minors or weak personalities.
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