yes, therapy helps!
Character: definition and features that make it up

Character: definition and features that make it up

September 24, 2022

Often, we often hear someone say "X subject has bad character" or "And girl is strong character". It is not strange, if we consider how much we like to classify people according to their way of being and how little it costs us to label people according to their way of behaving. But Do we know exactly what "character" means, what it encompasses and what are the factors that constitute it?

The following paragraphs are dedicated to answering the previous questions.

Defining as a character

First of all, it is convenient to clarify and define the concepts properly. What is the character?

According to Royal Spanish Academy, the meaning number six in the entry dedicated to the word, defines character as "The set of qualities or circumstances of a thing, a person or a community, which distinguishes, by their way of being or acting, the others ", and offers some examples of its use:" The Spanish character. The insufferable character of Fulano. "


This explanation, however, serves to get an idea about the popular use of the term character (which is fine and falls within the objectives of the RAE), but if we want to understand what is in a more globally we have to know what psychologists who are dedicated to research from this idea say about the character. And is that the character is one of the concepts most used in the psychology of individual differences to categorize the differences between individuals; in fact, it is closely related to other concepts, such as personality or temperament.

Different ways of approaching the concept

There are many psychologists and psychiatrists who still They express disagreements about the specific meaning they give to the concept of "character" . Despite this, among the similarities that can be found in the explanations of those researchers who work to extract knowledge related to the subject, is the idea that the character of a person summarizes the way in which this person usually reacts to a situation, circumstance or determined action. In other words, the character is not something that is produced by our body, but based on the interaction


Ernest Kretschmer, a leading German researcher on the constitution of character, well recognized about his biotypological studies, states that the character "results from the set of fundamental biological characteristics based on the anatomical-physiological substrates of the individual constitution and the characteristics that develop under the influence of the environment and special individual experiences. " As far as today we know of the character, it develops through the fusion of the constitution of the temperament (inherited from our parents) and the instinct with the environment that surrounds us, or by external factors that act permanently on our individuality, modifying it more or less strong and important but never transforming it.

This means that the character is part of a process. In particular, it is in our way of relating to the environment and to the internal phenomena of our mind (memories), and therefore it is not a thing, something that remains fixed and interacts with other elements. Neither in the brain nor in any part of our nervous system there is a structure that produces the "character" of each one.


The factors that make up the character

Several scholars of the character have agreed in pointing out several fundamental characteristics of it. As always, there are many points where there is no general agreement, but among all the schools, one of the most accepted today is the character school of Groningen, whose members include Renne Le Senne, Gastón Berger , André le Gall, and Heymans, among others.

Your work together provides a conception of the character according to which this has three constituent factors : emotion, activity and resonance.

1. Emotivity

The emotionality it is usually defined as the "state of psychosomatic commotion suffered by certain individuals under the influence of events that objectively have an importance of their own." serves as a basis for the classification of emotional and non-emotive individuals . If a subject implies his feelings first (or not) before a stimulus and we can recognize it through some behavioral traits such as the mobility of humor, demonstration, compassion, fervor, etc.

2. Activity

The activity It involves two aspects. On the one hand, the free need to act because of a congenital need (eating, sleeping, etc.). For other, the need to eliminate any obstacle that tries to oppose the direction of the subject . It is evident that our character varies significantly according to the degree to which we are managing to meet these needs.

3. Resonance

The resonance refers to printing time that gives us an event and the time necessary for the reconstitution of normality before said act. According to this time, the subjects can be primary (characterized by impulsivity, mobility, the fact of comforting or reconciled quickly, etc.) or secondary (those who are for a long time affected by some impression, can not console themselves, have persistent grudges, etc. .)

In addition to these constitutive factors, Le Senne adds other supplementary properties among which includes egocentrism, analytical intelligence, alocentrism, etc. and whose interaction with the primaries and environment would result in the personality of each individual.

Character types and their relevance in the field of criminology

In this link that I give you below, you have more information about the types of character and how this feature relates to criminal behavior:

"The 8 types of character (and their relation to criminal behavior)"

The 15 Characteristics of Effective Entrepreneurs (September 2022).


Similar Articles