Difference Between Personality and Attitude

Key Difference – Personality vs Attitude


There is a key difference between personality and attitude although these two words can often be used interchangeably. The key difference between personality and attitude is, personality can be defined as the qualities that form a person’s character. This highlights that a personality usually captures a broad scope. It refers to who we are as an entity. On the other hand, Attitude refers to a way of thinking. People can have different attitudes about people, places, social discourses, particular events, etc. These attitudes are formed as a result of both internal and external factors. Through this article let us gain a broader understanding of the difference.

What is Personality?

Personality can be defined as the qualities that form a person’s character. Simply, personality is who we are. In life, we meet so many people with different personalities. While some people are full of life, others are not. Then there are also people who are very carefree, responsible, strict, etc. As we observe and work with people, we tend to assess the personalities of the people and interact with them accordingly.

In psychology, human personality is being studied in depth. According to psychologists, personality includes our thoughts, emotions, behavior and also individual characteristics. This is why our personality is something unique to us. The traits that we have are rather permanent and consistent with our behavior. This is why it is easy to predict how a particular person would respond to a situation based on his or her personality. Psychologists further explain that although the personality is a psychological construction, the influence of physiological factors cannot be discarded.

In psychology, there are various theories to explain the formation and varieties of personalities. For example, personality type theory highlights that there are certain personality types to which people belong. There are also other theories such as humanist theories, psychodynamic theories, trait theories and behavioral theories of personality.

Difference Between Personality and Attitude

What is Attitude?

Now let us focus our attention on attitudes. An attitude refers to a way of thinking or a particular belief or emotion that an individual has about a person, place, an object or even on a certain topic. We all have our set of attitudes about various topics and people. For example, imagine a co-worker that you have. You have an attitude about this person. Also, people can have their attitudes about topics of interest in the society, such as abortion, commercial sex, religious movements, etc.

Attitudes are mostly a result of the experiences that we have and also the exposure that we gain. Socialization process also has a major role in framing individual attitudes. For example, you may have noticed in some situations the parents and children all have the same attitude on a particular topic. However, attitudes can change as people begin to gain more experience. Also, our attitudes influence our behavior as well. For instance, imagine you meet a person of whom you have a negative attitude, naturally your behavior changes.

Key Difference - Personality vs Attitude

What is the Difference Between Personality and Attitude?

Definitions of Personality and Attitude:

Personality: Personality can be defined as the qualities that form a person’s character.

Attitude: Attitude refers to a way of thinking.

Characteristics of Personality and Attitude:


Personality: Personality is who we are.

Attitude: Attitude is what we think or feels about a topic, place or person.


Personality: Personality is mostly a static component.

Attitude: Our attitudes change as we gain new experience although in some situations our attitudes remain the same.


Image Courtesy:

1. “Matr67“. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikipedia

2. “Caspar Netscher – Young Girl Holding a Letter (detail) – WGA16521” by Caspar Netscher (circa 1639–1684) – Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork. [Public Domain] via Commons