chapter  17
91 Pages

The Structure of the Personality

With respect to any action, three questions may be asked,

although anyone of them may be the most important. We may enquire about the method, the means used to accomplish the act, or the way the action evolves, its strength, formal dynamics, speed, regularity and intensity; or, finally, we may enquire into its significance, its source or its purpose. The response to the first question is expressed in terms of aptitude, the second in terms of temperament, and the third in terms of motivation. Before this idea was accepted, the term 'character' designated anything in the personality belonging neither to aptitude nor to temperament. There is, moreover, relative agreement regarding temperament, in the sense indicated, as definitely springing from innate disposition, while with aptitudes and even more with motivation, account must be taken of the influence of events, or, in other words, learning.