In this study, we describe a psychobiological model of the structure and development
of personality that accounts for dimensions of both temperament and character. Previous
research has confirmed four dimensions of temperament: novelty seeking, harm avoidance,
reward dependence, and persistence, which are independently heritable, manifest early
in life, and involve preconceptual biases in perceptual memory and habit formation.
For the first time, we describe three dimensions of character that mature in adulthood
and influence personal and social effectiveness by insight learning about self-concepts.
Self-concepts vary according to the extent to which a person identifies the self as
(1) an autonomous individual, (2) an integral part of humanity, and (3) an integral
part of the universe as a whole. Each aspect of self-concept corresponds to one of
three character dimensions called self-directedness, cooperativeness, and self-transcendence,
respectively. We also describe the conceptual background and development of a self-report
measure of these dimensions, the Temperament and Character Inventory. Data on 300
individuals from the general population support the reliability and structure of these
seven personality dimensions. We discuss the implications for studies of information
processing, inheritance, development, diagnosis, and treatment.