Many individuals have involved and participated to ensure this study is completed. We would like to acknowledge and thank to all who have been willingly to share their insights and expertise to this study a success and meaningful. First and foremost my gratefulness is to The Great Lord, Allah SWT for giving me strength and health to conduct this study.

The next in line is our lecturer, Sir Siraje for his guidance, reference and valuable input to the development and completion of this study. Without his supervision we could never give our attention to complete this study. Greatest gratitude also goes to our parents, who give full support and contribution to ensure the task is completed.

Also special thanks and appreciation to all group members those have been contributed cooperation, encouragement, constructive suggestion and full of support for this blog completion, from the beginning till it is fully completed. We were able to divide our time well to make all the meetings and discussions and also cooperate in making choice about this topic on the subject of divorce is a serious concern recently. We are very happy because we can do our tasks successfully.

Our group members :



This course introduce theories of personality that address biological, psychological and spiritual foundations of personality. major theoretical orientations to personality such as the Psycho dynamic Humanistic, Behaviorist, and Cognitive perspective will be highlighted. Emphasis will be placed on the Islamic perspective as explained in the Quran and Sunnah, exemplified in the model personality of the Prophet (SAW), and discussed by Muslim thinker. 

The objective of this course are to introduce students to the concept of personality and personality development. Next is, to enable students to develop an integrated perspective on human nature which will be the basis for their counseling orientation. And the last objective is, to familiarize students with the Islamic perspective on human nature and human development. 

From the completion of this course, students should be able to :

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the nature of human personality as it is explained in the Quran and Sunnah.
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the major western personality theories
  • Present a cogent Islamic response to western personality theories
  • Work as part of a team to conduct research  on any aspect of personality development and present oral or written report
  • When presented with case studies, identify characteristics of well-adjusted personalities.



"Personality" can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations. The word "personality" originates from the Latin persona, which means mask. Significantly, in the theatre of the ancient Latin-speaking world, the mask was not used as a plot device to disguise the identity of a character, but rather was a convention employed to represent or typify that character.

The pioneering American psychologist, Gordon Allport (1937) described two major ways to study personality, the nomothetic and the idiographic. Nomothetic psychology seeks general laws that can be applied to many different people, such as the principle of self-actualization, or the trait of extraversion. Idiographic psychology is an attempt to understand the unique aspects of a particular individual.

The study of personality has a broad and varied history in psychology, with an abundance of theoretical traditions. The major theories include dispositional (trait) perspective, psychodynamic, humanistic, biological, behaviorist and social learning perspective. There is no consensus on the definition of "personality" in psychology. Most researchers and psychologists do not explicitly identify themselves with a certain perspective and often take an eclectic approach. Some research is empirically driven such as the "Big 5" personality model whereas other research emphasizes theory development such as psychodynamics. There is also a substantial emphasis on the applied field of personality testing. In psychological education and training, the study of the nature of personality and its psychological development is usually reviewed as a prerequisite to courses in abnormal or clinical psychology.

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the nature 



The greatness of a man does not consist in the working of miracles or the doing of wonders; neither does it lie in the preaching of sermons or the formulating of theories. It lies in the possession of a mighty personality. Personality is one of the indescribable wonders of the world. It conciliates opposition and inspires respect and imitation, which results eventually in implicit obedience. It changes ideas and revolutionizes the thoughts, beliefs and actions of generations of the races of mankind.

According to those familiar with his life both within and outside of the religion of Islam, the ideal human personality belonged to its Prophet, Muhammad bin Abdullah (peace and blessings of God be upon him), who was arguably able to achieve more in his 23 years of prophethood than any man in history. In fact, Michael Hart (1978) in 'The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In History[ii],' said this about his life:

“My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level. ...It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. ...It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.”

The topic of Islamic personality, as exemplified by the Prophet, is a timely one. Currently, within the Islamic world, “the morality of Muslims is in a dubious condition. Their character has developed a number of defects, in consequence of which they have to face disruption, dislocation and the inevitable downfall.”[x] With the world engulfed in media reports of terrorism, sectarian violence, social ills, and other problems having to do with individual conduct and interpersonal relations, the need to re-acclimate to the teachings of the Prophet of Islam about human personality has never been greater. The planet is now comprised of over 1.2 billion Muslim men, women and children, representing almost one quarter of humanity. This community, based on sheer size alone, has the potential to do a great measure of good, or harm, depending on its overall condition and direction, of which basic human personality is an important ingredient.


Social Cognitive Theory

In Social Cognitive Theory, the learner is viewed as thoroughly integrated with the environment within which he or she is learning. The learners cognitive responses, behaviors, and environment all work together to create learning. Learners observe models and build self-efficacy, their belief that they can accomplish the work modeled. Based on the learners understanding of why it is important to learn something and their belief that they can accomplish the learning, learners will then self-regulate their learning and become proactive in their efforts to gain mastery. Bandura pioneered this body of theory and this basic concept of the learner integrated into the social environment. F. Pajares (1996) referenced Albert Bandura (1986) In Social Foundations of Thought and Action, where Bandura wrote that individuals possess a self-system that enables them to
exercise a measure of control over their thoughts, feelings, and actions. This self-system houses one's cognitive and affective structures and includes the abilities to symbolize, learn from others, plan alternative strategies, regulate one's own behavior, and engage in self-reflection. It also plays a prominent role in providing reference mechanisms and a set of sub functions for perceiving, regulating, and evaluating behavior, which results from the interplay between the self-system and external environmental sources of influence. As such, the self-system serves a self-regulatory function by providing individuals with the capability to alter their environments and influence their own actions.

Social Cognitive Theory Concepts and Theorist's Understanding

Triadic reciprocality:

Bandura postulated that the person, the behavior, and the environment were all inseparably entwined to create learning in an individual. Albert Bandura (1986, p. 18) In the social cognitive view
people are neither driven by inner forces nor automatically shaped and controlled by external stimuli. Rather, human functioning is explained in terms of a model of triadic reciprocality in which behavior, cognitive and other personal factors, and environmental events all operate as interacting determinants of each other. This is the foundation of Albert Bandura's (1978 & 1986) conception of reciprocal determinism, the view that (a) personal factors in the form of cognition, affect, and biological events, (b) behavior, and (c) environmental influences create interactions that result in a triadic reciprocality. Because personal agency is socially rooted and operates within sociocultural influences, individuals are viewed both as products and as producers of their own environments and of their social systems.


Can this be done; can I do it! Schunk (2000, p.108) Self-efficacy refers to personal beliefs about one's capabilities to learn or perform actions at designated levels. Albert Bandura (1997) Self-efficacy is a belief
about what one is capable of doing; it is not the same as knowing what to do. In gauging efficacy, individuals
assess their skills and their capabilities to translate those skills into actions. Albert Bandura (1986) considered self-reflection the most uniquely human capability, for through this form of self-referent thought people evaluate and alter their own thinking and behavior. These self-evaluations include perceptions of self-efficacy, that is, "beliefs in one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations" There are four primary strategies for efficacy development; Mastery learning, Imitation, Modeling, and Social Persuasion.

Mastery Learning: 

The focus of mastery is on developing competence in learning or in specific work. To help learners achieve mastery, it is critical to vary the type and amount of instruction depending on individual differences. Pajares (1996, p. 2) Selfefficacy beliefs are strong determinants and predictors of the level of accomplishment (mastery) that individuals finally attain. Bandura (in press) argued that "beliefs of personal efficacy constitute the key factor of human agency".


Closely related to modeling in that the learner imitates the model to achieve mastery. Of important note to the discussion is the concept of latent action based on observation. A learner may very well not use what is observed for weeks, months, or indeed years. Inactive learning or practice will help solidify the learning from vicarious observational learning.


The primary role of modeling is to accelerate mastery by providing the learner with a model to imitate. Albert Bandura (1977, p. 22) states, "Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling; from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action." Schunk (2000) Observing a model does not guarantee learning or later ability to perform the behaviors. Rather, models serve informational and motivational functions
by providing information about probable consequences of actions and affecting observers' motivation to act
accordingly. Factors influencing learning and performance are developmental status of learners, prestige and competence of models, vicarious consequences to models, goals, outcome expectations, and perceived self-efficacy.


I am going to do it! There are three primary strategies for self-regulation development; Goal Setting, Planning, and Persistence. . These beliefs of personal competence affect behavior in several ways. They influence the choices individuals make and the courses of actions they pursue. Efficacy beliefs help determine how much effort people will expend on an activity, how long they will persevere when confronting obstacles, and how resilient they will prove in the face of adverse situations-the higher the sense of efficacy, the greater the effort, persistence, and resilience. As selfregulating learners engage in academic tasks, they draw on knowledge and beliefs to construct an interpretation of a task's properties and requirements. Based on the interpretation they construct, they set goals. Goals are then approached by applying tactics and strategies that generate products, both mental (cognitive and effective/emotional) and behavioral. Monitoring these processes of engagement and the progressively updated products they create generates internal feedback. This information provides grounds for reinterpreting elements of the task and one's engagement with it, thereby directing subsequent engagement. In particular, students may modify their engagement by setting new goals or adjusting extant ones; they may reexamine tactics and strategies and select more productive approaches, adapt available skills, and sometimes even generate new procedures. If external feedback is provided, that additional information may confirm, add to, or conflict with the learner's interpretations of the task and the path of learning. As a result of monitoring task engagement, students may alter knowledge and beliefs, which, in turn, might influence subsequent selfregulation.

Concepts of the Social Cognitive Theory
Source: Glanz et al, 2002, p169.
  • Environment: Factors physically external to the person; Provides opportunities and social support
  • Situation: Perception of the environment; correct misperceptions and promote healthful forms
  • Behavioral capability: Knowledge and skill to perform a given behavior; promote mastery learning through skills training
  • Expectations: Anticipatory outcomes of a behavior; Model positive outcomes of healthful behavior
  • Expectancies: The values that the person places on a given outcome, incentives; Present outcomes of change that have functional meaning
  • Self-control: Personal regulation of goal-directed behavior or performance; Provide opportunities for self-monitoring, goal setting, problem solving, and self-reward
  • Observational learning: Behavioral acquisition that occurs by watching the actions and outcomes of others’ behavior; Include credible role models of the targeted behavior
  • Reinforcements: Responses to a person’s behavior that increase or decrease the likelihood of reoccurrence; Promote self-initiated rewards and incentives
  • Self-efficacy: The person’s confidence in performing a particular behavior; Approach behavioral change in small steps to ensure success
  • Emotional coping responses: Strategies or tactics that are used by a person to deal with emotional stimuli; provide training in problem solving and stress management
  • Reciprocal determinism: The dynamic interaction of the person, the behavior, and the environment in which the behavior is performed; consider multiple avenues to behavioral change, including environmental, skill, and personal change.

Conceptual Model
Model of reciprocal 


The Behaviorist's theory is another attempt to explain human personality. It is in conflict with the Psychoanalytic and the Humanistic theory (discussed in next room) in several important ways. Most important of these are the ways in which each claims how human personality is formed. The Behaviorist in particular believes that cultural and sub-cultural conditioning molds and shapes behavior and subsequently the personality. The unconscious is of little concern to the behaviorist. A human being, according to the behaviorist, has his life determined for him since he is a product of the culture that causes him to be as he is. The theory, therefore, is very deterministic. 

Therapy in the Behaviorist model bases on the principles of learning, with all of learning's processes or methods: conditioning, reinforcing (rewards, denials, punishment), desensitization, aversion therapy, modeling, imitation, etc.

B. F. Skinner’s entire system is based on operant conditioning.  The organism is in the process of “operating” on the environment, which in ordinary terms means it is bouncing around its world, doing what it does.  During this “operating,” the organism encounters a special kind of stimulus, called a reinforcing stimulus, or simply a reinforcer.  This special stimulus has the effect of increasing the operant -- that is, the behavior occurring just before the reinforcer.  This is operant conditioning:  “the behavior is followed by a consequence, and the nature of the consequence modifies the organisms tendency to repeat the behavior in the future.”
Imagine a rat in a cage. This is a special cage (called, in fact, a “Skinner box”) that has a bar or pedal on one wall that, when pressed, causes a little mechanism to release a food pellet into the cage.  The rat is bouncing around the cage, doing whatever it is rats do, when he accidentally presses the bar and -- hey, presto! -- a food pellet falls into the cage! The operant is the behavior just prior to the reinforcer, which is the food pellet, of course.  In no time at all, the rat is furiously peddling away at the bar, hoarding his pile of pellets in the corner of the cage. 

A behavior followed by a reinforcing stimulus results in an increased probability of that behavior occurring in the future.
What if you don’t give the rat any more pellets?  Apparently, he’s no fool, and after a few futile attempts, he stops his bar-pressing behavior.  This is called extinction of the operant behavior. 

A behavior no longer followed by the reinforcing stimulus results in a decreased probability of that behavior occurring in the future.
Now, if you were to turn the pellet machine back on, so that pressing the bar again provides the rat with pellets, the behavior of bar-pushing will “pop” right back into existence, much more quickly than it took for the rat to learn the behavior the first time.  This is because the return of the reinforcer takes place in the context of a reinforcement history that goes all the way back to the very first time the rat was reinforced for pushing on the bar! 

Rotter's Expectancy Theory 

 A theory by one, Julian Rotter, to explain why people do things. As the name suggests, the theory states that a person's decision to undertake an action is based upon what they expect to follow and how valuable the outcome based upon that expectation is. This expectation is a result of experience and past learning. For example, a student wears stylish clothes to school because past experience has told them that this will gain them acceptance among their peers and they value that acceptance a lot. 

Rotter classified people into two categories: [internals and externals. Internals are more likely to believe that happenings are due to their own efforts. Externals, on the other hand, attribute them to factors such as luck which cannot be controlled by them. Studies have shown that internals are more likely to do better at school, score higher on standardised tests, work harder at being healthy, wear seat belts and avoid drugs and alcohol.

Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory

Social cognitive theory provides a framework for understanding, predicting, and changing human behavior. The theory identifies human behavior as an interaction of personal factors, behavior, and the environment (Bandura 1977; Bandura 1986).
In the model, the interaction between the person and behavior involves the influences of a person’s thoughts and actions. The interaction between the person and the environment involves human beliefs and cognitive competencies that are developed and modified by social influences and structures within the environment. The third interaction, between the environment and behavior, involves a person’s behavior determining the aspects of their environment and in turn their behavior is modified by that environment.
According to Jones (1989) “the fact that behavior varies from situation to situation may not necessarily mean that behavior is controlled by situations but rather that the person is construing the situations differently and thus the same set of stimuli may provoke different responses from different people or from the same person at different times.”
In conclusion, social cognitive theory is helpful for understanding and predicting both individual and group behavior and identifying methods in which behavior can be modified or changed.


The Humanistic Approach began in response to concerns by therapists against perceived limitations of Psychodynamic theories, especially psychoanalysis. Individuals like Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow felt existing (psychodynamic) theories failed to adequately address issues like the meaning of behavior, and the nature of healthy growth. However, the result was not simply new variations on psychodynamic theory, but rather a fundamentally new approach. 

Maslow (1970, 1987) - Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow began his psychological research studying basic motivations of animals, but then shifted his focus to the higher motivations of human beings.  Abraham Maslow, like Rogers, focussed on the positive. He was interested in the qualities of people who get the most out of life. He was interested in what motivates them (but his view of motivation was very different from what we looked at in the dispositional perspective).

Hierarchy of Needs

He viewed human needs or motives as forming a hierarchy :

1. PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS: At the bottom are the basic, primitive needs for air, food, water - those things we HAVE to have to survive

2. SAFETY AND PHYSICAL SECURITY NEEDS: shelter from weather, protection against tigers etc. Very important but not QUITE as important as the physiological needs. 

3. LOVE AND BELONGINGNESS NEEDS: Companionship, acceptance from others (like Rogers positive regard), affection.

4. ESTEEM NEEDS: needs for a sense of mastery and power. Need for appreciation from others. 

5. SELF ACTUALIZATION: similar use of the term to the way Rogers used it.The tendency to become whatever you're capable of becoming: The highest of human motives. In trying to describe the process of self-actualization, Maslow focused on moments when self actualization was clearly occurring. Maslow used the term peak experiences to refer to moments of intense self-actualization.  At these moments people feel connected to their surroundings and aware of all the sounds and colours around them. There is a loss of a sense of time as the experience flows around you. You may feel awe, wonder or even ecstasy. This is similar to what Csikszentmihalyi (chick-sent-me-high) calls flow but he sees it not so much as joy or ecstasy but rather as a period of intense concentration, with a slightly elevated mood when time flows by very quickly.
Motives WEAKEN as go from the more primitive to the higher needs (up the pyramid).  In general you need to deal with lower level needs before you can move onto other needs.

Maslow: Self-Actualizing People

Characteristics of self-actualized people according to Maslow (1968):
  • efficient and accurate in perceiving reality
  • are accepting of themselves, of other people and of nature
  • are spontaneous in thought and emotion, rather than artificial
  • are problem-centred - are concerned with the eternal philosophical questions of humankind
  • are independent and autonomous
  • have a continued freshness of appreciation of ordinary events
  • often experience oceanic feelings that is a sense of oneness with nature
  • identify with all of humanity and are democratic and respectful of others
  • form very deep ties but only with a few people
  • appreciate for its own sake the process of doing things
  • have a philosophical, thoughtful, non-hostile sense of humour
  • have a childlike and fresh creativity and inventiveness
  • maintain an inner detachment from the culture in which they live
  • may appear temperamental or ruthless as they are strong and independent people guided by their own inner visions
Studies have shown that only approximately 1% of people self-actualize. Most others live between ove and belongingness needs and self-esteem needs. Self-actualization is of course the weakest of needs, and is easily impeded. Some people have a fear of self-knowledge & entering into state of uncertainty. Sometimes cultural norms stifle us e.g. manly. Many people feel the need for a balance between safety and freedom.