The study of personality differences can be traced back to the early speculations of ancient societies, such as India, China, Babylonia, Greece, and Rome. Though a few clinicians, notably Hippocrates, stressed the importance of careful and systematic observation, hoping thereby to shift the focus of attention to natural rather than animistic events, it was not until centuries later that semiscientific approaches began to take hold, e.g., phrenology. In the past century, descriptive psychiatrists of note began to pose “typologies,” e.g., Kraepelin and Schneider, and several insightful psychoanalysts, e.g., Freud, Abraham, and Reich, articulated the developmental roots of “character” variations. Official classification systems, e.g., the and the , have become the guiding arbiter of late-twentieth-century proposals. No less significant currently is the work of empirically oriented inductivists, e.g., Livesley and Widiger, and theoretically oriented deductivists, e.g., Kernberg and Millon.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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