Criteria Of Judging A Personality Theory

There are the following criteria for judging the Personality Theory:


A theory is positively evaluated to the degree that its concepts lend themselves to verification by stated in such a way that its concepts are clearly, explicitly defined and logically related to one another so that the theory can be empirically tested. This requirement has been exceedingly difficult for personologists to demonstrate even a moderate amount of empirical validation for their theoretical positions. A good theory should be empirically testable, leading to a modification of the theory if necessary.

Parsimony (simple) 

A theory may also be judged based on the number of concepts it requires to explain events within its domain. The law of parsimony states that the preferred explanation is the one which demands the fewest number of concepts, i.e., is most economical.


This criterion refers to the range and diversity of phenomena encompassed by a theory. The more comprehensive a personality theory is the more behavioural ground it covers. The theorist should include behavioural events such as biological, emotional, cognitive, social and cultural in human behaviour. At the same time, it must be recognized that no present theory can account for all human functioning.

Heuristic Value

The degree to which a theory directly stimulates research. A theory by translating its core concepts into a form of operationalisation can allow for relevant research activity. Personality theory differs immensely in their capacity to fulfil this goal. Some of the most provocative theoretical formulations of personality are practically devoid of empirical support. This state of affairs usually results from the theorist’s failure to define his or her concepts operationally i.e., in a manner whereby they can readily be subjected to empirical test.

Internal Consistency

This criterion stipulates that a theory should not contradict itself that is a good theory is an internally consistent way. On the whole, theories of personality reasonably satisfy this standard.

Functional Significance 

Finally, a theory may be evaluated based on how useful it is in helping people to understand everyday human behaviour. All of us are interested in knowing more about ourselves and other people. Indeed, knowledge of the personal and social insights provided by personality theorists can greatly help one’s understanding and appreciation of human nature.

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