Why does the pop star Madonna challenge religious convention in some of her songs and performances? What gave Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the strength of character to lead the civil rights movement despite such strong opposition and danger to his life? If we survey young people involved in high school leadership positions, can we predict who among them will be the next president of the United States? Questions like these are at the heart of the psychology of personality. Most people are implicit personality theorists (Anderson, Rosenfeld, & Cruikshank, 1994) because they consistently seek to explain why people do what they do. The theories explored in this chapter are more formal systems for trying to understand the remarkable diversity of human ...