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Artistic Personality Type: Traits & Common Careers

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  • 0:00 Definition of Artistic…
  • 0:58 Artistic Personality…
  • 2:24 Holland's Three Code System
  • 4:11 Artistic Careers
  • 4:41 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Chris Clause
In this lesson, you will learn about the artistic personality trait and how it relates to long-term career success. Following this lesson you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge by taking a short quiz.

Definition of Artistic Personality Type

According to personality trait theories, people who are considered artistic tend to be attracted to activities that involve creativity, originality, and independence, such as singing, dancing, writing, or just expressing their uniqueness. Artistic people also tend to be more impulsive than others. This can, of course, be a benefit when it comes to creativity but can also pose challenges. We are familiar with stories of extremely talented musicians, such as Amy Winehouse or Jim Morrison, who, in spite of their talent, possessed an impulsive flair that led to severe addiction issues and their ultimate demise. Artistic people also possess a strong attention to detail when it comes to their work, and maybe even a sense of perfectionism. Some of history's best writers have toiled over their work, and yet always seemed unsatisfied with it, even though the public raved about how wonderful it was.

Artistic Personality Trait and Careers

While many personality trait theories exist, each attempting to classify people's preferences and subsequent behavior into distinct categories, few have had as significant an impact as that developed by psychologist John Holland. In the Western world, people often define themselves according to the work that they perform. Holland astutely recognized that there must be some connection between people's personality traits and the careers that they choose. Through his research, he concluded that six distinct personality characteristics exist as related to work. The six categories are:

  • Enterprising (the persuaders)
  • Conventional (the organizers)
  • Realistic (the doers)
  • Investigative (the thinkers)
  • Artistic (the creators)
  • Social (the helpers)

Holland believed that people who select careers that correspond well with their personalities will enjoy the work that they do and have a much better chance of excelling in that career. Holland concluded that to increase the likelihood of success, the work environment must match up well with the person's personality. So, an artistic person who enjoys being creative would perform his work best in an environment that includes other artistic people and supports independence and originality. Holland believed that both personality and environment must be a good match for long-term vocational success.

Holland's Three Code System

Even though Holland believed strongly in the six category personality system that he developed, he also understood that attempting to classify billions of people into one of six categories wouldn't work. People are too diverse to simply label them as artistic or conventional. While an artistic person's main interests might be primarily centered around creativity and a conventional person's interests around organization, both possess shades of the other personality traits. Holland's answer to this was to develop a three-category system that takes into account the fact that all people possess each of the six personality traits but to differing degrees.

For example, interpreting the Holland code AIS is pretty simple. The first letter, A, represents the personality trait artistic, and is the strongest of the six personality types for the person being assessed. Following this pattern, the second letter, I, represents investigative and is the second strongest. Finally, the letter S represents the social personality trait and is the third strongest personality characteristic. Just because the other three personality traits don't appear in the Holland code doesn't mean that they are not present, it just means that they were not among the top three traits for the person assessed.

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