Definition of Character: Elements, Formation and Values


Definition of character –  The term character is of course sad that Reader often hears. Reader may often hear that person A has a quiet character, while B has a chatty character. However, does Reader know the meaning of character?

In general, character can be defined as a set of traits that are always admired as a sign of virtue, goodness and moral maturity possessed by a person.

Everyone has their own character. The cause of each person’s character is different due to some specific factors that form a person’s character. In order for Reader to understand the explanation of character further, the following are the definitions, elements, formation and values ​​of character. Read to the end of the article.


Definition of Character 

In general, the understanding of character is a set of traits that are always admired as a sign of virtue, goodness and moral maturity possessed by a person.

Etymologically, the term character comes from the Latin language, character, which means character, character, psychological traits, personality, character and morals.

Another definition of character is the accumulation of personality, character and traits possessed by an individual and directs the individual’s habits and beliefs in his daily life.

The formation of character in a person will happen through the learning process throughout his life. So in other words, a person’s character is not innate since they were born, but formed due to a learning process from the family environment and the people around them.


The Meaning of Character According to Experts

In order to better understand the meaning of character, here are the opinions of experts on the meaning of character.

1. WB Saunders 

The understanding of character according to WB Saunders is a real and different trait shown by an individual. The character of an individual can be seen from various attributes in his behavior in everyday life.

2. Alwisol 

Alwisol believes that character is a depiction of behavior done by showing and highlighting right-wrong, good or bad values ​​implicitly or explicitly.

3. John Maxwell 

Character according to John Maxwell is better than just words. Further Maxwell then explained that character is a choice that will determine the level of success of an individual.

4. Wednesday 

The definition of character according to Kamisa is a mental trait, character and morals possessed by a person, so that makes him different from other people.

5. Soemarno Soedarsono

According to Soemarno Soedarsono, character is a value embedded in a person that is obtained from education, experience, trials, sacrifices and influence from the environment which is then combined with the values ​​that exist in an individual and then becomes an intrinsic value that is realized in the system fighting power and then affects a person’s attitude, thoughts and behavior.

6. Poerwadarminta 

Poerwadarminta put forward the opinion that character is a person’s character, psychological traits, morals and character or manners that distinguish that person from other people.

7. Simon Phillips 

The understanding of character according to Simon Philips is a set of values ​​that leads to a system and is based on the attitudes, thoughts and behaviors displayed by an individual.

8. Coons

Coon explained that the meaning of character is a subjective assessment of an individual’s personality and is related to personality attributes that can or cannot be accepted by the wider community.

9. Mansur Muslich 

Muslich expressed the opinion that character is a way of thinking and a way of behaving of an individual that is a characteristic of every individual to be able to live and work together, both in the family, community and country.

10. Big Indonesian Dictionary

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), character is a person’s psychological traits, character, morals or character that distinguishes an individual from other individuals.

11. Wines 

Character according to Wyne is a marker of a person’s way of focusing on how to apply a good value in the form of action or behavior.

For this reason, an individual who has dishonest, cruel or greedy behavior can be said to be someone who has a bad character, while someone who has honest behavior, likes to help others can be said to be someone who has a noble character. So, the term character is closely related to one’s personality.

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Character Elements

From the definition of character that has been explained by experts, it can be concluded that some experts argue that a person’s character is determined by the attitude of an individual. Whether it is good or bad, it will also affect his character.

According to experts, a person’s character is not born, but is formed slowly and influenced by the surrounding environment, people around or family.

In addition to family and the surrounding environment, there are several elements that influence each other to form a person’s character. Here’s an explanation.

1. Emotions 

In general, the definition of emotion is a feeling or a turmoil of the soul that arises from within a person as a result of stimulation, either from within a person or from outside.

Emotions can also be interpreted as a symptom that moves dynamically in a situation that is felt by an individual and these symptoms are accompanied by their effects on behavior, awareness and become a physiological process.

Without emotion, an individual’s life will feel bland, because humans always live in a way of thinking and feeling. Emotions are also synonymous with a strong feeling.

2. Attitude 

The attitude of an individual is part of his character, even a person’s attitude can be considered as a reflection of that person’s character. In this case, the attitude of an individual to something that is in front of him, will show how the shape or form of the character possessed by that person.

So, if there is someone who has a good attitude towards other people, it can be said that that person also has good character as well. And vice versa, when a person has a bad attitude, it can be said that that person has a bad character as well.

3. Trust 

Trust is a cognitive component that is owned by an individual from his sociological psychological factor. The belief that something is right or wrong on the basis of authority suggestions, evidence, experience and intuition is very important in the development of an individual’s character or time.

Thus, the trust that is owned by an individual will strengthen the individual in terms of self-existence and strengthen his relationship with others.

4. Habit and Will

Habit is an aspect of human behavior that is settled, lasts automatically for a long time. An individual’s habits are unplanned and repeated over and over again, many times.

Meanwhile, will is a condition that strongly reflects a person’s character because this will is closely related to actions that can reflect the behavior of that person.

5. Self-Conception or Self-Conception

The fifth element of character is self-conception or self-conception. Self-conception is a process of totality that is carried out either consciously or unconsciously regarding how the character and self of an individual are formed.

Thus, self-concept is how an individual builds himself and what the individual wants and how the individual places himself in life.

In simple terms, self-concept or self-concept is the perspective or attitude of an individual to himself. This self-concept has a relationship between physical dimensions, self-motivation and individual character.

The Process of Forming and Forming Character

It has been explained at the beginning of the article, that a person’s character is not born with that person, but is formed by several factors. The formation of an individual’s character needs to go through a long learning process in that person’s life.

A person’s character will begin to form through his environment, family, school and the surrounding community. Several parties have an important role in forming the character of an individual, these parties include parents, siblings, peers, teachers and other people who are around the individual.

According to Lickona, it is explained that the formation of a person’s character is formed due to a habit that continues from childhood to adolescence. Parents have both good and bad influences that will eventually shape the habits of their children.

Every individual certainly has life experiences that come from the surrounding environment, family, school. One’s life experience can also be obtained through books, television, the internet and other sources that have the potential to increase one’s knowledge.


In the process of gaining this life experience, the role of one’s conscious mind is very dominant. So that the mind will carry out the process of filtering the information that enters itself through the human senses.

The mindset and belief system that exists in a person who is becoming more mature, will shape the actions, habits and unique character that each individual possesses. This means that each individual has a belief system, self-image and unique habits.

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Why should a person’s character be formed? The purpose of character formation is basically to encourage the rebirth of children with good traits or characters. By developing a good character, it will encourage children to grow with the capacity of commitment to be able to do a variety of things that are best for themselves and to be able to do everything correctly.

Children with good character will also have a purpose in life. Society has an important role in the formation of a child’s character, through parents and their environment.

Character Values

Based on the study of religious values, social norms, rules or laws, ethics and academics, human rights principles, details of the values ​​have been identified which are then grouped into five main character values.

The five main values ​​are the values ​​of human behavior in relation to God, oneself, fellow human beings and the national environment. Here is a more detailed explanation.


Character Values ​​in Relationship with God

The first character value is the character value that has a relationship with God Almighty. those values ​​are religious, the words and actions of an individual that are based on divine values ​​and religious teachings.


Character Values ​​Related to Oneself (Personal)

There are several forms of character values ​​that have a relationship with a person’s personality, among which are the following:

  • Honesty is a behavior that is based on an effort that makes a person as an individual who can be trusted in actions, words, work towards oneself or other parties.
  • Being responsible is the attitude of an individual to perform a task and obligation as he should do to himself, society, environment, country and God.
  • Discipline is an action that can show orderly behavior and obey various provisions and rules.
  • Hard work is a behavior that shows a serious effort in overcoming various obstacles to be able to complete the task well.
  • Self-confidence is an attitude of self-confidence in the ability to fulfill every desire and hope.
  • Think logically, critically and innovatively. This character is thinking and doing an action in real or by using logic to be able to produce new ways and results as well as the most up-to-date results from what is already owned.
  • Independence is a behavior or attitude that is not easy to depend on others to be able to complete tasks.
  • Having a sense of curiosity, so that an individual always strives to know deeper and wider than anything he has learned, he sees and hears.
  • Loving knowledge is a way of thinking, behaving and acting from an individual who shows an attitude of loyalty, concern and the highest appreciation for knowledge.
  • Character Values ​​Relating to Each Other

Here are some character values ​​related to others.

  • Be aware of the rights and obligations owned by yourself and others.
  • Obey every social rule.
  • Appreciate the work and performance achieved by others. Especially the attitude and performance of a person that is beneficial for other people.
  • Being polite is a subtle and kind act from the point of view of grammar or behavior to everyone.
  • Democracy is the attitude or action of a person who evaluates the same rights and obligations of himself and others.

Character Values ​​Related to Environment 

Here are some character values ​​that have a relationship with the environment:

  • Social and environmental care. The meaning of this value is the attitude and actions of a person who always strives to prevent damage to the natural environment and the surrounding environment as well as develop several efforts to repair the damage to nature that has occurred and always provide help to other people and the community in need.
  • National values ​​are a way of thinking, acting and a vision that places the interests of the nation and the country above the interests of oneself or the group.
  • Having a nationalist soul in the form of a person’s way of thinking, behaving and doing something that can show loyalty, concern and high appreciation for the language, environment, social, physical, cultural, economic and political conditions of his nation.
  • Appreciate diversity. Indonesia is a large country with different cultures and languages. Because the value of this character is important, because appreciating the existence of diversity can give a feeling of respect for all kinds of good things that have a physical form, nature, custom, culture, religion or a person’s tribe.

Such is the explanation of the meaning of character, which is a set of traits that are always admired as a sign of virtue, goodness and moral maturity possessed by a person.