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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Persona literally means "mask ", although it does not usually refer to a literal mask but to the "social masks" all humans supposedly wear.

A persona, in the word's everyday usage, is a social role or a character played by an actor. This is an Italian word that derives from the Latin for "mask" or "character", derived from the Etruscan word "phersu", with the same meaning. Popular etymology derives the word from Latin "per" meaning "through" and "sonare" meaning "to sound", meaning something in the vein of "that through which the actor speaks", i.e. a mask (early Greek actors wore masks).


In communication studies

In the study of communication, persona is a term given to describe the versions of self that all individuals possess. Behaviours are selected according to the desired impression an individual wishes to create when interacting with other people. Therefore, personae presented to other people vary according to the social environment the person is engaged in, in particular the persona presented before others will differ from the persona an individual will present when he/she happens to be alone.

In design

As used in the design field, the Persona is an artifact that consists of a narrative relating to a desired user or customer's daily behavior patterns, using specific details, not generalities. A very popular artifact is the 'persona poster' that is usually presented in an 18 inch format with photo and text. For more details see Persona (marketing).

In literature

Criticism of poetry and fiction refers to a "second self" created by the author and through whom the narrative is related. Importantly, attributes and attitudes associated with the persona are understood to be separate from authorial intentions, per se, though there may in fact be some overlap between the two. For instance, in Dostoevsky's novel, Notes from Underground (generally considered to be the first existentialist novel), the narrator ought not to be conflated with Dostoevsky himself, despite the fact that Dostoevsky and his narrator may or may not have shared much in common. In this sense, the persona is basically a mouthpiece for a particular worldview. Another instance of this phenomenon can be found in Brett Easton Ellis' novel, American Psycho, the story of a sociopathic murderer living in New York City, who is a successful, if very troubled, Wall Street executive by day. The work is one of social satire, and as such may well reflect a good deal of authorial intention, but the persona of Patrick Bateman (the novel's first-person narrator) ought not to be conflated with the novel's author.

In both of the examples just given, the persona is an active participant in the story he is narrating — it is his own story — but this need not be the case. To take another example from Dostoevsky's work, the narrator of The Brothers Karamazov is not an active participant in the story, but nevertheless presents a clear perspective on the events concerned therein. In other words, the invisible and omniscient narrator of Dostoevsky's novel gives the reader the impression of taking a definite attitude toward the proceedings being related, albeit subtly so, and mainly by tone of description and idiosyncratic phrasing.

Finally, the 20th century has provided us with many intermediate instances. One example is Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying, a story told entirely via the interior monologues of 15 first person narrators, and thus from the same number of differing perspectives. Another example of a vague or undefined relationship between narrator, protagonist, and persons; a preeminent example in the English language can be found in James Joyce's novel, Ulysses. Here we find instances of direct first person narration, third person narration mixed with first person stream of consciousness, dozens of pages of catechismic question-and-answer, a surrealistic stageplay-like episode with dialogue and stage directions, and finally the famous extended first person stream of consciousness soliloquy that closes the book. Examples such as these tend to blur or call into question the role of a persona, at the same time as they supply rich fodder for academic analyses of the works themselves.

To sum up, a persona can, broadly-speaking, be understood as the "organizing consciousness" of the narrative. This clearly differentiates it from any characters, even major and well-developed ones, who do not steer the reader's perspective on the proceedings. However, in some very well-defined cases, the question might arise: Why bother positing an organizing consciousness, understood on some level to be separate from that of the author, at all? Different schools of criticism will have differing answers to this question, and some — the post-structuralist school, for instance — might take issue with the very notion of a single organizing consciousness. But in general, the practice is adopted as a handy way of understanding the guiding principles of a work without treading too far into disputes about what a particular author was "really like" or "really thought about things" in his or her own personal life.

Charles Dickens and William Blake, for instance, were widely known to have progressive attitudes regarding the difficulties faced by the working classes in Victorian England and the effect of England's industrial revolution on contemporary life, respectively, and their attitudes were clearly reflected in their work. Furthermore, if the interpretation of a work is taken to be fundamentally the process of deciphering an author's personal feelings about various subjects — an attempt to understand the mens auctoris (mind of the author) — then it might be argued that literary criticism thereby degenerates into a kind of pseudo-psychoanalysis, leaving little room for consideration of the works themselves. Finally, and for similar reasons, the narrator-as-personation allows for greater interpretive latitude, and thus arguably richer interpretive possibilities, than a more strictly authorially-centered approach might.

In psychology

The persona is also the mask or appearance one presents to the world.[1] It may appear in dreams under various guises (see Carl Jung and his psychology).

In marketing

Some marketing experts recommend that one creates a persona that represents a group of customers[2] so that the company can focus its efforts.


  1. ^ Jung, Carl Gustav (August 1, 1971). "Psychological Types". Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 6. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-09774. 
  2. ^ Rind, Bonnie. "The Power of the Persona". Retrieved May 5, 2009. "The identification and application of personas improved Development’s efficiency and quality during the first development cycle in which they were used. In addition, the use of personas significantly improved corporate cohesiveness, focus and decision making at every level." 


Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to persona article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary





From Latin persona (mask; character), sometimes said to derive from personare (to sound through) or from Etruscan ɸersu.


Wikipedia has an article on:



personae or personas

persona (plural personae or personas)

  1. A social rôle.
  2. A character played by an actor.
  3. (psychology) The mask or appearance one presents to the world.

See also

External links




persona f. (plural persone)

  1. person, (plural) people, persons
  2. someone, somebody, anybody
  3. body, figure
  4. (law) person, body
  5. (psychology) persona


Related terms



From Etruscan phersu, from Ancient Greek πρόσωπον (prosopon).


persōna (genitive persōnae); f, first declension

  1. mask
  2. character
  3. person, personality


First declension (1).

Number Singular Plural
nominative persōna persōnae
genitive persōnae persōnārum
dative persōnae persōnīs
accusative persōnam persōnās
ablative persōnā persōnīs
vocative persōna persōnae



  1. second-person singular active imperative form of personō



From Latin persona


  • IPA: /peɾˈsona/


persona f. (plural personas)

persona f.

personas f.

  1. person

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Category:Persona article)

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Developer(s) Atlus
Years active –present
Genre(s) RPG
System(s) PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable

The Persona series is generally centered around a group of high school students fighting demons in modern-day Japan. The actual game-play has changed quite a bit over time, with Persona 3 having dating sim elements and dungeon-crawling elements (like Baroque or Diablo). While the main characters are high school students, the series gets its name from the Persona (a type of spirit) that allows each character to fight the demons (the exact mechanics vary a little between games).

The Persona series is a spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei series, with the initial Persona game bearing a stronger resemblance to the games of the SMT series than the more recent games (though to be fair the SMT games changed nearly as much as the Persona games have). The common threads are basically the setting of modern-day Japan and the variety of demons in the games.

A port of the first game has been announced for September 2009 release in North America on the PSP (as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona). The title is supposed to include a new interface, anime-style cut-scenes, difficulty selection, and a completely redone soundtrack.

  • Revelations: Persona
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
  • Persona 2: Innocent Sin (Japan only)
  • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3: FES
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4

Pages in category "Persona"

The following 4 pages are in this category, out of 4 total.


  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4


  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3: FES

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