From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Character orientation is how people relate to the world by acquiring and using things (assimilation) and by relating to self and others (socialization), and they can do so either nonproductively or productively. Erich Fromm is a theorist who came up with five different character orientations: Receptive, Exploitative, Hoarding, Marketing, and Productive.
German-American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm was influenced by Freudian ideologies when coming up with the theory of character orientation. The basis of character orientation comes from Freud who said that character traits underlie behavior and that they must be inferred from it. These character traits can be powerful forces which are totally unconscious to the person. Fromm along with Freud believed that the most important aspect in one's character was not a single character trait, but rather, the total character organization from where many single character traits follow. These character traits can be understood as a syndrome resulting from a particular character orientation. In other words, the character of any given person is a blend of all, or some of the orientations, but where one is more predominant.