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Monday, July 9, 2012

Personality Determinants - Personality

The factors affecting personality development are illustrated below:

1. Heredity

The relationship of heredity with personality is a well-accepted fact. Traits like physique, eye color, hair color, height, temperament, energy level, intelligence, reflexes, etc. are generally referred to describe the influence of heredity in developing personality. The heredity approach argues that the ultimate explanation of an individual‘s personality is the molecular structure of the genes, located in the chromosomes. Robbins (2003) has argued that the three different streams of research lend some credibility to the argument that heredity plays an important part in determining an individual's personality. The first looks at the genetic underpinnings of human behavior and temperament among young children. The second addresses the study of twins who were separated at birth and the third examines the consistency in job satisfaction over time and across situations.

2. Environment

Environment comprises of culture, family, social and situational factors. The environmental factors influence personality of an individual since they provide the basis of certain experiences which determine the individual‘s view about life, both positive and negative.

3. Culture

Culture establishes norms, attitudes and values that are passed on from generation to generation and create consistencies over time. Every culture expects and trains its members to behave in the ways that are acceptable to the group. People from different cultural groups have different attitudes towards independence, aggression, competition, cooperation, artistic talent, etc. However, on the basis of culture, an individual‘s personality cannot be always assessed, since individuals within the same culture (but from different family and sub-cultural background) have been seen to differ in their behavior. To a marked degree, the child's cultural group defines the range of experiences and situations he is likely to encounter and the values and personality characteristics that will be reinforced and hence learned." Culture requires both conformity and acceptance from its members.

4. Family

One of the most important determinants of the personality of a person is the immediate family. Families influence the behavior of a person especially in the early stages of life. The nature of such influence will depend upon the socio-economic level of the family, family size, race, religion, parent's educational level and geographic location.
The parents play an especially important part in the identification process, which is important to the person's early development.

According to Mischel, the process can be examined from three different perspectives.

i. Identification can be viewed as the similarity of behaviour including feelings and attitudes between child and model. Parents being the first model.
ii. Identification can be looked at as the child's motives or desires to be like the model.
iii. It can be viewed as the process through which the child actually takes on the attributes of the model.

From all three perspectives, the identification process is fundamental to the understanding of personality development.

5. Situation

Situational factors also play a crucial role in determining the personality of a person. Every individual goes through different type of experiences and events in his/her life. Some of the events and experiences, which an individual goes through in his/her life, can serve as important determinants of his/her personality. A trauma suffered by a person in the childhood can sometime change the structure of his/her own personality.

6. Social Factors

There is increasing recognition given to the role of other relevant persons, groups and especially organizations, which greatly influence an individual's personality. This is commonly called the socialization process. Socialization involves the process by which a person acquires, from the enormously wide range of behavioural potentialities that are open to him or her, those that are ultimately synthesized and absorbed. Socialization starts with the initial contact between a mother and her new infant. After infancy, other members of the immediate family – father, brothers, sisters and close relatives or friends, then the social group: peers, school friends and members of the work group - play influential roles.

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