Factors that influence personality development

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

Did you know that personality plays a major role in how an individual behaves and takes actions in life?

Did you also know that personality is considered an essential aspect of an individual’s life - to thrive and survive in today’s contemporary world?

Personality Development focuses on the organized dynamic patterns of attitudes and behaviour that contribute towards a person’s unique personality that creates a distinctive identity that will emerge over time. Personality development incorporates the ongoing interaction of temperament, heredity, attitudes, environment, and character.

The significance of personality development -

  • Personality development shapes an individual to make a distinctive mark of his/her own. This enables individuals to inculcate a distinctive style of their own for others to follow them. Personality development aids individuals to express positive traits of their own to set an example of their own for others to learn and develop the positive traits in themselves too. This does not only make an individual look impressive and presentable, and it also helps the individual to face the world with a smile.

  • Personality development helps in reducing distress, conflicts, and stress. This helps individuals in articulating and focusing on the brighter side of life. This persuades individuals to face the worst situations with a positive approach and thought. Moreover, personality development helps an individual to overcome their weaknesses and issues by adopting a positive approach to tackle problems.

  • Personality development helps an individual to adopt a very positive thought process and attitude in life. This is mainly because a negative individual will always try to identify problems and issues in many circumstances that they encounter each day and they blame the individuals and other external forces around the environment.

However, on the contrary, a positive individual will try to become very solution-oriented to eliminate or mitigate the current issues they consider turbulent. This allows individuals to inculcate positive qualities such as punctuality, willingness to endure learning, eagerness to help others and so on.

Several factors influence personality development;

  • Heredity – According to Human Psychologists, some of the elements and characteristics of human behaviour and the personality they inherit are highly influenced by genetics which a person inherits over time. Biological factors like physical appearance, genetic, physique, and hereditary factors have an indirect impact on personality development. Strong characteristics of genetic endowment include aggressiveness, nervousness, sociability, and timidity are seen to have a direct force on personality development.

Moreover, physical traits such as intellectual capacity, logical power, physical height, slimness, and so on are also considered to be inherited over time and this helps to shape our unique personality with distinctive behaviours exhibited throughout.

  • Cultural Determinants – one of the most significant elements influencing personality development is the dimensions of culture. Culture governs our lives and influences each turn of our lives by primarily determining the way we need to interact with one another, the proven and accepted characteristics of thinking and feeling, our beliefs, and the values individuals need to inherit.

Therefore, culture has a strong influence on personality development. Each culture has a unique concept and there are various set of expectations regarding patterns of desirable behaviour.

According to Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Model, individuals from the Western culture are seen to be more open-minded, individualistic, masculine in nature and are considered to be more task-oriented.

On the contrary, individuals from the Eastern culture are seen to be more collectivistic, feminine in nature and are considered to be more person-oriented.

  • Family Background – The socio-economic variation and status of the family is considered to be another vital factor influencing personality development. The status of the family background, the education qualification level of the family members, and the culture penetrating within the family background are three major factors affecting personality development. In fact, family members continue to strive to influence the behaviour of young adults and children within the family to ensure their culture and family values are enhanced and maintained significantly to reflect the cultural inheritance.

Personality is considered to evolve according to the environment we live in, the individuals we interact with, and how individuals excel in their job careers.

Personality encompasses not only inborn traits but also the modern development of both cognitive and behavioural patterns that affect how humans think and behave. Moreover, temperament is a prime part of the personality that is determined by inherited traits and early childhood experiences.

Contemporary trends such as advancement in technology, new inventions and innovations, social learning, formal and informal training, and changes in attitudes due to modern learning techniques and patterns. Thus, it is evident that personality development is a continuous process that takes place in an individual’s life.

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