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What makes individuals unique. Most would say a persons personality makes them who they are. Lets take a look at how personalities are affected by ones environment. In doing so we are going to see how personality is defined. Then we will examine the different types of personalities and how they can be determined. Next, we will see how genetics and heredity can play a role in shaping personalities along with environment. Lastly, the factors in our environment that shape our personalities.
Over the years, many different definitions have been proposed for personality. An individual’s personality is the mental characteristics that makes them unique from other people. It includes all of the patterns of thought and emotions that cause us to do and say things in particular ways. Personality concerns the most important, most noticeable parts of an individual’s psychological life. Personality can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations. There are some fundamental characteristics of personality. There is generally a recognizable order and regularity to behaviors. People act in the same ways or similar ways in a variety of situations. Personality is psychological, but research suggests that it is also influenced by biological processes and needs. Personality does not just influence how we move and respond in our environment, it also causes us to act in certain ways. Personality is displayed in more than just behavior. It can also be seen in our thoughts, feelings, close relationships and other social interactions.
Most people would agree that personality is unique to an individual person. With so many people in the world, it would not be far fetched to believe that there are different types of personalities. Putting these personalities into specific category types would help people determine what personality type they are.
This was done in the early 1950’s, by David Riesman. He proposed that there are three common types of modal personality that occur around the world. He called them tradition oriented, inner-directed, and other directed personalities. The tradition-oriented personality is one that places a strong emphasis on doing things the same way that they have always been done. Individuals with this sort of personality are less likely to try new things and to seek new experiences. Those who have inner-directed personalities are guilt oriented. Their behavior is strongly controlled by their conscience. As a result, there is little need for police to make sure that they obey the law. These individuals monitor themselves. If they break the law, they are likely to turn themselves in for punishment. In contrast, people with other-directed personalities have ambiguous feelings about right and wrong. When they deviate from a societal norm, they usually don’t feel guilty. However, if they are caught in the act or exposed publicly, they are likely to feel shame.
Those that follow Riesman’s concept of three modal personalities suggest that the tradition-oriented personality is most common in small-scale societies and in some sub-cultures of large-scale ones. Inner-directed personalities are said to be more common in some large-scale societies, especially ones that are culturally homogenous. In contrast, the other-directed personality is likely to be found in culturally diverse large-scale societies. in which there is not a uniformity. Some believe that one person can have traits of more than one of the personality types.
Today there are a few different test that can be done to determine what type of personality an individual may have. This may be done through the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Rorschach Inkblot test, or the Thematic Apseries of answers to a questionnaire that asks people to indicate the extent to which sets of statements or adjectives accurately describe their own behavior.
There is an argument of what shapes the personality of a person. Is it the genes that shapes a persons personality? Are personalities formed by hereditary traits? Is the environment we live in the primary factor that gives us are personality? Ruth Benedict beginning in the 1920’s believed that personality was almost entirely learned by our environment. Benedict said that our cultural personality patterns are assumed to be “natural” by us and other personality patterns are viewed as being “unnatural” and deviant. She said that such feelings are characteristic of all people in all cultures because we are ethnocentric. Benedict compared the typical personalities of the 19th century North American Plains Indians with those of the farming Pueblo Indians of the Southwest. She said that the bison hunting Plains Indians had personalities that could be typified as being aggressive, prone to violence, and seeking extreme emotional states. In contrast, she said that the typical Pueblo Indian was just the opposite, peaceful, non-aggressive, and sober in personality.
Some say that hereditary factors passed by our parents and ancestors to us are the main factor to ones personality. The individualââ‚¬â„¢s talent and some other traits are just few examples of these traits. Some hereditary factors that contribute to personality development do so as a result of interactions with the particular social environment in which people live. For instance, your genetically inherited physical and mental capabilities have an impact on how others see you, and how you see yourself. If you have poor motor skills that prevent you from throwing a ball straight and if you regularly get bad grades in school, you will very likely be labeled by your teachers, friends, and relatives as someone who is inadequate or a failure to some degree. This can become a self-fulfilling prophesy as you increasingly perceive yourself in this way and become more pessimistic about your capabilities and your future. Likewise, your health and physical appearance are likely to be very important in your personality development. You may be frail or robust. You may have a learning disability. You may be slender in a culture that considers obesity attractive or vice versa. These largely hereditary factors are likely to cause you to feel that you are nice-looking, ugly, or just adequate. Likewise, skin color, gender, and sexual orientation are likely to have a major impact on how you perceive yourself. Whether you are accepted by others as being normal or abnormal can lead you to think and act in a socially acceptable or even deviant way.
The environment is everything that affects the individual except his genes. There are many potential environmental influences that help to shape personality. These include the place we live and the people around us. Our experiences in our day to day life, as well as the people whom we associated with such as our family, friends, people in the school, in the church and the community as a whole, all influences our personality.
Boys and girls are socialized differently to some extent in all societies. They receive different messages from their parents and other adults as to what is appropriate for them to do in life. They are encouraged to prepare for their future in jobs fitting their gender. Boys are more often allowed freedom to experiment and to participate in physically risky activities. Girls are encouraged to learn how to do domestic tasks and to participate in child rearing by baby-sitting. If children do not follow these traditional paths, they are often labeled as marginal or even deviant. Girls may be called “tomboys” and boys may be ridiculed for not being sufficiently masculine.
There are always unique situations and interpersonal events that help to shape our personalities. If you are an only child, you don’t have to learn how to compromise as much as children who have several siblings. Chance meetings and actions may have a major impact on the rest of our lives and affect our personalities. For instance, being accepted for admission to a prestigious university or being in the right place at the right time to meet the person who will become your spouse or life partner can significantly alter the course of the rest of your life. Similarly, being drafted into the military during wartime, learning that you were adopted, or personally witnessing a tragic event, can change your personality. Home has a great bearing on the personality development of an individual. Parents behavior and attitude, their expectations from the child, their education and attention to the child, influences the child’s personality. Also school plays a major environmental role in personality. In school a child is in contact with peers and teachers whose personality can be influential.
There are many ways to see how a persons individual personality can be shaped. Whether you believe a person is limited to their genetic make up or you believe that the environment can continue to mold a personality after conception. There is a strong case that the environment does influence personality. Itââ‚¬â„¢s what we learn, see, live and experience that shape are personality.
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