What factors affect an individual’s personality development? Which factor has the biggest effect? Why? Personality is an expression of an individual’s temperament, emotional state, values or beliefs, and goals or expectations. The specific answer to the question of what influences personality development depends on what theory of psychology a person believes is the most correct. How one would describe the process of personality development depends greatly on the framework a person chooses to view personality by itself (Feist & Feist, 2009). But, the general answer can be summarized with two factors: a person’s predisposed nature and environment affect lifespan personality development. The simple truth is there is no way to separate which is more influential, nature or nurture, because the two are inseparably intertwined with one another. They share a symbiotic relationship, of sorts, where one cannot exist without the other. Basically, the things that happen in the environment will directly affect someone’s personality. But, on the same hand, people help shape the environment and their personalities will change it accordingly (Feist & Feist, 2009). A good example of this paradoxical fact of life can be found in genetics. Hereditary mental and physical elements can affect how a person is treated by others, which can alter how a person feels about him or herself. To the point, if a man is born short statured, it is possible he may be treated in such a way to promote his development of a Napoleon complex (O'Neil, 2006). References
Feist, J., & Feist, G. (2009). Theories of Personality (7th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. O'Neil, D. (2006, July 4). Personality Development. Retrieved February 20, 2013, from anthro.palomar.edu: http://anthro.palomar.edu/social/soc_3.htm
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