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Personality Development module

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Introduction to Personality
All people, including you and me, have a personality, and every person each has a unique
personality. It is what makes us the person we are. Our personalities control our behavior,
thoughts, emotions and even our unconscious feelings. It makes it possible to predict how a
person will act or react under different situations.
But what is personality?
It is the deeply fixed, consistent, distinctive and characteristic patterns of our thoughts,
feelings and behavior that define a person's own style of interacting with the physical and
social environment. It is the tendency to behave in a certain way under different
circumstances and across time. Personality is shown in many ways through behavior,
thoughts and feelings. It must be noted, however, that feelings, thoughts and behavior
does not make up personalities. Personality is actually the true nature that lies behind
these elements. Personality signifies the uniqueness of a person, and the special
characteristics that set apart that person from others.
Our personality can be molded and affected by many factors. For example, genes
(biological factors) and the environment where a person grows up in can form one's
personality. The factors interact to from one's personality.
Personality is like fingerprints. It emphasizes how we are unique and are different from
each other. However, some of us may also share certain similarities in personality.
Different personalities can be divided into types, but these can hardly be used to describe
a certain person's personality exactly. Our personalities are often complex mixtures. As
Paar Jack once said, "I'm complicated, sentimental, lovable, honest, loyal, decent,
generous, likable, and lonely. My personality is not split; it's shredded."
Our personalities can be very complicated and many-sided. But that is what makes each one
of us special.
Development of Personality
Introduction
You know that different people have different personalities. Each individual is different.
But why? What is it that causes these differences? What is the origin of these
differences? This one of the most fundamental questions that developmental psychologists
face. This is also the base question of behavioral genetics.
Behavioral genetics combines psychology and genetics to study genetic influences on
behavior. These behavioral geneticists study which psychological characteristics, such as
temperament a nd emotional stability, are passed on from parent to child. They try to

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determine what percentage is related to differences in genes and what percentage is
related to environmental differences.
Psychologists say that there are two main factors which affect the development formation
of a person's personality. They are - genetic factors (some call this factor "Nature") and
environmental factors (also referred as "Nurture"). Psychologists have, in the past, had
disputes over the topic of "Nature VS Nurture". "Nature VS Nurture" indicates that
biological and environmental factors compete against each other to develop a person's
personality. Also, one of these two factors may be more dominant than the other.
Scientific discoveries have shown to us now, that both of these two factors are needed
for a person's personality to develop normally. Psychologists are now interested in finding
out to what extent each of these competing factors affect personality development.
We can use the twin-study method to see which personality traits are inherited or formed
by the environment. By the studies of twins, it is generally seen that genetic influences
the basic temperamental characteristics the strongest, which are relatively stable in the
stage of development. There are two kinds of twins - monozygotic twins, who are more
commonly known as identical twins, and dizygotic twins, known as fraternal twins. Twins can
be compared to identify genes that affect the characteristics of persons. Identical twins
share a home environment and have the same genetic makeup, while fraternal twins share a
home environment but do not share the exact same genetic makeup. This difference can be
used to tweeze out which personality characteristics are inherited and which are formed
by the environment.
Exactly how much is personality development affected by genetic makeup and the
environment? In studies comparing behavioral traits in identical and fraternal twins,
researchers found that genetic differences can account for 40 to 50 percent of
differences in personality traits, while environmental influences account for about 30
percent of differences in personality traits.
So, why should we study about what role biological and environmental factors take in the
development of personality? What does this have to do with us? The answer is this - how
we look at the nature-nurture issue affects the way we look at people, especially children,
look at why they behave in certain ways, and how to deal with it. So why not start looking
into each of the factors now?
Genetic Factors
Biological factors such as our hormones and brain structure influence our behavior, but our
genes do not have programs for specifying our personality traits. Their actual job is to
control the development of our nervous and endocrine systems, which in turn controls our
behavior. Therefore, our genes do not have direct control over our personality traits, but

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Introduction to Personality All people, including you and me, have a personality, and every person each has a unique personality. It is what makes us the person we are. Our personalities control our behavior, thoughts, emotions and even our unconscious feelings. It makes it possible to predict how a person will act or react under different situations. But what is personality? It is the deeply fixed, consistent, distinctive and characteristic patterns of our thoughts, feelings and behavior that define a person's own style of interacting with the physical and social environment. It is the tendency to behave in a certain way under different circumstances and across time. Personality is shown in many ways through behavior, thoughts and feelings. It must be noted, however, that feelings, thoughts and behavior does not make up personalities. Personality is actually the true nature that lies behind these elements. Personality signifies the uniqueness of a person, and the special characteristics that set apart that person from others. Our personality can be molded and affected by many factors. For example, genes (biological factors) and the environment where a person grows up in can form one's personality. The factors interact to from one's personality. Personality is like fingerprints. It emphasizes how we are unique and are different from each other. However, some of us may also share certain similarities in personality. Different personalities can be divided into types, ...
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