HANDOUT 1 – 10/11/16PERSONALITYPersonality can be defined as the consistent psychologicalpatterns within an individual that affect the way theyinteract with others and the situations they encounter. Personality is defined as relatively stable and enduringcharacteristics that determine our thoughts, feelings andbehavior. Personality is a complex phenomenon and there arevarious perspectives of personality construct. Onecommon and simple definition of Personality is: It is theconsistent psychological patterns within an individual thataffect the way they interact with others and the situationsthey encounter.PERSONALITY DETERMINANTS There are several factors that determine the formation orshaping of our personality. Among them the three majorfactors are: Heredity, Environment and Situation. i) Heredity The genetic components inherited from our parents at thetime of conception determine strongly the personalitycharacteristics of an individual. The color, height, physicalstatutory, facial attractiveness, gender, temperament,muscle composition, inheritable diseases etc areconsidered to be inherited from our parents. Research studies conducted on identical twins that werereared in different places, temperament of young children,longitudinal studies on the job satisfaction of employeesover long period of time and across different situationreveal that the heredity plays a substantial role indetermining the behavior of individuals. If all personalitycharacteristics were completely dictated by heredity, they1| P a g e
would be fixed at birth and no amounts of experiencecould alter them. ii) Environment The culture in which people are brought up in their livesand they type of socialization process such as family’schild rearing practices, socio economic status of thefamily, number of children in a family, birth order,education of the parents, friends and peer grouppressures, religious practices, the type of schooling andrecreational activities, pastime behavior etc play a criticalrole in shaping our personalities. For example, our parents mould the character of allchildren, almost from birth by expressing and expectingtheir children to conform to their own values through rolemodeling and through various reinforcement strategiessuch as rewards and punishments. Research studiesreveal that the birth order – the difference between firstborn children and later born children determine certainkey personality characteristics, that is, first born tend toexhibit more ambitious, and hard working, morecooperative, more prone to guilt and anxiety and lessopenly aggressive. Both the heredity and environment are equally importantin determining personality characteristics of an individual.