Personality includes those stable psychological characteristics that define each human being as unique. Both children and adults evidence personality traits (long-term characteristics, such as temperament) and states (changeable characteristics, such as moodiness). While considerable debate continues over the etiology of personality, most experts agree that personality traits and states form early in life. A combination of genetics and psychological and social influences likely influence the formation of personality. Infants are typically egocentric, or self-centered. They primarily concern themselves with satisfying their physical desires (for example, hunger), which psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud theorized is a form of self-pleasuring. Because infants are particularly interested in activities involving the mouth (sucking, biting), Freud labeled the first year of life as the oral stage of psychosexual development.
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